I recently read The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. It was not what I was expecting. Was it bad? No. Was it good? That’s an opinion. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t hate it. Simply, it was not the book I thought it would be.
I have Zen in the Art of Writing – a collection of Ray Bradbury’s essays. I find the essays to be very insightful. Helpful. Thought-provoking. Perhaps, even, inspirational. They seem to be well written, and, while informative, also entertaining. Clearly, Bradbury was a dreamer, and that is a good thing in the business, and pleasure, of being a writer. It is especially helpful when your work is in genres where the majority of the content is fantasy, make-believe. In writing where almost everything comes from the depths of the mind and not real world objects, the mind is your most essential tool.
The Martian Chronicles was an exciting story. Its presentation was unique, at least compared to the books on my short list of conquered pages. Though compelling, and constantly moving forward, I just didn’t personally connect with the style of his writing. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t for me. That being said, I read through it quickly and don’t regret the time put in to it one bit. The stream of words flowed smoothly across the page, through my eyes and into my mind. The artistically crafted sentences and paragraphs painted a vivid picture that I still see, even now after some time has passed.
For Zen in the Art of Writing, Bradbury is no less animated or artful. While I didn’t find his writing for fiction to be a preferred style for my own tastes, when it came to non-fiction I found I was far more enthralled. While it seems that most of the books on the craft of writing that I have read are a bit dry, Ray Bradbury keeps his advice and insight fun and light. Not to mistake that attitude for not being serious where it counts, he challenges you to be the best you can by not giving up, always pushing to keep an open mind and never letting your pen be idle or a new book be off-limits.
In the end, it seemed to me that Bradbury brought his fantastic vision of fantasy and science fiction with him to his non-fiction. For me, that is a winning combination.
That is all. GA