Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

I post my reviews to:

2 yahoo groups
Amazon and B&N (of course)
and on Twitter

I am always looking for more places to post my reviews.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Medicine for Melancholy

A Medicine for Melancholy, Ray Bradbury, Bantam, 1963

Here is a group of stories by one of the masters of the science fiction field.

A young woman is bedridden with a baffling illness. Her family decides to bring her, and her bed, outside, on the street, to take advantage of the human tendency to give unsolicited medical advice to complete strangers. A group of male friends, of the same physical size, pool their resources to purchase an expensive white suit, which they will share. It is the sort of suit that is guaranteed to attract the ladies. A young boy is sick with what his doctor is certain is nothing more than scarlet fever. The boy fears that his sickness is much more serious.

An after-the-apocalypse story is about an America where everything, and anything, from the past is to be hated and destroyed, including a famous painting that is based on a woman's smile. A group of human colonists are stuck on Mars because of a war on Earth. A colony ship is sent, five years later, after the war, and finds several hundred Martians, with no knowledge of any human colonists. Traveling across America by train, a businessman impulsively decides to get off at the next stop, whatever it is. He learns why there are some small towns where no one ever gets off the train. A couple of men who wander California beaches looking for coins or dropped jewelry find something really interesting. A real mermaid washes up on shore. Their thought is to pack it in ice, and eventually sell it, but the tide is coming in.

This book shows why Bradbury was such a great author. The stories aren't just science fiction, or fantasy, or horror. They feel like the sort of stories that could happen to anyone. If a copy can be found, this is a gem of a book.

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