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December 12, 1976 - Image 7

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-12-12

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Sunday, December 12, 1976

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Page Five

-1

&

SUNDAY MAGAZINE

BOOKS

'Midnight': Mixed bag of Bradbury sci-fi

LONG AFTER MIDNIGHT
by Ray Bradbury. New
York: Alfred A. Knopf. 271
pp.. $7.95.

j es, of
miliar
' smells
lawns

familiar themes and fa-
faces. In them one
again the new-mown
of Dandelion Wine and

Sunlight," and stick it into his
new book.
It is realism at its most te-
dious, unredeemed by opti-

,feels the thin wind of the Mar- mism, ungilded by beauty -
ByMIKE NORTON tian Chronicles. In them one stark and unlovely. Set in rural
AFTER FIVE YEARS of still hears the high and lovely Mexico, it tells the story of an
1 near - silence, Ray Brad- singing of Bradbury's voice. American tourist's unsuccess-
bury had put out another book. But a few, alas, are bad be- ful attempt to leave her sadis-
So like spiders we scuttle to yond hope. tic husband - only to realize
the bookstores, waving ten-dol- Somehow, they have spoiled, she needs him, after all. It is
lar bills in our slippery hands. soured, gone rotten among the an unforgivable tale. '
Roses bloom off in the dark- rats and rafters. They were Two other stories are only
ness; cinnamon - scented dust written without heart, and slightly less appalling: the title
blows across our ankles. there is no savor in them. Al- piece, which describes a Cali-
The new volume is called most conscious of their ugli-, fornia suicide, and "The Bet-
Long After Midnight, and it ness, they crawl quickly from ter Part of Wisdom" (another
is a collection of 22 stories by one's memorv. in Bradbury's pseudo-Hiber-
this master of lyrical fantasy. The old man has been read- nian - hale - fellow - well ' met
Some of them are old, some are ing Hemingway again, I'll bet. series). Both stories continue
recent magazine selections, the author's very hesitant probe
and some are completely new. There is a charming story along the outskirts of the homo-
And like so many other things which Bradbury wrote 20 years sexuality question; as such,
in this imperfect world of ours, or more ago. In it, an elderly they are not without interest.
,they are neither all bad nor all pedestrian rails against liter- But they are not what we've
good.ary naturalism in all its de-
go use a very Bradburian pressing disguises. It has stuck to .ect from Ray Brad-
with me all. this time; I tookjbuyeihr
metaphor, they lie side by side What worm of sick enchant-
in this volume, glinting darkly it as my gospel. ment has burrowed into his
like bottles of ancient wine. AND SOMETIMES I CAN'T breast? Can he recover, or will
Many are tasty, indeed - they help but wondering what it drag him down, book by
bring us wisps and whispers the young Bradbury who wrote book, story by story, to a dis-
from familiar times and plac- that story would think of this mal death?
newfangled old bastard, this The symptoms were slow in
Mike Norton is a Daily staff horrible man who could write emerging at first - but after
writer. a story called "Interval in his last collection, I Sing the
-~ --f
. .,1

Body Electric, there was no
mistaking it.. Terminal natur-
alism. God, and what a fate!
To be concrete - and - card-
boarded to death, deprived of
magic, bereft of song.
And what is even more ter-
rible to ponder: in his down-
ward progress, might he not
take us all with him? All those
of us who have sustained our-
selves against the grimy world
by drinking from his sweet
well of words?
I hope not. But the signs are
not at all encouraging. The best
stories in Long After Midnight
are those written in the early
years of his career and not
collected until now.
Still, one must hope. And
some truly fine selections -I

"The Wish," for instance,
which ran . in Woman's Day
magazine last year, or "Drink
Entire: Against the Madness
of Crowds" - are among the
finest and most mature things
Bradbury has ever written.
The spark is still there, glow-
ing bright beneath the ashes,
waiting for some favorable
wind to rise and blow it into
flame.
Long After Midnight is, in
the balance, a worthwhile col-
lection of stories; the good out-
number the bad by a respect-
able margin. It is only as a
portent of shoddy future books
by Bradbury that it is omi-
nous

ECOUPON
Partlly DOWN While WOrking
For Your GOWN 1
GOOD LUCK ON FINAL EXAMS... NOW EXAMINE THIS:

And Ray Bradbury is
young to die.

-too

Order your subscription

today.

Phone

764-0558

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN DANCE COMPANY
with THE UNIVERSITY PHILHARMONIC and
the CONTEMPORARY DIRECTIONS ENSEMBLE

50 1 ,,,- I a
EXPIRES 12/23/76 t

Elizabeth Weil Bergman's
THE PLANETS
by Gustav Hoist

Goy Delonghe's
LA CREATION
DU MONDE
by Darius
Milhoud.

z
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FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
DECEMBER 10, 11 at 8:00, DECEMBER 12 at 3:00
Tickets at Power Box Office and Hudson's j

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-- I

PAID ADVERTISEMENT
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BETWEEN GRADUATE EMPLOYEES' ORGANIZATION AND UNIVERSITY
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We, the undersigned, protest the University Administration's recent attempt to block settlement on the labor contract between the Graduate Employees'
Organization (GEO) and the University by requiring that the Union permanently drop two grievances, and in so dqing permitting the Administration to
remove RA's and SA's from the unit at will. The attempt to make the Union sign away its rights to grieve and due process as a condition for settling is
clearly unfair and in bad faith.

I

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nn n'.1n1

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Asst. Prof. Eng.
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