From the Dust Returned

From the Dust Returned

4.5 20
by Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury, America's most beloved storyteller, has spent a lifetime carrying readers to exhilarating and dangerous places, from dark street comers in unfamiliar cities and towns to the edge of the universe. Now, in an extraordinary flight of the imagination a half-century in the making, he takes us to a most wondrous destination: into the heart of an

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Ray Bradbury, America's most beloved storyteller, has spent a lifetime carrying readers to exhilarating and dangerous places, from dark street comers in unfamiliar cities and towns to the edge of the universe. Now, in an extraordinary flight of the imagination a half-century in the making, he takes us to a most wondrous destination: into the heart of an Eternal Family.

They have lived for centuries in a house of legend and mystery in upper Illinois — and they are not like other midwesterners. Rarely encountered in daylight hours, their children are curious and wild; their old ones have survived since before the Sphinx first sank its paws deep in Egyptian sands. And some sleep in beds with lids.

Now the house is being readied in anticipation of the gala homecoming that will gather together the farflung branches of this odd and remarkable family. In the past-midnight stillness can be detected the soft fluttering of Uncle Einars wings. From her realm of sleep, Cecy, the fairest and most special daughter, can feel the approach of many a welcome being — shapeshifter, telepath, somnambulist, vampire — as she flies high in the consciousness of bird and bat.

But in the midst of eager anticipation, a sense of doom pervades. For the world is changing. And death, no stranger, will always shadow this most singular family: Father, arisen from the Earth; Mother, who never sleeps but dreams; A Thousand Times Great Grandmére; Grandfather, who keeps the wildness of youth between his ears.

And the boy who, more than anyone, carries the burden of time on his shoulders: Timothy, the sad and different foundling son who must share it all, remember, and tell...and who, alone out of all of them, must one day age and wither and die.

By turns lyrical, wistful, poignant, and chilling, From the Dust Returned is the long-awaited new novel by the peerless Ray Bradbury — a book that will surely be numbered among his most enduring masterworks.

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Editorial Reviews
Ray Bradbury -- the masterful author who in 2000 received the National Book Award's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters -- offers a long-anticipated novel that was 55 years in the making. From the Dust Returned features one of his most beloved creations: the Elliott family, the original inspiration behind Charles Addams's Addams Family.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.72(d)

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Chapter One

The Town and the Place

At first, A Thousand Times Great Grandmère said, there was only a place on the long plain of grass and a hill on which was nothing at all but more grass and a tree that was as crooked as a fork of black lightning on which nothing grew until the town came and the House arrived.

We all know how a town can gather need by need until suddenly its heart starts up and circulates the people to their destinations. But how, you ask, does a house arrive?

The fact is that the tree was there and a lumberman passing to the Far West leaned against it, and guessed it to be before Jesus sawed wood and shaved planks in his father's yard or Pontius Pilate washed his palms. The tree, some said, beckoned the House out of tumults of weather and excursions of Time. Once the House was there, with its cellar roots deep in Chinese tombyards, it was of such a magnificence, echoing facades last seen in London, that wagons, intending to cross the river, hesitated with their families gazing up and decided if this empty place was good enough for a papal palace, a royal monument, or a queen's abode, there hardly seemed a reason to leave. So the wagons stopped, the horses were watered, and when the families looked, they found their shoes as well as their souls had sprouted roots. So stunned were they by the House up there by the lightning-shaped tree, that they feared if they left the House would follow in their dreams and spoil all the waiting places ahead.

So the House arrived first and its arrival was the stuff offurther legends, myths, or drunken nonsense.

It seems there was a wind that rose over the plains bringing with it a gentle rain that turned into a storm that funneled a hurricane of great strength. Between midnight and dawn, this portmanteau-storm lifted any moveable object between the fort towns of Indiana and Ohio, stripped the forests in upper Illinois, and arrived over the as-yet-unborn site, settled, and with the level hand of an unseen god deposited, shakeboard by shakeboard and shingle by shingle, an arousal of timber that shaped itself long before sunrise as something dreamed of by Rameses but finished by Napoleon fled from dreaming Egypt.

There were enough beams within to roof St. Peter's and enough windows to sun-blind a bird migration. There was a porch skirted all around with enough space to rock a celebration of relatives and boarders. Inside the windows loomed a cluster, a hive, a maze of rooms, sufficient to a roster, a squad, a battalion of as yet unborn legions, but haunted by the promise of their coming.

The House, then, was finished and capped before the stars dissolved into light and it stood alone on its promontory for many years, somehow failing to summon its future children. There must be a mouse in every warren, a cricket on every hearth, smoke in the multitudinous chimneys, and creatures, almost human, icing every bed. Then: mad dogs in yards, live gargoyles on roofs. All waited for some immense thunderclap of the long departed storm to shout: Begin!

And, finally, many long years later, it did.

From the Dust Returned. Copyright © by Ray Bradbury. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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From the Dust Returned 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ray Bradbury's masterpiece, From the Dust Returned, is a strange tale of an unusual family that all live in a house that was said to be made from debris from a hurricane.You could say these family members had a bit of a dark side and you would be correct because they are all monsters. Each individual character had that same common characteristic but each one was different from the next and completely different from the rest. That same diversity showed in the whole story not just in the characters traits but in the plot. This book is definitely targeted for people with large vocabularies. It was a great book and I would suggest it to most anyone. I always loved ray Bradbury's books and this one was definitely a great addition to his works. Although it was hard to understand in the beginning, it became clearer what mister Bradbury was trying to get across later in the book. Almost all the aspects of the book were more than satisfactory. I especially loved his vivid language. His description of Timothy's flight with uncle Einar was so exact I could see it happening turn by turn in my head. No other author of this genre could compare to ray's work of art, not even himself. This is his best book yet I can't wait for the next one. This book was a colorful entertaining descriptive story that I won't soon forget. I think anyone that enjoys reading should try this book. I am sure that you would enjoy it, I sure know that I have. No other author will satisfy you after you read this don't miss out on his most epic novel yet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ray Bradbury's From the Dust Returned will make you remember why you fell in love with Halloween as a child. Just a gorgeous read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read in a review that this book will eventually find its way into the fall season pretty much the same way Dickens¿s ¿A Christmas Carol¿ has found it¿s way to the holiday season. I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. What a beautiful fall book. The characters are awesome and Bradbury¿s use of imagery is amazing. Picture a warm yet windy fall evening with the perfect amount of fall leaves floating around your feet and you have the picture that IS this book. There are a lot of different stories woven into ¿From the Dust Returned¿, but they all work well together and tie up perfectly at the end. A great book! This book would even be great to read through and choose passages for kids on Halloween night. I really enjoyed this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book truely incompases the feeling of fall and the taste of October. It personifies the characteristics of every story ever written about ghouls, vampires, witches, or any other creature that makes fear seize you in the dark. Its beauty is in its telling but the soul lies inside the mind altering story of the Elliot Family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently read this book for a book report and I loved it! Ray Bradbury is a great author and I love his books. At points i got confused, but this is an excellent story. This is the second book I 've read (the first was Farhenheit 451) by Ray Bradbury and it's wonderful. I definetly recommend this book. The book is wierd, funny, and sad. The characters are lovable and made me want to read even further into the book. r.b.l
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book years ago, yet the plot and beautiful language has stuck with me throughout the years. Bradbury makes each character so unique in his/her own way yet strings them all together in an unforgettable tale. I would Highly recommend this book to anyone
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bradbury does a wonderful job with this one. His use of poetic language and imagery is very interesting. I enjoyed this book very much and would recommaned it to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has to be one of Bradbury's best. The plot is excellent, the characters are realistic, and the pacing is top-notch. To think that Bradbury pasted this masterwork together from a few short stories that he wrote in the 40's. That is an amazing fact within itself. Highly recommened.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully vintage Bradbury! Tight dialogue and excellent plotting, plus whimsical memories of a childhood lost in time. Superb!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great, I loved it! The other book, Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury was great too! I can't wait to read his other books!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Bradbury's book was an incredible journey into the life of a different type of family, made up of the creatures of the night. The writing is pure Bradbury with amazing descriptions of strange and wonderful places and the thoughts and emotions of some of the characters. This is not a full story, per se, but mainly a series of vignettes about the "Elliot" familly. Several of the chapters have been previously published. But what an amazing book. And it took Mr. Bradbury only 55 years to complete! Read it and you will be transported to his weird and wonderful world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is full of incredible imagery and wonderful imagination. I loved it! A bit bizarre--you'll never forget the characters--but definitely worth reading. Although you wouldn't expect a sci-fi story to be literary and poetic, this one definitely is. Even if you don't like sci-fi, you'll appreciate the way Bradbury tells the story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just read this book and it isssss hmmmmm I can't even describe it in words! I mean this is the weirdest book I HAVE EVER READ. Not that the book is horrible, but it made no sence to me why it was written, not until the end of the book, when I read about the author's family, and the fact that alot of his life experience is in this book especially his family and parts of his childhood. But it is a book to read for people who are intrested in the works of literature.....WHAT AN IMAGINATIVE MIND THE AUTHOR HAS I HAVE TO TELL YOU!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago