Ray Bradbury Unbound

Jonathan R. Eller. Univ. of Illinois, $34.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-252-03869-3
In his previous biography, Becoming Ray Bradbury, Eller covered the early science fiction and fantasy work that Bradbury is known for, up to 1953, when he completed Fahrenheit 451. Now Eller, who teaches English at Indiana University–Purdue, addresses Bradbury’s later projects in film and stage, focusing specifically on their often detrimental impact on his ability to produce new fiction. Through Bradbury’s personal correspondence and years of interviews, Eller captures the joy of creation that new forms allowed Bradbury, such as the intensely visual interpretation of Moby Dick that he wrote for director John Huston. At the same time, Eller reveals the neurosis that often paralyzed Bradbury, particularly when trying to finish new projects. Bradbury’s many rejections seem to outweigh his successes in Hollywood, particularly with adapting his own work, and despite his efforts to free himself from genre fiction, Eller determines that the most enduring of Bradbury’s later works remain “harbored within the islands of creativity where he felt safest.” Despite these struggles, fans who know Bradbury only for his fiction are likely to enjoy this diverse look at his work and creative process. 18 photos. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/02/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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