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Now and Forever

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  2,204 ratings  ·  286 reviews
Two never-before-published novellas by one of America's finest living writers, Ray Bradbury.

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 follow their blind, mad captain on a quest into deepest space to joust with destiny, eternity, and God Himself . . .

Now and Foreve
Hardcover, 209 pages
Published 2007 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,204 ratings  ·  286 reviews

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Amanda Bannister
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5🌟 overall.
Somewhere a Band is Playing 5/5 🌟
Leviathan 99 4/5 🌟
Jun 14, 2009 rated it liked it
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
May 02, 2009 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
Jul 01, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Linda Robinson
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This book contains two novellas. Somewhere a Band Is Playing, and Leviathan '99. For those who may not know, Bradbury did a stint writing screenplays in the soul-sapping realm of Hollywood; even though the Moby Dick screenplay for/and with John Huston was actually written in London. You can read a little of how awful that experience was for Bradbury here. You can read more of the angst and ick of Bradbury's experience with the Hollywood ghouls in his book ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Somewhere a Band is Playing, the first story, was wonderful and rates five stars. The second story was enjoyable and rates three stars.
May 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Two novellas, published late in Bradbury's life, having gestated over decades.

Somewhere a Band is Playing

A journalist sniffs a story and jumps off a train into a small town in Arizona, forgotten by the world. A story only Bradbury could make work ensues.

As an aside, in the Introduction, we learn that the inspiritaion for Nef in this story (and obviously for the movie star in Death is a Lonely Business) was none other than Katherine Hepburn. Well, it was obvious that there was a real wo
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere A Band Is Playing: My first thoughts are that in content and atmosphere it's somewhere between Something Wicked This Way Comes and Dandelion Wine. It is far more than that however.

Leviathan '99: Ray Bradbury admired Herman Melville and loved Moby Dick and this is his own take on the ideas Melville created. Obsession and what it can lead to with a unusual psychological angle.
Jason Pettus
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

I've mentioned here several times now, how it is that the literature I in particular grew up on was heavily dominated by so-called "Golden Age" science-fiction (or SF) -- authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, and lots of others who first came into their own in the
Deborah Sheldon
To be honest, I was hoping to love this as much as "Something Wicked This Way Comes" or "The October Country". Oh well. However, I still enjoyed these two (vastly different) novelettes. Bradbury is such a master of whimsical nostalgia that he often has me yearning for a past I never even had.
Alex Telander
Nov 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 Cardiff,
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Linda Ansone
May 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
When I was young, I read Bradbury's short stories and fell in love. I guess, the problem is - I'm not that young anymore. I'm spoiled and educated by better works. Now in comparison both novellas seem rather... senseless.
"Somewhere a Band Is Playing", although pretty, eventually makes no sense and leads us nowhere. "Leviathan '99" is no better - it starts off promising, but ends up in the big nowhere as well, quite literally. My biggest gripe with it is the Shakespearean language. If one charact
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This, i think, as a big fan of his works, is the best Bradbury stories
Apr 23, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
A book of two halves. Novella one - 'Somewhere a band is playing' is a decent spin on the strange town mystery, where a poet is drawn to Summerton by literature and an enticing woman, and finds a perfect town, albeit childless and emotionless, and he stays to uncover the mystery, whilst knowing he himself is a harbinger of bed news. Novella two 'Leviathan '99' is a science fiction re-imagining of ' Moby Dick', which falls very flat in my opinion. 3 out of 12
Stacey Miner
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Somewhere a Band Is Playing. That first story was great. I really liked it. But the second one... Leviathan '99. Ugh. Way too much "God" in that one for more liking. I have no idea what was going on in that story.
Carl-johan Sveningsson
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-own
What a master of mood, of not material. Very pleasant reading
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 town ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Love of Hopeless Causes
Jan 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
"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 ...more
Stephanie Griffin
Jun 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love Ray Bradbury's descriptive writing! These are two very different stories in one volume. SOMEWHERE A BAND IS PLAYING is a more ethereal story, set on Earth, while LEVIATHAN '99 is an updated version of a space story he wrote long ago.
Mary Grace Nakao
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
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
I liked the first story better than the second story in this book. It's not really science fiction, more a weird fantasy.
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
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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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