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The Visionary Ray Bradbury Leaves This World

By: Charley Gallay/Getty Images Entertainment

R.I.P. to one of the greatest writers of all time.

Ray Bradbury died yesterday at age 91 after a long illness.

A master of fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery, Ray took many of us on journeys through the imagination, inspiring us to think well beyond the boundaries of “reality” to discover a world of wonder, oddness and sometimes bone-chilling darkness.

I loved many of his books, getting lost in a dimension of twilight-zonish plots and characters, some best described as “macabre”, like the short stories in “The October Country”.

If you’re not a fan, you might become one if you check his works out, which may get renewed interest now that he’s gone.

Of course, most of us read his novel “Fahrenheit 451″ in school, and it’s usually interpreted as a tale of censorship (book burning and the suppression of dissension).

Not so, according to the author himself.

The story is actually about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of “factoids”, partial information devoid of context.

Writing the above paragraph just sent a chill up my spine.  This man really was a visionary.

He also said, “Radio has contributed to our growing lack of attention. This sort of hopscotching existence makes it almost impossible for people, myself included, to sit down and get into a novel again.  We have become a short story reading people, or worse than that, a QUICK reading people.”

I can forgive him the comment about radio, because I believe he’s right, as much as I obviously have a soft spot in my heart for it.

Were you a fan?  Will you check out his works now that he’s gone if you haven’t read his stories?

Do you think he was right about television and radio?


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