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From the Dust Returned

From the Dust Returned

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From the Dust Returned

Bewertungen:
3/5 (324 Bewertungen)
Länge:
213 Seiten
3 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
25. Juni 2013
ISBN:
9780062242204
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Ray Bradbury, America's most beloved storyteller, has spent a lifetime carrying readers to exhilarating and dangerous places, from dark street comers in unfamiliar cities and towns to the edge of the universe. Now, in an extraordinary flight of the imagination a half-century in the making, he takes us to a most wondrous destination: into the heart of an Eternal Family.

They have lived for centuries in a house of legend and mystery in upper Illinois -- and they are not like other midwesterners. Rarely encountered in daylight hours, their children are curious and wild; their old ones have survived since before the Sphinx first sank its paws deep in Egyptian sands. And some sleep in beds with lids.

Now the house is being readied in anticipation of the gala homecoming that will gather together the farflung branches of this odd and remarkable family. In the past-midnight stillness can be detected the soft fluttering of Uncle Einars wings. From her realm of sleep, Cecy, the fairest and most special daughter, can feel the approach of many a welcome being -- shapeshifter, telepath, somnambulist, vampire -- as she flies high in the consciousness of bird and bat.

But in the midst of eager anticipation, a sense of doom pervades. For the world is changing. And death, no stranger, will always shadow this most singular family: Father, arisen from the Earth; Mother, who never sleeps but dreams; A Thousand Times Great Grandmére; Grandfather, who keeps the wildness of youth between his ears.

And the boy who, more than anyone, carries the burden of time on his shoulders: Timothy, the sad and different foundling son who must share it all, remember, and tell...and who, alone out of all of them, must one day age and wither and die.

By turns lyrical, wistful, poignant, and chilling, From the Dust Returned is the long-awaited new novel by the peerless Ray Bradbury -- a book that will surely be numbered among his most enduring masterworks.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
25. Juni 2013
ISBN:
9780062242204
Format:
Buch

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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Buchvorschau

From the Dust Returned - Ray Bradbury

CHAPTER 1

The Town and the Place

At first, A Thousand Times Great Grandmère said, there was only a place on the long plain of grass and a hill on which was nothing at all but more grass and a tree that was as crooked as a fork of black lightning on which nothing grew until the town came and the House arrived.

We all know how a town can gather need by need until suddenly its heart starts up and circulates the people to their destinations. But how, you ask, does a house arrive?

The fact is that the tree was there and a lumberman passing to the Far West leaned against it, and guessed it to be before Jesus sawed wood and shaved planks in his father’s yard or Pontius Pilate washed his palms. The tree, some said, beckoned the House out of tumults of weather and excursions of Time. Once the House was there, with its cellar roots deep in Chinese tombyards, it was of such a magnificence, echoing facades last seen in London, that wagons, intending to cross the river, hesitated with their families gazing up and decided if this empty place was good enough for a papal palace, a royal monument, or a queen’s abode, there hardly seemed a reason to leave. So the wagons stopped, the horses were watered, and when the families looked, they found their shoes as well as their souls had sprouted roots. So stunned were they by the House up there by the lightning-shaped tree, that they feared if they left the House would follow in their dreams and spoil all the waiting places ahead.

So the House arrived first and its arrival was the stuff of further legends, myths, or drunken nonsense.

It seems there was a wind that rose over the plains bringing with it a gentle rain that turned into a storm that funneled a hurricane of great strength. Between midnight and dawn, this portmanteau-storm lifted any moveable object between the fort towns of Indiana and Ohio, stripped the forests in upper Illinois, and arrived over the as-yet-unborn site, settled, and with the level hand of an unseen god deposited, shakeboard by shakeboard and shingle by shingle, an arousal of timber that shaped itself long before sunrise as something dreamed of by Rameses but finished by Napoleon fled from dreaming Egypt.

There were enough beams within to roof St. Peter’s and enough windows to sun-blind a bird migration. There was a porch skirted all around with enough space to rock a celebration of relatives and boarders. Inside the windows loomed a cluster, a hive, a maze of rooms, sufficient to a roster, a squad, a battalion of as yet unborn legions, but haunted by the promise of their coming.

The House, then, was finished and capped before the stars dissolved into light and it stood alone on its promontory for many years, somehow failing to summon its future children. There must be a mouse in every warren, a cricket on every hearth, smoke in the multitudinous chimneys, and creatures, almost human, icing every bed. Then: mad dogs in yards, live gargoyles on roofs. All waited for some immense thunderclap of the long departed storm to shout: Begin!

And, finally, many long years later, it did.

CHAPTER 2

Anuba Arrives

The cat came first, in order to be absolute first.

It arrived when all the cribs and closets and cellar bins and attic hang-spaces still needed October wings, autumn breathings, and fiery eyes. When every chandelier was a lodge and every shoe a compartment, when every bed ached to be occupied by strange snows and every banister anticipated the down-slide of creatures more pollen than substance, when every window, warped with ages, distorted faces looking from shadows, when every empty chair seemed occupied by things unseen, when every carpet desired invisible footfalls and the water pump on the back stoop inhaled, sucking vile liquors toward a surface abandoned because of the possible upchuck of nightmares, when all the parquetry planks whined with the oilings of lost souls, and when all the weathercocks on the high roofs gyred in the wind and smiled griffin teeth, while deathwatch beetles ticked behind the walls . . .

Only then did the royal cat named Anuba arrive.

The front door slammed.

And there was Anuba.

Clothed in a fine pelt of arrogance, her quiet engine quieter, centuries before limousines. She paced the corridors, a noble creature just come from a journey of three thousand years.

It had commenced with Rameses when, shelved and stored at his royal feet, she had slept away some few centuries with another shipload of cats, mummified and linen-wrapped, to be awakened when Napoleon’s assassins had tried to gun-pock the lion icon Sphinx’s face before the Mamelukes’ gunpowder shot them into the sea. Whereupon the cats, with this queen feline, had loitered in shop alleys until Victoria’s locomotives crossed Egypt, using tomb-filchings and the asphalt linen-wrapped dead for fuel. These packets of bones and flammable tar churned the stacks in what was called the Nefertiti-Tut Express. The black smokes firing the Egyptian air were haunted by Cleopatra’s cousins who blew off, flaking the wind until the Express reached Alexandria, where the still unburned cats and their Empress Queen shipped out for the States, bundled in great spools of papyrus bound for a paper-mashing plant in Boston where, unwound, the cats fled as cargo on wagon trains while the papyrus, unleafed among innocent stationery printers, murdered two or three hundred profiteers with terrible miasmal bacteria. The hospitals of New England were chock-full of Egyptian maladies that soon brimmed the graveyards, while the cats, cast off in Memphis, Tennessee, or Cairo, Illinois, walked the rest of the way to the town of the dark tree, the high and most peculiar House.

And so Anuba, her fur a sooty fire, her whiskers like lightning sparks, with ocelot paws strolled into the House on that special night, ignoring the empty rooms and dreamless beds, to arrive at the main hearth in the great parlor. Even as she turned thrice to sit, a fire exploded in the cavernous fireplace.

While upstairs, fires on a dozen hearths inflamed themselves as this queen of cats rested.

The smokes that churned up the chimneys that night recalled the sounds and spectral sights of the Nefertiti-Tut Express thundering the Egyptian sands, scattering mummy linens popped wide as library books, informing the winds as they went.

And that, of course, was only the first arrival.

CHAPTER 3

The High Attic

"And who came second, Grandmère, who came next?"

The Sleeper Who Dreams, child.

What a fine name, Grandmère. Why did the Sleeper come here?

The High Attic called her across the world. The attic above our heads, the second most important high garret that funnels the winds and speaks its voice in the jet streams across the world. The dreamer had wandered those streams in storms, photographed by lightnings, anxious for a nest. And here she came and there she is now! Listen!

A Thousand Times Great Grandmère slid her lapis lazuli gaze upward.

Listen.

And above, in a further layer of darkness, some semblance of dream stirred . . .

CHAPTER 4

The Sleeper and Her Dreams

Long before there was anyone to listen, there was the High Attic Place, where the weather came in through broken glass, from wandering clouds going nowhere, somewhere, anywhere, and made the attic talk to itself as it laid out a Japanese sand garden of dust across its planks.

What the breezes and winds whispered and murmured as they shook the poorly laid shingles no one could say except Cecy, who came soon after the cat to become the fairest and most special daughter of the Family as it settled in with her talent for touching other people’s ears, thence inward to their minds and still further their dreams; there she stretched herself out on the ancient Japanese garden sands and let the small dunes shift her as the wind played the rooftop. There she heard the languages of weather and far places and knew what went beyond this hill, or the sea on one hand and a farther sea on the other, including the age-old ice which blew from the north and the forever summer that breathed softly from the Gulf and the Amazon wilds.

So, lying asleep, Cecy inhaled the seasons and heard the rumorings of towns on the prairies over the mountains and if you asked her at meals she would tell you the violent or serene occupations of strangers ten thousand miles away. Her mouth was always full of gossips of people being born in Boston or dying in Monterey, heard during the night as her eyes were shut.

The Family often said if you stashed Cecy in a music box like those prickly brass cylinders and turned her, she would play the ships coming in or the ships in departure and, why not, all the geographies of this blue world, and then again, the universe.

She, in sum, was a goddess of wisdom, and the Family, knowing this, treated her like porcelain, let her sleep all hours, knowing that when she woke, her mouth would echo twelve tongues and twenty sets of mind, philosophies enough to crack Plato at noon or Aristotle at midnight.

And the High Attic waited now, with its Arabian seashores of dust, and its Japanese pure white sands, and the shingles shifted and whispered, remembering a future just hours ahead, when the nightmare delights came home.

So the High Attic whispered.

And, listening, Cecy quickened.

Before the tumult of wings, the collision of fogs and mists and souls like ribboned smokes, she saw her own soul and hungers.

Make haste, she thought. Oh, quickly now! Run forth. Fly fast. For what?

I want to be in love!

CHAPTER 5

The Wandering Witch

Into the air, over the valleys, under the stars, above a river, a pond, a road, flew Cecy. Invisible as autumn winds, fresh as the breath of clover rising from twilight fields, she flew. She soared in doves as soft as white ermine, stopped in trees and lived in leaves, showering away in fiery hues when the breeze blew. She perched in a lime-green frog, cool as mint by a shining pool. She trotted in a brambly dog and barked to hear echoes from the sides of distant barns. She lived in dandelion ghosts or sweet clear liquids rising from the musky earth.

Farewell summer, thought Cecy. I’ll be in every living thing in the world tonight.

Now she inhabited neat crickets on the tar-pool roads, now prickled in dew on an iron gate.

Love, she said. Where is my love!?

She had said it at supper. And her parents had stiffened back in their chairs. Patience, they advised. Remember, you’re remarkable. Our whole Family is odd and remarkable. We must not marry with ordinary folk. We’d lose our dark souls if we did. You wouldn’t want to lose your ability to ‘travel’ by wish and desire, would you? Then be careful. Careful!

But in her high attic room, Cecy had touched perfume to her throat and stretched out, trembling and apprehensive, on her four-poster, as a moon the color of milk rose over Illinois country, turning rivers to cream and roads to platinum.

Yes, she sighed. I’m one of an odd family that flies nights like black kites. I can live in anything at all—a pebble, a crocus, or a praying mantis. Now!

The wind whipped her away over fields and meadows.

She saw the warm lights of cottages and farms glowing with twilight colors.

If I can’t be in love, myself, she thought, because I’m odd, then I’ll be in love through someone else!

Outside a farmhouse in the fresh night a dark-haired girl, no more than nineteen, drew up water from a deep stone well, singing.

Cecy fell—a dry leaf—into the well. She lay in the tender moss of the well, gazing up through dark coolness. Now she quickened in a fluttering, invisible amoeba. Now in a water droplet! At last, within a cold cup, she felt herself lifted to the girl’s warm lips. There was a soft night sound of drinking.

Cecy looked out from the girl’s eyes.

She entered into the dark head and gazed from the shining eyes at the hands pulling the rough rope. She listened through the shell ears to this girl’s world. She smelled a particular universe through these delicate nostrils, felt this special heart beating, beating. Felt this strange tongue move with singing.

The girl gasped. She stared into the night meadows.

Who’s there?

No answer.

Only the wind, whispered Cecy.

Only the wind. The girl laughed,

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  • (4/5)
    As usual with Bradbury, the language and images here are really lovely and evocative. The story, in this case, is somewhat uneven and I was disappointed by how little was made of the intriguing tidbits and references to mysterious characters and events. Part of the problem is that this is really a collection of tales, featuring the same characters but written over a period of years and published separately, and so there are inconsistencies, changes in tone, and hints of stories which might have been developed and then weren't. Still, there are a few really excellent stories, and they all have some delightful elements.
  • (5/5)
    This is a wonderful little book for any age. This is one of my lifelong favorites and I don't see anyone ever topping it. It's a great gothic, fantastic read, a little fun, a little creepy, not scary at all about a little boy who is quite normal, but lives in a family of otherworldly creatures and each has a different talent, a different way about them and is a different type of creepy creature of the night. I love and would recommend this book to anyone who likes Halloween creepy fun type of books, though it does not cover Halloween.
  • (4/5)
    In an odd way the best part of this comes when it is over, and Bradbury tells us in an Afterword how it was created from 1945 to 2000. I don't want to spoil that. If the reader didn't already know this is a book for Halloween, and it was born when Ray Bradbury was a child who had a very imaginative Aunt. This overall story is built primarily on some of Bradbury's early short stories, and one or two I have read before, most certainly "Homecoming". This is a return to October Country. I found it a very satisfying read and liked it much more than his "Halloween Tree." Bradbury's writing really shines here and although there are some weaker parts to this overall story he managed to do this so well that it really made me smile.My paperback copy has a delightful inside 2 page spread double cover which was done long ago by Charles Addams to illustrate these stories.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't necessarily enjoy the storyline, but Ray Bradbury's writing style is beautiful. The way he describes simple objects can take one's breath away.
  • (2/5)
    - Bradbury's version of the Addams family- excellent read for Halloween
  • (5/5)
    I have long loved Ray Bradbury's writing. One of the earliest fantasy/science fiction books I read was The Martian Chronicles. From the Dust Returned reminds me of that book with its loosely connected stories that are linked through their themes. The theme of this book is darker with a family of odd characters, some darkly so. The unifying characters are daughter Cecy whose mind wanders the earth and son Timothy. He'd be considered "normal" by most people, but he is the one who is different and carefully loved by his family. I would suggest this book to people who are fans of Ray Bradbury or people who enjoy atmospheric dark fantasy.
  • (5/5)
    Nobody writes like Ray Bradbury wrote. His word choice is sublime, and his sentences are lyrical masterpieces. His stories, especially in this volume, are amusing, and thought-provoking, but above all, they speak directly to your heart.

    This is a low-key story of a strange and wonderful family who might be vampires, but they may be something else too. And I think that's one of the things I love about Bradbury...he tells you wonderful stories, but he also leaves a lot of room for the reader to roam around in and make their own discoveries.

    In some ways, I found this book to be the spiritual brother to The Martian Chronicles, but with a more horror leaning, instead of a science fiction one.

    I adored every line of this book. I wish more authors could write like this. I think the closest we have now is Neil Gaiman, though there's times Charles L. Grant and Clive Barker wandered into Bradbury's sandbox to play as well.

    But nobody can do Bradbury like Bradbury. I miss him.
  • (3/5)
    I read an interview with Ray Bradbury not so long ago, where he was talking about re-reading one of his own, older books (Dandelion Wine, I think), and he said he realized that he was never going to write anything that good again - he was amazed that he had written it. It was one of the saddest things from an author that I've heard... Unfortunately, reading this more recent book (2001), I see what he means. The book is not without its charms - but parts of it were initially written in the 1940's, others at other times, and it has a cobbled-together sort of feeling. In the past Bradbury has masterfully put together short stories to create a novel (The Martian Chronicles, for example, one of my favorite books), but this book just didn't convince me. Which is too bad, because I really like the theme - a mystical, Addams-family type group of weird characters with strange and occult talents, living semi-secretly among us regular humans... The note by Bradbury is interesting, talking about how he and Addams developed these similar ideas separately, but had talked about doing an illustrated book together - the project never came to fruition, but one of Addams' pictures is the cover art for this book. I wish they had done it, when they first talked about it.
  • (4/5)
    From The Dust Returned, by Ray Bradbury, is a tale of spirits inhabiting and gathering to the “House” in October Country for a “Homecoming”. The chapters are new and old, some being culled from various magazines where they were printed as short stories decades ago. Put together, they create a hodge-podge of delightfully ethereal characters, with wonderful names like “A Thousand Times Great Grandmere”, and “Nostrum Paracelsius Crook”.
    The main character, Timothy, is the only human in the House. A foundling, with only a spider and a mouse for friends, he longs to be part of the ghostly family. Some of the chapters involve the histories of the spirits that are venturing to the House. They are coming from all over the world, so there are plenty of tales to tell.
    The truly magical thing about this book is the way some of the words flow, almost hallucinatory, surely poetic at times. Passages such as: “Before the tumult of wings, the collision of fogs and mists and souls like ribboned smokes, she saw her own soul and hungers.”
    The chapters definitely show evidence of being written at different times, therefore some are better than others. I loved the chapters that wound words around and around, that tickled my brain with their playfulness!
    This is a book I will re-read each Halloween!
  • (4/5)
    Rating: 4 of 5Status updates - 7/16/2012, page 123: Again, Bradbury's prose and imagery, wow!"She stood propped in a dark corner like...an abandoned and scorched ironing board, her hands and wrists trussed across her dry riverbed bosom,... (p.3).""...the ghastly passenger with Minerva Halliday, looking remarkably dead for someone so dead (p. 112)."7/18/2012, page 204: Beginning and middle felt "deeper" than the end."She leaned forward suddenly and gave him such a kiss on his mouth that his eardrums fractured and the soft spot on his skull ached (p.150)."Apparently Bradbury collected several short stories then added some filler to create one novel. Explains a lot.
  • (4/5)
    That transcendent voice, so distinct, so round, so achingly nostalgic. Dreamy and full of purity and soft-focus whisperings. Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Ray Bradbury returns with another exploration of his beloved October Country and the hidden lives of the undead. From The Dust Returned chronicles the varied adventures of familial eternal beings ranging from the mummified Grandmere and Grandpere to the disembodied sister, Cecy, from the winged Uncle Einar to the all-too-human younger brother, Timothy. It is pure magic mixed with nostalgia, shot through with an ample sense of wonder and other-worldliness. Once again, Bradbury proves his deft skills with language and his remarkable depiction of the mythic qualities of the day-to-day. Ideal for: Halloween-obsessed readers; fans of lore, ghost tales, and the otherwise supernatural; Poets with an eye for novels; kids who need a good scare in those luscious autumn months.(less)
  • (5/5)
    From the Dust Returned is a most fascinating book. Have you ever considered life from the side of spectres, vampires, ghouls and ghosts? Have you an idea how life and death look for the ones that don’t die?Ray Bradbury created a masterpiece with this book, filled with dark twists, gloomy humour and fascinating characters that occasionally find themselves in amazingly awkward, almost human situations. Meet Great-grandmère, Great-grandpère, Father, Mother and Timothy on this passing through the House with ninety-nine or one hundred chimneys, and discover who are hidden in the cellar, and who live in the attic.Ray Bradbury painted a fabulous image in this book, with colourful words in dark shades. From the Dust Returned is a book I can recommend for people who like and/or appreciate a look at the dark side of unlife.
  • (4/5)
    Timothy prayed to the darkness. "Please, please, help me grow to be like them, the ones who'll soon be here, who never grow old, can't die, that's what they say, can't die, no matter what, or maybe they died a long time ago but Cecy calls, and Mother and Father call, and Grandmère who only whispers, and now they're coming and I'm nothing, not like them who pass through walls and live in trees or live underneath until seventeen-year rains flood them up and out, and the ones who run in packs, let me be one! If they live forever, why not me?"Over the course of fifty years, Ray Bradbury wrote these stories about the Elliott family, whose members include mummies, werewolves, flying men, a dreamer who sleeps through her life, travelling to far off places and into other people's minds, and other more mysterious October People. The Elliots are scattered throughout the world, but all return periodically to the family's mysterious house in upper Illinois for a get-together known as the Homecoming, and it is the Timothy, the only human member of the family (who was left in a basket on the doorstep as a baby) who records the history of this strange but close family.
  • (3/5)
    B.T. (aka Before Twilight) there were other vampire stories. This particular one is a collection of connected stories about the Elliotts, an Illinois family of vampires. The story is told through the eyes of Timothy, a 10-year-old mortal boy who was dropped off at the Elliotts house when he was a baby. The family includes Cecy, who sleeps eternally but travels about by possessing other people's bodies, Great Grandmère, Nefertiti's mummified mother and Uncle Einar, a jovial character who can fly. The stories seem disconnected. They present interesting characters, but it seems like Bradbury never quite fleshes any of them out. I've really enjoyed some of his books, like The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, but this one didn't work for me. I never cared about anyone in the book. The audiobook I listened to included an interview with Bradbury at the end. He talked about creating the characters based on his own relatives. Illustrator Charles Addams worked on an illustration inspired by the stories and later they became the basis for his creation The Addams Family.
  • (5/5)
    Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors.  The more I read his work, the more I admire him.  The man is a genius with words and creates some of the most interesting characters ever to grace a page.  From the Dust Returned is no exception.  It is the extended play version of his brilliant short story, The Homecoming, As with many of Bradbury's novels, From the Dust Returned is actually a compilation of short stories, several of which have been published individually over the past 60 years.  The stories are held together with loosely connecting chapters which gives them the continuity needed to form a novel.  What is really neat about From the Dust Returned is that we learn the beginnings of the Elliot family, their wonderfully creepy house,  and just how the human boy Timothy came to be part of this ghoulish family.  It also extends the events after the Homecoming, and surprisingly, reveals a huge dilemma for the dead:  no one believes in them any more.  Because of this, all the ghosts and ghouls are being forced from their homes and into oblivion.One of the most moving chapters was the story of Miss Minerva Halliday, a nurse and passenger on the Orient Express, and the ghost she encounters and befriends on her journey.  He seems to be visibly melting before her eyes:"He arrived this night, moving with a terrible slowness, to sit across the aisle from this woman of some years, her bosom like a fortress, her brow serene, her eyes filled with a kindness that had mellowed with time.  There was a black medical bag at her side, and a thermometer tucked in her mannish lapel pocket.  The ghastly man's paleness caused her left hand to crawl up along her lapel to touch her thermometer."Oh, dear," whispered Miss Minerva Halliday.  The maitre d' was passing.  She touched his elbow and nodded across the aisle."Pardon, but where is that poor man going?"  "Calais and London, madam.  If God is willing."  And he hurried off.Minerva Halliday, her appetite gone, stared across at that skeleton made of snow.  The man and the cutlery laid before him seemed one.  The knives, forks and spoons jingled with a silvery cold sound.  He listened, fascinated, as if to the voice of his inner soul as the cutlery crept, touched, chimed; a tintinnabulation from another sphere.  His hands lay in his lap like lonely pets, and when the train swerved around a long curve his body, mindless, swayed now this way, now that, toppling.At which moment the train took a greater curve, and knocked the silverware chittering.  A woman at a far table, laughing, cried out:  "I don't believe it!"  To which a man with a louder laugh shouted:  "Nor do I!"  This coincidence caused, in the ghastly passenger, a terrible melting.  The doubting laughter had pierced his ears.  He visibly shrank.  His eyes hollowed and one could almost imagine a cold vapor gasped from his mouth.Miss Minerva Halliday, shocked, leaned forward and put out one hand.  She heard herself whisper:  "I believe."  The effect was instantaneous.  The ghastly passenger sat up.  Color returned to his white cheeks.  His eyes glowed with a rebirth of fire." (pgs. 103-105)Bradbury's message in this book is clear.  He wants us to remember these stories, these ghouls and ghosts, and to not forget those who have gone before us.
  • (5/5)
    I love Ray Bradbury's language. In fact, I would need to be able to write like him to describe how I feel whenever I read one of his stories. He is the king of short stories!
  • (3/5)
    Part fairy tale part fantasy, with a touch of magical realism, a book assembled out of a number of short stories written over much of Ray Bradbury's life. All the bits fit together reasonably well but it left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied.Interesting
  • (4/5)
    I've always thought that there are two kinds of good books: Books that you read for the plot, to know just what happens on the next page; and books that you read for the writing, taking your time just enjoying the pictures that the words create in your mind.Bradbury has always been, in my opinion, deeply rooted in the latter category, and none of his books have shown it more profoundly than "From the Dust Returned". The sheer beauty of his writing (some of it dating from the 40s) just amazes.But, at the flipside of the coin, there is not much plot to talk about. The book mostly describes the odd members of the Elliott family, some of whom fly with wings, some with their mind, some of whom might or might not be vampires, etc.It also can be seen as an allegory for the loss of all things magical and mystical in our electronic age, which becomes very clear in the last couple of chapters.This is a good book for summer afternoons (or, naturally, Halloween nights), when you have all the time in the world to just leisurely enjoy your time.
  • (4/5)
    Bradbury based this novel on short stories he wrote over 50 years ago. His afterword gives credit to Adams, who's illustration also graces the cover. Bradbury says all of the characters were based on his own family. Each chapter is a short story in itself, most of which spin a fascinating and unique character or plot. I was especially captivated by the telling of Cecy, Angelina Marguerite, A Thousand Times Great Grandmere, Grandpere, and the Theban Voice.
  • (5/5)
    From the Dust Returned chronicles a community of eternal beings: a mummified matriarch who speaks in dust; a sleeping daughter who lives through the eyes and ears of the creatures she visits in her dreams; an uncle with wings like sea-green sails. And there is also the mortal child Timothy, the foundling son who yearns to be like those he loves: to fly, to sleep in daytime, and to live forever. Instead, his task is to witness the family's struggle with the startling possibility of its own end.The dream-like atmosphere is enough to lull one into a mind-set where truly, a family such as this, can exist. This is relatively a quick read, but one that had been definitely worth revisiting. I think, that next the Dandelion Wine this is my favorite of his.
  • (5/5)
    From the Dust Returned, Ray Bradbury, HarperCollins, 2001Set in present-day America, this is the story of an Eternal Family.They have lived for centuries in a wondrous house with one hundred chimneys. Some members of the family are the sort who sleep during the day, in beds with lids. The house is being readied for Homecoming, that time when all the far-flung family members get together.They arrive in all sorts of forms; humanoid, animal, spirit. There’s Uncle Einar and his wings. A Thousand Times Great Grandmere is the family matriarch. She has not exactly lived, but existed, since the time of the Pharaohs. Cousin Cecy is able to enter the mind of any mammal, human or animal, even at great distances. She takes four male cousins along for a joy ride into the minds of patients at an insane asylum. While they are gone, the bodies of the male cousins are destroyed in a fire. Now what? Then there is Timothy, the "normal" one of the family. He was literally left on the doorstep in a blanket. He is the only one of the family who will grow old and die.There is a dark shadow over this Homecoming. The world is changing, and the family members are becoming less relevant. Many come from a time before Christianity, and are finding it hard to exist in this world.In a way, this is typical Ray Bradbury. Set in rural America, this story is full of wonderful writing that is just weird enough, without going too far. This is highly recommended for everyone.
  • (3/5)
    More of a series of interconnected stories, some of which have been published in various collections through the years, than a novel. As such, there is a disjointedness that prevents the overall story from ever taking flight. Still, the lyricism of Bradbury's writing is as present as ever in this slight, yet enjoyable, read.
  • (5/5)
    I dark nursery rhyme of the highest caliber.
  • (3/5)
    If you read primarily for the sound of the words, you'll probably enjoy this book. Bradbury certainly packs in descriptive images. Unfortunately they are images which don't resonate with me. I've read some of his books long ago, I enjoy a lot of science fiction, but I have no connection with this focus on the weird and dead.