Let's All Kill Constance

Let's All Kill Constance

by Ray Bradbury

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Overview

On a dismal evening in the previous century, an unnamed writer in Venice, California, answers a furious pounding at his beachfront bungalow door and again admits Constance Rattigan into his life. An aging, once-glamorous Hollywood star, Constance is running in fear from something she dares not acknowledge — and vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, leaving the narrator two macabre books: twin listings of the Tinseltown dead and soon to be dead, with Constance's name included among them. And so begins an odyssey as dark as it is wondrous, as the writer sets off in a broken-down jalopy with his irascible sidekick Crumley to sift through the ashes of a bygone Hollywood — a graveyard of ghosts and secrets where each twisted road leads to grim shrines and shattered dreams ... and, all too often, to death.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060561789
Publisher: HarperCollins US
Publication date: 12/30/2003
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 462,856
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.64(d)

About 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."

Hometown:

Los Angeles, California

Date of Birth:

August 22, 1920

Place of Birth:

Waukegan, Illinois

Education:

Attended schools in Waukegan, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California

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Let's All Kill Constance 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
fauxbro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was just awfull and didn't make a lick of sense.
jastbrown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The last of Bradbury's Venice, CA trilogy is perhaps the least satisfying of the three, but even so it is well worth the reading! It follow's 1985's "Death Is A Lonely Business" and 1990's "A Graveyard For Lunatics".
JFBallenger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I tried very hard to like this book, but the meandering plot and overwrought emotionality made this a painful read. I greatly admire his early work. But since the 1980s, Bradbury's florid style that seemed so refreshing and genuine in his early masterpieces, has seemed to me to slip more deeply with each new book into a kind of syrupy sweet nostalgia - very difficult to stomach. I thought his previous forays into noir fiction (the excellent Death is a Lonely Business and the very good A Graveyard for Lunatics) were wonderful exceptions to the downward spiral of his work. The unnamed narrator in these novels articulated Bradbury's belief in the virtues of naivete and sweetness, but was offset by the dark overtones of the plot and surrounding characters. But in this book, I'm afraid the molasses of his prose has once again overwhelmed everything else.
Archren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I sometimes think that Ray Bradbury is not, in fact, a multi-genre writer. That through his entire career, he has only written in one genre: a genre to be named ¿Bradbury.¿ I feel that way because no matter which genre he chooses to write in (are there any that he hasn¿t?) his inimitable style is always dominant.In ¿Let¿s All Kill Constance,¿ this style is applied to a murder mystery set in 1960 in Hollywood. An older actress named Constance receives an old phone book, many names are crossed out, even some of people who are still alive. Then she disappears and bodies turn up. The unnamed narrator (who is possibly Bradbury himself) must find out what¿s going on.That¿s the simple part. The special Ray Bradbury touch is that while the overall plot structure is purely genre murder mystery, all the dialog and all the scene setting is pure Bradbury. The people all talk like they¿re slightly (or more than slightly) unhinged, and the scene descriptions are pure poetry (and as such, don¿t always make the most sense).Now, here¿s a bit of heresy. I prefer Bradbury¿s work in the short form. I loved ¿Illustrated Man¿ and ¿The Martian Chronicles,¿ but even at a brief 210 pages, I found it a bit wearing to read the dialog of all these crazy people. But that¿s just me. If you¿ve ever been curious to see what Bradbury might do to a standard mystery to make it completely his own, you should read this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages." --Shakespeare, As You Like It (Act 2, Sc. 7) Ray Bradbury, one of the most celebrated fiction writers of our time, has published more than thirty books, close to 600 short stories, and numerous poems, essays, and plays. Bradbury was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois, and now lives in Los Angeles. He is best known for his novels, such as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. The author's new novel virtually defies categorization. Set in 1960, in Venice, Calif., Let's All Kill Constance is a tongue-in-cheek Gothic tale, a noir mystery that balances kitsch and class. A murder mystery? Well, not exactly. It's more like an unmurder mystery. In her time, Constance Rattigan played many parts. An aging film star, the five-foot-two femme fatale with a golden tan still possesses beauty that causes passersby to turn their heads for a second look. A method actress, a woman with a thousand faces, Constance is a chameleon who changes her personality and appearance to adapt to various roles. Trouble is, by assuming multiple personalities, Constance has lost her identity. No longer knowing who she is, she determines to kill the past--to destroy her multiple personae and rediscover her true self. The narrator of this story is an unnamed science-fiction writer, at whose beachfront bungalow Constance Rattigan appears on a dark and stormy night, with lightning flashing and the waves crashing. Constance brings a 1900 Los Angeles telephone directory, a "Book of the Dead" containing names of the dead and the soon-to-be-dead. Constance's name, along with several others, is marked with a red ink circle around it and a crucifix. Convinced that Death has been chasing her down the seashore, Constance is terrified. She enlists the aid of our sci-fi writer-hero, who, with his wacky sidekicks--irascible Detective Elmo Crumley, Blind Henry, and Fritz Wong--uncover the secrets of a decadent Tinseltown. In search of clues, our semi-fearless foursome sally forth boldly, being careful to heed the counsel of Satchel Paige, who said, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." They ascend Mount Lowe, to the musty archives of an eccentric newspaper collector; press on to the Psychic Research Lodge of Queen Califia (astrologer, palmist, and phrenologist); visit St. Vibiana's Cathedral and Constance Rattigan's big white Arabian-fortress beach house; drive down Hollywood Boulevard to legendary Grauman's Chinese Restaurant, the most famous movie palace in the world; explore the spooky, ghost-haunted depths of L.A.'s catacombs, and tour the tombs at Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery. Slowly but surely, a portrait of Constance Rattigan emerges: a vixen who sells herself--body and soul--in cutthroat competition with other actresses in order to win prize roles in films, and to steal their men. "Why is it," says our narrator, "someone like Constance is a lightning bolt, performing seal, high-wire frolicker, wild laughing human, and at the same time she's the devil incarnate, an evil cheater at life's loaded deck?" As I read Bradbury's ludicrous tale, I felt my thumb slowly turning downward. It suddenly dawned on me, however, that this book is a send-up. The book's opening lines should have alerted me to this fact: "It was a dark and stormy night. Is that one way to catch your reader?" Surely, somewhere the spirit of Charles Schulz must be smiling. Liquor flows freely through these pages. Corks are popped at the drop of a hat. Our narrator muses: "Malt does more than Milton can, / to justify God's way towards Man. / And Freud spoils kids and spares the rod, / to justify Man's ways toward God." Judged "seriously," Let's All Kill Constance is ludicro
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Bradbury's elegant style, but found the plot difficult to follow at times. It is hard to discern the living from the dead, and they often mush together into a pot. I found little satisfaction in the supposed "surprise" ending, as I seemed to have missed many of the key events. All in all, I left the book feeling as empty as when I had started it. Bradbury here reads similarly to Vonnegut, but I found Vonnegut to be more stimulating!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She races after hr
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Twelve kits stepped out, one aprentice hissed to Crystalkit: "do you promise to secrecy and kill anyone who 'knows'?" Crystalkit: "oh uh uh of c-c-cou-co-c-course!" She stuttered. The black tom aprentice: he nodded and they took her to 'wolf' result one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeah right. Sooooo evil, hmm, ickle baby BloodClan?