April Books 3) Green Shadows, White Whale

3) Green Shadows, White Whale by Ray Bradbury

I’ve had this on my list of sf/fantasy books with an Irish dimension for a while; I had a discussion of it with back in September, and finally picked it up last weekend in the remaindered section in the American bookshop in Leuven.

It’s the story of young sf writer Ray Bradbury, brought to Ireland by film director John Huston, to write a screenplay for Moby Dick. Huston comes across as a real monster, incessantly bullying his wife, Bradbury and other colleagues, with almost no redeeming features. I found Bradbury’s portrayal of Ireland and the Irish irritating at first and then I realised that he was doing nothing more than writing in his usual style; it might as well have been Mars.

The short stories dropped into the narrative – including two with fantasy elements, which I list on my web page – are the best bits of a very uneven book. The only other “novel” I’ve read by Bradbury, To the Dust Returned, was equally uneven. Perhaps he is someone who needs the discipline of the short story form to write quality stuff. For €7.50 I can’t complain too much.

One thought on “April Books 3) Green Shadows, White Whale

  1. If only we could have even one house elected with a fair voting system! I don’t see how in the context of the AV referendum that could be achieved without some future crisis or clearer movement to make it happen, though perhaps the moves from Scotland may help force the issue.

    I think there are definitely ways in which having some body of appointed experts is helpful, and an appointee set somewhere to argue for copyright reform for example may have better weight than someone who writes a report and then goes back to the day job.

    I find it interesting that in Scotland where the devolved system is unicameral various bodies have asserted themselves (as they did when the parliament didn’t exist) as an body of power to be negotiated, especially COSLA the grouping of local authorities. Perhaps we need to think much less hierarchically and more practically about how discussion and debate can happen between those with power for the common good, rather than get hung up about just adding votes to a house already in place.

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