The Golden Apples of the Sun and other stories
Subterranean Press, 2008 (original 1990, some stories are much older)
This is a book of short stories by Ray Bradbury; it is a collection of some stories I have read in other collections, but most of them were new to me. As with all short story compilations, I will only mention the stories I found most compelling!
The Pedestrian – I’ve read this story in other collections and I know its back-story from reading Mr. Bradbury’s introductions to other books, but it chills me every time. A man, out walking at night, is arrested for out walking at night. Nothing else, just walking. Scary. . .
Embroidery – 3 women sit on a porch embroidering, waiting, waiting, waiting for something to happen, something that may end them all. Chilling…
The Golden Apples of the Sun – a rocket ship flies straight to the Sun to do the impossible: gather huge cupful of the “precious gas and vacuum, a handful of different fire . . . and take to Earth a fire that might burn forever.”
The Murderer – a man goes to war against a society filled with noise – people with radio-watches talking to anybody and everybody (sort of like today’s cellphones – and no I really don’t want to know the results of your colonoscopy while I am eating my dinner mostly because I don’t even know who you are), ever present Muzook (Muzac); telemarketers constantly ringing asking for surveys and opinions. . . sounds like the world we live in.
The Fog-Horn – Two lighthouse keepers have an encounter with such deep loneliness that it nearly destroys them both. Very eerie – I’ll be thinking of this story whenever I hear a fog-horn.
The Great Wide World Over There – a sad story, really, about a married couple who live in the country, have little to no contact with the outside world and are illiterate. The husband, Tom, is fine with it; but his wife, Cora, is desperate to know the world outside her valley and she longs to read and write.
So, having a few Ray Bradbury books under my belt now, I can say with confidence that while he is the “Great American Author” I much prefer his science fiction and dystopian stories over his regular fare. This book was mostly about ordinary people going about their ordinary lives, some with extraordinary things occurring, most not. His writing, for me, is at his most brilliant and melodic when he is describing other worlds and extraordinary events.
We read this book as a part of the Summer Reading Challenge: 2015, a bonus book!
Rating: 3 out of 5 paws because even though Mr. Bradbury is in my top ten fav authors, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed his other books.