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The October Country

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  6,919 ratings  ·  376 reviews
The October Country has 20 macabre Bradbury stories, reprinting 15 of the 27 stories of his '47 Dark Carnival & adds 4 more published elsewhere. It was published in numerous Ballantine editons, in the UK by Rupert Hart-Davis in '56, & reissued in '76 by Grafton, HarperCollins' imprint. The '76 UK paper edition includes The Traveler, originally from Dark Carnival, & ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 173 pages
Published 1976 by Panther (first published 1955)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shawn
One of the first books I ever read, and one of the reasons I still read. I found some of the other reviews dismaying (poor dialogue?, silly concepts?, antique writing style? - has the world and the people in it really changed that much? Have people lost their hearts? Perhaps, they've just never read "The Smile" by Bradbury, not included in this collection).

Granted, Bradbury's style does take some getting used to - the man is emotionally honest and as people everywhere become more emotionally gua
...more
Maciek
October Country...that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain...

Fall is probably my f
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Algernon

... that country were it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilight linger, and midnights stay. The country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain ...

The introduction suggests this one's
...more
Apatt
I am quite useless at reviewing an anthologies so please bear with me. How do you go about reviewing these things any way? Story by story? Sounds like a chore. I'll just muddle through as usual then!

The October Country is a collection of Ray Bradbury's macabre stories, I hesitate to label them as "horror stories" because they are not particularly horrifying, but they are mostly odd and unsettling, almost "new weird" but disqualified on the "new" part! I will just run through them quickly:

"Dwarf"
...more
Paul
Anyone reading my review of Something Wicked this way Comes might possibly get the idea that I don't think Ray Bradbury is the godlike genius I used to think he was. Well, I don't. But I was like this stupid kid, I hadn't read anything, and stumbling into RB's world was my 13 year old version of Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Suddenly - Light! Colour! Weirdness! Mars!
He did sentimentality - everyone knows that, buckets of the stuff - but he also did gruesome and freaky. The October Countr
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Peggy
Bradbury gets to me like no other author. I honestly couldn't tell you if it was the stories themselves or my frame of mind when I first read them, but somehow Bradbury is able to slip right through most of my critical faculties and hit me right in the heart.

This first collection is fabulous, showcasing Bradbury's sentimental side as well as facility with darker emotions, especially loneliness. It doesn't seem to matter how many times I read about that sea monster calling back to the foghorn or
...more
Lyn
The October Country is a collection of short stories by the Grandmaster writer Ray Bradbury.

Eschewing any connection to science fiction, this group of purely fantasy tales resounds with Bradbury’s fascination with and brilliant creativity in the realms of the occult, macabre and the dark. Bradbury begins the book with this explanation: “The October Country … that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where nooons go qu
...more
Chloe
It is no secret that science fiction tickles my fancy like nothing else. I've penned dozens of reviews by now declaiming the same thing. Yet for all of my heartfelt ardor for the genre as a whole, I have never been a big fan of Golden Age science fiction. By Golden Age I mean those authors writing either before or during the initial space race, authors whose imaginations were set racing by the vision of Sputnik orbiting overhead and whose Eisenhower minds drew long gleaming phallus-looking rocke ...more
Sesana
I may or may not have read this once before. Some of the stories were familiar. The first story, The Dwarf, was so intensely familiar I almost felt I could recite parts of it from memory. But others felt new to me. Probably I've just encountered many of these stories in other collections. And why not? They're each of them quite good, at least.

While all of the stories are at least good, and a few are great, this still isn't my favorite selection of Bradbury stories. But you won't do wrong here, b
...more
Cheryl
A neat collection of short fantasy (a bit like Twilight Zone if you aren't familiar w/ Bradbury). Mostly macabre or at least poignant, but one story was sweet (Uncle Einar) and the last (The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone) has a brilliant concept. And of course it's Bradbury's poetic prose that makes even the mediocre stories sing & haunt.

There is one illustration each for most of the stories. They're amazing. I would have loved more. I'm going to see if I can find more examples of Mugnaini
...more
Lee Foust
The October Country is, I believe, the earliest Bradbury story collection. Well, it's a bit long for what it is, and not all of the tales are terrific, but it has led me enjoyably down the shadowy path, once again, of Ray Bradbury's precious imagination, which is, for me, the best aspect of picking up one of his books. It's not the ideas but the moods that get me, not the plots of the stories, but rather the details, the similes, certain familiar social situations suddenly set in eldritch precin ...more
Beth Sniffs Books
[This is a 3.5 rating]As with any collection of short stories, everyone is going to have his or her own favorites, along with some that just didn't strike his or her fancy. My most favorite story in the collection was Skeleton -- it was spectacular, quite possibly perfect. I also very much enjoyed The Crowd, The Cistern, and Homecoming -- all fantastic. And let's not forget The Dwarf, Next in Line, and The Emissary.

But there were a handful of stories I just wasn't crazy about: The Jar, Touched w
...more
Melanti
This is a collection of many of Bradbury's horror/Halloween themed short stories. They're a bit more gruesome that his usual fare, but given the theme, that's understandable.

I'm a big Bradbury fan and am slowly working my way through a big stockpile I purchased last summer. And despite reading a lot of his work, all but one of these were totally new to me - which is sort of unusual since he did reprint upon reprint upon reprint. And they'll probably be new to most people unless they've read Dar
...more
Werner
May 27, 2008 Werner rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of macabre, scary, or just plain unusual stories
I'd started reading this book several years ago, in the library at another college, while I was attending a library convention, and I've just now gotten around to finishing it. At his best, Bradbury is a master of short fiction; his output in that form ranges across the genres, from the speculative realms of science and supernatural fiction to the everyday world of descriptive fiction. But the unifying thread in all of it is a flamboyant imagination, by turns whimsical or chilling, that can tran ...more
Charles
The best single piece of writing Bradbury every did is the opening paragraph for this collection. I read it over and over. The next best thing is the story "Uncle Einar."
Fox
The October Country showcases a side of Bradbury that is rarely seen. Well known for his science fiction writing, it's long been forgotten that Bradbury largely got his start as a horror writer. The October Country is the only collection of his that showcases this early work, and this rather poignant side of his psyche.

The Family stories are here, both "Uncle Einar" and "Homecoming," which can now be recognized as chapters in From the Dust Returned. "The Dwarf" is another story of his that I bel
...more
Michael
This collection of early short stories is startlingly different from anything else I've read by Bradbury, though some of the stories share a bit of the small town sentimentality of Dandelion Wine. None of these tales are truly classics, but the sensibility and the subtle horror that Bradbury brings to each of the many stories here, shows that even from a young age (for a writer) Bradbury's imagination was quite fertile and capable of quite elegant leaps. Many of the conceits in these horror tale ...more
John
A brilliant collection of stories centered around what Bradbury called his "autumn people." Of course, anything by Ray Bradbury is going to be high caliber, but these stories speak to me at the heart. Much like "Something Wicked" the stories focus on worlds very similar to ours, but always a little off.

Bradbury is at his best in short stories and every one in this collection doesn't disappoint. If you like the man at his most eerie, weird, disaffected and dark, this is essential reading.

Worlds
...more
Ismael Galvan
I'm a big Bradbury fan but this collection was a bit of a let down. I even went into this book with high expectations for stories on par with The Illustrated Man. It's not that the stories were bad; the majority of stories were average. They lacked the philosophical impact that Bradbury masters in his later years, and so they built up like a potentially funny joke deflated by a weak punchline.

What saved this book for me were a couple of stand out stories that put literary-static electricity on t
...more
Mohammed
The October County is my first book/collection of Bradbury. The stories in the collection are haunting,disturbing,emotionally strong.
There was a magical,ageless quality to Bradbury's writing and most of the stories are of high quality.

The best stories,the ones that stood out most are "The Scythe", "Uncle Einar", "The Skeleton", The Emissary, "The Jar".

Easily one of the best collections of stories I have read in this kind of fiction.

Emily
The darkly fascinating tales in this collection both entrance and repugn. They will keep you awake for hours, deliberating on what they reveal of the nature of our world. They will give you nightmares. They will give you hope. They will make you consider how you live your life. Ray Bradbury is one of the best science fiction authors I have read. And, though these are not science fiction, they are among the best short stories of any kind that I have read.
Rob Charpentier
Although I consider myself to be something of a huge sci-fi fan, I must confess that I’m sadly just not that big of a reader of the genre. Movies and television shows tend to be what I’m drawn to in this particular field. So, maybe, I’m just lazy when it comes to this stuff. Whenever I do try to read something in this field, even those listed as absolute classics, I find myself at some point losing patience either with the main premise or with the writing itself. So, when I do find something I l ...more
Danny Teich
"The October Country" is a collection of 16 horror short stories by Ray Bradbury. Bradbury, who is well-known for his dystopian, horror, and science fiction works, works around a common theme of psychological horror in "The October Country." Each story brings the reader into the mind of the protagonist for an up-close experience with all the agony, fear, and paranoia that goes through the character's mind. We follow the main character as he observes a realistic situation, but distorts his surrou ...more
Chy
Right, so, Bradbury's the man, man. It doesn't matter when you know just how a story is going to end; he wants you to know so you can stop worrying about it and feel the journey in all the senses.

There are two "Family" stories in here and I must go find more. At some point.

And just...not a bad story in here, or even a mediocre one. Because they're all Bradbury. And the details are just...mmm. So good I have to let the taste linger and come back for the next taste. (That is to say, it took me a w
...more
Traci
May I Die Before My Voices: Not a story within this collection actually. It's the introduction by the author, and quite simply one of the best I've read. The title refers to those voices an author, and a reader too I believe, hear when the characters have taken on a life of their own. 5/5.

The Dwarf: A good start. Reminded me of Something Wicked This Way Comes, which I read earlier this month. Questions the power of illusion, and how it affects how we can see ourselves. Okay, but there are better
...more
Scott
"October Country... that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay". Ray Bradbury is legendary. And this collection of his early dark tales proves why. Ranging from quirky introspection to full out existential rumination, the power of his writing represented here is immediately felt through the seamless merger of his brilliant poetic language into very r ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I read most of these stories years ago. There was a choice to be made here as to the number of stars but I decided that there were more 4 star stories than there were 3 star. Over all I like these.

I could go over each of them or some of them, but I won't. I think the story i remembered most and that stood out most for me was The Small Assassin. One of the more thought provoking (for me) was The Crowd. There were some that mostly left me cold, but only a few. The stories in this book run the gamu
...more
Steph
A note on my rating of each story:

- The Dwarf - *****
- The Next in Line - ***
- The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse - ****
- Skeleton - *****
- The Jar - ****
- The Lake - *****
- Emissary - *****
- Touched With Fire - ***
- The Small Assassin - *****
- The Crowd - *****
- Jack-In-The-Box - *****
- The Scythe - *****
- Uncle Einar - *****
- The Wind - ****
- The Man Upstairs - *****
- There Was an Old Woman - ****
- The Cistern - ****
- Homecoming - ****
- The Wonderul Death of Dudley Stone - *****

Yes, this do
...more
Steven
The first Bradbury I read was Fahrenheit 451, but this collection was the second -- and the first time Bradbury knocked me out. Most of the stories are from his long out-of-print debut, Dark Carnival, and showcase a storytelling mode he abandoned in later years. "The Small Assassin," "The Man Upstairs," "Skeleton," "The Scythe" . . . some of Bradbury's most effectively creepy tales are here, leavened with lighter fare such as the Hemingway-inspired "The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone" and "The ...more
Greg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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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Fahrenheit 451 The Martian Chronicles Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2) The Illustrated Man Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1)

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