Fiction Reviews

The Machineries of Joy

(1998/2000) Ray Bradbury, Earthlight, £5.99, pbk, 255pp, ISBN 0-671-03771-4

(2008 edition) PS Publishing, Slip cased hrdbk / hrdbk, £50 (US$100) / £20 (US$40). ISBN 978-1-905-8-3441-9 / 978-1-905-8-3440-2.

This is a lovely collection of 25 short stories by one of my all-time heroes. And, considering that overlap with other collections is inevitable, I find it amazing that Iíd only encountered 8 of them before! There is no way I can give this book an unbiased review. As far as Iím concerned Bradbury is a genius, and Iíd be surprised if the educated reader of this review didnít too. Among my favourites here are The Drummer Boy of Shiloh, a vignette; Almost the End of the World, a comment on the TV age; A Miracle of Rare Device, a fantasy of the imagination and my single-most favourite in this collection; and The Anthem Sprinters, a nostalgic and humourous look at the cinema-going experience. If youíre so young or so specialised in your tastes never to have encountered Bradbury before (surely not? What about Fahrenheit 451, what about Something Wicked This Way Comes, what about Dandelion Wine, what about The October Country? Where have you been all your life?), I say if you havenít, then start now. Right away. Start here. Then buy everything you can lay your hands on.

If you meet me one day, and if you are real nice (that means, buy me a drink), I will explain why it is I love Bradbury so much. Promise.

Tony Chester

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