Thursday, January 10, 2013

Dandelion Wine

by Ray Bradbury
New York : Avon Books, c1999 (orig. pub. 1957).

I didn't realize until I started my best of 2012 list that I'd forgotten to post a review at all. I read it back in August, but thought I'd shoot a little summer into the midst of my winter posts:

In the summer of 1928, Doug and Tom Spaulding experience all the full life that summertime brings, from making dandelion wine with their grandfather to new shoes to discovering that old people have amazing stories to tell.

I've never read another book that so perfectly captures the feeling of summer as a child, when school is out and there are no responsibilities, when you can have lazy days or full ones, and you make discoveries about yourself and others. Countless times I wanted to write down a passage, but didn't when I realized that, just like a summer's day, if you took the words out of the story, out of the context, and looked at a sentence or two alone, it just didn't have that same feeling or essence anymore. It was beautiful, but suddenly only a shadow and memory of itself. Green Town is a sleepy mid-western town based on the one in which Bradbury himself grew up, and we get to know many of its inhabitants. If I were to identify a main character, it would be twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding, though the tone of the book is so nostalgic that I would not call it a children's or teen book. I will definitely be returning to Dandelion Wine when I need a dose of summer again.

No comments: