Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

One More for the Road

One More for the Road

3.6 6
by Ray Bradbury, Campbell Scott (Read by)

See All Formats & Editions

For more than fifty years Ray Bradbury has regaled us with wonders, enabled us to view from fresh perspectives the world we inhabit, and see others we never dreamed existed.

Here are eighteen brand-new stories and seven previously published but never before collected stories — proof positive that Bradbury's magic is as potent as ever.

Sip the sweet


For more than fifty years Ray Bradbury has regaled us with wonders, enabled us to view from fresh perspectives the world we inhabit, and see others we never dreamed existed.

Here are eighteen brand-new stories and seven previously published but never before collected stories — proof positive that Bradbury's magic is as potent as ever.

Sip the sweet innocence of youth, the wisdom — and folly — of age. Taste the warm mysteries of summer and bitterness of betrayed loves and abandoned places. These stories will set your mind spinning and carry you to remarkable locales: a house where lime has no boundaries; a movie theater where deconstructed schlock is drunkenly assembled into art; a wheat field that hides a strangely welcome enemy. These are but a few of the ingredients that have gone into Bradbury's savory cocktail. And every satisfying swallow brings new surprises and revelations.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com review
The Barnes & Noble Review
Honored in 2000 with a rare and prestigious National Book Award for lifetime achievement, Ray Bradbury is one of America's true masters of the writing craft, an author with a long and distinguished career who has picked up countless legions of fans on his travels through the worlds of fiction, science fiction, and fantasy.

As can be inferred from its title, Bradbury's latest collection contains tales that deal with the sadness of parting. Featured most prominently is the loss of family, the forfeit of youth, and the absence of friends. These 25 pieces are by turns heartbreakingly nostalgic, poignant, and bittersweet, yet they are always good-natured and gentle in their execution. Except for a handful of the stories, Bradbury has left behind the tropes of science fiction in order to focus on sentimentality, love, and our fear of the unknown as we venture down the wondrous roads of life.

Standouts include "Beasts," one of the few tales with a darker theme, wherein a man stumbles upon a telephone party line late at night and hears people whisper their failures and anguish aloud. "The Nineteenth" is a brief and powerfully conveyed account of a man who meets with the ghost of his father on a golf course after dark. As Bradbury mentions in his moving afterword, this is a love offering to his own father, written in the hope of finally laying the man's spirit to rest. In "Quid Pro Quo," a famous writer meets up with his protégé decades later and learns that the student has wasted his entire life. In an effort to save him, the writer launches a time machine made of "intuitive awareness," returns to the past, and begs the youngster not to forgo his genius.

One of the best representations of Bradbury's narrative skills is in "Where All Is Emptiness There Is Room to Move," the longest piece in the collection. A young photographer arrives at an abandoned Mexican city that is to be bombed for a big-budget movie, only to discover one last remaining citizen who has never moved past Cinco de Mayo, 1932. Here, Bradbury puts all of his talent to good use in presenting a story full of well-wrought characterization, playful subplots, and an evocative atmosphere that still offers up all the moral imperative of a refined allegory.

Even though there is a thread of sorrow running through the collection, One More for the Road also features lighthearted, sometimes whimsical stories with an air of enchantment and amusement. This collection will allow the reader a chance to delve deep into the rich textures and inventive surprises of classically well told tales. (Tom Piccirilli)

The Barnes & Noble Review
When it comes to the short story, no author is better -- or more prolific -- than Ray Bradbury. I still remember that fateful day when I was first introduced to Bradbury's works. I was in ninth grade, and our English teacher, Mr. Kane (the coolest teacher in the school; he had a gray beard and played the saxophone), assigned us a short story to read: "The Day It Rained Forever." After that, Bradbury's short story collections became a literary staple for me, with classics like Dark Carnival, Driving Blind, The Other Foot, and The Golden Apples of the Sun. And, as if that weren't satisfying enough, in the '80s I got to watch his short stories come to life on USA Network's Ray Bradbury Theatre.

Bradbury's imagination is like the rotation of the Earth: It never stops moving. Year after year, he produces classics like Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He has published more than 500 works: short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse.

One More for the Road is, unsurprisingly, a collection of short stories. The 25 literary gems included are nostalgic, speculative, thought-provoking, and insightful. Some may be bittersweet, others scary, but always they examine the intricacies of the human condition. In "Heart Transplant," two cheating lovers wonder if they could ever fall in love again with their spouses. When their wish comes true, they experience very different results. "First Day" is about an oath a man made with his three best friends on the first day of school to meet again by the flagpole in front of the high school 50 years after graduation. Will all four friends keep their word?

My personal favorite was "Tete-a-Tete," a story about two writer friends who see an elderly Jewish couple sitting on the same bench every time they walk through the park. The couple, Al and Rosa Stein, are always talking at one another, but they never seem to truly listen. The interaction between the married couple is highly animated and nonstop, and quite entertaining. The writers decide to record some of the conversation on a whim as fodder for a potential writing project. Then one day, the couple isn't there. It turns out the old man has died. After all those years together, whom will his widow jabber to now? The writers eventually see the woman again, sitting alone on the same bench deep in conversation, as if her husband were right next to her. Has she lost her mind? All I'm going to say is that you will love the twist at the conclusion of this story!

Another strange, memorable story was "One-Woman Show." Ellen Thomas is a stunningly beautiful dancer. During her show, she becomes several different characters: "a French cocotte, an English tart, a Swedish seamstress, Mary Queen of Scots, Joan of Arc, Florence Nightingale, Maude Adams, the Empress of China." Critics are mesmerized, audiences are infatuated -- so why hasn't her husband seen her perform in over a year?

Other noteworthy stories include "The Laurel and Hardy Alpha Centauri Farewell Tour" and "In Memoriam," a bittersweet story about a grieving father who lost his son in the Vietnam War.

One More for the Road is yet another exceptional collection by the master of the short story. Some of the stories are sad, some ironic, others just plain weird, but all of them are stamped with that unmistakable Bradbury wit and style. (Paul Goat Allen)

Publishers Weekly
"You do not build a Time Machine unless you know where you are going.... But I built my Time Machine, all unknowingly, with no destination in mind," explains a bemused time traveler in Bradbury's latest collection. Bradbury, who has taken readers on so many marvelous trips, has a similar approach to navigation. In this new volume of stories (17 of the 24 have never been published before), he maintains his unflinching dedication to the magic of everyday life. Relaxing into his favorite themes memory, loneliness, childhood, love and time he is not afraid to wax sentimental, but the sharp edge of his prose keeps the tales from cloying. Haunted settings are common: the ghost town in "Where All Is Emptiness There Is Room to Move"; the Parisian cemetery P re Lachaise in "Diane de For t"; and the L.A. streets of 1939 in "Tangerine," in which Bradbury tells the story of a tragically cool man who'd rather be dead than 30. The writer is at his best when he chronicles the child self he has never lost touch with. In "Autumn Afternoon," Miss Elizabeth Simmons cleans out her attic and discovers calendars she kept as a girl, checking off dates that were once important but are now mysterious. Bradbury, on the other hand, seems to remember everything because at 81, he is still 18 at heart. In "With Smiles as Wide as Summer," a virtual prose poem about being a boy on perpetual vacation, he notes, "Circling, they knocked the echoes with their voices, plunged, rolled over, spun, jigged, shook themselves, raced off, hurtled back, leapt high, mad with summerlight and heat, unable to stop just being alive." The pure joy of earthly existence is something Bradbury has never forgotten. Southern California regional author tour; Harper Audio. (Apr. 2) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
A collection of 25 new stories and catch the afterword by the author. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Science fiction grandmaster Bradbury gathers together 25 stories, some half-baked, most unpublished. Calling the collection a "downpour of images from photos, films, cartoons, encounters that have tracked through life without an umbrella," Bradbury congratulates himself on his long, happy, productive life. Some stories, like "Diane de Foret," about a man's mawkish communion with the spirit of a dead French girl "of timeless mythic beauty," or like the predictable revelation ("One Woman Show") that a good actress is merely that might have gone back for more cooking. Most, though, bubble over with the manic exuberance of a writer who feels himself so blessed that he travels back in time to save the lives of doomed ones ("The F. Scott/Tolstoy/Ahab Accumulator") or to change another's past so he won't become a drunken wreck ("Quid Pro Quo"). Bad tidings-an unexploded WWII bomb in a wheat field ("The Enemy in Wheat"); the McCarthy-era bugging of a Hollywood producer's home ("Cricket on the Hearth")-can be gifts that change lives, while wishes that come true can bring bittersweet results ("Heart Transplant"). Many characters speak in Bradburyese, like the B-movie production assistant in "The Dragon Danced at Midnight" ("Willis Hornbeck drunk was . . . a wildman who blind-wrestled creativity in a snake pit, who fought an inspired alligator in a crystal tank for all to see") or the technologically reconstituted Oliver Hardy describing his resurrection in "The Laurel and Hardy Alpha Centauri Farewell Tour" ("We were rushed to completion, flesh on flesh, nerve ends to neurons, ganglia to ganglia"). The title story describes a publisher who, overwhelmed by the manic word-spray from an untriedwriter, agrees to publish the longest road novel ever, only to watch his author literally and metaphorically run out of gas. Slight, affecting, voluble, exuberant-by a writer who feels life's even better than he can imagine.
Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press
"Twenty-one terrific short stories."

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Unabridged, 4 Cassettes
Product dimensions:
4.52(w) x 7.06(h) x 1.24(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

First Day

It was while he was eating breakfast that Charles Douglas glanced at his newspaper and saw the date. He took another bite of toast and looked again and put the paper down.

"Oh, my God," he said.

Alice, his wife, startled, looked up. "What?"

"The date. Look at it! September fourteenth."

"So?" Alice said.

"The first day of school!"

"Say that again," she said.

"The first day of school, you know, summer vacation's over, everyone back, the old faces, the old pals."

Alice studied him carefully, for he was beginning to rise. "Explain that."

"It is the first day, isn't it," he said.

"What's that got to do with us?" she said. "We don't have family, we don't know any teachers, we don't even have friends anywhere near with kids."

"Yeah, but..." Charlie said, picking up the newspaper again, his voice gone strange. "I promised."

"Promised? Who?"

"The old gang," he said. "Years ago. What time is it?"


"We'd better hurry then," he said, "or we'll miss it."

"I'll get you more coffee. Take it easy. My God, you look terrible."

"But I just remembered." He watched her pour his cup full. "I promised. Ross Simpson, Jack Smith, Gordon Haines. We took almost a blood oath. Said we'd meet again, the first day of school, fifty years after graduation."

His wife sat back and let go of the coffeepot.

"This all has to do with the first day of school, 1938?"

"Yeah, '38."

"And you stood around with Ross and Jack and what's his—"

"Gordon! And we didn't just stand around. We knew we were going out in the world and might not meet again for years, or never, but we took a solemn oath, no matter what, we'd all remember and come back, across the world if we had to, to meet out in front of the school by the flagpole, 1988."

"You all promised that?"

"Solemn promise, yeah. And here I am sitting here talking when I should be getting the hell out the door."

"Charlie," Alice said, "you realize that your old school is forty miles away."


"Thirty. And you're going to drive over there and—"

"Get there before noon, sure."

"Do you know how this sounds, Charlie?"

"Nuts," he said, slowly. "Go ahead, say it."

"And what if you get there and nobody else shows?"

"What do you mean?" he said, his voice rising.

"I mean what if you're the only damn fool who's crazy enough to believe—"

He cut in. "They promised!"

"But that was a lifetime ago!"

"They promised!"

"What if in the meantime they changed their minds, or justforgot?"

"They wouldn't forget."

"Why not?"

"Because they were my best pals, best friends forever, no one ever had friends like that."

"Ohmigod," she said. "You're so sad, so naive."

"Is that what I am? Look, if I remember, why not them?"

"Because you're a special loony case!"

"Thanks a lot."

"Well, it's true, isn't it? Look at your office upstairs, all those Lionel trains, Mr. Machines, stuffed toys, movie posters."


"Look at your files, full of letters from 1960, 1950, 1940, you can't throw away."

"They're special."

"To you, yes. But do you really think those friends, or strangers, have saved your letters, the way you've saved theirs?"

"I write great letters."

"Darn right. But call up some of those correspondents, ask for some of your old letters back. How many do you think will return?"

He was silent.

"Zilch," she said.

"No use using language like that," he said.

"Is 'zilch' a swear-word?"

"The way you say it, yes."


"Don't 'Charlie' me!"

"How about the thirtieth anniversary of your drama club group where you ran hoping to see some bubblehead Sally or something or other, and she didn't remember, didn't know who you were?"

"Keep it up, keep it up," he said.

"Oh, God," she said. "I don't mean to rain on your picnic, I justdon't want you to get hurt."

"I've got a thick skin."

"Yes? You talk bull elephants and go hunt dragonflies."

He was on his feet. With each of her comments he got taller.

"Here goes the great hunter," he said.

"Yes," she exhaled, exhausted. "There you go, Charlie."

"I'm at the door," he said.

She stared at him.

"I'm gone."

And the door shut.

My God, he thought, this is like New Year's Eve.

He hit the gas hard, then released it, and hit it again, and let it slow, depending on the beehive filling his head.

Or it's like Halloween, late, the fun over, and everyone going home, he thought. Which?

So he moved along at an even pace, constantly glancing at his watch. There was enough time, sure, plenty of time, but he had to be there by noon.

But what in hell is this? he wondered. Was Alice right? A chase for the wild goose, a trip to nowhere for nothing? Why was it so damned important? After all, who were those pals, now unknown, and what had they been up to? No letters, no phone calls, no face-to-face collisions by pure accident, no obituaries. That last, scratch that! Hit the accelerator, lighten up! Lord, he thought, I can hardly wait. He laughed out loud. When was the last time you said that? When you were a kid, could hardly wait, had a list of hard-to-wait-for things. Christmas, my God, was always a billion miles off. Easter? Half a million. Halloween? Dear sweet Halloween, pumpkins, running, yelling, rapping windows, ringing doorbells, and the mask, cardboard smelling hot with breath over your face. All Hallows! The best. But a lifetime away. And July Fourth with great expectations, trying to be first out of bed, first half-dressed...

One More for the Road. 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."

Campbell Scott studied with Stella Adler and Geraldine Page, and appeared on Broadway in Long Day's Journey into Night, among other productions. His many films include Longtime Companion, Singles, Music and Lyrics, and Big Night, which he co-directed.

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

One More for the Road 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ray Bradbury is one of the great writers of the last century and apparently based on this work this century too. ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD consists of twenty-five short stories and an afterward from Mr. Bradbury. The tales run the gamut of human emotion but metaphorically from an eerie looking glass. Most of Mr. Bradbury¿s contributions are brand new with only seven having seen previous light (or is that dark?). As expected from this grandmaster, each tale is taut, intelligent, and insightful as Mr. Bradbury still surgically renders opens the human condition for readers to explore.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ray Bradbury is a classic genuis in his genre of writing. One More for the Road is one of my top favorite story collections of all time. If you are expecting the same kind of thing as Fahrenheit 451, don't be surprised of the difference. It is none the less spectacular story telling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plankter More than 1 year ago
I've just read the first two stories (they come as part of the free sample), and while First Day was a bit odd, Heart Transplant was very touching. This is not SciFi Ray Bradbury but a bit more like the Twilight Zone (at least if the first two stories are in the same vein as the rest.) I'll get the book and read the rest. I'm not really a fan of short stories, but for Bradbury I'll make an exception.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love Ray Bradbury. i am a big fan of his but i must say this book was disappointing. i liked 2 stories out of all of them. this is just my opinion and would not want to hinder anyone from reading this book. i just did not enjoy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was blown away by Fahrenheit 451 & The Illustrated Man. That being said I was very much looking foward to devouring this collection of his stories. They are not good. I am almost halfway through and none of the stories are overwhelming good or even kind of good at all. The last 2 I read, I started but didn't finish. This collection is a huge disappointment.