The Cat's Pajamas: Stories

The Cat's Pajamas: Stories

3.3 16
by Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury is, indisputably, one of America's greatest storytellers. The recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, he ranks among the most beloved -- and widely read -- of American authors. In The Cat's Pajamas, this "latter-day O. Henry" (Booklist) takes us on an amazing walk


Ray Bradbury is, indisputably, one of America's greatest storytellers. The recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, he ranks among the most beloved -- and widely read -- of American authors. In The Cat's Pajamas, this "latter-day O. Henry" (Booklist) takes us on an amazing walk through his six-decade career, presenting twenty-two tales -- some old, some new, all but two never before published.

Here you will find stories strange and scary, nostalgic and bittersweet, humorous and heart-touching, ranging from the not-so-long-gone past to an unknowable future: a group of senators drinks a bit too much -- and gambles away the United States; a newlywed couple buys an old house and finds their fledgling relationship tested; two mysterious strangers arrive at a rooming house and baffle their fellow occupants with strange crying in the night; a lonely woman takes a last chance on love. The final piece in the collection is a story-poem, a fond salute from Bradbury to his literary heroes Shaw, Chesterton, Dickens, Twain, Poe, Wilde, Melville, and Kipling.

The Cat's Pajamas is just that -- the bee's knees -- a touching, timeless, and tender collection from the incomparable Ray Bradbury, and a anoramic view of an amazingly long, rich, and fertile creative career.

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
The Cat's Pajamas, another short story collection by the iconic Ray Bradbury, includes 21 tales -- most never before published -- by the master of speculative fiction himself. Featured within are timeless stories about love and loss, beatification and betrayal -- all with Bradbury's trademark bittersweet narrative voice.

Noteworthy entries include "Chrysalis" (1946), an ingeniously subtle story (written long before the civil rights movement) about a black teenager from Alabama who is obsessed with lightening his skin -- and his white contemporary from California who is bent on getting a deep, dark tan before the summer ends. In "Hail to the Chief," a group of drunken senators gamble away the United States at an Indian-owned casino in North Dakota. "Ole, Orozco! Siqueiros, Si!" chronicles the life and death of a daring graffiti artist, and "A Careful Man Dies" pits a hemophiliac writing a tell-all book against cunning adversaries bent on bleeding him. "The Cat's Pajamas" is an endearing story about two cat lovers finding love in the eyes of an abandoned kitten, and "Where's My Hat, What's My Hurry?" is a heartbreaking story about a husband and wife who have finally come to the bitter end of their relationship.

Like Bradbury's other short story collections (One More for the Road, Driving Blind, The Golden Apples of the Sun, et al.), The Cat's Pajamas is an absolute storytelling masterwork. Transcendent, visionary, profoundly moving -- an aptly entitled collection of old and new stories that offers fans a panoramic look at a career that has spanned an incredible six decades. Paul Goat Allen
Dennis Drabelle
… Ames can produce a pretty good facsimile of Wodehousean badinage, some of it sharpened to a 21st-century edge. You'll find plenty more such quipping in the book, along with graphic sex, ludicrous mishaps and even a few literary judgments (Alan is a big fan of Anthony Powell's novel sequence A Dance to the Music of Time, which both he and Jeeves are reading).
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The 20 brisk, imaginative tales (18 previously unpublished, with many written in the 1940s and '50s and others as recent as 2003) in Bradbury's latest collection show the astonishingly prolific author in lights of varying favor. Bradbury aims for a moral in "Chrysalis" (1946-1947), when a young black man who's tried for years to bleach his skin and a young white boy with a deep tan get the same racist response from a hot dog vendor. Skin color is also the issue in "The Transformation" (1948-1949), a set piece in which a gang of carnival workers enact revenge on a notorious rapist with the help of a tattoo gun. Standouts among the more fantastical stories include tales of civilized giant alien spiders yearning for Earthly integration; a pair of traumatized time travelers disturbing their nervous neighbor; and a U.S. president trying to reclaim the country after 12 drunk senators gambled it away to an Indian chief (a story that, Bradbury notes in the introduction, he wrote in "a few hours"). Several entries rely on personal paradox: a "freeway graffiti stuntman" becomes famous only after his accidental death in "Ole, Orozco! Siqueiros, Si!" and an unknown intruder terrorizes a family of agoraphobes in "The Island." Alternately thoughtful, whimsical, probing and slapdash, these tales are a mixed bag, but a very interesting one. Agent, Don Congdon. (July 6) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The subtitle says it all. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Bradbury's imagination exploits the preposterous with fantasy that offers a window into the human psyche. Stories range from the lighthearted, romantic tug-of-war in the title's namesake to more sinister, stomach-churning fare. Some of the characters are decent, while others are dastardly; they are confused, young, withered, or wily. Each piece has a haunting, Twilight Zone quality. The author's introduction gives readers insight into his thought processes as he reaches into dark recesses, doles out social justice, and bandies about far-out plots like the President of the United States having to win back the country in a card game with American Indians. Unpublished tales from decades ago and those written in the 21st century all carry Bradbury's unmistakable edginess.-Karen Sokol, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Forgotten or mislaid short fictions from a master who's given us better, but also much worse. Bradbury (Let's All Kill Constance, 2002, etc.) says here that after the death of his wife, Maggie, he lost, for the first time in decades, the will or ability to write: a shocking statement from this almost comically prolific writer. Fortunately, the spell passed, and Bradbury continues to pounce on every little germ of an idea he sees. This is a collection like many of Bradbury's recent ones, a hodgepodge of mostly realistic stories that occasionally dabble in magic, though there are more of the everyday kind, with precious little of the highly adventurous and moralistic science fiction that put Bradbury in the literary firmament. Happily, though, while several pieces are new, a good part of the book is made up of long-forgotten and unpublished selections from the author's most fecund period, the late 1940s and early 1950s. Some entries are overwrought racial allegories, like "Chrysalis," where a white boy finds he's discriminated against just as much as his black friend when he gets a serious suntan. A more successful attempt is "The Transformation," about a southern man who's kidnapped in the middle of the night by some circus people out to avenge his complicity in a disgusting crime (hint: one of them is a tattooist). One newer story, a fling of media-addled satire, "The John Wilkes Booth/Warner Brothers/MGM/NBC Funeral Train," makes an earnest leap at the modern world's penchant for regurgitating the past for commercial ends, although it falls apart in a ramshackle fashion. A genuine a work of art, however, is "The Island," a perfect bit of shadowy horror about a paranoid family in a remotehouse, each member fully armed in his own locked room, and what happens when an intruder enters: truly haunting, lit with a dark insight. Bradbury on autopilot, mostly, mixing dashes of beautiful whimsy with gold-tinged nostalgia and the occasional sharp stab of pain. Agent: Don Congdon

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Meet the Author

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2011 at the age of 91, inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."

Brief Biography

Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
August 22, 1920
Place of Birth:
Waukegan, Illinois
Attended schools in Waukegan, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California

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Cat's Pajamas 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever since college, when a pop quiz in English was based entirely on the introduction to the assigned book, I have been a reader of book introductions. Reading the introduction to this volume proved especially valuable, because Mr. Bradbury, speaking as himself, shows us that creativity is both a blessing and a means of healing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dustin, I love you so much.  Thank you for telling me.  Im sorry if I upset you at all.  Dustin, im not dumping you or ever leaving you.  Please dont leave me.  I forgive you for lying but im scared that you dont want me anymore, that you're going to leave me.  We can see each other in real life.  We can.  Its not as hard as you think.  Please dont leave me.  And I want to be your forever.  I want to be with you for my whole life.  I love you so much.  Please dont leave me.  Please call me baby.  Please.  I love you gtg.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dustin, you are the love of my life.  The one I love forever and ever no matter what you do or say.  You will always be mine.  Im so happy you want to marry me too.  (I dont have much time. my mom needs her computer back)  Im so sorry I couldnt reply sooner.  I had chores a lot and I have been doing a lot of basketball.  Dustin, I say yes.  YES I WILL MARRY YOU.  I love you so much and I cant imagine a better person to spend my future with.  You.  Im so happy that I can look forward to being your wife.  We will have a perfect life and everyone will be jealous.  I got sunburnt today haha oops..... Dustin i love you. i gtg.  Dream of me.  Im always yours.  Your always mine.  I love you.  LOVE Audrey
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dustin. I am so, so sorry that I couldn't reach you sooner.  Im getting a Nook for christmas.  Babe, I love you no matter what.  Please call me or text me. I need you so bad.  I always love you.  I love you so much honey.  I havent stopped thinking about you.  I dream about you every single night.  God, I love you.  When I get my license, I will try to come find you.  Dusty, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Never leave me.  Always love me.  I always love you.  Here are all the ways you can contact me. phone is 616 994 3130 email is with Madi. you can get it from her. kik is aud.slaya22  snapchat is audrayatheslaya. instagram is slaya22  Dustin I really need you.  I love you more than anything in the world.  Im even writing a song for you.  Im also on youtube.  remember?  I posted some things recently that you will love.  I love you. I need to go.  I LOVE YOU DUSTIN.  I want to marry you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi. Please tell him I love him for who he is and I need him. Thats all I ask. Thanks. -Aud
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No. it wont hurt me at all if you call me.  it hurts me so much that you wont call or email or at least let me see a picture of you. ive done so much. you should do the same. do you know what this is doing to me? i need you.  i love you. please.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dustin, I love you, please, please call me.  616 994 3130.  I can help.  Youre gonna be okay.  Just please call me...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DUSTIN!!! CALL ME!!! COME TO HOLLAND!!! DONT DIE PLEASE I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH!!! Im hurting already...please, you cant leave me...youre the reason im alive...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey. The book is gone at da...i love you. Dustin i cant get a new nook. I cant. I love you so much. Im sorry i couldnt go on yesterday but i had a really bad panic attack. I gotta go. I love you so much. Kisses. Talk to you on monday. Lets talk here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"What?" She whispered back and nuzzled him
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We're a group of flying cats (yes, flying cats.) Head on over to sky stone res two and post your bio there! I'm Jetfrost by the way, and I'm there to answer any questions you might have about, well, cats with wings! :3
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dustin, im not leaving you. I just need to figure out how i can talk.  i lost my phone too...i gotta go.  i love you so much. please dont shut out the world because of me. come find me.