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3.8 out of 5 stars9
3.8 out of 5 stars
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(3.5 stars) Though this may be a sequel to Dandelion Wine in terms of philosophy and message, it is far different in tone and style from that wonderfully nostalgic look at rural life in the late 1920s. Dandelion Wine straddles that magical line between reality and imagination, conjuring up images with which every reader can identify and allowing readers to draw important conclusions about life from the gentle depictions of life as we see it in the novel. Farewell Summer, however, is an allegory, heavily symbolic from the outset--and much darker--missing the warmth, love, and light touch which make Dandelion Wine so charming.

That contrast can be felt especially in the first few pages, in which Doug and his friends (now aged twelve) decide not to grow old, to stay the age they are. Doug believes that the old are "another race...Aliens. Evil. And we're the slaves they keep for nefarious odd jobs and punishments," a much harsher conclusion than anything one finds in Dandelion Wine. The boys and the elderly residents of town (most of whom are involved on the school board) go to war with each other, and one of the elderly actually dies of a heart attack during the first skirmish (in the book's first twenty pages). And if that war is not symbolic enough, the boys also decide to kill the town clock with firecrackers.

The ravine, which bisects the town, plays its role here, as does the haunted house, and when one of the old men gives a birthday party at the lakefront for his grand-niece, and Douglas gets kissed for the first time, the effects of adolescence on the boys become obvious. In a strange interlude, the sexual awakening of the boys is contrasted with the sexual decline of the old men. Some communication between young and old does take place late in the book, but the lessons learned feel very much like lessons taught.

In his Afterword, Bradbury describes the original publication of Dandelion Wine for which he had already written a version of Farewell Summer. For fifty-five years, he says, he worked on the latter, until "I felt it was correct to send it out into the world." He does bring his philosophy full circle here, and he does bring Doug into the adult world, but the charm and the subtlety of the first book get lost in the allegory and obvious symbolism of Farewell Summer. Mary Whipple
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This short novel is a sequel to Dandelion Wine. Published almost half a century later it forms, with Something Wicked This Way Comes, a trilogy of novels that were inspired with Ray Bradbury's childhood years in a small town of Waukegan, Illinois. The Farewell Summer is a deeply personal and intimate reflection on coming of age and commencement of initiation into the world of adulthood. The novel takes place over course of just one October, and follows a group of kids as they come in conflict with adults in fictional Green Town. The book presents a very humane look at the way that several adults, especially the much older ones, deal with what would today be termed delinquency. They understand that "boys will be boys," and yet they try to help with a smooth transition into the adulthood.

Bradbury has been known primarily for his science fiction books, but in this novel and a few others he shows his ability to convey deeper messages of life in a much more "realistic" and conventional form. His writing is very lyrical and at moments poignant. Even though this is a very short novel, it contains a lot of inspired and moving writing. It has a lot of cross appeal, and even if you are not a fan of ray Bradbury you are bound to enjoy this beautiful gem. I certainly hope that this book does not signal the end of his extensive opus. We can all learn more about life from this unique and brilliant author.
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VINE VOICEon 15 September 2010
A sequel appearing many years after the original is always likely to be looked on with suspicion, but for this reader at least 'Farewell Summer' is a great success. An admission: despite being familiar with Bradbury since my youth, I had never actually read 'Dandelion Wine' before, so I ended up reading both books back to back. Far from noticing any drop in quality, I personally found 'Farewell Summer' to be slightly the more enjoyable of the two. Bradbury's writing here is sharp and economic, with the slightly rambling nature of 'Dandelion Wine' giving way to a pacier and more incisive read. This is helped by the ending, which whilst initially slightly shocking in its flagrant introduction of sexuality into Bradbury's nostalgic childhood realm, acts as a satisfying and oddly moving resolution.
I loved both 'Dandelion Wine' and 'Farewell Summer'. My advice? Buy 'em both!
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on 22 December 2015
The story was less about conjuring up a realistic narrative, more about saying something about Bradbury's career and life I think. It seemed like it was trying to do something bigger than just relate a tale. Dealing with big themes of youth, ageing and time. Doug, the main protagonist feels at war with the elders and how they represent the passage of time, and oddly, one of the elders, Quartermain, similarly feels at war with the young folk. There are lovely descriptive passages, but it feels dream like and symbolic. I believe "Dandelion Wine" is a more conventional coming of age tale, and I look forward to reading it soon.
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on 21 July 2015
A sequel to Dandelion Wine but different: darker, capturing the mischief and imagination of the young boys and the relationships with the elders of the town. Bradbury is an artist with prose that captivates and thrills. Simply wonderful
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on 19 September 2013
This is a sequel to"Dandelion Wine", but in my view not so enjoyable. Somehow, the Bradbury magic was missing, the storyline was a bit restricted and the author's use of words lacked his usual sparkle.
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on 15 January 2013
The product arrived very quickly and in near perfect condition. I found it hard to get into at first but I usually find that with Ray Bradbury's books. Well worth reading.
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on 30 October 2014
Good, but not as good as its predecessor, 'Dandelion Wine'. worth a rerad though at this price.
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on 22 December 2006
This book is such a disappointment as a follow up to Dandelion Wine, the latter being one of my favourite reads; I almost wish Ray Bradbury had not written Farewell Summer it was superficial & had no depth at all... If you enjoyed Dandelion Wine I would recommend that you give this one a miss!
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