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The internationally acclaimed author of The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury is a magician at the height of his powers, displaying his sorcerer's skill with twenty-one remarkable stories that run the gamut from total reality to light fantastic, from high noon to long after midnight. A true master tells all, revealing the strange secret of growing young and mad; opening a Witch Door that links two intolerant centuries; joining an ancient couple in their wild assassination ...
The internationally acclaimed author of The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury is a magician at the height of his powers, displaying his sorcerer's skill with twenty-one remarkable stories that run the gamut from total reality to light fantastic, from high noon to long after midnight. A true master tells all, revealing the strange secret of growing young and mad; opening a Witch Door that links two intolerant centuries; joining an ancient couple in their wild assassination games; celebrating life and dreams in the unique voice that has favored him across six decades and has enchanted millions of readers the world over.
The incredible event occurred during my third visit to Gustav Von Seyfertitz, my foreign psychoanalyst.
I should have guessed at the strange explosion before it came.
After all, my alienist, truly alien, had the coincidental name, Von Seyfertitz, of the tall, lean, aquiline, menacing, and therefore beautiful actor who played the high priest in the 1935 film She.
In She, the wondrous villain waved his skeleton fingers, hurled insults, summoned sulfured flames, destroyed slaves, and knocked the world into earthquakes.
After that, "At Liberty," he could be seen riding the Hollywood Boulevard trolley cars as calm as a mummy, as quiet as an unwired telephone pole.
Where was I? Ah, yes!
It was my third visit to my psychiatrist. He had called that day and cried, "Douglas, you stupid goddamn son of a bitch, it's time for beddy-bye!"
Beddy-bye was, of course, his couch of pain and humiliation where I lay writhing in agonies of assumed Jewish guilt and Northern Baptist stress as he from time to time muttered "A fruitcake remark!" or "Dumb!" or "If you ever do that again, I'll kill you!"
As you can see, Gustav Von Seyfertitz was a most unusual mine specialist. Mine? Yes. Our problems are land mines in our heads. Step on them! Shock-troop therapy, he once called it, searching for words. "Blitzkrieg?" I offered.
"Ja!" He grinned his shark grin. "That's it!"
Again, this was my third visit to his strange, metallic looking room with a most odd series of locks on a roundish door. Suddenly, as I was maundering and treading dark waters, I heard his spine stiffen behind me. He gasped a great death rattle, sucked air, and blew it out in a yell that curled andbleached my hair:
Thinking that the room might be struck by a titanic ice berg, I fell, to scuttle beneath the lion-claw-footed couch.
"Dive!" cried the old man.
"Dive?" I whispered, and looked up.
To see a submarine periscope, all polished brass, slide up to vanish in the ceiling.
Gustav Von Seyfertitz stood pretending not to notice me. the sweat-oiled leather couch, or the vanished brass machine. Very calmly, in the fashion of Conrad Veidt in Casablanca or Erich Von Stroheim, the manservant in Sunset Boulevard . he . ..
. . . lit a cigarette and let two calligraphic dragon plumes of smoke write themselves (his initials?) on the air.
"You were saying?" he said.
"No." I stayed on the floor. "You were saying. Dive?
"I did not say that," he purred.
"Beg pardon, you said, very clearly--Dive!"
"Not possible." He exhaled two more scrolled dragon plumes. "You hallucinate. Why do you stare at the ceiling?"
"Because," I said, "unless I am further hallucinating, buried in that valve lock up there is a nine-foot length of German Leica brass periscope!"
"This boy is incredible, listen to him," muttered Von Seyfertitz to his alter ego, which was always a third person in the room when he analyzed. When he was not busy exhaling his disgust with me, he tossed asides at himself. "How many martinis did you have at lunch?"
"Don't hand me that, Von Seyfertitz. I know the difference between a sex symbol and a periscope. That ceiling, one minute ago, swallowed a long brass pipe, yes!?"
Von Seyfertitz glanced at his large, one-pound-size Christmas watch, saw that I still had thirty minutes to go, sighed, threw his cigarette down, squashed it with a polished boot, then clicked his heels.
Copyright ) 1996 by Ray Bradbury
Posted May 30, 2009
This is the first new Bradbury collection that I have read in a few years. Bradbury's style of narrative plays with the emotions to transport the reader to another time and place - one that is both strange and familiar. He has the ability connect the reader to the wistful, haunting and sometimes frighteningly desperate souls of his characters. Overall, a very satisfying read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 25, 2008
Quicker than the Eye is a short story collection by Ray Bradbury. Some of these twenty one stories bored me but a few I really enjoyed. There is a story, Another Fine Mess, about a man who sees the ghosts of Laurel and Hardy. My favorite story in this book is called The Very Gentle Murders and follows an aged married couple as they spend their last years lovingly trying to assassinate each other. Another good story in this collection is called The Witch Door. It's about a secret door under the stairs in an old farm house that links two separate centuries. Overall, Quicker Than the Eye is an interesting collection with at least a few very enjoyable tales.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 3, 2008
Do you wonder what lurks in the minds of writers? What hides in that mysterious world of the human brain? Quicker than the Eye will bring you there and back very satisfied! You get to dive into amazing stories, from a deserted back road of Los Angeles, to the small house of a homicidal couple, to the deep, dark past of an insane doctor! Are you looking for intrigue? A quiet mystery? Even the thrill ride of your literacy life? Pick up Quicker than the Eye and live!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.