Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ray Bradbury to the rescue

© Bantam Books
With day turning into night and time running out, for the post of the day, my eyes fell on the three Ray Bradbury novels in my modest collection–Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles and The Halloween Tree–which I purchased from a used bookstore a few months ago. They cost me Rs.20 each, just under 50 cents. The three covers that I have posted here are exactly the ones sitting on my bookshelf.

Out of the three books, The Halloween Tree has some fantastic black-and-white illustrations by the late Italian artist and illustrator, Joseph Mugnaini, who was associated with Bradbury since 1952. If the cover catches your eye, so does Bradbury’s dedication inside which says, “With love for Madame Man’ha Garreau-Dombasle met twenty-seven years ago in the graveyard at midnight on the Island of Janitzio at Lake Patzcuaro, Mexico, and remembered on each anniversary of The Day of the Dead.’ I had to read more on this.

© Corgi Books
Apparently, the well-known author met Madame Garreau-Dombasle in Mexico in 1945, during the Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) holiday celebrations in October. The war had just ended. Bradbury, who was only 25 years old at the time, established a lifelong friendship with the wife of the French Ambassador to Mexico. In 1972, he dedicated his novel to Madame Garreau-Dombasle, in memory of The Day of the Dead.

I didn’t know the story, or the history, behind this particular dedication until I read it again and looked it up on the internet.

I am also scouting cyberspace to find out who illustrated the cover of Fahrenheit 451 displayed on the right. In case you know then write to me.

It is possible to get a sense of satisfaction by merely looking at the various covers of a book even before you read it. The covers of Ray Bradbury and Agatha Christie novels evoke such a sense. (For vintage Christie covers, check out where you will get your eyeballs worth of some great book jackets.)

© Bantam Books
Also, don’t forget to check out Todd Mason’s blog for the weekly dose of Tuesday's Overlooked Films written by him and other bloggers. You won't be disappointed.


  1. I haven't seen that version of Fahrenheit 451. Cool. I've read all these. The halloween tree is my least favorite.

  2. I agree, Charles, my own choice being THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES and FAHRENHEIT 451. I haven't read Bradbury's THE ILLUSTRATED MAN and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. I'm looking for some more vintage covers here.