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Ray Bradbury’s Driving Blind book review

driving blind bradburyReading the stories in Driving Blind you can view it as the intersection, the late 1990’s stories by Ray Bradbury that mark his transition to the purely nostalgia based fiction he writes today. There is one Science Fiction story in Driving Blind, though it is a high concept but particularly weak entry in terms of execution, and one genuinely great horror short story Thunder in the Morning that should have been reprinted endlessly in horror anthologies, but hasn’t.

But Driving Blind is for the most part more concerned with nostalgia, with old school classmates and ex-girlfriends, with looking into the other end of the telescope at adulthood and with growing old and seeing that all disappear, and while such ideas have always been present in Ray Bradbury’s work, in Driving Blind they seem to predominate and dominate the old Bradbury who looked at far horizons that were beyond himself, rather than only looking inward.

When you drive blind, you go to the destination you know best, like a horse with blinders on, because in the dark we can really only see ourselves. And Driving Blind is that one single destination arrived at over and over again, sometimes with talent, sometimes aimlessly, always with depth of emotion, but having read Driving Blind, I can admire Bradbury as a stylist, while finding little there to draw from beyond the shallow wading pool of memoir fiction. The Bradbury whose work I loved looked at the world and the world beyond with fresh eyes. The Ray Bradbury of Driving Blind is more comfortable with the romance of nostalgia and memory than with anything larger or vaster and while he still writes with love, it is a love so narrow as to be self-love.

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