Monday, April 3, 2017

Driving Blind

by Ray Bradbury
259 pgs

It’d been a long time since I read anything by Ray Bradbury. Probably because, since there’s not much left by him to read and there are no more stories to come, I’ve been rationing. I fell in love with Bradbury from reading his stories in the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres. The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, and Something Wicked This Way Comes are three of my all-time favorite books. But later on, I became aware of his works like Dandelion Wine and his stories that could be described as fictional memoirs, stories that either don’t contain any elements of science fiction or the supernatural, or that do so very subtly. These types of stories are just as entertaining and memorable. The 21 stories in Driving Blind generally fall into this later grouping.

Most of the stories have an element of romance in them. One tale is of an old spinster whose saved love letters were stolen from her home by the man who wrote them, and then resent to her one by one in an effort for a second chance. One is of a man who wonder what became of his first love. But when he tracks her down and knocks on her door, he discovers time has not been kind to her and so pretends to be a salesman. There’s a story about a pitiful one-ring circus in a small Mexican border town and one of a dead man searching for mourners.

Each story is only about ten pages long, but in those few pages, Bradbury--as few authors would be able to do--crafts a story deep with emotions, which offers a touching snapshot of humanity. This is not the book I would use to introduce someone to Ray Bradbury, but for those who know and enjoy his style of storytelling, this one is worth the read.


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