Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Ray Bradbury Chronicles

The big push in my Ray Bradbury absorption came as "extra reading" during the year of Mrs. Barlow's Ninth Grade English class, with R is for Rocket, S is for Space and The Martian Chronicles, all of them from home. Before that, I devoured Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451 and The Ilustrated Man. With friends, there were repeat showings of the movie versions of the last two named books, and a final flourish in 1979: the TV mini-series broadcast of The Martian Chronicles, featuring Darren McGavin of The Night Stalker. I loved it all!

Having not reread any of the books nor rewatched any of the adaptations since the mini-series, they've all remained floating around in my psyche like phantoms, right back to the very first Bradbury book I picked up, Something Wicked This Way Comes. If all books were burned in the near future, these would all be good tales to pass on orally to the next two or three generations. 

The original order of publication hardly mattered to me at the time, but for what it's worth and out of sheer curiosity, I looked them up and found that it goes like this:

The  Martian Chronicles, 1950 (including stories first published in the 1940s).
The Illustrated Man (1951).
Fahrenheit 451 (1953).
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962).
R is for Rocket (1962).
S is for Space (1966).
Fahrenheit 451 movie directed by François Truffaut, with Oskar Werner and Julie Christie (1966).   
The Illustrated Man movie directed by Jack Smight and starring Rod Steiger (1969).
Michael Anderson's The Martian Chronicles mini-series (1979) -- same director as for Logan's Run (1976 -- a good deal of it, by the way, filmed in Fort Worth, Texas).

Has Ray Bradbury (RIP) done anything similar for you over the years?

Today's Rune: Fertility.  


Charles Gramlich said...

The first things I read by Bradbury were S is for Space and R is for Rocket, which was all our tiny local library had at the time.

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Adorably Dead said...

I am quite ashamed to say that I have never read anything by Ray Bradbury. I have however seen TV and movie adaptations of his written work, but that's not the same.

Hmmm...hello kindle...