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We'll Always Have Paris

We'll Always Have Paris

3.8 5
by Ray Bradbury

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Over the course of a storied literary career that has spanned more than half a century, Ray Bradbury has taken us to wonderful places: across vast oceans to foreign lands, onto summer porches of small-town America, through dark and dangerous forests where predators wait, into the hypnotic mists of dream, back to a halcyon past to remember, forward into an


Over the course of a storied literary career that has spanned more than half a century, Ray Bradbury has taken us to wonderful places: across vast oceans to foreign lands, onto summer porches of small-town America, through dark and dangerous forests where predators wait, into the hypnotic mists of dream, back to a halcyon past to remember, forward into an exhilarating future, and rocketing through outer space.

In We'll Always Have Paris—a new collection of never-before-published stories—the inimitable Bradbury once again does what few writers have ever done as well. He delights us with prose that soars and sings. He surprises and inspires, exposing truths and provoking deep thought. He imagines great things and poignantly observes human foibles and frailties. He enchants us with the magic he mastered decades ago and still performs flawlessly. In these pages, radio voices become indomitable flesh and the dead arise to recapture life. There is joy in an eccentric old man's dance for the world and wonder over the workings of humankind's best friend, O Holy Dog. Whether he's exploring the myriad ways to be reborn, or the circumstances that can make any man a killer, or returning us to Mars, Bradbury opens the world to us and beckons us in.

Get ready to travel far and wide once again with America's preeminent storyteller. His tales will live forever. We will always have Bradbury—and for that reason, we are eternally blessed.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A nostalgic collection of stories by the celebrated author finds humor and tenderness in unexpected encounters. A few of these brief tales deliver the trademark Bradbury chill, such as "The Reincarnate," in which a newly dead man harbors the doomed hope of rejoining the living. Or the creepy "Fly Away Home," which sends to Mars "rocket men" who re-create buildings from their hometowns to keep from going mad. Other stories are sentimental character studies, such as "Massinello Pietro," about a flamboyant man who keeps a menagerie that the neighborhood and the police see as a public nuisance, or "Pietà Summer," an affecting boyhood memory about a sleep-deprived 13-year-old who's excited about the two circuses coming to town. Other stories delve into romantic ironies, as in "Un-pillow Talk," in which two new lovers unravel the steps that brought them to bed, or the curious title story, which follows a married American man through Paris as he pursues an alluring young Frenchman. Though many of these feel like they've been sitting in a drawer for decades, Bradbury's fans will find his fiction still open to experimentation. (Feb.)

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Library Journal

At 88, Bradbury is a national treasure who does not seem inclined to be set aside on the trophy shelf. With this collection of 21 stories and a poem, he employs the humor, empathy, and quirky approach that have been the hallmarks of his career to the question of "What if?" Bradbury has a gift for quickly building an intriguing premise and then allowing readers room to speculate about what might happen next. The witty winners here include "The Twilight Greens," about the meandering preoccupations of men of a certain age; "Come Away with Me," which concerns one man's attempt to save another from an unhappy relationship; "Fly Away Home," a nostalgic, somewhat melancholy look at the dream and reality of space travel; and "Apple-core Baltimore," a backward view of the lingering effects of childhood cruelty. These accessible stories are quick to read but may linger long after the book is done. Recommended for all public libraries and story collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ9/15/08.]
—Neil Hollands

School Library Journal

Adult/High School

Renowned for his numerous novels and short-story collections, Bradbury has once again created a book that will both entertain and stretch readers' imaginations. Never before published, these 22 selections explore the extraordinary experiences of ordinary people. The author's talent for devising eerie and emotionally moving plots is evident in "The Reincarnate," in which a dead man attempts to reunite with his wife but discovers that he cannot recapture the past, and in "When the Bough Breaks," in which the ghostly cry of an unknown baby challenges a couple's decision not to have children. Much more than traditional science fiction, the collection contains a variety of other genres including chilling psychological thrillers such as "The Murder" and "Ma Perkins Comes to Stay," and bittersweet romances such as "We'll Always Have Paris" and "Doubles." Short-story fans will revel in this superb compilation, which elicits quick yet powerful emotions. Teens who appreciate unique, well-crafted tales will enjoy it. English and literature teachers will find a wealth of instructional opportunities in this book, either as a stand-alone collection or as a companion to Bradbury's other works or the collections of other authors. This is a must-have for short story collections and any school library in which Bradbury is part of the curriculum.-Lynn Rashid, Marriots Ridge High School, Marriotsville, MD

Kirkus Reviews
Never-before-published stories from the prolific-and increasingly nostalgic-author of classics such as Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles. In the introduction to this collection, Bradbury (Now and Forever, 2007, etc.) advises the reader to "enjoy" the stories rather than "think about them too much. Just try to love them as I love them," and these are indeed stories for enjoyment rather than for existential agony. We find here the usual range: some stories are sci-fi right out of the 1950s, some are eerily edgy, and some are a bit dewy-eyed. In "Fly Away Home," Bradbury revisits familiar territory, the colonization of Mars. After a six-month, 60-million-mile voyage on the First Rocket, the pioneers almost immediately feel alienated and alone on the harsh Red planet, but the team psychiatrist had anticipated this estrangement and arranged for a Second Rocket to arrive, one containing all the accoutrements of Main Street and its sentimental attachments to the home planet-the crew is even able to get pineapple malts at the Martian drugstore. In "Arrival and Departure," one of Bradbury's most poignant flights of fancy, an old couple finally escapes their dreary indoor life and exultingly drinks in the glories of spring only to discover by the end of the day that they're much more comfortable in the circumscribed and lonely life they've been living in their house. In the amusing "A Literary Encounter," Charlie takes on the persona of whatever literary work he happens to be reading at the moment. His wife Marie is not too pleased when Charlie's reading the expansive Thomas Wolfe or the ultraformal Samuel Johnson, so she persuades him to get reacquainted with the ten romantic books hewas absorbed in when he was courting her. Nothing too surprising, but the stories are pleasant and evocative.

Product Details

Harper Voyager
Publication date:
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

We'll Always Have Paris LP

Chapter One

Massinello Pietro

He fed the canaries and the geese and the dogs and the cats. Then he cranked up the rusty phonograph and sang to the hissing "Tales from the Vienna Woods":

Life goes up, life goes down,
But please smile, do not sigh, do not frown!

Dancing, he heard the car stop before his little shop. He saw the man in the gray hat glance up and down the storefront and knew the man was reading the sign which in large, uneven blue letters declared the manager. Everything free! Love and charity for all!

The man stepped halfway through the open door and stopped. "Mr. Massinello Pietro?"

Pietro nodded vigorously, smiling. "Come in. Do you want to arrest me? Do you want to throw me in jail?"

The man read from his notes. "Better known as Alfred Flonn?" He eyed the silver bells on Pietro's shirtsleeves.

"That's me!" Pietro's eye flashed.

The man was uncomfortable. He looked around a room crammed full of rustling birdcages and packing crates. Geese rushed in through the back door, stared at him angrily, and rushed back out. Four parrots blinked lazily on their high perches. Two Indian lovebirds cooed softly. Three dachshunds capered around Pietro's feet, waiting for him to put down just one hand to pet them. On one shoulder he carried a banana-beaked mynah bird, on the other a zebra finch.

"Sit down!" sang Pietro. "I was just having a little music; that's the way to start the day!" He cranked the portable phonograph swiftly and reset the needle.

"I know, I know." The man laughed, trying to be tolerant. "My name's Tiffany,from the D.A.'s office. We got a lot of complaints." He waved around the cluttered shop. "Public health. All these ducks, raccoons, white mice. Wrong zone, wrong neighborhood. You'll have to clean it up."

"Six people have told me that." Pietro counted them proudly on his fingers. "Two judges, three policemen, and the district attorney himself!"

"You were warned a month ago you had thirty days to stop this nuisance or go to jail," said Tiffany, over the music. "We've been patient."

"I," said Pietro, "have been the patient one. I have waited for the world to stop being silly. I have waited for it to stop wars. I have waited for politicians to be honest. I have waited—la la la—for real estate men to be good citizens. But while I wait, I dance!" He demonstrated.

"But look at this place!" protested Tiffany.

"Isn't it wonderful? Do you see my shrine for the Virgin Mary?" Pietro pointed. "And here, on the wall, a framed letter from the archbishop's secretary himself, saying what good I've done for the poor! Once, I was rich, I had property, a hotel. A man took it all away, my wife with it, oh, twenty years ago. Do you know what I did? I invested what little I had left in dogs, geese, mice, parrots, who do not change their minds, who are always friends forever and forever. I bought my phonograph, which never is sad, which never stops singing!"

"That's another thing," said Tiffany, wincing. "The neighborhood says at four in the morning, um, you and the phonograph . . ."

"Music is better than soap and water!"

Tiffany shut his eyes and recited the speech he knew so well. "If you don't have these rabbits, the monkey, the parakeets, everything, out by sundown, it's the Black Maria for you."

Mr. Pietro nodded with each word, smiling, alert. "What have I done? Have I murdered a man? Have I kicked a child? Have I stolen a watch? Have I foreclosed a mortgage? Have I bombed a city? Have I fired a gun? Have I told a lie? Have I cheated a customer? Have I turned from the Good Lord? Have I taken a bribe? Have I peddled dope? Do I sell innocent women?"

"No, of course not."

"Tell me, then, what have I done? Point to it, lay a hand on it. My dogs, these are evil, eh? These birds, their song is dreadful, eh? My phonograph—I suppose that's bad, too, eh? All right, put me in jail, throw away the key. You will not separate us."

The music rose to a great crescendo. He sang along with it:

Tiffa-nee! Hear my plea!
Can't you smile; sit awhile, be my friend?

The dogs leaped about, barking.

Mr. Tiffany drove away in his car.

Pietro felt a pain in his chest. Still grinning, he stopped dancing. The geese rushed in and pecked gently at his shoes as he stood, bent down, holding his chest.

At lunchtime, Pietro opened a quart of homemade Hungarian goulash and refreshed himself. He paused and touched his chest, but the familiar pain had vanished. Finishing his meal, he went to gaze over the high wooden fence in the backyard.

There she was! There was Mrs. Gutierrez, very fat, and as loud as a jukebox, talking to her neighbors on the other side of the lot.

"Lovely lady!" called Mr. Massinello Pietro. "Tonight I go to jail! Your war is fought and won. I give you my saber, my heart, my soul!"

Mrs. Gutierrez came ponderously across the dirt yard. "What?" she said, as if she couldn't see or hear him.

"You told the police, the police told me, and I laughed!" His hand flirted on the air, two fingers wiggling. "I hope you will be happy!"

"I didn't call no police!" she said indignantly.

"Ah, Mrs. Gutierrez, I will write a song for you!"

"All of them other people must've called in," she insisted.

"And when I leave today for jail, I'll have a present for you." He bowed.

"I tell you it wasn't me!" she cried. "You and your mealy mouth!"

"I compliment you," he said sincerely. "You are a civic-minded citizen. All filth, all noise, all odd things must go."

"You, you!" she shouted. "Oh, you!" She had no more words.

"I dance for you!" he sang, and waltzed into the house.

We'll Always Have Paris LP
. Copyright (c) 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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We'll Always Have Paris 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
Of course we will always have Ray Bradbury! As long as children run to the sound of the carousel, and the circus parade; as long as dandelions still grow in our front lawns; as long as the call of the train or bright trails of rockets reach out to us across the miles, Ray will be with us. Whether, as in this collection of never before published stories, we walk the streets of Venice, Ca., or the rues de Paris, or discover the true nature of man's best friend or the truth in young love, we we can be sure that Ray's view of the ordinary will be just a bit extraordinary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
This twenty-one short story and one poem (¿America¿) anthology showcases the width and depth of the great science fiction novelist Ray Bradbury. As the author explains in his Introduction, his skin contains two people: a watcher and a writer. The watcher personality surfaces in slices of life mostly on earth like ¿Massinello Pietro¿, ¿Pieta Summer¿, ¿Last Laughs¿, ¿The Visit¿, and ¿We'll Always Have Paris¿, etc. Of course Mr. Bradbury also provides his expected unexpected sci fi-horror thrillers such as ¿The Reincarnate¿ and ¿Fly Away Home¿, which reads like a Twilight Zone tale. The collection is top rate although none go as deep obviously as the novels, but entries like ¿A Literary Encounter" with a psychological thriller spin showcases Mr. Bradbury¿s talent beyond the other world speculative fiction arena he is renowned for.

Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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