The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury
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The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  197 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Accomplished journalist Sam Weller met the Ray Bradbury while writing a cover story for the Chicago Tribune Magazine and spent hundreds of hours interviewing Bradbury, his editors, family members, and longtime friends. With unprecedented access to private archives, he uncovered never–before–published letters, documents, and photographs that help tell the story of this lite...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 21st 2006 by Harper Perennial (first published April 1st 2005)
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From his childhood in Waukegan, IL to his teen years in Hollywood, CA and beyond,the life of this extraordinary writer is wonderfully conveyed by Sam Weller.
Some interesting facts about the man who often put us aboard rocketships and envisioned the future: He never learned to drive and was afraid to fly (he did eventually get on a plane when he was in his sixties, but never drove a car!). He wrote the screenplay to John Huston's film of "Moby Dick" (something I never knew).
I read many Bradbury...more
David Allen
Not one to beat around the bush, Weller begins gushing in his first sentence: "Like many in my generation, I am a lifelong, card-carrying member of the Intergalactic, Time-traveling, Paleontology, Mummies, Martians, Jack-o'-Lanterns, Carnivals, and Foghorn-coveting Ray Bradbury fan club." Thankfully, matters improve from there. RB's early days as a poor, struggling writer are fascinating. With no money for a telephone, he gave out the number of the gas station pay phone across the street, preten...more
Jan 20, 2012 Spotsalots added it
Shelves: biography
This was interesting. I haven't read much Bradbury, but I've liked what I read, and I was curious to know more about the man behind the books. This biography having been the result of many interviews with Bradbury, it has the positives and negatives of any biography that has its subject's direct input. Future biographers, free to be more analytical and critical, will benefit from the wealth of information here. I did feel, however, that the quality of the writing here was often pedestrian, and t...more
I really enjoyed this book. It is an authorized biography of Ray Bradbury, one of the most prolific writers of our time. It tells of his early life, his struggles as a young writer, and of his eventual success, popularity and huge impact on other writers, and in other mediums. Full of the names we are familiar with, it does not seem to be gratuitous name-dropping, but illustrative of the circles that Ray populated; magazines, TV, theater and movies. Each chapter has a foreword, and one from a we...more
I read The Martian Chronicles over a few days in a pivotal time in my life (immigrating to Canada it was exactly what I needed to totally escape the major challenges I was facing), and 40 years later I still consider it one of the most enjoyable in my memory. I know sometime in re-reading a book or watching a movie many years after the initial encounter can be disappointing; however I just re-read it concurrently with Ray’s biography and it still stands up as a great piece of work. I am not a Sc...more
Lostaccount Darkpool
I was surprised Ray Bradbury approved this biography, since it is at times in danger of being iconoclastic, and doesn't make him look that good. The book wasn't very well written either, and contained too much that made me doubt the facts. Bradbury either lived a charmed life or a lot of the facts were skewered. I mean, Bradbury walks into a store and bumps into Walt Disney (they later work together). Bradbury walks into a hotel and almost trips over Steinbeck. Bradbury watches a TV show and the...more
A very good bio of Bradbury. I contributed a small bit to Sam Weller's research. I sent him a copy of a letter that our college received from Bradbury in the later 1960's. When asked to offer suggestions and personal experiences to beginning writers, Bradbury sent us a three-page, hand edited letter! Weller's bio has complete access and approval from Bradbury. This, of course, makes the book an advocate and worshiper of its subject; there's not much that's negative or critical of Bradbury here....more
If you're looking for a book with lists and facts of publication dates and prints, then this is the book. If you;re looking for a book with anecdotes and tales about the man himself, so else where. All the premise but in the end, fairly dull.
Sabrina Ali
One of the most compelling biographies I have read.
Ray Bradbury is one of my very favorite authors. Dandelion Wine is one of my top three favorite novels of all time (and From the Dust Returned is right up there at the top as well). I loved this look into his journey from little mama's-boy to science fiction icon. Weller did a great job -- his writing was enjoyable (sometimes a tiny bit repetitive), but full of life and fun to read. A lot like Bradbury himself...
Ray Bradbury lived such an interesting life and wrote so many great things. I found this biography on one of my favorite authors both accurate in contrast to other things that I've read and watched on Bradbury's life, and incredibly interesting and captivating. He lived such a full life. I'm sad that he's gone, but I'm glad that he experienced all these great things and really lived.
This is a very revealing portrait of Ray Bradbury as well as being an intimate look at his writing discipline that made him such a prolific author. I was particularly intrigued by glimpses into his personal life and his determination to become known as a writer of poetic literature instead of solely science fiction and fantasy.
Brandon Will
The thing that's so neat about this book is how it shows that Ray Bradbury is, before anything else, just a guy. Weller charters his journey from being just another oddball, unathletic, finicky eater who wrote every day (what he now calls crappy stories) to becoming the prolific, celebrated author we have all read.
Bradbury was a fascinating man whose stories spoke to the heart of humanity. This is a good bio, although the author can be somewhat fawning at times. He also breezes past everything after about 1965. I find it hard to believe that RAY BRADBURY was up to so little over four decades.
Weller marks the childhood fantasies and nostalgia of Bradbury's stories in a style that reflects the writer's effusive personality. He shows a fan's enthusiasm for reclaiming Bradbury's waning literary prestige and rekindling interest in works like "Dandelion Wine."
Oct 10, 2007 J.P. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Bradbury fans
The definitive biography of one of the giants of American 20th Century speculative fiction. Weller had Bradbury's complete cooperation on this, but it's not a hagiography. This is an even-handed portrait of a truly original writer. Highly recommended.
A very readable biography of Ray Bradbury. Weller may have a bit of hero worship when it comes to Bradbury so maybe he didn't try as hard as he could to dig up dirt and embellish his faults but he did portray him as human flaws and all.
Giles Diggle
A must for anyone who thinks they have it in them to write. If you have ever loved a short story by Ray Bradbury, then Sam Weller with support from Ray Bradbury gives us an insight into the man and his creative processes.
Thomas Tsuneta
Excellent biography of one of America's greatest writers! Ray Bradbury has had a profound influence on American culture through his books,films,radio shows and poetry. You could say he helped inspire the Space Age in America.
A superbly written biography by local author and neighbor, Sam Weller. Sam weaves such a fascinating tale of popular culture with the history and life work of an incredible American icon.
A GREAT bio of Ray Bradbury. I met both the subject (Mr. Bradbury) and the author (Mr. Weller) and to hear even more details of this writers fantastic life was amazing.
Todd Klick
If you ever enjoyed a Ray Bradbury book or short story growing up, and you want to know more about his writing and personal life, this book is a page turner.
Full of amazing tidbits of information from a truly Golden era of radio, TV, movies, comics, theater, science, art and literature amongst others!
Brandi Larsen
Disclosure: The author was one of my favorite teachers. That said, this book gives incredible insight into the life of one America's great writers.
Pretty informative although a lot of the info I already knew. It was a fast read and hard to put down for some reason!
Kevin Lucia
Fabulous, as magical as his fiction. And how awesome to finish on today, of all days....
Michelle McMorrow
Well-written biography that reads like a story and honors an amazing literary icon.
David Kubicek
The ultimate Ray Bradbury biography. Every Bradbury fan should have a copy.
Sam Torode
I read this last summer after Ray Bradbury died. What an inspiring life!
Really good biography about a brilliant mind. I couldn't put it down.
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Sam Weller is the author of The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury (William Morrow, 2005) winner of the Society of Midland Author's Award for Best Biography of 2005. The book was also a finalist for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award. Sam is the former Midwest Correspondent for Publishers Weekly. He is a contributing writer for the Chicago Public Radio program, 848 and his work has appea...more
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