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TOYNBEE CONVECTOR-LTD Hardcover – Sep 12 1988


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Hardcover, Sep 12 1988
CDN$ 84.30

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (Sept. 12 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394571096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394571096
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Bradbury's first collection since the quasi-definitive Stories is a very mixed bag, including, along with the charming and the moving stories, some of the author's weakestfrail conceits feebly decked out in the same stylistic knick-knacks Bradbury has been pulling from his well-used trunk for the past 35 years. Storytelling itself is the theme of a number of these short narratives; Bradbury understands that a primary function of fiction is to act as a guidepost back to the emotional richness of childhood and adolescence. In "On the Orient, North" a ghost, at the point of dissipation, rejuvenates itself by telling scary winter's tales to a group of children. In "Banshee" a screenwriter and a director tell each other disturbing cautionary talesone narrator, to the other's misfortune, is not making it up. The fey souls in "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair" find their relationship cannot withstand a little hard reality. The title story concerns a man who claims to have traveled into the future and declares that there the world's problems have been resolved. He produces documentation of his claims and lives to see the realization of his vision, even though a vision is all it is. The documentation turns out to be fabrications, but the hope it had inspired allows mankind to bring about its own salvation. The fiction creates the truth in this lovely exercise in utopian dreaming. 30,000 first printing; BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

An old woman learns what it truly means to believe in ghosts in "On the Orient, North"; another woman discovers a mysterious "Trapdoor" in a house she has occupied for years; and an old man attempts to change his own past in "A Touch of Petulance" in this new collection of 23 stories by one of sf's grand masters. Simplicity and warmth shine through even the weaker stories as the author continues to focus his sights on the elusive human heart. Recommended for sf and fantasy collections. BOMC alternate. JC
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
By reading the information on the copyright page, the reader will note that the stories in this book have been culled from over a half dozen publications, possibly many more. As such, it seems reasonable to assume that they were written over a span of a great number of years. I would have found it helpful had the original copyright dates of each entry been included so one could, in some ways, track Bradbury's development as a writer.
Having said that, I did enjoy this book for the very variety that seems to have put off some of the reviewers here. There are stories that are pure Sci-Fi, others that are perfect examples of the horror genre, some that make us want to laugh and/or cry, and many that combine several of these aspects.
One of the latter that I found particularly moving is "Lafayette, Farewell." In it, an elderly man who knows that he is to die soon begins to relive the air battles he fought as a fighter pilot over France during World War I. Every night, he sees and hears the planes of those brave young men who died as he successfully shot their planes out of the sky. He now feels guilty over taking the lives of those innocent young pilots who, like himself, were sent into a war not of their own making.
He fears that he will be consigned to hell for what he has done, and he asks his neighbor how he can, at this late date, be forgiven. His neighbor suggests that, since they, in their planes, are appearing over his house nightly before parachuting to their deaths in his back yard, he plainly and simply, ask them for their forgiveness. In a very moving scene, he does just that and they indicate that he is forgiven.
This is really a touching story, one of my favorites in the book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was disappointed when I read One More For the Road. That was not on of Mr. Bradbury's better collections. But The Toynbee Convector is full of all the tales and ideas we know Mr. Bradbury is capable of.
We begin with the title story involving time travel. Next we get a dark tale of mysterious trapdoor. From there we meet ghosts, banshees and things that are not there. We return to Green Town, see romances, experience jealousies. and meet writers.
The stories cover a very broad spectrum of Mr. Bradbury's work. Because of that, some who read the collection straight through (as I did) might feel bounced around a little by the changing themes. Others, like myself, will savor each story for what it is, from literary popcorn to written gem.
If you like the author's older collections, then this is one for you. If you thought One More For The Road was his best, there will still be something in her for you.
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By A Customer on July 27 1997
Format: Hardcover
I have loved Bradbury since I was a kid. I was anxiously waiting for this book when it came into print, and sadly disappointed when it arrived. A few of the stories (The Toynbee Convector, The Last Circus, The Thing at the Top of the Stairs) have touches of the old brilliance, but in general I found them strangely lacking. Many seem oddly pointless or unfinished, like a thought that faded before it had run its course. Worthwhile to those who really LOVE Bradbury, but at the same time left me bittersweet and unsatisfied. I went back and reread "The Illutrated Man"
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By A Customer on April 12 2002
Format: Hardcover
If Ray Bradbury had never writeen anything but "The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair," a short story which is in this book, he'd be my favorite writer. Of course, I'm a huge fan of those two comedians, and one of their best movies is the "subject" of the article, but the story is just great...I'll bet I've read it at least once a month for over 20 years. Buy this book to read that story!
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By Mike on March 9 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Book "The Toynbee Convector" by Ray Bradbury is a very good title. This might be his best collection of short stories ever. Every story is unique in its own way, each having a different ending. Like Bradbury's most famous piece, "Fahrenheit 451", most stories take place in the future. This is a great read for any type of reader.
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By Mike on March 9 2000
Format: Hardcover
The Book "The Toynbee Convector" by Ray Bradbury is a very good title. This might be his best collection of short stories ever. Every story is unique in its own way, each having a different ending. Like Bradbury's most famous piece, "Fahrenheit 451", most stories take place in the future. This is a great read for any type of reader.
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