Monday, March 13, 2006

By the pricking of my thumbs

Something wicked this way comes!

Ray, Ray, Ray Bradbury, is the MAN, as far as I’m concerned. I started reading his stuff when I was about 12, and dove headlong into a Bradbury-athon for the next couple of years. The Stories in “the October Country” kept me coming back time and time and time again, until I had all of them almost memorized.

I had my favorites, for sure. The story about the man who wishes to have his skeleton removed stuck with me as something so weird that only a very deranged person could have thought of it.

Other goodies are The Lake, The Crowd, The Emissary, The Wind, The Scythe, and The Jar. So many of which I’ve forgotten (had to lift the list from an online source) that it’s time I go back and re-read the collection.

Such fodder for my imagination.

When I was 14 I had one of those stupid caricature things done at the mall for a Christmas gift for my parents. Yes, how very thoughtful of me; the self-centeredness of youth is astounding. Anyhow, in the sketch I’m holding a book (because the artist asked me what I liked to do and I said “read”) and on the cover it says “Science Fiction and Scary Stuff” (because that’s the kind of stuff I said I liked to read.). The author of this book of science fiction and scary stuff was (and remains, to this day) my man Ray B. I was all about the Rayman, and might even have wanted him to be my secret boyfriend (I know, he was older than me, but my BRAIN was ready for it even if society wasn't).

An aside - In the background of the sketch is a bench with science stuff on it like test tubes and whatever, because even at 14 I was a hopeless nerd, and didn’t really care who knew.

Once I got to be about 16 I dropped Ray for real live boys and music and driving around with my friends, but every once in a while I’d go back and read what I’d read before, either Ray’s stuff (I call him by his first name because we’re buds like that) or the Dragonriders of Pern books or the Little House on the Prairie series, just as a comfortable thing to do. I had, and still have, a deep affection for those books; they got me involved in a world of words in which I could imagine myself playing a part.

But Ray, the wicked man, had a trick up his sleeve to permanently engrain himself into my brain forever as a true favorite, and it was this: a darkly fascinating movie starring a most luscious Mr. Dark, who I wished would ask me what I wished for most. Oh yes, dear internets, this movie rekindled my love for the Barnabas Collinses of this world, the admiration for the dark magician, the purveyour of dreams, the giver of desire who asks for only trifles in return.....or so he would have you think.

This movie, which I swear to you was remade as “Stephen King’s Needful Things,” got me “right there,” as a shadowy sidelong glance at what can happen if we ask for too much too selfishly, a cautionary tale for those could hear it.

It’s a very good movie. Rent it and see for yourself.

Plus, Jonathan Pryce is in it. That’s worth the price of admission right there.


BTW - Blogger apparently hates my GUTZ, becasue this is the first I've been able to get into it all day. Grrrr.

Is it a sign of addiction that I tried about eleventy-billion times to log in and publish already today? Hmmmm?


Addendum - before she found out about the plumbing problem, did she see a bright light and angels? Sounds like heaven to me! :>


Kim said...

Wow--I've never read much Ray, but now you've got me inner-rested. Did you ever read Zilpha Keatley Snyder books? I LOVED those, especially "The Egypt Game" and "The Changeling."

tiff said...

No, I've never heard about that author. Cool beans, because I'm out of book and am reading the "Series of Unfortunate Events Book" in no particular order. Which is not the way to readh them, I suspect.

tiff said...

Books, books, plural, not singular.

rennratt said...

The Unfortunate Events series is a riot! My best kid (the kid of my best friend) has zipped through most of the series and has had me read some of them for fun.

I read Ray Bradbury in high school, but remember very little. I suspect that will be the next author on my list.

Wordnerd said...

I know what you mean about Blogger -- all day, I was "Forbidden" by the server! WTH?

Jess Riley said...

Bradbury was one of the first authors I really got into.

Hey, did you read King's latest, THE CELL? If so, what did you think of it?

tiff said...

Jess - I've sort of been off Mr King for a while - should I pick this one up? Is it on a par with his ealier work (the best of which, to my mind, was "The Stand")?