Book Review: Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Wine
by Ray Bradbury

Sorry folks, but my relentless gushing over Ray Bradbury is not yet done. As always, his writing is beautiful and somewhat mysterious. Bradbury has an uncanny ability to tickle the senses and spark the emotions by making us look into our own lives for references to his characters, his places and his plots. The very simplest things he makes so fantastic. The most boring of actions is made into a significant event. A great example is how Doug's grandfather connects summer with dandelion wine and the sound of lawnmowers in the morning.

The story takes place in the fictional town of Green Town, IL in the summer of 1928. It definitely has a refreshing Midwestern tone throughout, something very familiar to me. The main character, Douglas, is a twelve-year-old boy who finally feels he's ALIVE. We follow Douglas' and the lives of other townspeople throughout the summer.

Bradbury again weaves a lovely tale and a much less dark one than that of Fahrenheit 451, which is also incredible. Yet, it still has its darker moments, which I have found to be very Bradbury. I was interested to have found 2 of his short stories within Dandelion Wine.

His characters interact in all types of simple, but memorable ways. And memory is actually a main theme in the novel as well. There's the young dealing with the old; those who live and those that die; the men dealing with the women. I really like Bradbury's women characters, which I honestly can't say for many authors.
One of the characters tries to build Happiness Machine, which he realizes is actually family. I kept thinking it was the iPod or BlackBerry. A master with the metaphors, this guy Bradbury.

And I leave with one of my favorite quotes, as always.
Great-Grandma "No one ever died that had a family." (p. 209)
Incredible book. Highly, highly, highly recommended. It's short and it's a classic.

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