|Contrary to expectation, even though Dandelion Wine
is by Ray Bradbury (one of the giants of science fiction), it is not a science fiction or
fantasy book. Dandelion Wine is a dramatisation by Mr Bradbury of a
childhood summer in upstate Illinois, and shows very clearly the roots and birthings of
his fantastical tales.
The sequence of stories in the book are from the start of summer
to summers end, and cover events where Bradburys alter ego Douglas Spaulding
is the viewpoint character to events that happen without Douglas or his younger brother
Thomas being there to see them. But this change in viewpoint does not matter, because all
the incidents are events that loom large in the summer of Douglas Spaulding and thus are
important to the reader.
I found this a wonderful book, and even though it was set in 1920s America, I found
myself thinking back to my childhood summers here in New Zealand and felt a kinship of
like experience with Bradbury.
If you are contemplating reading or collecting Ray Bradburys extensive back
catalogue (being re-released by HarperVoyager), then I strongly recommend you begin with Dandelion
Wine before moving onto his novels or short stories however your tastes run.