Introduction – 10/13/19
Right now, I am saving this for last. I don’t know what to expect. I am curious how deep into horror this story goes, but in either case, I am intrigued by the synopsis.
I am conflicted by this book. I loved it, but it had to grow on me. The trouble is, I don’t know if that’s my problem or its. This story is very well written. Bradbury writes in a way that is lyrical or poetic. Every word is crafted to create an atmosphere of dread. By the end, I grew to enjoy it and even love it. It creates a world unlike most books. Unfortunately, it took me about half the book to really get into it. I love it for what it is, but as a story telling device, it’s distracting. It seems like this sort of writing can best be appreciated with rereading the story. Perhaps if I had been reading a physical copy, I might have enjoyed it more being able to reread things on the spot.
That is my only complaint. The story itself is wonderful, in both plot and themes. I read this alongside The Ancestor’s edited by Brandon Massey. Bradbury creates a tale of good versus evil perhaps one that is in part created around the mythos of good and evil. In the Ancestor’s, we get overtly christian stories with heavy handed allegories that were frankly offensive. Bradbury discusses good and evil in a much more leveled manor. Even the best of us do bad things, yet it is often the best of us that stress so much about how good they are. It is strange how that should happen, how self reflection is so essential yet so damning.
Another thing that I loved about this story was the dynamic between the father and son. All to often in supernatural stories, kids will try and open up to their parents, but of course they never believe. In truth, why should they? Kids are young and imaginative, but that doesn’t stop the father figure from trusting his son, at least to an extent. He trusts him to be honest and to treat him like he isn’t a pet to be managed. That shows such a strong loving bond that really resonated with me. To be honest, it was my favorite part of the story.
Lastly, we can’t ignore the mastery of our villains. Bradbury masters the art of ton in his writing, and it is complemented by his nefarious characters in their speech and mannerisms. I thought about the ideas he proposes and how that has gone on to influence future stories. One major point is the power of good against evil. It may come across as somewhat naive, but it is also a good principle to work towards. Basically, don’t feed the trolls; Don’t give the power over you they try to manipulate you into giving.
In the end, there was so much to love in this story. It is easy to see why it is a classic. The style is different and somewhat disconcerting, but it helps set the tone for the story. 4/5 stars.