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From the Dust Returned

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  4,534 ratings  ·  449 reviews
Ray Bradbury, America's most beloved storyteller, has spent a lifetime carrying readers to exhilarating and dangerous places, from dark street comers in unfamiliar cities and towns to the edge of the universe. Now, in an extraordinary flight of the imagination a half-century in the making, he takes us to a most wondrous destination: into the heart of an Eternal Family.

Hardcover, 204 pages
Published October 2nd 2001 by William Morrow (first published 2001)
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Lora Some editions have a spider picture in them. Also, the spider literally lives in the boy's pocket and walks about on him, including his face.

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Bionic Jean
Have you ever watched the TV programme "The Addams Family"? A strange way to start a book review, perhaps, but bear with me and all will become clear.

Charles Addams was an American cartoonist and comic strip artist known for his black humour and macabre characters. His work regularly appeared in The New Yorker, where according to a biographer, he was "drawing with a happy vengeance". Ray Bradbury is a master story-teller, a science-fiction writer whose works are without fail extraordinary fligh
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the Dust Returned is a fix up novel by Ray Bradbury. He took several short stories such as “Uncle Einar”, “The Homecoming”, “The April Witch” and other of the October Country variety and bound them together into a new novel that would have made Charles Addams proud.

Like most of his works and like the best poetry, it should be read aloud and enjoyed for the rich, descriptive language Bradbury commands. If a reader enjoyed The October Country or just the short story “Homecoming” or if anyone
Aug 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Maybe you've had the experience of not liking something because it turned out not to be what the marketing said it was? Seems to happen with films a lot e.g. films that are a lot more cerebral than the dumb action movies they are made out to be - or the opposite. The trouble with this is it isn't the fault of the artists involved. Maybe if you'd come to it "blind" you'd have liked it. Or if given an honest impression of its nature, you said, I'll skip this one until I'm in the mood for it and di ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bradbury
How to make Tracey happy? Similes, metaphors, A house that's the epitome of gothic,ghosts,ghouls and strange beings, Egyptian mummies, creaking hinges, howling winds, and a certain Mr Bradbury telling the tale...:)
This book is more a collection of short stories all with a common denominator, They are family...
When nobody believes in the good or in the bad then how can they exist?...
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spectacular. This is, hands down, the BEST Halloween-ish ghost story I've EVER read. Neil Gaiman, take notes. 📝

This book is a part of the reading challenge I've signed up for. Gotta finish it in a week (not challenging at all, tbh)!
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a touch of Goth in them
This is the first Ray Bradbury book i've read. *cringes* But it was the most beautiful story i've heard in a long time. Mr. Bradbury knows how to paint the most vivid pictures in ones mind with his words. The dream-like atmosphere is enough to lull one into a mind-set where truly, a family such as this, can exist. It is a quick read, but so worth revisiting. Overflowing with imagery and poetry, this book is just amazing....

It's like Shakespeare meets Poe & are married by Tim Burton. i reread it
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bradburys style is unique in his powerful and vibrant expression of the ordinary and the bizarre!!
And he has done it again!!
His poetic and powerful prose coupled with the imagination and fantasy born in his spirit has defeated all my preconceived ideas and notions..

The way Bradbury uses to put into words and give life to colorful and exotic characters has totally won me over..

"From the dust returned" is a funny and ironic written tale pregnant with symbolism denouncing the flaws and prejudices i
"The rememberers of noons." I like that. It's Ray Bradbury and his wonderful phrases and words that keeps the reader interested in this book. This is pure October (albeit I chose summer to read it) with wraiths and ghosts and vampires and werewolves and mummies all combining into one big somewhat happy family.

What ambience is there? Are we kin to autumn rains?

As the cover of the book illustrates (by the great Charles Addams), the centre of this book is a house, a huge house, in midwest America.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read for me. Read from October to December 24th, 2014. (Started on one holiday, finished on another!)

Ray Bradbury's beautiful language makes this a delightful read. I love the sentences and the pictures they form in my mind.

". . .the weather came in through broken glass, from wandering clouds going nowhere, somewhere, anywhere, and make the attic talk to itself. . . ."

"Invisible as autumn winds, fresh as the breath of clover rising from twilight fields, she flew. She soared in doves
Nov 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is a Halloween classic. When I first read it, it seemed a little disjointed, but now after the fourth or fifth re-reading, I think it fits together nicely. I'm still not sure if I completely understand it, but I always enjoy Bradbury's beautiful writing style.
Lauren Hansen
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gorgeous
i love the spirit in the attack
her mind laid out far and wide
this book is pure poetry in its imaginings
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here as we near Halloween, I must recommend this wonderful masterpiece to everyone. I would read it to children and yet know adults would also be enamored.
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am just thinking what an odd, odd book. It is so plainly written on the surface, yet so difficult to see what Bradbury is trying to do under the surface. I have some guesses, but much of it's pure conjecture on my part. I could be looking at his project with a strong filter based upon my experiences and could be significantly off.

Bradbury's six page afterword is quite an unexpected gift. Without it I was going to be left with only partial guesses what he was trying to do. With it, I think I mo
Alex Telander
Nov 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FROM THE DUST RETURNED BY RAY BRADBURY: Ray Bradbury’s “other” Halloween book, From the Dust Returned, is over some fifty years in the making, beginning as a spark from a single story in his early twenties that he would continue to add on throughout his career. This spark of a first story, “Homecoming,” was originally published in Mademoiselle magazine and featured unique artwork (which is here reproduced on the cover of the book) by a then relatively unknown artist by the name of Charles Addams ...more
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
I read an interview with Ray Bradbury not so long ago, where he was talking about re-reading one of his own, older books (Dandelion Wine, I think), and he said he realized that he was never going to write anything that good again - he was amazed that he had written it. It was one of the saddest things from an author that I've heard... Unfortunately, reading this more recent book (2001), I see what he means. The book is not without its charms - but parts of it were initially written in the 1940's ...more
Joanne Moyer
Related short stories about the 'Eternal Family'. They have lived for centuries in a big old house in Illinois, coming and going at different times, where preparations are being made for a homecoming.
Wonderfully written as only Ray Bradbury can, these stories introduce us to the members of the family, shapeshifters, telepaths, somnambulists, vampires and A Thousand Times Great Grandmére, who has been around since ancient Egypt. Originally conceived as a joint venture between Bradbury and illust
Egypt Yates
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gorgeous. So very, very gorgeous.

I am going to need this in hardback.
Renee (The B-Roll)
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autumn, favorites
This book is like a collection of stories that are tied together very well.  I say this because it easily reads as one book but you could also read a chapter or two as a singular story.  This would be perfect to read during the spooky season and Halloween because it is dividable.  All the stories, and the book as a whole focus on one spooky and weird family, the Elliot family who live in Illinois.  Bradbury has a thing for setting his stories in the midwest and this book does not disappoint that ...more
Ed Erwin
Five short stories 'fixed-up' into a short novel. The stories are fine, but as a novel, there isn't enough there. Still, check out the stories sometime near Halowe'en if you'd like something with a slightly spooky but not actually scary Addams-Family feel.
This is one of my all time favorite Bradbury novels. When I was a kid imbibing on his short stories, the ones that stood out concerned this family and this house. I always wanted more of them. I wanted them all together. I wanted them in a format where no rockets intervened between stories. Then later, this book came out. My edition has a Charles Addams artwork on the cover which I find very fitting. I found the book delightful and nostalgic, well written, and the added parts made good transitio ...more
John Jr.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Granted sufficient time, I might do a study comparing this book, written late in Bradbury's career, to the late works of other artists. Without putting Bradbury in the ranks of, say, Shakespeare and Beethoven, it would still be possible to point out similarities and differences.

In From the Dust Returned, we have the recapitulation of earlier themes and the repetition of earlier materials, comparable, for instance, to Richard Strauss's reuse of his Death and Transfiguration theme (from early in h
Pulling a lifetime of short stories into one novel, From the Dust Returned is the story of one large, unusual, supernatural family which makes its home in a grand old house in the Midwest. The book begins with a promising combination of Halloween-esque figures and lush storytelling, but that's not enough to fill a book. The characters are intriguing, but they feel unrealistic; the lush language swiftly becomes repetitive; the plot eventually comes into itself but for the most part reflects too m ...more
Jenny T
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2012
"The House was a puzzle inside an enigma inside a mystery, for it encompassed silences, each one different, and beds, each a different size, some having lids."

This is the story of a House that has existed for centuries, slowly evolving, and the Family that has lived there for almost as long, as all its members arrive at Halloween from around the globe, under the earth, and over the winds for a grand Homecoming. Reminiscent of the Addams family, but with more poetry and mystery (as well as one ca
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, shorts
As usual with Bradbury, the language and images here are really lovely and evocative. The story, in this case, is somewhat uneven and I was disappointed by how little was made of the intriguing tidbits and references to mysterious characters and events. Part of the problem is that this is really a collection of tales, featuring the same characters but written over a period of years and published separately, and so there are inconsistencies, changes in tone, and hints of stories which might have ...more
Kristi Lamont
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ray Bradbury. The undead. The memories of the undead. A gray afternoon in late October. Should've been a perfect match for me, eh?

Sadly, not so much. I found this book very overwritten. I understand from reading about it that it is a pull-together and fleshing out of many short stories Bradbury wrote over the years. I guess the idea of gods/myths not having any power if one does not any longer believe in them is probably as old as time itself, but I kept thinking, "Neil Gaiman did this better in
Aaron Leyshon
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bradbury lends poetry to death and beauty to life. His words are a song to behold and his dust dances to its own motes.
Michael P.
This is such a strange book that it is tempting to explain why at length. I dislike the book so much that it would be a disservice to me if I did. Briefly: Bradbury seems confused about his characters. Early in his afterward, the best part of the book, he indicates that they MIGHT be vampires. Later he speaks of the stories as ghost stories: ghosts that sometimes live within the living and sometimes not. Because the author is not fixed on who these people are, neither am I, and this diminishes m ...more
Nov 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the short-story, "Homecoming," I was so happy to hear that Ray Bradbury had focused an entire novel on my favorite vampire-like family. Not vampire in the Twilight sense, but in the macrbre, rococo style as he puts it, where immortal destiny relies on a thin thread of human belief and fear. The problem is for everyone in the family, who lives at this house, who lives in the dark, the shadows, the wind, the un-dead, most mortal people believe in nothing. If everyone stop believing t ...more

I'm not generally a fan of fix-up novels nor am I a fan of Bradbury's long form fiction. So his fix-up novels feel like the worst of the worst - cobbled together stories that don't necessarily go together very well - with a drifting, non-existent plot and a ton of continuity issues. Since only about half of this book was previously published, I'd hoped the other half would have make it into more of a cohesive whole but that wasn't the case.

And maybe I'm in a bad mood or maybe it's the curren
Dennis Martin
I came upon this book at the library and the premise sounded right up my alley. I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman and this sounded just like one of his books. The only other Ray Bradbury book I had read up to now was Fahrenheit 451, which was completely incomparable in style to this book.
As I mentioned, the plot reminds me of a Gaiman book, specifically "The Graveyard Book", which was a fun read by the way. The similarities end with the the plot, however. Although the cover advertises this as a nove
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Ray Douglas Bradbury, 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 ...more

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