cover image Somewhere a Band Is Playing

Somewhere a Band Is Playing

Ray Bradbury. Gauntlet Press, $85 (187pp) ISBN 978-1-887368-98-8

Set in paradisiacal Summerton, Ariz., a small town not on any map where endless sunflowers blossom in front yards and every meal is like the ""feasting of summer gods,"" this Bradbury novella tackles some weighty themes, namely the struggle to fully appreciate the human experience, grow old gracefully and embrace mortality. Chicago newspaper writer James Cardiff, guided by a poetic dream, travels to the middle of the Arizona desert. There he finds a town where everyone is idyllically happy. But as Cardiff delves deeper, he realizes that Summerton has no children, no doctors, no funeral parlors-and a cemetery full of empty graves. After meeting and falling in love with a mysterious woman named Nefertiti, Cardiff is forced to choose between transience and the opportunity to dance forever ""in June and June and more June."" Evocative and lyrically bittersweet, this novella, which Bradbury began crafting in the 1950s, will undoubtedly be compared to Dandelion Wine, one of his most personal works. Early drafts, story fragments and an unfinished screenplay, as well as cover art by the author himself, make this limited edition a treasure for Bradbury fans.