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A Graveyard for Lunatics (Crumley Mysteries #2)

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,309 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
Halloween Night, 1954. A young, film-obsessed scriptwriter has just been hired at one of the great studios. An anonymous investigation leads from the giant Maximus Films backlot to an eerie graveyard separated from the studio by a single wall. There he makes a terrifying discovery that thrusts him into a maelstrom of intrigue & mystery--& into the dizzy exhilaratio ...more
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published July 14th 1990 by Knopf (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Linda Robinson
Aug 24, 2013 Linda Robinson rated it it was amazing
I will make a new tradition to read a Bradbury book on his birthday, which at my age means I'll reread books I've already read, but that's a good tradition for a content old age. Watched a video of Bradbury talking about writing. It was perfectly timed to bump into it on his birthday and, a break from Annie Dillard's Writing Life. Dillard is brilliant, but damn! she goes on and on about how arduous writing is. Molding, crafting, snipping, killing your darlings, insisting the writer have no distr ...more
Simona Bartolotta
E fu così che l'adepta, ancora piangente per la recente scomparsa del suo idolo, dovette dare due ad un suo libro.
Dove sono i capolavori del calibro di Fahrenheit 451 e Cronache marziane?
Bradbury, perché mi hai fatto questo?!
Alicia O'Carrick
I really hate to do this, but I just checked out eight more library books, and I have to admit I've been a little slow reading this one. I'll come back to it hopefully very soon. :) It's Ray Bradbury. So I will definitely pick it up again.
Jan 15, 2013 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book three stars because, while I did not like the story so much, Ray Bradbury is such a genius that I can dislike a story he created and still see the wit and genius in it.
Oh, Ray Bradbury, how I love you! I will not speak of Brandbury in the past tense-his genius lives on.
As I sai, I really did not like the story so much. I figured out the identity of the Beast quite early in the story, although I did not figure out any of the rest of the pieces to complete the puzzle.
My favorite
Oct 14, 2015 Tony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A GRAVEYARD FOR LUNATICS. (1990?). Ray Bradbury. **.
B.O.R.I.N.G. The plot was boring. The characters were boring. The dialog was boring. I couldn’t make it to the end. I was afraid that if I tried they would have to take me to the emergency room and apply the paddles to my chest. I would risk dying of boredom. The novel was set in Hollywood at a studio lot that abutted on a cemetery. There was a lot of passing through of once-known Hollywood greats. There was an attempt to have this come out as
Nov 03, 2008 Anthony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anthony by: Eric Vaughan
Shelves: the-darker-side
I lived in Venice Beach California at the time I read this book, and the coolest thing about it, was some of the book took place not far from where I lived. I was working on writing my first screenplay when my roommate walked into my office and put that book on the bookshelf. He said a friend gave it to him. I wasn't a really big reader back then, but we didn't have cable or satellite in our apartment. So after a few hours of boredom I picked it up. I mean, how bad could it be, it's freakin' Ray ...more
Сергей Бережной
Голливуд должен быть разрушен. Но только после того, как этот роман будет экранизирован.

Пригласить постановщиком лучше всего Фрица Ланга, а в помощники ему взять Билли Уайлдера. Рэй Харрихаузен будет делать спецэффекты и застенчиво играть Холдстрома. Борис Карлофф и Эрих фон Штрогейм появятся в эпизодических ролях, Джин Келли станцует на крыше Оперы Гарнье, Чаплин сыграет Иисуса, Сильвия Сидни — Констанцию, а Лон Чейни — все главные роли, кроме, конечно, САМОЙ главной. САМУЮ главную сделает сам
Mark Oppenlander
Sep 22, 2012 Mark Oppenlander rated it liked it
If I could give this book 2.5 stars, I probably would. It is one of the more disappointing books I have read during the Bradbury project. As it stands, I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt; perhaps I just read this on an off day.

This is the sequel to "Death is a Lonely Business," picking up a few years later with the main character now working for a movie studio. Many of the characters from the previous book show up as well, including Constance Rattigan, Inspector Crumley and old, blin
Oct 18, 2013 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hm. Well this is weird because Bradbury is a genius and I loved all of the books and short stories by him I've read to date, so it feels weird to say this, but... the book just wasn't very good. Ray Bradbury wrote a book that was not very good. Weird.

The positive things I can say about it are that, as always, Ray Bradbury is great with creating memorable characters, and he's very very good with dialogue. This book is no exception. I was especially a huge fan of J.C. (an eccentric Jesus look-alik
Bradbury's skill with words is still very fun to read. On a sentence and conversation level this is a pretty delightful book. The idea, the setting, and the packed-to-bursting references and associations through literary and film history is also quite fun. He throws so much at you in such compressed space, creating post-modern chaotic overload that is as disorienting as it is exhilarating. His exuberance is wild and it looks like he's having a great time, which I always appreciate. This is uber- ...more
Cathrine Bonham
Jul 14, 2012 Cathrine Bonham rated it it was amazing
Great novel that really captures the spirit of old Hollywood. I loved the studio drama and the writing was classic Bradbury. I thought that it failed a little as a Mystery story because I was way ahead of the protagonist.

Read Death is a Lonely Business before you start this novel though, you will be thankful for the Character development that he builds on from the previous book.
Anna Engel
Feb 05, 2015 Anna Engel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
When you write like this! Everything is an expostulation! And the reader doesn't know! What's exciting and what's merely an attempt at conversation!

I've found that I like Ray Bradbury's short sci-fi books (F451, Martian Chronicles) and the short stories that are built around a central theme (e.g., Illustrated Man) much more than anything else he's written. I tend to get frustrated with the short story compilations that are just thrown together. Likewise, I get frustrated with his longer novels (
Benjamin Featherston
Feb 23, 2014 Benjamin Featherston rated it really liked it
Many books set in Hollywood have been written by authors claiming to have a unique insight into the industry. This is one of the few novels which actually delivers a different perspective. Bradbury's film studio is a surreal landscape filled with eccentric characters, and his narration captures the genuine wonder as well as the seedy underside of film-making.

This book is second in a series which begins with "Death is a Lonely Business", but works as a standalone mystery. I picked it up without
Todd Martin
Apr 15, 2016 Todd Martin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I don’t think I would have listened to this book if I had realized it was a follow up to Death is a Lonely Business . At any rate A Graveyard for Lunatics is a similarly lame murder/mystery with little going for it.

Reading Bradbury’s later novels I keep looking for hints of the genius found in The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451 or The Illustrated Man. But like a blind man searching in a dark room for a black cat that isn’t there, the pursuit seems forlorn.
Sep 14, 2014 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird
This was, well, strange. The big plot reveal was incredibly easy to figure out, but it was kinda done well. The style of the writing, however, left me feeling as though I'd simultaneously been belted with a rubber mallet while attempting a deep conversation with a hyperactive child who can't quite fix on one subject. I also found myself having to reread parts, as it felt like I'd missed something that was staring me in the face, but maybe if I'd read the first one, I wouldn't have had this probl ...more
Ron Arden
I had never heard of this Ray Bradbury novel and was eager to read it. The story was a bit different than the sci-fi I am used to, but it was still enjoyable. Parts of the book were a bit slow for me, but I enjoyed the conclusion.

The tale is set in and around a movie studio in the 1950s where great films were made many years before. It is 20 years since the studio head died, some say mysteriously. The movie studio has an adjacent graveyard and some people believe the studio head has come back to
I'm not sure why I wanted to read a Ray Bradbury book lately, but I did. I read Farenheit 451 10 or so years ago and really liked it, but hadn't really heard of any of his other work. This is the book that jumped out from me on the bookshelf at the library, so I picked it up. Unfortunately, I didn't love this book. It is an interesting mystery that takes place in a Hollywood studio in the 1950's. Bradbury worked as a screen writer in Hollywood and seems to have a love/hate relationship with it. ...more
Mar 29, 2010 Jeanette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glorious-fiction
it's a follow up (sort of) to Bradbury's Death is a Lonely Business which i hadn't realized when i bought it. the copy i got online has one of the greatest inscriptions i've ever found and i can't believe anyone ever let it go, honestly:

"Christmas 1993

Just in case you haven't read this one -- or read it long enough ago so it's worth re-reading -- here's a lively graveyard to go digging around in. (You might even share it with your ghoul friend.)

Dad & Julie"


"For while the peopl
Apr 13, 2012 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ray Bradbury semi-autobiographical book about a young screen writer in Hollywood. This a mystery story mixed up with nostalgia, stirred into a stream-of-consciousness style narrative, with a deep love for early movies, and keen eye for the kind of people who made them.

It is difficult to characterize the book, as it is very unusual. I liked it a lot as I read it, hence the five stars. Writing this review six weeks later, it is hard to to even explain what the book was truly about. The actual plot
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Halloween Night, 1954. A young, film-obsessed scriptwriter has just been hired at one of the great studios. An anonymous investigation leads from the giant Maximus Films backlot to an eerie graveyard separated from the studio by a single wall. There he makes a terrifying discovery that thrusts him into a maelstrom of intrigue and mystery -- and into the dizzy exhilaration of the movie industry at the height of its glittering power.

From Publishers Weekly

Hollywood, Halloween night, 1954. At a m

Nov 19, 2013 Joyce rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction, movies
A funny/sad, fast-paced book, A Graveyard for Lunatics is the first Ray Bradbury novel I've read. Published in 1954, during the demise of the almighty Hollywood studio system, Bradbury reveals his love and knowledge of movies in a fantasy/murder mystery tale that begins one Halloween night. The denouement is predictable early on but Bradbury's writing makes the book enjoyable. The characters are stock LA noir i.e., hard drinking detective friend, aging movie star, Dr. Feelgood, movie mogul, mogu ...more
Everything Ray Bradbury writes is great. Honestly I enjoyed this mystery better than the one before it. It was a little more cohesive I think. It was also pretty funny, with so many wild characters. There was just enough horror and suspense, the return of some old characters, introducing new ones, plot twists (although one I actually predicted, which makes me proud) and I loved the standpoint and focus on filmmaking. A noir-ish mystery set on a scandal ridden film set can't really go that wrong.
James F
Another Bradbury novel, this one I had never heard of. It's not science fiction or fantasy, or really horror although it's set on Halloween. It's essentially a mystery, taking place in a movie studio in Hollywood. The mystery is weak; I'm not a mystery reader and I had the fairly obvious solution figured out less than halfway through the book. The book was fun to read, although I suspect there were a number of "inside jokes" I didn't get, including references to other Bradbury books.
Mar 21, 2015 C.D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: summer-2010
I wasn't sure about this book when I started. It began in such a thick cloud of metaphors I could only vaguely grasped what was happening. It was also the first mystery novel of Bradbury's that I've read.

Fortunately, I had faith in Bradbury and he did not disappoint. The characters he created were very weird but somehow that made them more vivid and real. They spoke for themselves. His dialogue is so compelling I found myself skimming down the page to find out what happens. Luckily I had the sen
Dec 09, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get through this one because I didn't finish it before NaNoWriMo started, so I pretty much didn't look at it at all in November. That said: I really enjoyed it. Especially getting glimpses of what Ray Harryhausen's studio must have looked like along with interactions between my favorite author and my favorite movie-magic artist (the narrator is Bradbury's fictionalized self, and Roy is Harryhausen, hands-down, no doubt. Apparently, not everyone knows they were best friends, ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Hubdiggity rated it liked it
Maybe this book would have been better if at the time I read it I had understood the pseudo-mob mentality of the big studios back in the day. But to the young reader of the here and now, this inside joke leaves you confused and bored. But don't give up on the topic of the early film industry, check out Hollywood Land for a better take on crazy living in the good old days.
Stephanie Ricker
Next up! A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities by Ray Bradbury. No matter how much I read, there always seems to be more Bradbury out there. I was a little thrown by this one, I’ll admit. Bradbury writes vibrantly, forcefully, and rapidly: this is excellent in a short story. In a novel, though, it’s occasionally disorienting. I honestly wasn’t quite sure what was happening at times, there were so many exclamation marks, italics, and oblique references being thrown around. (One can ...more
Matteo Pellegrini

Notte di Halloween, anno 1954.
Un giovane sceneggiatore, da poco entrato a far parte di una delle maggiori case di produzione hollywoodiane, riceve un invito anonimo e si reca negli studios; e qui tra una corsa di bighe, la sabbia del deserto e le cascate del Niagara, scopre nascosto dietro un tramezzo un cimitero, un luogo fitto di segreti che lo trascina in un vortice di intrigo e mistero.
Ray Bradbury offre in questo libro una combinazione di poliziesco e letteratura noir.

I didn't realize it at the time, but this is the middle book of a trilogy, along with Death is a Lonely Business and Let's All Kill Constance.

This was my 2nd Bradbury book, and despite fabulous quotes it was my second disappointment. I know he's got to be an amazing author, but apparently I should have stuck with my first instinct and started with Something Wicked This Way Comes. Next time...

While October Country was hit and miss (it's a short story collection), Graveyard really never grabbed me
Matt Escott
Dec 24, 2014 Matt Escott rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I was pretty disappointed with this book, especially considering I have really enjoyed other books by him (Martian Chronicles, esp). This book is considered a mystery, but I can't remember the last time I read a mystery where I cared so little about the characters or the "reveal." I found the dialogue boring, the writing style overdone and irritating, and his tendency to pile on metaphors tiring. All in all, not an enjoyable read.
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American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He bec ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Crumley Mysteries (3 books)
  • Death Is a Lonely Business (Crumley Mysteries, #1)
  • Let's All Kill Constance

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“Maggie Botwin.

Prim, quiet lady, like an upright piano, seeming taller than she was because of the way she sat, rose and walked, and the way she held her hands in her lap and the way she coifed her hair up on top of her head, in some fashion out of World War I.

I had once heard her on a radio show describe herself as a snake charmer.

All that film whistling through her hands, sliding through her fingers, undulant and swift.

All that time passing, but to pass and repass again.

It was no different, she said, than life itself.

The future rushed at you. You had a single instant, as it flashed by, to change it into an amiable, recognizable, and decent past. Instant by instant, tomorrow blinked in your grasp. If you did not seize without holding, shape without breaking, that continuity of moments, you left nothing behind. Your object, her object, all of our objects, was to mold and print ourselves on those single fits of future that, in the touching, aged into swiftly into vanishing yesterdays.”
“Once upon a time there were two cities within a city. One was light and one was dark. One moved restlessly all day while the other never stirred. One was warm and filled with ever-changing lights. One was cold and fixed in place by stones. And when the sun went down each afternoon on Maximus Films, the city of the living, it began to resemble Green Glade cemetery just across the way, which was the city of the dead.” 1 likes
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