Ray Bradbury – Long After Midnight

Ray Bradbury is a well-known sci-fi author, and sci-fi is not lacking in the twenty-two stories of Long After Midnight. However, the sci-fi tales are outnumbered by the other stories, which are hard to classify within this genre. All the narrations are convincing, the pages flow smoothly and always leave the reader with fresh reflections on life. I believe that the gems of this anthology are The Blue Bottle, a sci-fi apologue about human desires; One Timeless Spring, which gently portrays a coming-of-age drama; Getting Through Sunday Somehow, a parable about the meaning we do (or don’t) attribute to small everyday joys; Interval in Sunlight, one of the best marital dramas ever represented; The Better Part of Wisdom, which describes, with respect and sympathy, the encounter of an old, decrepit grandfather, with his homosexual grandson and his lover; The Pumpernickel, a story about friendship that might have been conceived by Frank Capra himself. Not to mention The October Game, a recognized masterpiece of horror fiction. Anyway, the other short stories are equally good, and should be enjoyed one by one: two in particular, the aforementioned The Blue Bottle, and The Messiah, are connected to the themes and the atmosphere of Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, a novel which can also be regarded as a short story collection. We can even find a hint of Ernest Hemingway in The Parrot Who Met Papa, and of Thomas Wolfe in Forever and the Earth, and be confronted with apparently dead epochs, but whose spirit still lingers inside human hearts, in the form of longings, dreams, and expectations.

Bradbury’s most remarkable qualities are his empathy with characters, his ability to describe plainly the most complicated scenes, his deep compassion in depicting the most varied situations. An author skilled in the search for universal values inside inner epiphanies, Ray Bradbury is a compassionate writer. He is able to describe, by weighing his words carefully, both the small and the great worries, the fears and the desires of adults and children, even when extracting them from the present and projecting them into a hypothetical future. An author who is significant in every single story, and trustworthy in everything he says. His works are not the hot air that, unfortunately, we are used to breathe in many of today’s books. Definitely, the universe of Bradbury’s short stories should be discovered, loved and granted a place of honour on everyone’s bookshelf.

Translation by Michele Curatolo (edited by Carole Watt)

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Heiko H. Caimi
Author and screenwriter, he has been teaching Creative Writing since 1999. He collaborated with the Publisher Tranchida from 2007 to 2009 as a teacher at Forrester School, as a member of the management board and as an editor of the editorial board, as well as an author of the on-line magazines "Gluck59" and "Teneke". He has worked as a writer of short stories with Mondadori and GVE publishers and publishes short stories, articles, reviews and poems with various on-line magazines. He participated as a poet in the VII Annual Carovana dei Versi (Caravan of Verses) in 2012-2013, and some of his works have been be published in 2013 in an anthology by the publishing house Abrigliasciolta of Varese. He has taught courses on writing and screenwriting at the Egea Bookstore of Bocconi University in Milan, at I.I.S. A.Lunardi in Brescia in several libraries and associations in the district of Brescia and in some Swiss schools. A film for which he wrote the screenplay has been optioned twice. He worked as a writer in an international production ("Haiti Voodoo", 2011). A long time ago he played in several bands and collaborated on several short films. He currently lives and works in Brescia. Since 2002 he has been Chairman of Magnoliaitalia, and since 2013 he has been teacher and Conductor at the Writing Parlour in Brescia, a professional school for writers.