Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2012

There’s a signpost up ahead - your next stop, the OCTOBER COUNTRY!

THE OCTOBER COUNTRY … that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coalbins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain…Ray Bradbury.

Not that anyone is asking, but if you would ask me, I would say that the late RayBradbury is the one author most identified with the month of October.  And now that October is upon us I figured that it’s time for a little bit more Bradbury.

October is in it own way the perfect month. Where as I think that September and November are “tainted” months. September “taint” summer nor fall and November “taint” autumn nor winter. October has warm sunny days with crisp cool nights. The daytime skies have a blue that is almost painful. The leaves are showing their colors and Halloween is on its way. This is the season of the witch, the unexpected. We hope that maybe a little bit of magic and wonder might peek from behind the curtain that is reality as we know it. It shows us that even dying can have its own beauty as nature prepares for the end of life’s cycle as the death of winter approaches. And Mr. Brabury understood this perfectly.  

Mr. Bradbury was always a stylist. What many might not know is that he was a writer of horror stories before he became the RAY BRADBURY who most readers know. His earliest stories appeared in “Weird Tales” magazine back in the 1940s and these were mostly horror stories. Not your typical horror stories, but horror stories none the less. Many of these early stories have been collected in tow volumes. The U.S. edition is still in print under the title “The October Country”. The UK edition appeared under the title of “The Small Assassin”, with a small but significant change in the contents which I’ll list below. These stories were first reprinted in the collection “Dark Carnival” from “Arkham house publishing”.

SomethingWicked This Way Comes” is a novel of fantasy and horror about an evil magic carnival that visits a small Midwestern town during the last week of October.

TheHalloween Tree” is Mr. Bradbury’s love letter to Halloween, friendship and the end of childhood. It deals with a magical journey through history (and the origins of Halloween) taken by a group of boys’ to save the life of a dying friend and the sacrifices that must be made for the sake of love and friendship.

Both “The Halloween Tree” and “The October Country”  are full of wonderful illustrations and have covers done by the incredible Mr. Joseph Mugnaini. These books show the magic of the perfect writer working with the perfect illustrator. Both of these men compliment each other immensely. As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Mugnaini’s cover to “The October Country” is single greatest book cover ever.

"From the Dust Returned" is a collection and expansion on the "Elliott Family" stories which were first introduced in the classic Halloween stroy "The Homecoming" . The Elliott's were the original inspiration for "Charles Adams" "Family"!

And lastly, “The October Country”, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and “The Halloween Tree” are all still in print!! So order them now in time for Halloween!

Here are the edtions that I own.

 











 

The October Country” contents: (copied from the Wikipedia)

"The Dwarf"
The owner of a Hall of Mirrors and a young carnival-goer observe a dwarf who uses the mirrors to make himself seem taller.
"The Next in Line"
A couple staying in a small Mexican town comes across a cemetery which holds a shocking policy regarding the interred whose families cannot pay.
"The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse"
A thoroughly dull man becomes the new avant garde craze precisely because he is boring.
"Skeleton"
A man becomes convinced his skeleton is out to ruin him, and consults an unorthodox specialist.
"The Jar"
A poor farmer buys a jar with something floating in it for twelve dollars and it soon becomes the conversation piece of the town. However his wife begins to realize that she cannot stand the jar or him.
"The Lake"
A man revisits his childhood home and recalls a friend who drowned in a lake during childhood.
"The Emissary"
A sick boy who cannot go outside has only two connections to the world, his dog and a woman who lives in the neighborhood. However the neighbor dies and the dog inexplicably runs off.
"Touched With Fire"
Two old men make it their mission to push fulfillment on unhappy people. They unsuccessfully try to do so with a woman whose story ends bloodily. It was first published under the title "Shopping for Death".
A woman becomes convinced her newborn baby is out to kill her.
"The Crowd"
A man discovers something odd about the crowds that form around accidents.
"Jack-in-the-Box"
A boy lives with his mother in a vast secluded mansion. She raises him to be God after telling him his father, the original God, was killed by beasts outside.
A man comes into possession of a powerful scythe and a wheat field. He discovers that the task of reaping is more than meets the eye.
"Uncle Einar"
One of two stories in this collection to feature members of the Elliott family, a collection of movie monsters and immortal beings. This story focuses on a character named Uncle Einar, who tries to find a way into the skies after damaging his biological radar.
"The Wind"
A former travel writer becomes mortally afraid that the winds he has defied around the world are gathering to kill him.
"The Man Upstairs"
A young boy suspects the man renting the upper room of his house to be more than a man.
"There Was an Old Woman"
There was an old woman who defied death for years. Death tricked her one day and stole her body but she wasn't going to let that stop her.
"The Cistern"
A woman describes to her sister how magical the land beneath the sewer must be, where lovers are reunited in death, torture and anguish.
"Homecoming"
The main story concerning the Elliott family. It concerns their return to the ancestral home in Illinois for a gathering, and is seen through the eyes of Timothy, a mortal child left on their doorstep who longs to be like them. Einar from "Uncle Einar" figures prominently. The story later formed the basis for the 2001 novel From the Dust Returned, which also incorporated the "Uncle Einar" story in its narrative.
"The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone"
Fans track down a writer who chose to withdraw into seclusion and cease writing, and get his story from him.

 

The Small Assassin” contents:

 

    "The Small Assassin"

    "The Next in Line"

    "The Lake"

    "The Crowd"

    "Jack-in-the-Box"

    "The Man Upstairs"

    "The Cistern"

    "The Tombstone"

    "The Smiling People"

    "The Handler"

    "Let’s Play 'Poison'"

    "The Night"

    "The Dead Man"

 

The Trailer to Dosney's adaption of "Something Wicked his Way comes"

 

And here's a clip from "The Cartoon Network's" adaption of "the Halloween Tree" narrated by Leonard Nimoy!

 

Take care and thanks for stopping by!

Doug

 

 

 

 


Kommentare:

  1. Good stuff. Thanks for posting. Bradbury has been one of my favorites since I was a youngster trying to read more than comics.

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    1. Hi Rick,
      I'm very glad that you enjoyed it!!

      Take care.
      Doug

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