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Archive for June, 2010

The Ray Bradbury Chronicles: Volume Two (1992)
based on the stories of Ray Bradbury
Bantam Spectra

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The second volume of comic adaptations of Bradbury’s stories. Again I was drawn to the more abstract style of “A Piece of Wood” and another story of two people from different times having an encounter, “Night Meeting”. Also included is “Come into My Cellar”, which I thought was a lot more effective in the original story, “Punishment Without Crime”, “Rocket Summer & The Locusts” and the neat colourized old EC Comics piece, “The Flying Machine”.

"Night Meeting"

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The Ray Bradbury Chronicles: Volume One (1992)
based on the stories of Ray Bradbury
Bantam Spectra

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A collection of Ray Bradbury’s stories that have been adapted into comic-book form by various artists. I believe they put out four of these volumes, I have the first two, and re-read them recently. The different artists bring different styles and feels to the stories, from the sort of generic future world you might expect in Buck Rogers, to the very artistic and idiosyncratic.

"Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed"

The best adaptations here are “Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed” which creates a great atmosphere with its brown hues and cut-up abstract style, and “The Dragon” which in a few short pages tells a very effective story of crossed time streams, one of my favourite Bradbury themes. Also included are “The Golden Apples of the Sun”, “Marionettes, Inc.”, “The Toynbee Convector”, and newly coloured from an old EC Comic, “I, Rocket”.

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A pretty interesting interview I found with Georges Simenon: http://www.parisreview.com/viewinterview.php/prmMID/5020

“Writing is considered a profession, and I don’t think it is a

profession. I think that everyone who does not need to be a writer,

who thinks he can do something else, ought to do something else.

Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. I don’t

think an artist can ever be happy.”

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Breaking and Entering (1988)
by Joy Williams
278 pages
Vintage Contemporaries

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Liberty and Willie are a Florida couple in their 20’s who spend their time breaking into other people’s vacation homes, living there for a time, and they leave without taking anything but make sure to let the homeowner know someone was there. The novel doesn’t have much of a plot, though as it progresses the two start to drift apart.

This was very much a book of two halves. In the first half or even first two thirds I was quite engaged with the story and enjoying it. But the last part changes the tone considerably, and from there it’s a real chore to get through. It’s even fairly clear where exactly this happens — according to the book, it includes a few parts that were published as short stories earlier, and it’s one of these sections added in, which goes back to the couple’s experiences as adolescents, which really breaks up the feel of the book, and makes it hard to feel for any of the characters, since they come across as being very unpleasant.

I do like the cover though, it matches the book aesthetically. Actually, this book is so modern even the entire text is set in a sans-serif font, something I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered before in a novel.

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