cover image Green Shadows, White Whale

Green Shadows, White Whale

Ray Bradbury. Alfred A. Knopf, $21 (271pp) ISBN 978-0-394-57878-1

The title of this lighthearted, beguiling autobiographical novel is a play on Peter Viertel's White Hunter, Black Heart , which, like this book, dealt with the legendary director John Huston. This is Bradbury's comic account of his trip to Ireland to write the screenplay for Huston's adaptation of Moby-Dick . The movie itself is merely a background constant that anchors this series of vivid, ear-tingling vignettes and anecdotes. Bradbury describes his awed dealings with the erratic, eccentric and impulsive director, and his delight upon being accepted among the regulars at an atmospheric pub called Heeber Finn's. It's a great place to hoist a wee drop and listen to stories told in the best Irish brogue. Finn himself imaginatively tells of the time when George Bernard Shaw supposedly dropped into his establishment. Then there's the community's encounter with a ``willowy'' (read: gay) stranger and his crew of ballet dancers, a man who--to everyone's surprise-- proves to be no mean raconteur. Bradbury's prose is as vibrant and distinctive as the landscape in which these delightful tales are set. Illustrations not seen by PW. (May)