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Death Is a Lonely Business

Death Is a Lonely Business

Geschrieben von Ray Bradbury

Erzählt von Andrew Garman


Death Is a Lonely Business

Geschrieben von Ray Bradbury

Erzählt von Andrew Garman

Bewertungen:
3/5 (194 Bewertungen)
Länge:
9 Stunden
Freigegeben:
31. Jan. 2018
ISBN:
9781501966132
Format:
Hörbuch

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Beschreibung

Ray Bradbury, the undisputed Dean of American storytelling, dips his accomplished pen into the cryptic inkwell of noir and creates a stylish and slightly fantastical tale of mayhem and murder set among the shadows and the murky canals of Venice, California, in the early 1950s.

Toiling away amid the looming palm trees and decaying bungalows, a struggling young writer (who bears a resemblance to the author) spins fantastic stories from his fertile imagination upon his clacking typewriter. Trying not to miss his girlfriend (away studying in Mexico), the nameless writer steadily crafts his literary effort—until strange things begin happening around him.

Starting with a series of peculiar phone calls, the writer then finds clumps of seaweed on his doorstep. But as the incidents escalate, his friends fall victim to a series of mysterious "accidents"—some of them fatal. Aided by Elmo Crumley, a savvy, street-smart detective, and a reclusive actress of yesteryear with an intense hunger for life, the wordsmith sets out to find the connection between the bizarre events, and in doing so, uncovers the truth about his own creative abilities.

Freigegeben:
31. Jan. 2018
ISBN:
9781501966132
Format:
Hörbuch

Auch als verfügbar...

Auch als ebook verfügbareBook

Über den Autor

Ray Bradbury (22 August 1920 – 5 June 2012) published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was twenty years old. Among his many famous works are 'Fahrenheit 451,' 'The Illustrated Man,' and 'The Martian Chronicles.'


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3.1
194 Bewertungen / 9 Rezensionen
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  • (5/5)
    The first book of Bradbury's Venice Trilogy, is very enjoyable if your taste runs to light, strange, quirky, mysteries. It was followed over a period of several years by "A Graveyard For Lunatics" and "Let's All Kill Constance". These are contemporary oddball crime fiction, not Sci-Fi.. and as with all Bradbury's work very well done!
  • (5/5)
    Death Is a Lonely Business is a good old-fashioned mystery, Bradbury style. When I first read it upon discovering Bradbury as a teenager, I liked it but it wasn't one of my favorites...now, fifteen years later, I would rank it among his best.In it, the protagonist (who bears a striking resemblance to a young Ray Bradbury), with the help of no-nonsense police detective (and frustrated novelist) Elmo Crumley, tries to discover who's behind a series of mysterious deaths and disappearances. It becomes personal when several of the victims are his friends or have some connection with him (such as his barber, who once dreamed of being a pianist and regales his clients with the story of how he once met Scott Joplin).The solution is vintage Bradbury, as he explores the connection between art and life, and how embracing life means going out and living it...loving, dreaming, creating. The villain, by contrast, doesn't strive to make his values real, but the opposite: "I hate everything. Name it, there's nothing in the world I like." Projecting his own desire for death onto others whose "crime was giving up or never having tried", whom he calls "The Lonelies", he "helps" them to achieve the oblivion he himself so desperately craves.The cast of characters---victims, suspects, and those helping solve the case---is very well-drawn, particularly the fading movie star Constance Rattigan and the blind neighbor Henry. And Bradbury's at the top of his form here, with lots of evocative imagery, metaphors, and stylistic flourishes, but not overdoing it. This is just an all around great read!
  • (5/5)
    [Death is a Lonely Business] is Ray Bradbury's delightful foray into the realm of the mystery story.It was a dark and stormy night -- MY words, not his, he's much more creative than that! But in that classic atmosphere of mystery, in a lonely streetcar screeching around a curve, a sinister stranger whispers "Death . . . Death is a lonely business." When our protagonist stumbles upon a body -- in a most unusual resting place -- on his way home from the streetcar, we're off on the adventure.This strange, gentle mystery (populated with the kind of oddball characters that only Bradbury could conjure) is set in the strange environs of 1949 Venice, California, amidst abandoned canals and circus wagons, the constant thrum of oil rigs, and the tearing down of the old amusement pier -- and with it, the death of a way of life. Death seems to be all around, and it is, indeed, a lonely business.Throughout this marvelous little book, the reader can savor the luminous language, the amazing use of metaphor, which is Bradbury's hallmark.Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    More than just a mystery novel, this book is an exploration of melancholy, decay, and the hopeful stubborness of the creative spirit. I truly love the protagonist, the unnamed young writer who mourns old strangers when nobody does, who befriends a grumpy detective by giving him his novel's title. Bradbury uses such evocative, dream-like language that one cannot help but feel drunk from reading it. He's a very accomplished story craftsman but deep inside, he's still a kid and a dorky one at that. This is the main reason why he is a master.
  • (4/5)
    Ray Bradbury isn’t known for his detective fiction and so when I discovered he wrote some I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read one. This is the first in a series which tells me he must have had fun writing them. It shows. Because of the way Bradbury writes and his ethereal world-building, the story is more than just a who-dunnit. Like the Leavenworth Case, this book features an official detective (Elmo Crumley), but it isn’t he who ferrets out the truth but a struggling writer (you can’t help but feel his inner-workings are autobiographical). One night on the train, our young writer tries desperately to ignore a drunken man who is mumbling and whispering, but he does hear the dark mantra “Death is a Lonely Business” though he tries hard not to. On his walk to his apartment he finds a corpse locked inside a derelict circus cage, drowning in the bottom of one of Los Angeles’s famous canals. Only he believes it to be murder and this knowledge possesses him in a frightening way -“...my fingers began to type, x-ing out the UNTITLED NOVEL until it was gone.Then I went down a space and saw these words begin to jolt out on the paper.DEATH and then IS A and then LONELY and then, at last, BUSINESS.I grimaced wildly at the title, gasped, and didn’t stop typing for an hour, until I got the storm-lightning train rolled away in the rain and let the lion cage fill with black sea water which poured forth and set the dead man free…Down and through my arms, along my hands, and out my cold fingertips onto the page.In a flood, the darkness came.I laughed, glad for its arrival.”Desperately the writer tries to convince Crumley there is a crime and a victim to be championed, but there is barely any evidence and the writer must go it alone. We meet a motley cast of characters along the way; John Wilkes Hopwood, The Canary Lady, Mr. Shapeshade (could that BE any more Bradbury???) and Constance -“Hers had been a swift year in the Twenties, with a quick drop down the mine shaft into the film vaults. Her director, old newsprint said, had found her in bed with the studio hairdresser, and cut Constance Rattigan’s leg muscles with a knife so she would no longer be able to walk the way he loved. The he had fled to swim straight west toward china. Constance Rattigan was never seen again. If she could walk, no one knew.”Isn’t that brilliant? Deep, swirling mystery. A legend within a ghost story. Basically all the characters are like that and their individual oddity saves them from outright pathos. Here’s Henry -“And it was Henry with No Last Name, Henry the Blind who heard the wind and knew the cracks in the sidewalk and snuffed the dust of the night tenement, who gave the first warnings of things waiting on the stairs or too much midnight leaning heavy on the roof…”Oh how I love the way Bradbury writes. In many ways Stephen King reminds me of him, but not so surprising in his disconnected perfection. Anyway, eventually our writer does convince Crumley, but not without a high price. Death duties crush him with more bursts of creativity and he’s torn between the need to keep his friends alive and his need to write. If you like your mystery with a heavy presence of the arcane you will love this book. If you love interesting wordplay and juxtapositions of description, you will love this book. If you thought Bradbury only wrote about Mars and nostalgia, you’ll be surprised.
  • (4/5)
    Bradbury's exceptional writing and creative outlook make this a unique murder mystery. The eerie and sinister atmosphere of coastal California lend a sense of doom as the protagonist's acquaintances turn up dead, one by one. The friendship that develops between the writer and the detective is charming and funny, and serves as a foil to the negative tone of the plot.
  • (3/5)
    Deeply invested in style and setting, the story doesn't have much else going for it. The language and grotesque characters will probably stick with me for a while, though.
  • (4/5)
    Entertaining novel in the murder-mystery genre - the application of Bradbury's sometimes near-poetic style to the more hard-boiled subject matter was interesting, as was the unusual (for Bradbury) device of telling the story in the first-person, setting it in LA in the late 1940s. The protagonist is a very thinly-veiled version of Bradbury-as-a-struggling-young-writer himself...
  • (4/5)
    I didn't plan it this way, but for me the turning of the year was bookended by two Ray Bradbury titles. I started Death Is a Lonely Business (1985) near the end of December because it was available on my Kindle and I was stuck lying down, nursing a sore back. It ended up being my final book of 2017.I hadn't read a Bradbury novel in decades and had him pretty much lodged in my mind as a writer of pulp sci-fi short stories--a more than competent one, to be sure, but for me not the stuff of a steady diet.So I was taken by surprise by the depth and complexity of the novel, from its predominant theme of death and its agents to the delicate, wavering balance between illusion and consensual reality accomplished by locating the imaginative flights in the mind of the first-person narrator, whose name we never learn. Thematic elements, lush evocation of time and place, and quirky characters that stop short of grotesquerie by virtue of their humanity round out the quasi-detective story with its backdrop of Los Angeles neighborhoods.Bradbury was 65 when he wrote it, and that's not too young to be pondering the transitory nature of things.From LibraryThing I learned that this book is the first of three so-called Crumley Mysteries. Detective Lieutenant Crumley does have a role to play, but he is present more as a catalyst than as a major actor. It is not first of all a detective story but rather an almost mystical meditation on death and life and how people's lives intertwine.And so when I ran out of pages in Death Is a Lonely Business, I downloaded the second, A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities (1990), which became my first completed work of 2018.Discovering this dimension of Bradbury after so long is a refreshing surprise and a bright spot at the start of a perilous year.