5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
off the beaten tracks,
This review is from: Now and Forever (Paperback)
master writer of his own unique brand of fantastic fiction, ray bradbury returns with a new volume. this runs for roughly two hundred and twenty five pages, and contains two previously unpublished novellas. both run slightly over one hunred pages and both come with introductions from ray bradbury explaining the creation of each.
the first novella 'somewhere a band is playing' involves a journalist who gets the urge to travel across middle america and leave a train in the middle of nowhere. he finds a quite delightful town. and then finds it's surprising secret.
many of the usual ray bradbury staples crop up here, images of small towns that progress has passed by and the simple pleasures to be found in them. the big twist in the plot - the secret of the town - adds a strong extra layer to the proceedings.
told in very short chapters, the crux of the story is the effect that his discoveries have on the journalist. and this is all pretty convincing and good characterisatin. the prose is short and clipped but as ever with the writer manages to conjure up delightful imagery, and leads to an ending that will stay with you for a while.
the second story 'leviathan 99' is a science fiction version of the novel moby dick. the influences are readily apparent even if you don't read the introduction, not least because the main character is called ishmael. a spaceship is after a deadly comet that is going to come near earth, and the captain is so obsessed with destroying it he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.
this adds a few nice science fictional touches to the idea, not least with one convincingly very alien character, and does manage some strong plot developments along the way, leading to another memorable ending. again the prose does manage to conjure up strong imagery.
a short volume. not a classic volume. but a very good volume, giving us a couple more works from a fine writer to cherish