Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Farewell Summer, by Ray Bradbury

(hb; 2006; sequel to Dandelion Wine)

From the inside flap:

“In a summer that refuses to end, in the deceiving warmth of earliest October, civil war has come to Green Town, Illinois. It is the age-old conflict: the young against the elderly, for control fo the clock that ticks their lives ever forward. The first cap-shot heard ‘round the town is dead accurate, felling an old man in his tracks, compelling town elder and school board despot Mr. Calvin C. Quartermain to marshal his graying forces and declare total war on the assassin, thirteen-year old Douglas Spaulding, and his downy-cheeked cohorts. Doug and his cronies, however, are most worthy adversaries who should not be underestimated, as they plan and execute daring campaigns – matching old Quartermain’s experience and cunning with their youthful enthusiasm and devil-may-care determination to hold on forever to childhood’s summer. Yet time must ultimately be the victor, with valuable revelations for those on both sides of the conflict. And life waits in ambush to assail Doug Spaulding with its powerful mysteries – the irresistible ascent of manhood, the sweet surrender to a first kiss…”


A year has passed since Douglas and Tom’s summer in Dandelion Wine. The Ravine is still the home of the Lonely One (aka, Death), but its mysterious threat is considerably lessened, and autumn, with its crisp chilliness, is creeping into Green Town.

Smaller in scope (i.e., more focused) and less rambly-episodic than its predecessor, Farewell Summer maintains the humor, warmth, magic and awe of Dandelion Wine, while advancing its characters and themes (Death, Time, growing up), with an equally wondrous denouement.

Great work, check it out.

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