Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
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Dandelion Wine

Ray Bradbury's moving recollection of a vanished golden era remains one of his most enchanting novels. Dandelion Wine stands out in the Bradbury literary canon as the author's most deeply personal work, a semi-autobiographical recollection of a magical small-town summer in 1928.
Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding knows Green Town, Illinois, is as vast and deep as the whole wide world that lies beyond the city limits. It is a pair of brand-new tennis shoes, the first harvest of dandelions for Grandfather's renowned intoxicant, the distant clang of the trolley's bell on a hazy afternoon. It is yesteryear and tomorrow blended into an unforgettable always. But as young Douglas is about to discover, summer can be more than the repetition of established rituals whose mystical power holds time at bay. It can be a best friend moving away, a human time machine who can transport you back to the Civil War, or a sideshow automaton able to glimpse the bittersweet future.
Come and savor Ray Bradbury's priceless distillation of all that is eternal about boyhood and summer.
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FictionScience Fiction & Fantasy

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Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
Dandelion Wine
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Should a Happiness Machine, he wondered, be something you can carry in your pocket?
Whatever you want, he thought, you got to make your own way.
Tom,” said Douglas, “just promise me one thing, okay?”
“It’s a promise. What?”
“You may be my brother and maybe I hate you sometimes, but stick around, all right?”
“You mean you’ll let me follow you and the older guys when you go on hikes?”
“Well … sure … even that. What I mean is, don’t go away, huh? Don’t let any cars run over you or fall off a cliff.”
“I should say not! Whatta you think I am, anyway?”
“’Cause if worst comes to worst, and both of us are real old—say forty or forty-five some day—we can own a gold mine out West and sit there smoking corn silk and growing beards.”
“Growing beards! Boy!”
“Like I say, you stick around and don’t let nothing happen.”
“You can depend on me,” said Tom.
“It’s not you I worry about,” said Douglas, “It’s the way God runs the world.”
Tom thought about this for a moment.
“He’s all right, Doug,” said Tom. “He tries.”
“See Istanbul, Port Said, Nairobi, Budapest. Write a book. Smoke too many cigarettes. Fall off a cliff, but get caught in a tree halfway down. Get shot at a few times in a dark alley on a Moroccan midnight. Love a beautiful woman.”
The warm scent of fried batter rose in the drafty halls to stir the boarders, the aunts, the uncles, the visiting cousins, in their rooms.
get your junk wagon out and around!"
My beloved family still sits on the porch in the dark.
The fire balloon still drifts and burns in the night sky of an as yet unburied summer.
Why and how?
Because I say it is so.
Flowers were sun and fiery spots of sky strewn through the woodland.
Julia
Juliahas quotedlast year
“I’m alive,” said Douglas. “But what’s the use? They’re more alive than me. How come? How come?”
the world blowing in one nostril and out the other
Dandelion Wine

It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer.

Douglas Spaulding, twelve, freshly wakened, let summer idle him on its early-morning stream. Lying in his third-story cupola bedroom, he felt the tall power it gave him, riding high in the June wind, the grandest tower in town. At night, when the trees washed together, he flashed his gaze like a beacon from this lighthouse in all directions over swarming seas of elm and oak and maple. Now …

“Boy,” whispered Douglas.

A whole summer ahead to cross off the calendar, day by day. Like the goddess Siva in the travel books, he saw his hands jump everywhere, pluck sour apples, peaches, and midnight plums. He would be clothed in trees and bushes and rivers. He would freeze, gladly, in the hoarfrosted ice-house door. He would bake, happily, with ten thousand chickens, in Grandma’s kitchen.

But now—a familiar task awaited him.

One night each week he was allowed to leave his father, his mother, and his younger brother Tom asleep in their small house next door and run here, up the dark spiral stairs to his grandparents’ cupola, and in this sorcerer’s tower sleep with thunders and visions, to wake before the crystal jingle of milk bottles and perform his ritual magic.

He stood at the open window in the dark, took a deep breath and exhaled.

The street lights, like candles on a black cake, went out. He exhaled again and again and the stars began to vanish.

Douglas smiled. He pointed a finger.

There, and there. Now over here, and here …

Yellow squares were cut in the dim morning earth as house lights winked slowly on. A sprinkle of windows came suddenly alight miles off in dawn country.

“Everyone yawn. Everyone up.”

The great house stirred below.

“Grandpa, get your teeth from the water glass!” He waited a decent interval. “Grandma and Great-grandma, fry hot cakes!”
Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer.
elin
elinhas quoted2 years ago
to wake before the crystal jingle of milk bottles
as fragile, as wondrous,
In other words, if your boy is a poet, horse manure can only mean flowers to him; which is, of course, what horse manure has always been about.
mustn't forget, I'm alive, I know I'm alive, T mustn't forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that.
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