The Cat's Pajamas: Stories

The Cat's Pajamas: Stories

3.4 17
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

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

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The 20 brisk, imaginative tales (18 previously unpublished, with many written in the 1940s and '50s and others as recent as 2003) in Bradbury's latest collection show the astonishingly prolific author in lights of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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062242297
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/30/2013
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
308,168
File size:
1 MB

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