As I’ve decided to write more about books and authors, I decided to dedicate the honorary first post to my favorite writer, Ray Bradbury.
First things first, let me tell just a little about his life. Ray Douglas Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920 in Illinois U.S. He’s one of the most celebrated American writers of 20th and 21st centuries. He’s most known for his dystopian, science fiction books “Fahrenheit 451” and “Martian Chronicles“, however he wrote in a variety of genres including horror, fantasy, mystery fiction and magic realism. He wrote 27 novels and over 600 short stories. He passed away on June 5, 2012.
I don’t want to concentrate and write much about his biography, because you can simply look it up in wikipedia or any other website. I want to talk about my perception of him, how he influenced me, and why he’s my favorite author.
First I gotta say that even though it sounds strange, but I divided works of Bradbury into two categories: the ones that make you feel and the ones that make you think. Let’s start with the first one.
For me, Bradbury is tensely associated with summer, because the first thing I read of him was “Dandelion Wine“. After that there hasn’t been a single summer without any of his works. I said it once, I’ll say it again, Bradbury is my ultimate summer inspiration. I wouldn’t love this season half as much if it wasn’t for him. That’s why I call one category “books that make you feel“, because they literally shift you from your reality, 21st century to the beginning of 20th, from an urbanized city to a little cozy town. You actually feel yourself in the little Green Town, with all the friendly or not so neighbors, detached houses, with their porches and fairway. You feel yourself a part of that story, you feel what the main characters feel. You play with them, drink cold lemonade on a hot day with them, rejoice with them. These books (I’ll name them all in a while) make you feel super nostalgic. They make you remember your own childhood, your past summer holidays, you playing with your friends, running around, living your best life. But also, it makes you feel nostalgic for the times, you weren’t even born yet. You feel the vibes of early 1920-1930s, you see yourself in those years, the retro feeling takes all over you. You see and remember the simple times and simple pleasures of life. That’s why, to get into the mood, my June always started by reading and re-reading works of Bradbury, and more specifically: “Dandelion Wine“, “Summer Morning, Summer Night” (which is a collection of short stories), and “Farewell Summer” (which I’ll recommend reading in late August). This year was kind of an exception, because instead of June, I choose August for “Bradbury mood“, as I felt more nostalgic now, the bittersweet moment of the whole summer, when you’re still enjoying the holidays, but the colder season will start anytime soon, and it gives such a peaceful atmosphere, to see one thing change for another, one goodbye for one greeting. Especially now that I don’t have school or university to go to, this time feels more cheerful and mild rather than sad.
Moving on to “autumn list” of novels, which still are in the first category: “Something wicked this way comes”, “Halloween Tree”, “October Country” (collection of short stories). These belong more to the fantasy genre, but still you get the simplicity of a little town, adventures of the kids along with the spooky vibes, and lots of magic. October country involves some elements of horror, so beware of that. These ones are good to read around Halloween, if you like the gloomy mood but not a fan of strong horror. He really conveys the atmosphere of his stories so good, that once again, you feel yourself in the middle of a crazy adventure with the main heroes. I know there’s also another “autumnal” collection called “Autumn People“, but I haven’t read that one yet, so can’t say anything.
“Golden apples of the sun” is another good collection which falls in both categories, as there are stories that make you rethink your life, and the ones that you just casually enjoy reading. My favorite story from this one is “The pedestrian“, which definitely belongs to the second category. It’s just really amazing how 5 pages of a work can affect more than a whole big book. I guess you can speak of a brilliance of the author, when he/she is able to somehow make a huge impact on you within just a few pages.
And finally the books that make you think. I already mentioned them in my other post, but I’ll write them anyway: “Martian Chronicles” and “Fahrenheit 451“. These are just amazing, because they fully convey the situation and life of nowadays. It’s one of those works that is relevant for every time, but especially now. So if you want to see our reality in a magnifying glass, I definitely recommend those.
What I love the most about Bradbury, is how diverse his style and works are. He’s just one person, who makes you feel so many different things at the same time. He can inspire you, by showing the beauty of life, life through eyes of a child, or a grown-up. Also he’s the one who can ruin the world, just by highlighting the problems of our society. Unlike many other authors, who start being repetitive in their works, Bradbury is always “full of surprises“. Once you read something new from him, you never know, what you’ll end up feeling, how the story will turn out, whether it’ll have a happy ending or end up dreadfully.
I can say that my writing style was hugely inspired by him, especially the one from “make you feel” category. Because my main goal while writing has always been to influence others, to try to convey my own emotions and vision to others, to motivate and most importantly inspire them. To make them see the beauty and perfection in simple and imperfect things. Maybe that’s why he’s my favorite author, because I saw something I was craving so much in his works. And maybe that’s why he inspires me so much. One thing I can say for sure, he truly is a brilliant writer, and I can’t wait to read the rest of his works.