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A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities

(Crumley Mysteries #2)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  2,031 ratings  ·  160 reviews
Halloween Night, 1954. A young, film-obsessed scriptwriter has just been hired at one of the great studios. An anonymous investigation leads from the giant Maximus Films backlot to an eerie graveyard separated from the studio by a single wall. There he makes a terrifying discovery that thrusts him into a maelstrom of intrigue and mystery—and into the dizzy exhilaration of ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 26th 2001 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published 1990)
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Cynnamon
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A book like a feverdream....
Unfortunately not my cup of tea.

The story is set up in a Hollywood movie studio of the 1950s and the adjacent cemetery.
The narrator, a nameless screenwriter, gets involved in a high-speed sequence of mysterious, weird and scary events, while the reader never can be quite sure if the events are real or just hallucinations.
The story is spiked with an abundance of references to people, movies, literature and events of the Hollywood of 1950 and earlier (most of which I pr
...more
Linda Robinson
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will make a new tradition to read a Bradbury book on his birthday, which at my age means I'll reread books I've already read, but that's a good tradition for a content old age. Watched a video of Bradbury talking about writing. It was perfectly timed to bump into it on his birthday and, a break from Annie Dillard's Writing Life. Dillard is brilliant, but damn! she goes on and on about how arduous writing is. Molding, crafting, snipping, killing your darlings, insisting the writer have no distr ...more
Audrey
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is one of the weirdest books I’ve ever read. It made NO SENSE.



The plot takes a while to unearth, but there is one to be found if you look hard enough. Characters pop up out of nowhere, shout a bunch of random words that are technically English, and then disappear again.

There is a fictional movie studio next to a graveyard. Our narrator finds a body perched on top of a ladder in the graveyard one Halloween night and freaks out. But was it a real body? Then other people start disappearing and
...more
Amanda
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I gave this book three stars because, while I did not like the story so much, Ray Bradbury is such a genius that I can dislike a story he created and still see the wit and genius in it.
Oh, Ray Bradbury, how I love you! I will not speak of Brandbury in the past tense-his genius lives on.
As I sai, I really did not like the story so much. I figured out the identity of the Beast quite early in the story, although I did not figure out any of the rest of the pieces to complete the puzzle.
My favorite
...more
Halley Sutton
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
RB is my love, but really this one was only okay. I read a review once of Bradbury's body of work that said that eventually, you feel like you know all his tricks. (To be fair, the man published over 600 short stories plus an obscene amount of novels, so, yeah, after a while, you get the gist.) I hope that isn't happening to me.
Too many exclamation marks. Too slow until the very end. Could never quite get immersed in it. But he writes with more love and enthusiasm than almost any other writer I
...more
Anthony
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anthony by: Eric Vaughan
Shelves: the-darker-side
I lived in Venice Beach California at the time I read this book, and the coolest thing about it, was some of the book took place not far from where I lived. I was working on writing my first screenplay when my roommate walked into my office and put that book on the bookshelf. He said a friend gave it to him. I wasn't a really big reader back then, but we didn't have cable or satellite in our apartment. So after a few hours of boredom I picked it up. I mean, how bad could it be, it's freakin' Ray ...more
C.O. Bonham
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great novel that really captures the spirit of old Hollywood. I loved the studio drama and the writing was classic Bradbury. I thought that it failed a little as a Mystery story because I was way ahead of the protagonist.

Read Death is a Lonely Business before you start this novel though, you will be thankful for the Character development that he builds on from the previous book.
Matthew
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hm. Well this is weird because Bradbury is a genius and I loved all of the books and short stories by him I've read to date, so it feels weird to say this, but... the book just wasn't very good. Ray Bradbury wrote a book that was not very good. Weird.

The positive things I can say about it are that, as always, Ray Bradbury is great with creating memorable characters, and he's very very good with dialogue. This book is no exception. I was especially a huge fan of J.C. (an eccentric Jesus look-alik
...more
Mark Oppenlander
If I could give this book 2.5 stars, I probably would. It is one of the more disappointing books I have read during the Bradbury project. As it stands, I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt; perhaps I just read this on an off day.

This is the sequel to "Death is a Lonely Business," picking up a few years later with the main character now working for a movie studio. Many of the characters from the previous book show up as well, including Constance Rattigan, Inspector Crumley and old, blin
...more
Jeanette
Aug 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glorious-fiction
it's a follow up (sort of) to Bradbury's Death is a Lonely Business which i hadn't realized when i bought it. the copy i got online has one of the greatest inscriptions i've ever found and i can't believe anyone ever let it go, honestly:

"Christmas 1993

Just in case you haven't read this one -- or read it long enough ago so it's worth re-reading -- here's a lively graveyard to go digging around in. (You might even share it with your ghoul friend.)

Dad & Julie"

---------------

"For while the people ha
...more
Jay Phillippi
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bradbury offers us his usual tight storytelling and a deep sense of time and place. While many people may remember "Fahrenheit 451" from their high school or college reading list, I'm not sure the general reading public recognizes his place among American writers. His work is acclaimed and with good reason. Bradbury wrote science fiction, horror, mystery, and fantasy. His 1957 novel "Dandelion Wine" is as fine an evocation of small town life at the beginning of the 20th Century as anything I've ...more
Nik Morton
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
It’s 1954 and the young narrator is a scriptwriter for Maximus Films, a character that echoes Bradbury’s own worship of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Adjacent to the vast film studio complex is Green Glades Cemetery. Here, one rain-sodden night he witnesses a revelation.

‘I heard a ghost sigh somewhere, but it was only my own lungs pumping like a bellows, trying to light some sort of fire in my chest.’ (p9)

The revelation was a lifelike dummy of the dead studio head J.C. Arbuthnot, who died twenty
...more
Tristan Black Wolf
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I must be brief, yet I wish to wax eloquent for pages upon pages of this gem of the fantastic, this flickering brilliance of a film studio's terrifying underbelly. Where else can you find a Beast, Jesus
Christ himself, the man who kept Lenin beautiful long after his death, a graveyard whose secrets are far from buried, and a writer capable of making images on the page flicker and tickle like those ancient 35mm film reels that contained something more than life and more than death with every tick
...more
Jeff
Oct 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another re-read for me. A Novel by Ray Bradbury, no, an actual novel. Cover to cover beautiful prose and phrases. Gems like, “Am I nuts?” “No, but you are in the bowl with the almonds and cashews.”

This isn’t science fiction, this is a mystery. A what the hell’s going on! kind of mystery. Just who is the bad guy? Set in the Maximus Pictures film studios, over the wall from the Green Glades cemetery, the silent yin to the studio’s dazzling yang.

Our protagonist ‘the crazy,’ is employed as a scriptw
...more
Marcie
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to be completely honest with you. For most of this book, I had no idea what was going on. Previously I had only read one book by Ray Bradbury, and you can probably guess which book that is. I have a desire to read more by this author, and when the opportunity to read A Graveyard for Lunatics came about, I grabbed it. This is the second book in the Crumley Mystery series and even though I hadn't read the first book, I decided to jump in and hopefully land on my feet. I didn't. I landed ...more
TE
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I've recently (re)discovered Ray Bradbury novels, having read them in high school and during my undergrad program, but I find that they are far more rich and meaningful, now that I have some additional life experience. I find that I can just relate to the material in a more profound way. Bradbury is a true wordsmith, not in the pejorative sense: he always weaves such a rich tapestry of prose that readers can easily project themselves into the scenes. The characters are well-developed, not so muc ...more
Sandy


I loved this book; beautiful, dramatic with a touch of tingling old fashioned horror, even some laugh-out-loud moments - perfect Bradbury.
I love his writing; the description of the studio sets, miniature landscapes, dinosaurs and monsters birthed from clay was fascinating while his references to old movies sent me hurtling on a roll-a-coaster of joyful memories. In fact, this is now one of my favourite Bradbury books along with 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' and 'Dandelion Wine'.

Listening t
...more
Kate
May 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Chosen at random after hearing about his death. It took a while - almost 1/3 of the book - for me to care about the characters or what was happening. Set in Hollywood in the 50s. Stage lot next to a cemetery. "Once upon a time there were two cities within a city. One was light and one was dark. One moved restlessly all day while the other never stirred. One was warm and filled with ever-changing lights. And when the sun went down each afternoon on Maximus Films, the city of the living, it began ...more
Andrew Ferenbach
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an initially strange book but once it found its groove then it is very good.

Just like the previous Crumley Mystery I initially was doubting the sanity of the main protagonist, the writer and even my own sanity.

After a slightly confusing start (which makes sense later) then I found myself drawn in and I was seeing if I could solve the mystery before the unnamed protagonist (who is clearly a fantasy version of Ray Bradbury himself). I worked out half of the puzzle ahead of the game.

It was
...more
Sarah H
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A weird and thoroughly enjoyable book. My best description: Dandelion Wine meets Philip Marlowe meets Sunset Boulevard. Bradbury's deadpan, wide-eyed-but-weary hero is a screenwriter in 1950s Hollywood, trying to untangle a Halloween-night mystery that starts in a cemetery next to his studio. This would make a great movie—lots of very visual (and bizarre/creepy) scenes.

One other note: The edition I read (and the one featured here on Goodreads) sports a cover that has absolutely nothing to do wi
...more
jo henning
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5
Definitely not my favorite Bradbury, but I still have so much respect for the genius of the man. It got a little slow for me, but even then, his wit is present throughout, keeping me going. And the last part of the book brought me right back in. I loved seeing everything come together. Still worth a read.
Margaret
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found this book entertaining, but mostly as a tribute of sorts to Hollywood at that time, not so much as a mystery. Some of the dialog, especially Fritz's touch for invective, was very fun. I never really felt like I connected with the main character, but I still enjoyed the book enough to finish it.
William Stafford
A cemetery next to a film studio is this setting for this mystery novel by the great Ray Bradbury. A crime from the past is unearthed and the lines between the made-up and the actual are blurred as our hero tries to get the bottom of things. Although I found the writing as evocative and beautiful as ever, I found the plot a little muddied and the pacing uneven.
Jamie Zaccaria
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
The story was fun and the plot well laid out while I loved the Old Hollywood setting. Bradbury's writing style could be a bit excessive, especially when used as dialogue though. The pacing at the end was a bit rushed too, with some explanation needed IMO.

Overall, a fun read and I would definitely read the others in the series: 3.5 Stars

Terence
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this novel, genius a beautifully written stained glass window of words.
Story set in 1950's Hollywood, the graveyard lives next to the movie studio lot. Two guys try to figure out the mystery that drops on them one Halloween. A scriptwriter and his model making friend, search for answers in a strange Hollywood world.
Frances Sawaya
Oct 04, 2018 rated it liked it
What did I think of this book? Lots of energy and fabulous words strung together beautifully but none of that went very far as a plot. I simply could not stay with the flow and kept wanting to finally get to some action. Alas!
Shaun
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
A bit too inside baseball of 1930s cinema at times. Bradbury's prose is breathless and Gonzo, but this book never really comes together, and I struggled to get through it. The second book in a series, perhaps I would have appreciated it more if I'd read the first.
Wyetha
Just Ok...

I love Ray Bradbury but this story dragged on for me and there were parts where I did t quite understand the intentions. However if your a diehard fan you’ll enjoy this mystery.
Raluca
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
A horror wrapped in a thriller wrapped in a fever dream wrapped in an ode-to-slash-critique-of old Hollywood, this book was squarely too much for me - not only because I saw Bradbury's name on the cover and thought I knew what I was in for. Sorry, Graveyard, it's probably not you, it's me.
Wayne's
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not that wonderful really, a little slow and clumsy. Not one of his best.
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Play Book Tag: A Graveyard for Lunatics/Rad Bradbury/3.5 Stars 3 10 Mar 05, 2019 08:02AM  
Goodreads Librari...: improved cover image 2 15 Dec 06, 2013 03:13PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Crumley Mysteries (3 books)
  • Death Is a Lonely Business (Crumley Mysteries, #1)
  • Let's All Kill Constance

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186 likes · 49 comments
“Maggie Botwin.

Prim, quiet lady, like an upright piano, seeming taller than she was because of the way she sat, rose and walked, and the way she held her hands in her lap and the way she coifed her hair up on top of her head, in some fashion out of World War I.

I had once heard her on a radio show describe herself as a snake charmer.

All that film whistling through her hands, sliding through her fingers, undulant and swift.

All that time passing, but to pass and repass again.

It was no different, she said, than life itself.

The future rushed at you. You had a single instant, as it flashed by, to change it into an amiable, recognizable, and decent past. Instant by instant, tomorrow blinked in your grasp. If you did not seize without holding, shape without breaking, that continuity of moments, you left nothing behind. Your object, her object, all of our objects, was to mold and print ourselves on those single fits of future that, in the touching, aged into swiftly into vanishing yesterdays.”
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“Once upon a time there were two cities within a city. One was light and one was dark. One moved restlessly all day while the other never stirred. One was warm and filled with ever-changing lights. One was cold and fixed in place by stones. And when the sun went down each afternoon on Maximus Films, the city of the living, it began to resemble Green Glade cemetery just across the way, which was the city of the dead.” 1 likes
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