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Now and Forever: Somewhere a Band Is Playing & Leviathan '99

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,559 Ratings  ·  210 Reviews
A journalist bearing terrible news leaps from a still-moving train into a small town of wonderful, impossible secrets . . .

The doomed crew of a starship follows their blind, mad captain on a quest into deepest space to joust with destiny, eternity, and God Himself . . .

Now and Forever is a bold new work from an incomparable artist whose stories have reshaped America's lite
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Harper (first published September 1st 2007)
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Jun 17, 2009 Bram rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
When I think Ray Bradbury, I think pure Americana. Like Elvis, Jackie Robinson, Marilyn Monroe—that kind of thing. He portrays a nostalgia-tinged, post-war optimism and idealism that’s as compelling as it is fantastical, as comforting as it was nonexistent for so many Americans during those years. While he does scary as good as anyone, it always seems compartmentalized, cordoned off from more depressing societal woes. Strangely, I haven’t read his most famous work, Fahrenheit 451, so I will like ...more
Jul 21, 2010 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere a Band Is Playing had some classic Bradbury elements; gorgeous descriptions of old-fashioned pleasures that make even a lazy, soft-bellied technophile like myself long for a world of ice boxes, bakery wagons, and (to prove it’s not JUST the food in Bradbury novels that catches my attention) swinging porch doors. But half-waking dreams and overly poetic descriptions muddled the plot development in the first half; not because they took too long, but because they didn't go anywhere and th ...more
May 02, 2009 Edward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
These 2 novellas are typical Ray Bradbury. His language is so evocative it often sounds like poetry. I recently heard Neil Gaiman speak and he said the best way to experience Poe was to hear him. I've felt the same way about Bradbury for quite some time.

He was one of the few sf authors in our library when I was young, but his tales were too touchy feely for me then. Heinlein was more the thing for a teenage boy. Now, the opposite holds true. I appreciate the wistfulness and emotionality of Bradb
This a book I read for the Powells SF group, to be discussed Tuesday Sept 11th at 8pm. There were two novellas in this book. The first was very pretty but pointless and stupid. The second was apparently a rewrite of Moby Dick in space but with a comet as a white whale. I have never seen a Moby Dick movie nor have I read Moby Dick the book. And after this short story I'm even less likely to do either.

I have to admit that I'm against the idea of liking a literary sf writer - a writer recognized b
Jul 13, 2010 Ron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes you wonder whether folks with really great reputations are tempted to publish trash just because they can. I really wonder that about this pair of novella. Bradbury admits both are ideas he'd noodled with his whole life but never quite got them into a satisfactory form. Well, he still hasn't.

Both offers an interesting premise: neither quite delivers. "Leviathan '99" (Moby Dick set in space) came closer. "Somewhere a Band is playing" is a hodgepodge of stuff that others have published e
Ernesto Pérez-castro
Dos novelas cortas, absolutamente distintas entre sí. Dos comentarios, dos calificaciones.

"En algún lugar toca una banda...". Una joya. Un texto entrañable. Por momentos se me antojó un Pedro Páramo norteamericano. Construido a partir de piezas que Bradbury fue gestando a través de varios años, el resultado es de un tinte poético genial.

"Leviatán 99". Un homenaje a Melville y su ballena blanca. Un texto que, según narra el propio Bradbury en una nota introductoria, es producto de múltiples revis
Un assaggio di Bradbury in due racconti che, nel bene e nel male, presentano alcune delle più significative tematiche della sua scrittura.
Da qualche parte suona un'orchestrina è una simpatica variazione sul tema della cittadina fatata/stregata, popolata, in questo caso, soltanto da scrittori. Un divertissement sul ruolo dello scrittore nella società contemporanea, sul ruolo della scrittura, del racconto, sulla vitalità eterna delle storie che si raccolgono e tramandano nel tempo. Qui emerge il B
Feb 19, 2011 trishtrash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, novellas
Two novellas in one volume: a format that has, recently, driven me to cynical mutterings about publishers letting under-par or under-length pieces do the financial legwork of a decent novel. I’m pleased to say that not only are both these offerings perfect for the novella format, they are easily of the expected standard of the author, and both have short introductions which make interesting additional reading.

I have read perhaps only a third of Bradbury's stories, but I have read enough to know
Nov 09, 2009 Casey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now & Forever is comprised of two novellas, the second much stronger than the first. I love reading anything Ray Bradbury--and even though Somewhere a Band is Playing is definitely not on my favorites list, I still appreciate his skill with a turn of phrase. Somewhere a Band is Playing tells the story of a young journalist who, basically on a whim and a gut feeling, boards a train and leaps off it at a particular point in the Arizona desert. There he finds, as he somehow knew he would, the t ...more
Feb 06, 2013 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Somewhere a Band is Playing: A whimsical little novella that hooks you with plenty of questions from the get-go. What's up with this weird town called Summerton, AZ? Who's this sexy young/old lady with an Egyptian name? Where are all the children? How come nobody in the town is aging? There is, of course, a Twilight Zone-y twist that you anticipate early on (there must be some reason things are weird in this town), but the story holds you and the big revelation at the end is more satisfyingly an ...more
I guess Ray Bradbury and I do not get along. I really can't stand his writing; the best I can say about this book is that it was short. No wonder Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of only three books I couldn't get through, and the only one I attempted and failed to complete twice. The other two are Cryptonomicon and Moby-Dick. The second is a bit ironic because one of the two novellas in this book, Leviathan '99, is Bradbury's attempt to retell that tale in space using a rocket ship whose ...more
I picked up this audiobook when I was still on my Ray Bradbury kick. Having read most of Bradbury's more prominent pieces, I decided to delve into a more obscure work of his.

Somewhere a Band Is Playing
An eerie short that follows a writer's compulsive journey to the mysterious town of Summerton, Arizona, in which he unearths a secret that the residents have kept hidden for ages. This short story just screams Bradbury -- it has all the typical elements. Spooky setting, unusual characters, and a
Alex Telander
Nov 02, 2007 Alex Telander rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NOW AND FOREVER: SOMEWHERE A BAND IS PLAYING & LEVIATHAN ’99 BY RAY BRADBURY: Now and Forever, the latest book from one of the best writers of our time, Ray Bradbury brings together two novellas that have never been published in book form before. While the two have little in common, they show two sides to Bradbury’s incredible imagination, giving you a taste of his greatness as a writer and story teller.

The first novella, Somewhere a Band is Playing, opens with the main character, James Card
Mar 18, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love Ray Bradbury, but I felt he was a little misguided.
According to the intro to Somewhere a Band is Playing, Bradbury was inspired by Katherine Hepburn and her agelessness. thus the story was born and he wrote it for her. When I was halfway through the story, I remembered that it was written for her, which to me means that he saw Katherine Hepburn playing the role of Nef, but try as I may, I cannot see Katherine Hepburn in that role, but I guess that's just me. Besides the Hepburn
Jay Ant
Jan 18, 2016 Jay Ant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
"Moby Dick," in space, literally. Yes, really. How does the whale get into the cold, soundless vacuum of space? Read and find out. The first story is ok; the second one seems like a private indulgence printed posthumously.description
Feb 11, 2016 Oscar rated it really liked it
Somewhere a band is playing es una de las mejores de Bradbury que he leído hasta el momento, una hermosa historia, un poema, una invitación a viajar, a soltar y recordar. Leviathan 99 por otro lado siento no está a la altura de otros clásicos u obras maestras situadas en otros mundos a los que Bradbury nos ha transportado. Creo en parte es por la gran influencia de saber cómo funcionan los viajes espaciales hoy en día y como asumimos funcionarán en el pasado y por otro el sentir un poco forzados ...more
Mary Grace Nakao
Didnt enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Fahrenheit 457. Probably because it was too short so there was a little room for character development. All in all though, i still liked it. It was like reading something straight out from my dream XD
Feb 06, 2014 Danika rated it it was ok
There are two novellas contained in Ray Bradbury’s Now and Forever: “Somewhere a Band is Playing” and “Leviathan ’99.” The first is a compelling, disturbing tale of a reporter finding a long-lived (or immortal?) community of writers, who he warns to move their town away from a highway building project. The reporter is so affected byu his time in the town that he tries to rejoin the community after they have moved on. The second is an outer-space, futuristic Moby-Dick, with space an object of rel ...more
Ира Моисеенко
4 for "Somewhere a Band Is Playing"
2.5 for "Leviathan '99"(sadly, I just didn't understand it)
both were totally confusing
two stories in NOW AND FOREVER are not new. In fact, "Somewhere a
Band Is Playing" was begun over 40 years ago. "Leviathan '99" began
life as a radio play script that was never produced as television
started to grow. Aged though they may be, this is the first they
have seen the light of day, finally dusted off, polished and
presented to the reading world. As with most of what Ray Bradbury
delivers to us, they are gems --- beautiful gifts of wonder and
humanity that pull and lure until we, as mere re
Dec 07, 2014 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taking both stories and averaging out my opinion of each, I was all for giving this book three stars. The first novella is interesting enough but is a little lacking in substance; the same could be said of the second, but the concept of 'Moby Dick in Space' is pretty cool. There are some neat ideas in both of them really, but this doesn't feel like Bradbury when he's on top form.

The clincher though is his prose. It's...yes, poetic. Even when the plot progression is slacking off and taking a brea
"Somewhere A Band Is Playing" - I think it takes a special frame of mind to read Bradbury's prose and absorb his imagery. Every sentence resonates with new associations, and conjures up patterns of meaning that shift as you read. Unfortunately, the richness of this experience can overwhelm the actual plot. In the case of this story, the plot comes down to a simple thing, but for those of us who have previously read almost all of Bradbury's writings, the pleasure is in the journey. I liked this ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ultimately I was slightly disappointed with this book, I am a huge Ray Bradbury fan and have high expectations whenever I pick up one of his books however this one could have been better than it was. Perhaps my standards are too high...

The book comprises of two seperate novellas (each about 120 pages long)

In 'Somewhere a Band is Playing' the main character is a journalist who arrives in a mysteriously quiet town called 'Summerton' he discovers, through questioning the locals and doing some inve
Aug 25, 2014 Evija rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grāmata ļoti ilgi stāvēja grāmatplauktā, beidzot mana roka pastiepās pēc tās. Tā kā bieži nemaz nelasu to, kas rakstīts uz grāmatas muguriņas, biju iedomājusies, ka šis būs romāns, bet atverot grāmatu un apskatot saturu, sapratu, ka šeit man būs darīšana ar stāstu krājumu (ja vien no diviem stāstiem veidotu grāmatu var saukt par krājumu).
Pirmais stāsts "Kaut kur spēlē orķestris" iepazīstina ar kādu apburošu un noslēpumainu pilsētiņu, ar kuru saistīti daudzi noslēpumi. Kāds jaunais rakstnieks, k
Mónica -
Feb 18, 2015 Mónica - rated it really liked it
4.5, la primer novela es genial.
Now and Forever is a collection of two novellas, “Somewhere A Band Is Playing” and “Leviathan ’99.” Ray Bradbury is one of my all-time favorite authors, so one of my goals is to read everything he’s ever written. I’m bound to read some of his work that I’m not absolutely thrilled about and unfortunately, I finally came to one here. The presentation of the voice actor in this audiobook was really enjoyable though. I had never heard Bradbury’s prose read aloud before and it is that much more magic ...more
Mark Oppenlander
Here are two novellas from late in Bradbury's career, although both have roots in earlier ideas.

The first novella, "Somewhere a Band is Playing" tells the story of a reporter who feels compelled to get off a train in a small town in Arizona for reasons he cannot explain. But as he wanders around the town, he realizes that there is something very unusual about its inhabitants - not all is at it seems. And as he discovers things about the residents, he also discovers some things about himself. Cou
One 5 star novella, one 3, averages out to 4.

"Somewhere a Band is Playing" was lovely. Haunting, spare and crafty, it read in the same vein as Something Wicked This Way Comes . I would like to dwell longer in Summerton, but I appreciate the judiciousness of ending where it did.

"Leviathan '99" was designed as a radio play, and I think I would have appreciated it more in that format. Bradbury's linguistic mimicry of Melville is masterful, but I just don't think a comet works as the replacement for
I liked the first story better than the second story in this book. It's not really science fiction, more a weird fantasy.
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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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“Why then you're as mad as me. No, madder. For I distrust 'reality' and its moron mother, the universe, while you fasten your innocence to fallible devices which pretend at happy endings.” 10 likes
“And Quell asked, 'Ah, but what is nature?'

Socrates answered, sparks showering, 'God surprising himself with odd miracles of flesh.”
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