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From the Dust Returned

From the Dust Returned

4.5 20
by Ray Bradbury, John Glover (Read by)

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Ray Bradbury takes the listener to a most wondrous and unexpected destination: the heart of the Eternal Family.

A gala homecoming will reunite this odd and remarkable family: Father, arisen from the Earth; Mother, who never sleeps but dreams; Cecy, the fairest and most special daughter; and Timothy, the sad foundling son who must share it all.



Ray Bradbury takes the listener to a most wondrous and unexpected destination: the heart of the Eternal Family.

A gala homecoming will reunite this odd and remarkable family: Father, arisen from the Earth; Mother, who never sleeps but dreams; Cecy, the fairest and most special daughter; and Timothy, the sad foundling son who must share it all.

Always ambitious, From the Dust Returned is the long awaited new novel by peerless storyteller Ray Bradbury — an audiobook that sears with image and a quiet poetry that will surely be numbered among his most enduring masterworks.

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.
Publishers Weekly
If there's a fountain of youth, Bradbury has found it. In the 1940s, at the start of his extraordinary writing career, Bradbury produced a series of popular fantasy short stories about the Elliot family, an assortment of vampires and other odd creatures of various degrees of humanity living in a Victorian castle in the golden Indiana of his youth. More than half a century later, he has fashioned from these stories a novel, funny, beautiful, sad and wise, to rank with his finest work. Full of wide-eyed wonder and dazzling imagery, the stories retain as an integrated whole all their original freshness and charm. The plot is simplicity itself: the vampires and their weird kin gather for a homecoming and share memories. Among them are Timothy, a foundling, whose pet spider is named Arach (originally Spid), and Cecy, immobile in bed but able to enter the minds of others and control their actions. Once, Cecy got a young woman to treat an unwanted but worthy suitor more politely than she would have otherwise: "Peering down from the secret attic of this lovely head, Cecy yanked a hidden copper ventriloquist's wire and the pretty mouth popped wide: `Thank you.' " Einar, a winged man, acts as a kite for children, writing "a great and magical exclamation mark across a cloud!" Most memorable of a remarkable cast are A Thousand Times Great Grand-Mere, who had been "a pharaoh's daughter dressed in spider linens," and her husband, Grand-Pere, who after four thousand years still has ideas. "At your age!" she snaps. This book will shame the cynics and delight the true believers who never lost faith in their beloved author. (Oct. 8) FYI: Last fall Bradbury received the National Book Foundation's 2000 Medalfor Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Bradbury is the author of over 500 published works in a variety of genres, among them such classics as Fahrenheit 451. In a novel first conceived over 50 years ago, he reintroduces readers to the unforgettable Elliott family. (The Elliotts originally appeared in Bradbury's debut short-story collection, Dark Carnival, 1948, which was later reprinted in 1955 as The October Country.) Written in trademark Bradbury style, the book reads like liquid poetry while telling the interconnected stories of a number of unusual yet strangely familiar family members. The actions and reactions of Timothy, a family foundling who functions as their historian (and also happens to be human and therefore remarkable), serve as the common thread linking many of these tales. The book's publication coincides with the publisher's launch of a new author web site at www.raybradbury.com. A new novel by Bradbury is an event worth noting, and this is a necessary purchase for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/01.] Rachel Singer Gordon, Franklin Park Lib., IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Unabridged, 6 Cassettes
Product dimensions:
4.28(w) x 7.07(h) x 1.21(d)

Read an Excerpt

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.

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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From the Dust Returned 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
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!
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
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
Wonderfully vintage Bradbury! Tight dialogue and excellent plotting, plus whimsical memories of a childhood lost in time. Superb!
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
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