Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Wine

4.0 77
by Ray Bradbury

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The summer of '28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma's belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas…  See more details below


The summer of '28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. Of half-burnt firecrackers, of gathering dandelions, of Grandma's belly-busting dinner. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding—remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bradbury's (www.raybradbury.com) 1957 semiautobiographical novel, after which a crater on the moon is named, captures the very heart and soul of childhood, from terror of the dark to the delight of running in new sneakers. Set in 1928 Illinois, the tale revolves around the summertime adventures of a 12-year-old boy. Owing both to Bradbury's storytelling skills and Audie Award winner Stephen Hoye's excellent rendering of the characters, these adventures will translate to listeners as shared memories. Highly recommended for all libraries and the many kids—no matter what age—they serve. [Robert Fass reads Bradbury's sequel to this novel, Farewell Summer (2006), available from AudioGO; an alternate unabridged recording of Dandelion Wine, read by Paul Michael Garcia, is concurrently available from Blackstone Audio.—Ed.]—Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ. Lib., Russellville
From the Publisher
"Bradbury is an authentic original."—Time

Product Details

Gale Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.45(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.25(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Itwas a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and warm and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window, and know that this indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of summer.

Douglas Spaulding, twelve, freshly wakened, let summer idle him on its early-morning stream. Lying in his third-story cupola bedroom, he felt the tall power it gave him, riding high in the June wind, the grandest tower in town. At night, when the trees washed together, he flashed his gaze like a beacon from this lighthouse in all directions over swarming seas of elm and oak and maple. Now . . .

"Boy," whispered Douglas.

A whole summer ahead to cross off the calendar, day by day. Like the goddess Siva in the travel books, he saw his hands jump everywhere, pluck sour apples, peaches, and midnight plums. He would be clothed in trees and bushes and rivers. He would freeze, gladly, in the hoarfrosted icehouse door. He would bake, happily, with ten thousand chickens, in Grandma's kitchen.

But now-a familiar task awaited him.

One night each week he was allowed to leave his father, his mother, and his younger brother Tom asleep in their small house next door and run here, up the dark spiral stairs to his grandparents' cupola, and in this sorcerer's tower sleep with thunders and visions, to wake before the crystal jingle of milk bottles and perform his ritual magic.He stood at the open window in the dark, took a deep breath and exhaled.

The street lights, likecandles on a black cake, went out. He exhaled again and again and the stars began to vanish.

Douglas smiled. He pointed a finger.

There, and there. Now over here, and here . . .

Yellow squares were cut in the dim morning earth as house lights winked slowly on. A sprinkle of windows came suddenly alight miles off in dawn country.

"Everyone yawn. Everyone up."

The great house stirred below.

"Grandpa, get your teeth from the water glass!" He waited a decent interval. "Grandma and Great-grandma, fry hot cakes!"

The warm scent of fried batter rose in the drafty halls to stir the boarders, the aunts, the uncles, the visiting cousins, in their rooms.

"Street where all the Old People live, wake up! Miss Helen Loomis, Colonel Freeleigh, Miss Bentley! Cough, get up, take pills, move around! Mr. Jonas, hitch up your horse, get your junk wagon out and around!"

The bleak mansions across the town ravine opened baleful dragon eyes. Soon, in the morning avenues below, two old women would glide their electric Green Machine, waving at all the dogs. "Mr. Tridden, run to the carbarn!" Soon, scattering hot blue sparks above it, the town trolley would sail the rivering brick streets.

"Ready John Huff, Charlie Woodman?" whispered Douglas to the Street of Children. "Ready!" to baseballssponged deep in wet lawns, to rope swings hung empty in trees.

"Mom, Dad, Tom, wake up."

Clock alarms tinkled faintly. The courthouse clock boomed. Birds leaped from trees like a net thrown by his hand, singing. Douglas, conducting an orchestra, pointed to the eastern sky.

The sun began to rise.

He folded his arms and smiled a magician's smile. Yes, sir, he thought, everyone jumps, everyone runs when I yell. It'll be a fine season.

He gave the town a last snap of his fingers.

Doors slammed open; people stepped out.

Summer 1928 began.

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From the Publisher
"Owing both to Bradbury's storytelling skills and Audie Award winner Stephen Hoye's excellent rendering of the characters, these adventures will translate to listeners as shared memories. Highly recommended for all libraries and the many kids—-no matter what age—-they serve." —-Library Journal Audio Review

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Dandelion Wine 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I started reading Dandelion Wine, I didn't really like it. In fact, I started to regret choosing it, and I wasn't sure if I would be able to get through the rest of the book. The style of writing wasn't what I normally read, and I felt like a lot of the descriptions and scenes just dragged on too slowly. I also didn't care about the characters, and this made the stories less intriguing. I was irritated that many of the stories didn't seem to connect with each other. However, once I got further into the book, I enjoyed the stories to a greater extent. Once I read more, I could get more involved with the characters and feel their emotions, whether it was happiness, grief, or anger. I got used to Bradbury's descriptive style, and the action of the stories made reading the book more enjoyable. The more I read, the more I saw that the stories were weaved together, so that even if one story was unrelated to another, they all contributed to the overall theme of the book. Bradbury's stories were thoroughly original, and the characters were all unique and memorable. It was fun to read about happiness machines, time machines, and childhood games. I liked that Bradbury's stories always seemed to have a 'moral' included. His overall message seemed to be that we should enjoy our lives, our families, and the time that we have to be happy. By the time I reached the end of the book, my initial take on Dandelion Wine was completely turned around. I would definitely read this book again, and I would recommend it for others to read as well
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book will take you back to childhood b4 electronics to a time when bicycles ruled and new sneakers meant you could run faster and jump higher. One of the best literary works ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Incredible. Bradbury captures the feelings of childhood that you had forgotten you had or weren't old enough to appreciate at the time. An amazing book and one that I'm sure to read every couple years.
Lauren_H More than 1 year ago
Some books pull you in and don't let you out, until they end and even sometimes after. This book didn't hold you hostage like some, but that doesn't mean it was boring. The writing was very beautiful and vivid. I could see everything; the words were so descriptive. In some ways, it actually did draw me into the world of Dandelion Wine because the writing was so clear, but the exit to reality was always clear. This book is a coming of age book. The main character, Douglas, is exploring life and if you love or even like books like that, you will enjoy this book. Also if you enjoy books that describe the earlier twentieth century, you would enjoy this book. This book is almost like a bunch of short stories, but they all tie into the themes of the book, which is accepting life but also death, enjoying the now, living life, and looking to the future. The view flirts back from person to person, but always returns to Douglas; to tell his story. The lesser characters also help tell this story. They are so individual, but they all teach you the same lessons, or themes, from this book. They are suspecting, wise, thoughtful, charming, foolish, frightened, brave, happy, regretful, hilarious, positive, inventive, hateful, and brilliant. From the inventor Mr. Leo Auffmann and his happiness machine, to wise Mr. Jonas and his "no ordinary junk" wagon, these characters show how much personality a little town can have. I also enjoyed the symbolism in here, because there were quite a few examples, the dandelion wine, grandma's kitchen, the "colored window panes on the little round windows", the happiness machine, Colonel Freeleigh and even the green machine, are parts of the story, but also more. These "symbols" delve into the reader's imagination and they also invite the reader to look deeper into this charming little world titled Dandelion Wine. Sadly there are some parts that I didn't like, very few, that were a bit to morbid for me. I didn't enjoy some parts towards the end, but on the whole I really enjoyed this book. I think you should read this book if: you love books that describe a coming of age, the 1950's roughly,(like I said above,) beautiful writing inspires you, exquisite characters make you laugh, you need to laugh, you enjoy thinking, a book you can put down sounds good write now, wise catch phrases or quotes, (because you can get many from this book,) you have read way to many sad books and you are in a rut because of that, or you need to come to peace with death and living, because this book will help you in all of this. You shouldn't read this book if: you hate reading, you hate books, you hate paper because it kills trees, you love fantasy, that includes dragons and swords so much that, that is all you can read. Seriously I don't really think a lot of people would hate it, but some might find it a little boring. I definitely don't though. I seriously recommend this book to anyone who is willing to hear my opinion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely amazing!! the imagery is great! This book brought back so many memories. Those who don't understand this book or dont like it, probly didn't open up thier imagination. I highly recommend This book, Dandelion Wine.
Ericalovestoread More than 1 year ago
This book made me remember what being a kid was like. The innocence, the point of view, everything is just absolutely incredible. How he can describe the way he viewed the world as a child is amazing to me. This book is a true inspiration and lets you look at life as if every moment is something to savor. I ended this book feeling as though I haven't lived life to its fullest and made the most of every day as I did as a child. I'd recommend this book to absolutely anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The style of writing in this book is so perfect. I can understand how some people wouldn't like it because it switches to different stories in almost every chapter but that's what makes it so enjoyable. I loved the characters. For me it was kind of hard to get into it but about one third of the way through I started really enjoying it. Everything is detailed in such a unique way. I love Ray Bradbury books but I would recommend this to adults mostly or people who want to relive childhood innocence.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love reading books about childhood and coming of age because they take me back to the times when everything in my life was an adventure and nothing was taken for granted. This is a truly beautiful book which does just those things and more. I recommend it to everyone. When you read it, pay special attention to the life of the old woman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The frist few pages capture you because of its vivid description. After you get a movie on and the momentum builds up then the full effect starts kicking in. it may take a while to appreciate, but trust me it's worth the hours to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read DANDELION WINE for my 8th grade Spectrum class, and I have to admit that is WAS pretty boring for awhile. Doug's supposed to be the main character and hardly anything happens to him. But once you get to The Lonely One's big role, it starts to get interesting. It's not my type of book, but it DOES make you think.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book over and over many times throughout my life and it has never failed to provide some new insight with each reading. Mr. Bradbury has a way of looking inside of the reader and sharing his most personal experiences. The next best thing to actually re-visiting childhood. Highly recommended for any reader with an imagination and a yearning heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
whoever says this book is boring did not finish the novel. I am 19 and it is the only book throughout high school I was made to read and actually finished. The book is kinda slow in the begining but once it get started, it expands your imagination, the way he descibes things is like no other writing. If u say it was boring its because u did not keep reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books. It truly captures what it is to be 12 in the summertime..The description of Douglas when he buys his tennis shoes is wonderful. The storyline about the 'Lonely One' is reminiscent of all the urban legends of my youth.. This book is a real classic, but perhaps you must be far removed from youth to appreciate it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dandelion Wine is a wonderful and beautiful book that should be cherished by both young and old. In reading some of the less enthusiastic reviews, I've noticed that the authors are all somewhat younger. Perhaps they weren't so thrilled with the novel because, being young themselves, its truths seem so obvious, or so abstract- simply because they're living the author's words. I'm young myself, but I can't imagine NOT being able to relate to the revelations contained within. Read it and love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Such a great book. My mom read it when she was my age and she loved it, so do I! It's a really discriptive and beautifully written book. I recommend it to anyone, and great to read in those long summer months.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so good. I'm glad my Honors English Teacher made us read it. It makes you feel like a kid again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bradburys use of figurative language and imagery makes this book a stylistical masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm fifteen years old and I understood this book perfectly well. It's written in such a way that I cry every time I read it and laugh at the comparisons to my life. This book is definitely a little deep, but it's great reading. It shows how simple things in life are actually really important and what life means to different kinds of people. There aren't many people who understand those things, but Ray Bradbury is definitely one of them. Go read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Challenging read, very confusing sense the main character mixes reality with imagination, but also a time worth spent reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for the beginning of each summer. I sit here in the January cold of (really) upstate New York waiting for the first warm breath of summer to spend time once again with my old friend. John Grisham's Painted House is another coming of age story that returns us a simpler life that only a small town boy can experience.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A boy's summer, his growing up and maturing summer. The story line from this famous author surprised me, so I obviously don't know him as well as I thought I did. The story was just OK for me; I would have liked more "tie-in" between the chapters / segments. I found myself speed reading / skimming the 1st two thirds of the book just to get through, but did find I enjoyed the last third. I really liked the part about wanting to pay someone for their good deed and realizing there was no way to pay except to pass it on. I wonder if this is where the idea came from for that movie about "paying it forward"? I think a better book about a young boy's coming of age is BOY'S LIFE by McCammon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago