Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Dandelion Wine Dandelion Wine
by Ray Bradbury
Harper Voyager

Supplied for review by Harper Collins New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Contrary to expectation, even though Dandelion Wine is by Ray Bradbury (one of the giants of science fiction), it is not a science fiction or fantasy book. Dandelion Wine is a dramatisation by Mr Bradbury of a childhood summer in upstate Illinois, and shows very clearly the roots and birthings of his fantastical tales.

The sequence of stories in the book are from the start of summer to summer’s end, and cover events where Bradbury’s alter ego Douglas Spaulding is the viewpoint character to events that happen without Douglas or his younger brother Thomas being there to see them. But this change in viewpoint does not matter, because all the incidents are events that loom large in the summer of Douglas Spaulding and thus are important to the reader.

I found this a wonderful book, and even though it was set in 1920s America, I found myself thinking back to my childhood summers here in New Zealand and felt a kinship of like experience with Bradbury.

If you are contemplating reading or collecting Ray Bradbury’s extensive back catalogue (being re-released by HarperVoyager), then I strongly recommend you begin with Dandelion Wine before moving onto his novels or short stories however your tastes run.

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