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293 pages, Mass Market Paperback
First published September 17, 1962
It was indeed a time between, one second their thoughts all brambled airedale, the next all silken slumbering cat. It was a time to go to bed, yet still they lingered reluctant as boys to give over and wander in wide circles to pillow and night thoughts. It was a time to say much but not all. It was a time after first discoveries but not last ones. It was wanting to know everything and wanting to know nothing. It was the new sweetness of men starting to talk as they must talk. It was the possible bitterness of revelation.And another example, this one during an action sequence:
Then the arrow, a long hour it seemed in flight, razored a small vent in the balloon. Rapidly the shaft sank as if cutting a vast green cheese. The surface slit itself further in a wide ripping smile across the entire surface of the gigantic pear, as the blind Witch gabbled, moaned, blistered her lips, shrieked in protest, and Will hung fast, hands gripped to wicker, kicking legs, as the balloon wailed whiffled, guzzled, mourned its own swift gaseous death, as dungeon air raved out, as dragon breath gushed forth and the bag, thus driven, retreated up.By the final third of the book, I was skimming entire paragraphs just to get through the book. Sadly, an interesting premise is lost somewhere in this mess. I am looking forward to reading the graphic novel adaptation, to see if a medium shift can cure the problem created by the bloated prose.
Deep forests, dark caves, dim churches, half-lit libraries were all the same, they tuned you down, they dampened your ardour, they brought you to murmurs and soft cries for fear of raising up phantom twins of your voice which might haunt corridors long after your passage.The imagery of the phantom twin as metaphor for an echo is pretty brilliant here, and Bradbury repeats this feat throughout the book. It probably also helped, with regard to timing, that I read this book in October, as the story takes place in the same month, for the descriptive voice seemed to lend an extra layer of reality to the story.