Dine on Dandelion Wine

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One of his earliest novels, yet one of his best. Loosely autobiographical, Dandelion Wine also supports Bradbury’s rejection of his identity as a science fiction author, and instead focuses on the “fantastical and unreal.”

For Douglas Spaulding, 12, and his brother Tom, 9, summer vacation has just arrived in the quiet hamlet of Greentown, Illinois. The town, the world, the universe is theirs for the taking. And take it they do. In a dozen closely connected and episodic tales, the boys, their family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers, all partake in the fantastical, surreal, and altogether marvelous imaginations of young boys.

The boys insist that their neighbor built a happiness machine…

Another elderly veteran takes the boys for a spin in his time machine…

A gypsy fortune teller toy in the arcade is an imprisoned princess in need of rescue…

The mysterious junk man whistles into town and tells folks they can have whatever they want from his cart, so long as they “want it with all their heart”…

And meanwhile Grandma’s in the kitchen making the best meal in the history of eating.

A phantasmagoria of color and childhood wonder so prescient and so visceral, I’m confusing it with my own memories of a similar variety.

And boy do I want a swig of that dandelion wine. An absolutely refreshing read. And then some. 4.5/5 stars.

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