Book Club Picks: The Illustrated Man

Thirteen weeks after a Friday the 13th, we have another

Don’t worry I got you covered with my new post.

So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I am now right on track!

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop. I’ve talked about this book before, but here we go again:

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

Since I have posted on this before, I am only going to discuss the stories we went over in our book club.

The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

No one else really enjoyed this story as they felt it was too sad. I like it as it is a great blend of creepy and thrilling. It shows you why you should not spoil your children-and a big wake up to having your kid just sit in front of a tablet, phone, or TV. I love it, and think you should check it out.

Illustration III: The Other Foot

HateTwilightZone

Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

We all loved this story. It has such a great message and a fantastic ending!

Illustration V: The Man

Bethphage-Jesus-enter-Jerusalem

A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

The member who chose the book, this is her favorite story. She loves how it plays out and how the character’s testimony was so strong it helped the one man believe and have faith. She compared it to Christianity and Jesus. We all enjoyed this story as well. 

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

We all enjoyed this story as well. One member posed a very interesting question: Does the sundome exist or is it just a mirage?

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

finishtherace

A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

One member just loved this story. He felt that it was a perfect illustration for missionary work and just loved how the one priest had such a fire and desire to be there for the fire balloons and try and show them God’s love.

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

TheEnd_Title_2

A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

One member just loved this story. She felt that if it was her last night on Earth she would spend it the exact same way.

Illustration X: The Exiles

fahrenheit451firemontagguy

On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

I love this one. Books fighting back, trying to survive in a world that feels they aren’t needed, a great story.

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

All agreed super creepy, but a very good read.

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

We all loved this story. Just the love this family has and how much they care about each other. A fantastic read!

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: The Masterpiece

For more books by Ray Bradbury, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For more on The Illustrated Man, go toEach Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

Day 19) S is for Short Stories: Choose a collection of Short Stories

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The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop.

bookshotdate

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

crucible_the_1996_685x385

Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

keanu Whoa

However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

OMG gasp

The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

Illustration II: Kaleidoscope

Space Mountain

The crew of a space ship has been torn apart, and this records their last thoughts as they hurl toward Earth.

“It was so very odd. Space, thousands of miles of space, and these voices vibrating in the center of it.”

Illustration III: The Other Foot

HateTwilightZone

Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

Illustration IV: The Highway

supernatural impala

A husband and wife live by a highway in rural Mexico, where people stop all the time. Something seems to be more pressing than usual, but what?

“Oh, please hurry!’ one of the girls cried. She sounded very high and afraid.”

Illustration V: The Man

Bethphage-Jesus-enter-Jerusalem

A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

Illustration VII: The Rocket Man

startrek

Astronauts are hard to come by and a hard life, so those that are astronauts are paid a lot, but gone for months. This story is the relationship of the mother and son as they deal with the father/husband’s absence.

“Doug…I want you to promise me something.’

‘What?’

‘Don’t ever be a Rocket Man.”

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

finishtherace

A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

TheEnd_Title_2

A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

Illustration X: The Exiles

fahrenheit451firemontagguy

On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

Illustration XI: No Particular Night or Morning

nightmare before christmas nothing turn out like it should

Two friends are traveling in a spaceship, as one determines that nothing exists that he cannot touch. Is he right and there is nothing in space but emptiness?

“So I began to find gaps between everything. I doubted I was married or had a child or ever had a job in my life…I couldn’t prove anything.”

Illustration XII: The Fox and the Forest

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

In the future, the world is an ugly one full of war and life in a factory creating more weapons of war. The one bright spot is the ability to travel back in time. A couple, William and Susan Travis, decide to run for their lives by remaining in 1930s Mexico. But will their plan work, or will they be captured and sent back?

“Save me, hide me, help me! Color my hair, my eyes; clothe me in strange clothes. I need your help. I’m from the year 2155!”

Illustration XIII: The Visitor

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

Mars is a place where those with deadly diseases go and live out the remainders of their days. One day a young boy comes with the ability to create any image or bring back any memory. He plans to use it and rule over the others; but will they be willing to share or will they take him for what they want?

“Come on. Don’t you realize what’ll happen once they discover your talent? They’ll fight over you. They’ll kill each other–kill you–for the right to own you.”

Illustration XIV: The Concrete Mixer

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Mars goes to invade Earth, but instead finds the people welcoming them. One Martin, Ettil, never wanted to travel to Earth. He finds that although the Earthlings hope to exploit Martians, the Earth ways will also mark death for the Martians.

“Don’t you feel it?’ he whispered…Something’s going to happen to us. They have some plan. Something subtle and horrible. They’re going to do something to us-I know.”

Illustration XV: Marionettes, Inc.

bodysnatch3

A man is tired of his clingy wife and pays for a cyborg double to take his place so he can go off and have fun. But what if the puppet is no longer satisfied at being controlled and wants to control the strings?

“Your wife is rather nice,’ said Braling Two. ‘I’ve grown rather fond of her.”

Illustration XVI: The City

Metropolis city

A group of astronauts land on an uncharted planet and find an empty city. But they soon realize this city is not as empty as it looks, as it has been waiting to unleash what it was made for.

“I am no longer your captain,’ he said. ‘Nor am I a man.’

The men moved back.

‘I am the city,’ he said, and smiled.”

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

In the end the last image is shown, our narrator’s death by the illustrated man. He runs for town, but will he make it?

Along came a spider morgan freeman running

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But the good kind of trauma.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Ray Bradbury, go to It’s A Fan World After All

For more on aliens, go to I Can Make You all Go Away! Any Time I Want To!: Charlie X, Star Trek (1966)

For more bible verses, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

christmas-flowers-banner

In The Exiles, they mention how no one believes in Santa Claus and he has become a shadow of the man he was, a skeleton in red. No more Christmas, no more.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

This reminds me of the song I Believe in Santa Claus. This was written by Maury Laws and Jules Bass and used for the Christmas Special, The Year Without a Santa Claus.

Yeah without a Santa Clause

I never believed in Santa Claus, but I like this song as it reminds you that no matter what happens you must hold on to the spirit of Christmas.

DEc

No matter what, always believe in its goodness and love.

300px-Nativity_tree2011christmas

This song was performed by Mickey Rooney and Ron Marshall

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For more on The Year Without a Santa Claus, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

For more Christmas Carols, go to A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

Day 1) A is for Apocalyptical: Choose a book with an apocalyptic theme

Fahrenheit451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my absolute favorite books. I first was introduced to it at the age of 10, when I came across my parents watching the German film. I didn’t quite understand it, so my mom gave me the book to read. Since then I read it at least once a year.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

Every time I read this book it shocks me with how accurate it is in portraying the culture of today. I was amazed at that age, but this most recent time when I read the book, it really struck me with exactly how spot on it is.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

The book was published in 1953, and is set in a Dystopian future. No year is given, although it is done after 1960. In this future reading is outlawed

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

Books are an illegal substance,

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

and the firemen’s job is to burn the offensive material.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t know about you all, but a world without books sounds like a catastrophic end of the world to me. After all:

4083834-young-indian-stressed-businessman-yuppie-type-standing-with-a-terrified-expression-or-dramatic-grimaican'tcannotllivewithoutit

Guy Montag has always lived life the way culture dictates; has a good paying job, married, no kids as they are bothersome and their are already too many, multiple wall screens to stream TV, etc.

Sound familiar?

Sound familiar?

But then one night everything changes. He meets the daughter of his new next door neighbor, Clarisse, who doesn’t like firemen.

“And you must be-…the fireman.’ Her voice trailed off.

‘How oddly you say that.’

‘I’d- I’d have known it with my eyes shut,’ she said, slowly.

‘What- the smell of kerosene? My wife always complains,’ he laughed. ‘You never wash it off completely.’

No you don’t,’ she said, in awe.” [pg. 4]

She starts talking about all kinds of things, like how firemen at one time didn’t burn things but helped stop fires. She even questions whether he ever reads the books he burns.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

Clarisse is completely counter to the culture of the day and a throwback to the past.

OldFashioned

 For instance, she doesn’t like this obsession with everything has to be in a hurry, driving all is blur with no one taking the time to look, examine, or have have patience. In fact her uncle was jailed for driving 40 mi/hrs, as it was far too “slow”.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Clarisse also likes to go out for walks and and look at the sky, stars, or moon. Something else everyone finds as weird or odd.

weirdtwilightzone

This reminds me so much of our culture today. Everything needs to be instant-instant news, fast food, all TV shows, etc. No patience, no waiting. My niece and I were watching a show on Netflix, and she asked me why they would have these moments where they pause, go to black, and then do a review of what we already seen. I actually had to explain that they used to show these episodes on TV, and there would be commercials in-between. Because you might get people who just tuned in and didn’t see the beginning, and were unable to see the beginning (unless they purchased it on VHS or DVD, they would repeat it for them. And then I had to explain that streaming is something new, prior to it you had to  wait a week for the next episode; and when the season ended you had to wait 6 months to a year for the next season.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Now here is a child who has grown up on the world of streaming and the internet and never, ever experienced having to wait for something.

keanu Whoa

Just like in this.

Anyways, when Montag returns home he finds his wife, Mildred, almost dead, having sucked down a lot of pills. He calls the hospital and they don’t even bother sending an ambulance. So many people these days are trying to kill themselves and end their life with pills, they have a machine like a black snake to pump the stomach.

The next day, Mildred doesn’t remember anything about what happened that night, and all she cares about is her “family” a TV show she follows.

Ringu Watch TV

There are all kinds of people suffering in the world or “real issues” that need to be talked about, but are all glossed over by entertainment. All people care about is the TV screens, wanting this giant Wall to Wall circuit. And the shows they watch have no real themes or content to them. Just mindless chatter.

When I reread this, it made me think of the reality shows we have that are just the same thing again and again, no real changes or real content. Keeping Up with the Kardashians for example. Or the endless dating shows looking for love like Flav O FlavMy Fair Brady, etc. Or The X Factor, The Voice, American Idol, etc, And people care more about these shows then real things.

We are strange people.

We are strange people.

Then Montag runs into Clarisse.  She talks to him, really talks just about anything and everything. Because she isn’t “normal” they force her to o to a psychiatrist.

“They want to know what I do with all my time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit and think.” [pg. 20]

In fact that is something she and her family like to do, just sit around and talk no devices, go out and walk just talking. In this world conversation is dead, no one really talks anymore. Sound familiar?

“He laughed.

She glanced quickly over. ‘Why are you laughing?’

‘I don’t know.’ He started to laugh again and stopped. ‘Why?’

‘You laugh when I haven’t been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what I’ve asked you.” [pg. 6]

It gets him thinking, and thinking is dangerous in a dystopian world.

“He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding upon the other.” [pg. 21]

Clarrise is a great character because she represents a type of person that is fading out. The one who is still holding on to the values of the past. A type of person who wants to think for herself instead of being spoonfeed an idea from the Internet, government, or teachers.

“I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this…But I don’t think it is social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you?…We never ask questions…they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing…It’s a lot of funnels and a lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it’s wine when it’s not.” [pg. 27]

The other thing I love about Clarrise os that she is so easily relatable, at least to me she is. She is disconnected to her generation because she doesn’t have the same values as they do she is more old fashioned, and because of that she is an 80 year old in a 17 year old’s body. I know exactly how that feels. I love reading, creating things by hand, having things until they wear out, not getting the newest stuff. That’s how I been my whole life which makes it hard to find others who value the same thing. I mean I read Emily Post.

“You sound so old.’

‘Sometimes I’m ancient.” [pg. 27]

ancientsoulinyoungbody

Clarrise hates this world of blandness and nothingness.

“People don’t talk about anything.’

‘Oh, they must!’

‘No, not anything. They name a lot of cars or clothes or swimming pools mostly and say how swell! But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else.” [pg. 28]

Clarisse opens Montag’s mind up to the way the world is and how it should be, and before he knows it, she and her whole family are gone.

You question in a dystopian world and you are gone.

You question in a dystopian world and you are gone.

He asks Captain Beatty if it is true that fireman used to stop fires instead of creating them.

Not good

Not good

The rest if the firemen are uneasy, but Captain Beatty knows it is natural for at one pint a fireman to question things. He shows him the history of the firemen and when they were first established.

“Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin.

Rules

  1. Answer the alarm quickly.
  2. Start the fire swiftly.
  3. Burn everything.
  4. Report back to the firehouse immediately.
  5. Stand alert for other Alarms.

Before anything else can be done, an alarm sounds and the group heads out. They reach the place and apprehend a women, demanding to know where her contraband is. She won’t tell them but quotes Hugh Latimer.

“Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”

The fireman don’t understand this, but Hugh Latimer was executed for his protestantism, under the ruling of catholic Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s older sister. He was burned alive for his beliefs, which is foreshadowing as to what is to come.

Not good

They find the books and are going to burn them like they always do, except this night is different. This woman, Mrs. Blake, stands their silently judging them.

Mehsleepyhollownotimportant

Montag begins burning everything, but instead of just being things, they feel more alive, like killing animals.

I don't like it 11

They burn everything, ready to decimate the building, but Mrs. Blake won’t leave. She refuses to give up her books. The fireman leave, ready to let her die; but Montag tries to help her. She refuses as she holds in her hand a match.

Not good

Not good

Willing to die for her beliefs.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

I think that is why I love this book so much, the fact that it truly explains a connection people have not just to the book but to the author’s thoughts and ideas. Destroying a book is more than destroying a physical object, it is trying to kill the person who created it.

“It’s not just the woman that died…Last night I thought about all that kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought that thought before…It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life and then I come along in two minutes and boom! it’s all over.” [pg. 49]

Montag returns home after the horror with a secret:

“His hands had been infected, and soon it would be his arms. He could feel the poison working up his wrists and into the elbows and his shoulders, and then the jump-over from shoulder blade to shoulder blade like a spark leaping a gap. His hands were ravenous. And his eyes were beginning to feel hunger, as if they must look at something, anything, everything…He balanced in space with the book in his sweating cold fingers.” [pg. 38]

Wordsdrug

Montag realizes how empty his life is, he married his wife ten years ago, but can’t fathom why. He doesn’t love her and she doesn’t love him. They don’t talk, they spend no time together, and all she does is watch TV or listen to her device with her little seashell headphones that go in her ears practically disappearing from view. Both people are empty, full of nothingness. There is countless walls between them through the TV shows she watches and she is more connected to those fake creations on the screen than her own husband.

All Mildred does is watch TV, yet even that is so empty that you if ask questions what is it even about Mildred doesn’t know. Mildred doesn’t know anything. It’s like she is on drugs, the way her memory and mind is so foggy.

She is like a zombie.

She is like a zombie.

The next day Montag is sick, not physically but mentally, and philosophically. The death of the woman has troubled him dearly and he can’t understand it.

“You weren’t there, you didn’t see,’ he said. There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” [pg. 48]

booksWordsChangetheWorld

Mildred doesn’t understand it and think that Montag is crazy for taking the death of a stupid radical this way. He should focus on work, on making more money, so they can get more things and TVs and such.

“Let me alone,’ said Mildred. ‘I didn’t do anything.’

‘Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long has it been since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” [pg. 49]

Then Beatty shows up as Montag has been missing from work. He figured it out that Montag has been questioning the world they live in. So he gives them the spiel he gives out to bring those on the edge back to reality.

“Once, books appealed to a few people, here, there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was roomy. But then the world got full of eyes and elbows and mouths…Films and radios, magazines, books leveled down to a sort of paste pudding norm…in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids…Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve line dictionary resume…

Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom!…Whirl a man’s mind around so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought.

…philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?” [pgs 51-53]

Life today. Now this part here really gets me with how PC you have to be 24/7, the littlest infraction and you are out.

“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico…The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean.

Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca…But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive, And the dimensional sex magazines of course.

There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick…Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time…

With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual’, of course became the swear word it deserved to be…

We must all be alike. Not everyone was born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man in the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, judge themselves against…”

Horrifying, yet that is the world we live in. You don’ like it, they destroy it; and that is happening now. A book about George Washington’s slave, who liked him because she saved his life from an assassination plot, making him a birthday cake was pulled because it isn’t p.c. Uncle Tom’s Cabin? No longer read because it is “cruel to blacks”, when it wasn’t. People don’t even read the book, but destroy it because it might hurt someone’s feelings. The remake of Red Dawn? Last minute had to be rewritten as it might hurt China’s feelings.

Captain Beatty lets them know they got rid of the girl as she was too crazy and out there.

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Life’s better bland, nothing to worry about, pleasant life, no problems, no nothing.

He tells Montag it is okay to check out a book, just one, as there is nothing in there. He’ll read it and burn it afterward.

After Beatty left, Montag is furious, but instead of taking something to make him happy, he has 20 books hidden in the house. He has decided to read them, sharing them with Mildred.

Montag goes to see Professor Faber, a man he ran into before. Faber used to work at a liberal arts college, but they closed it down as it was no longer important. He wants to know how to understand the books, to learn and Faber is the only one he has left.

Faber tells him we need three things in life:

“Number one: Do you know why books such as these are so important? Because they have quality…This book has pores…You’d find life under the glass, streaming past infinite profusion…The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” [pg. 79]

And the second? Leisure. Now Montag brings up that we have plenty of leisure, but he means actual time set aside to read, not bombarded with all types of  things.

“You can’t argue with a four-wall televisor. Why? The televisor is ‘real.’ It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!’

‘…You can shut [books], say ‘Hold on a moment.’ You play God to it. But who has ever torn himself away from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason. But with all my knowledge and skepticism, I have never been able to argue with a one-hundred-piece-symphony orchestra, full color, three dimensions…” [pg. 80]

And thirdly the ability to carry out the actions learned from it.

Montag thinks they can change the world by planting books on all the firemen, to bring them down. But Faber knows it won’t help, it isn’t the fireman that created this rule but the public who wanted people to stop reading.

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That’s right, we did when we stopped reading.

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Montag is afraid to go out as Beatty might mix him up again. Faber gives him these devices so he can put it in his ear so that he can hear Faber. That night he goes home and sees that Mildred is having a party.

Montag is horrified by these women. One just marries, divorces, marries, divorces, no emotions whatsoever. The other has kids who are in school constantly, and never sees them as she doesn’t care. They discuss politics. voting for people based on how they look and their names, rather than what they actually say or want to do.

Montag reads to them but they don’t understand. They’ve been too distorted with TV and the culture with no substance.

Captain Beatty knows that Montag has been reading and plays with him, using the books he clings to to rebut his arguments. They leave as they have a call, and it turns out that it is Montag’s house

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Mildred put in the alarm and she is heartbroken. But what saddens her the most? Losing her TV family

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Yes, not her husband, home, etc.

Montag is forced to destroy his own home, and afterwards destroys the firemen. After all, his whole life he has been taught, you have a problem, burn it.

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He has now become a fugitive and runs. Not knowing where, but just continuing to run.

After running, he plants the books in other firemen’s houses. Montag stops to see Faber, finds out the Hound (the firemen’s robotic assassin) is after them, and continues to take off. Never knowing where he is to go next, but running.

He runs into the country until the end of the all known. He stops when he reaches an area with men siting near a campfire and TV set. They give him a potion to change his perspiration, but it is’t really necessary. The Hound needs to find someone, as after all this is TV, the people need the answer.

They find some poor sop who looks like Montag and kill him to save face.

These men are former professors , intellectuals, etc; who have been running from the law. Each one has taken in a new life, the life of a book. These books are locked away in an area they can never be taken from. The mind.

Eventually the hope is to one day reenter society and bring the books they have been passing orally to the world.

“Do you really think they will listen then?’

‘If not then we’ll just have to wait…you can’t make people listen. They have to come around in their own time…” [pg. 146]

And what book does Montag choose to be? Ecclesiastes.

Besides this fantastic story, we have the amazing language and the great way it was written. Take the beginning:

“It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmut numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.” [pgs. 1-2]

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This book is only 158 pages, barely any pages, but there is so much power is in that. Amazing amounts of power. I just love this book.

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Remember:

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Turn your TV, computer, cell phone, and any other device you have off for a while and pick up a book instead.

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To read more 30 Day challenges go to 30 Day Challenge: All About Me!

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For more on Fahrenheit 451, go to It’s A Fan World After All

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Dystopian futures, go to Remember, Remember The 5th of November

For more on being old-fashioned, go to Not a Hipster, But an O.F.

For more Cassandra Clare, go to Drug of Choice

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So last year I posted a Christmas Carol every day in December and I really enjoyed it. I had so much fun picking out the songs, I decided to bring it back.

So with everything going on in the world, and the way people have been acting: I think we need a little Christmas in our lives. So I choose that song.

We Need a Little Christmas is from the musical Mame based on the novel Aunt Mame. In the story Mame gains guardianship of her nephew and starts to raise him. At this point in the musical, Mame has lost everything in the stock market crash of 1929. With everything practically gone, she decides to have Christmas early as she doesn’t know what will happen.

Of course that isn’t the end of the play as Mame has many more interesting antics. However, this song is great and just the right thing to put us in the mood.

This version is sung by Angela Lansbury, from the first musical cast of Aunt Mame.

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For more Christmas Carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

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For more on Angela Lansbury, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

What I Think You Will Think…You are Fully Under My Control: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)

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“You are no longer Hank Tracey, you are Igor…I am Maria Frankenstein. What I think you will think…You are fully under my control…I created you…”

So I came across this movie at the library while I was searching for Fahrenheit 451. It was a double feature called Frankenstein Fest, and had The Monster Maker and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. 

Both intrigued me, especially Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. I mean I love Frankenstein!

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I love Westerns!

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And I love B horror films, they are so hilarious.

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So I thought I would try it out.

This film was originally made to be a double feature paired with Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.

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A big storm is occurring for this sleepy little town in the West and everyone has left except one family. Manuel and Nina are ready to leave the city, due to the cursed house on the hill, but Juanita, their daughter, is adamant that they wait for her brother Francisco.

They continue to talk about the cursed house and about the “sickness” that kids have been catching and died from. Juanita is furious with them. Because of them the kids have died.

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So who are the them they are talking about? The Frankensteins. And no these are not Frankenstein’s children but grandchildren.

What are you talking about?

What are you talking about?

I know, I didn’t get that either. Why call it Frankenstein’s Daughter if it is her granddaughter?

So obs

So it is Frankenstein’s grandson, Rudolph, and granddaughter Maria. The two were forced to leave Vienna as their experiments were too out there.

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Rudolph wants to stop the experiments, but Maria is forceful and desires to complete her grandpa’s work…even though her grandfather wanted to stop as it was not the best idea. Hmmm…..sound familiar?

Maria is so excited to be living in the West as there are so many lightening storms that help with the experiment.

So this is one of the reasons why the film was so bad! Maria is “recreating” her grandfather’s work, but not really. Instead of trying to create life, bringing the dead of many back, in this she is trying to put the brain her grandfather created or used into another person.

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She has been experimenting on children in the village, but none have worked. The latest, Francisco, seemed promising, but turned out to be another disappointment. Another experiment failed and another body to bury.

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Maria doesn’t care that she has killed three children already, all she wants is the power to control others!

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So Maria’s a psychopath.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy! Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

Victor Moritz: You’re crazy!
Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

She kills children for fun and doesn’t feel bad about it at all.

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So Maria goes on about how she needs the “right” man, but who could it be?

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So we switch to a town where two muscly men are fighting in the street. Hank Tracy is one of them and the winner of the bout. At first the saloon owner doesn’t want to give them anything, but after Hank’s best friend Jesse James throws his name around, people back down.

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So this film takes place after Ford assassinated Jesse James. There were plenty of rumors that James survived, and this film goes off of that.

Anyways, Jesse meets up with Butch Corey and his brother Eli of the Wild Bunch. Eli starts trying to assert his leadership, and Jesse James shows him with his gun that that is a bad idea.

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So they make a plan to rob something but I don’t know the details. They talk so quiet and in monotone.

Eli acts as a double-cross to get Jesse James as he doesn’t like James trying to make a fool out of him. He gets the Sheriff to have a posse hiding to catch James.

I see more sequels and remakes coming in the future.

This film is sooooooooo bad and booooooooooring. It is The Beast of Yucca Flats bad.

really?

really?

I thought this had Frankenstein in it. I want to see some MONSTER MAKING!!!!

Except in this case monster!

Except in this case monster!

A wagon comes along and the team tries to steal the money, but the sheriff is there and stops them. Eli tries to shoot Jesse, but hits Hank instead and Jesse and him take off.

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Marshall heads off to capture Jesse James, with Eli coming along for revenge. He’s the only one of the Wild Bunch left.

So Jesse’s man was shot in the shoulder not the side, but holds on to his side. Was he really so bad at acting, that he forgot to react for a long time when “shot.”

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Jesse and his friend come upon the Mexican family from earlier. They are camped out eating.

We see Hank and now the wound has traveled from his side to his heart and just barely began bleeding. That is bad, really bad.

really?

really?

Juanita tries to help Jesse in doctoring his friend but knows she can’t do much. So she decides to do the one thing she would never want to do, take him to see the Frankensteins.

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Juanita’s parents forbid her as they don’t want to ever return to that area so Juanita sneaks off that night with James and they take Hank.

The next morning the Sheriff comes across Juanita’s parents and questions them about James and his partner. They say they haven’t seen them. Eli doesn’t believe them, but the marshall tells him to quit and the two continue on their way.

Stop stop it now!

Juanita’s parents are furious about her going off, but her father is adamant that he will never go back.

Juanita is caring for Hank while James is doing something, she goes to get Hank more water when she is taken by a Native American. James notices her missing and tries to find her. He gets attacked by the same guy, having to kill him to get free. Juanita is so thankful, but their relief short lived as more of the tribe are on the way.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They manage  to hid out, and Juanita is in love with Jesse, thanking him for saving her life with a kiss.

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Jesse knocks on the door asking Dr. Rudolph for help. He gets his sister who is pleased with the size of Hank!

He's perfect!

He’s perfect!

Maria is even more thrilled when she realizes that it is Jesse James, as no one will ever find these men as they are running from the law.

Meanwhile the Marshall and Eli are still looking for the two. They stop in the town and knock on a door, Juanita’s old house. Juanita says there are no men here, and the Marshall does’t listen, choosing to stop and take a look around the area.

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Maria goes to see James and asks him in to her library, the house being very Austrian. Maria gives James a bit of a backstory about how they had to leave Europe but they are interrupted when the Sheriff and Eli stop by and question Maria, who tells them she has seen no one. The two just leave after that with no investigating. Why did they investigate Juanita’s house? eh? Rude of them.

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Juanita and Hank are talking, Hank wanting her to come along with them when he is better. Juanita heads out to speak to Jesse in the moonlight!

How cute

you know what that means

Jesse, however, doesn’t want Juanita to come along as he is Jesse James, outlaw. Life would not be pleasant. The two kiss, in love. How cute. Except for one thing….

Truth be told I don't

Truth be told I don’t

Where is the monster making? eh?

Jesse is angry as Juanita wants him to admit that he loves her, but she won’t agree to go with them. However she wants him and his friend Hank to leave before the Frankenstein’s do something to them.

Run Away

Maria sees them outside in the graveyard, kinda creepy place to have a smooch now that I think of it.

Steve? A murderer?

Weird…

She approaches Jesse, who wonders why everyone left as it seems strange. Maria laughs it off, as ignorant people afraid of advancements. Jesse then asks how soon they will be able to leave…

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Never you can never leave!

Maria doesn’t want them to leave. In fact she tries to use her womanly wiles to keep him, as she needs him.

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Needs him? You just met him. Okay slow down Queen of Outer Space.

Queen of outer space

Maria is furious that Jesse would choose Juanita over her.  She must have him or no one can!

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Jesse tells Juanita how Maria gave him a note for medicine and that he has to ride into town for Hank. Juanita warms him that Maria is just trying to get him out of the way but he doesn’t want to take the risk that Juanita is wrong and have Hank killed.

Rudolph doesn’t want to operate. as Jesse James will kill them when he finds out. Maria doesn’t care, besides Jesse will be caught and hanged the minute he steps into a town.

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The storm rages on as Maria begins preparing the artificial braun she is planning to put in Hank’s head. Juanita sneaks over to see what they are doing and watches as they preform the experiment.

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Dr. Maria Frankenstein: You are no longer Hank Tracey, you are Igor…I am Maria Frankenstein. What I think you will think…You are fully under my control…I created you…

So this is nothing like Frankenstein. All this is is open brain surgery.

Maria tries to help him, and realizes that her brother has been sabotaging all the experiments by killing them with poison. She and her brother struggle and he is starting to strangle his sister. She calls out to Igor and then he helps save her.

Dr. Maria Frankenstein: Its alive! It’s alive! Get him Igor!”

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Igor attacks her brother and kills him.

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Juanita has seen all that has happened and flees in the night. Meanwhile Maria sends Igor after Juanita. When they check her room, she is gone.

Maria is furious, but ecstatic that she still has Igor.

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Meanwhile, Jesse has arrived in the town, and there are posters about him being wanted with a huge price on his head.

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He gets there super early in the morning waking the doctor up. He gives him the note but doesn’t know that it signs his death warrant instead of getting help for his friend.

I just think, man didn’t he look at the note? I mean how weird? Why wouldn’t he?And why would the guy think that it was real? i mean why would someone deliver their own death note?

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The Sheriff is out of town, but Eli has stayed behind and wants to kill Jesse. He tells the doctor not to worry, but pretend everything is fine, and he will take care of him.

Eli tries to sneak in to kill Jesse, but Jesse spots him and shoots him. The doctor begs for mercy and reveals the note was a ploy.

OMG gasp

Jesse, angry, then takes off for the Frankensteins. Juanita is riding out to find him and the two run right into each other.. Juanita tries to keep him from going back. She warns him that Hank is no longer himself and it is horrible, if he goes back he will have the same fate.

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Juanita goes to the Sheriff and tries to get him to come with her. Surprisingly he believes her and doesn’t think she is looney or something. I would have.

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Jesse bangs on the door, while Maria hides Igor. She lets Jesse in and tries to blame the attempted murder on her brother. Maria just can’t resist Jesse.

Some people

She calls Igor who comes and knocks Jesse out.

Hank/Igor watches Maria tie Jesse to the bed and a funny look comes over his face. Is he breaking through her control? Does he remember Jesse and his past life?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Maria sends Igor to his room while Maria decides what to do with Jesse. She is angry with Jesse for refusing her and has decided that Jesse will be the perfect guinea pig for her next experiment.

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She shoots James up with something, while the Sheriff arrives at the door. Maria is starting to breakdown as things are going against her plans, it seems as everything is unraveling. The Sheriff goes to investigate, and Maria calls for Igor.

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Igor comes and attacks the Sheriff, knocking him out. All that is left is Juanita. She tries to wake up Jesse, but Maria locks them in and calls for Igor to take Juanita and kill her.

Igor/Hank looks at the two women and instead of taking Juanita, kills Maria. Jesse tries to talk to Hank/Igor but all he says is kill.., kill, kill

OMG gasp

Jesse doesn’t want to hurt his best friend Hank and doesn’t do anything as he attacks, instead Juanita steps up to the plate and shoots Hank.

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Wow. I did not see that coming. That is the second film to be resolved by an unlikely source. I mean having the women save people has never been super popular in horror films, although a but more common in Westerns.

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They bury Hank and Juanita is happy that the evil is over. Juanita says she will wait for Jesse there in the town but he says he is an outlaw. He can’t stay. Instead he goes off with the sheriff to be hanged.

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So usually B films can have something enjoyable about them, but this was horrible. Just horrible. Barely any monster making, mostly a love triangle and we all know how I feel about that:

OVERDONE

OVERDONE

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

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For more Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

For more evil doctors, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

For more B horror films, go to It’s Mrs. Archer. She’s on a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

A Book Only a Reader Could Write

So I wanted to publish this post yesterday, but my computer and I weren’t on the best speaking terms. We have since resolved that issue.

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And the computer has since then come along to my way of thinking. So sorry if I’m a day behind, but better late than never!

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Some books you read and you just know that there was no way this book could ever exist unless the author grew up as a huge fan of reading.

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Such as Matilda by Roald Dahl. Only someone who grew up reading could create a character that gave a voice to all us bibliophiles out there.

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Or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Only someone who truly loved to read could create the most dismal future, a time when books are outlawed and destroyed. The book is full of glimpses into what might actually happen, unless we take the time to read and value the thoughts and creations found between the pages.

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Well The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, is definitely one of those books.

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The book was first published in 1979 and then translated into English in 1983. As this is it anniversary, thankfully pointed out by Google, I thought it deserved no less than a post by me.

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The story was such a big part of my childhood, with book and film.

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So the book begins with young Bastian Balthazar Bux; a shy, awkward, introvert:

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Who has been grieving over the loss of his mother and feels disconnected from his father.

Aw, man.

Aw.

He doesn’t really have any friends and is bullied at school. The one thing that Bastian does have is his books.

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With their help he is able to escape reality:

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And here is reason number one why this book is awesome and proof, author Ende must have been a reader; he just understands us so well. I mean even today I still like to escape my reality with a good book:

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Anyways, so Bastian is being chased by bullies when he runs into a bookstore owned by Carl Conrad Coreander. While hiding out, he spots the book The Neverending Story.

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Bastian just has to have the book, but the ornery shop owner doesn’t seem interested in the idea of selling, and such a book that would be far too expensive. So Bastian does something he has never done before, he steals it.

OMG gasp

He runs up to school, deciding to hide away in the attic, reading the story and being thrust into the world of Fantastica (Fantasia in the film).

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Fantastica is falling apart. The dark nothing is destroying it, piece by piece until it will fade away and there will be nothing left. Only one thing can save them; the childlike empress has chosen Atreyu, a native of the plains, to search throughout Fantastica to discover what can be done. As Bastian reads, he becomes more and more involved with the characters. So wrapped up in the book he stays throughout all his periods, in the cold, all the while starving.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

But that’s silly. They aren’t real people.

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But yet, the characters do seem real. And it almost seems as if they know he exists and is part of the journey with them.

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When Atreyu is traveling he hears what the salvation of Fantastica is:

Born of the Word, the children of man,

Or humans, as they’re sometimes called,

Have had the gift of giving names

Ever since the worlds began,

In every age it’s they who gave

The Childlike Empress life,

For wondrous new names have the power to save.

But now for many and many a day,

No human has visited Fantastica,

For they no longer know the way.

They have forgotten how real we are,

They don’t believe in us anymore.

Oh, if only one child of man would come,

Oh, then at last the thing would be done.”

But where to find such a human child?

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Atreyu continues on his journeys, getting help from Falkor, the luck dragon.

One of the best parts of the book, at least I think so, is when Atreyu faces Gmork, the werewolf. Gmork has become an agent of the Nothing, trying to destroy Fantastica and along with it the human world. Without Fantastica, the world is filled with lies instead of truth, despair instead of hope, destruction instead of creation; pretty much containing nothing.

I love this part as it shows why stories and books are so important. They help us create, they give us hope, dreams, ideas, etc. We need stories, we need hope, we need it as much as we need life.

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And we need to start reading at a young age; so we can have the foundations to fight against all the darkness we will face as we grew older.

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So Atreyu returns to the Empress, defeated. He has no way to stop the nothing. He has failed.

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But the empress is not upset at all. In fact, she says that Atreyu has fulfilled his mission. He has brought a human child here through all his adventures. And she is talking about Bastian!

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The reader has been called into the story? And not just called, but the hero! How cool is that! And how awesome if that could happen. Can you just imagine if the characters started talking to you in the middle of your favorite story?

So cool, I want it to be true.

So cool, I want it to be true.

This is my favorite part of the book, the second half isn’t as strong (in my opinion) as the first half. But still one great book.

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The movie was just as amazing. Now they did make changes, but I thought it kept the soul and heart of the book. I used to watch it over and over.

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Even now I cannot think or say the words “Neverending Story” without singing them like in the film’s song.

I recently showed the film to my niece and realized I am not only like Bastian, but Coreander. Yes, I have the soul of an old curmudgeon who doesn’t like the youth’s fascination with technology rather than books.

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The rest of the story is just as beautiful, fascinating, adventurous, and powerful. And don’t forget the end of the film when the childlike Empress is talking right to you.  Shivers run up and down my spine, it is so good.

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I mean I feel like she is talking right to me!

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The other movies I didn’t really enjoy, but that first one was a true winner.

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So there you have it. One amazing book that I am glad existed to become a part of my childhood, in both print and on the screen.

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And you can bet your boots I will most definitely be checking out the film Sunday when they rerelease it in theaters. Don’t worry childlike Empress, Fantastic/Fantasia will always exist as long as I am alive!

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For more on The Neverending Story, go to The Neverending Story

For more anniversary posts, go to Here’s to Another Year

For more book-filled posts, go to A World of Teas

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For more Roald Dahl, go to We Shall Rule the World!

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Ernest Hemingway, go to Fiction or Reality? I Choose Fiction

For more Markus Zusak, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more Richard Marek, go to Crazy Book Lady

It’s A Fan World After All

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Yes the fangirl posts have returned!!!

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We had to take a break with the 30 Day Challenge of August, but now that it has ended, every Sunday with be a fangirl countdown post. At least for September, when October comes it is all about the Horror films, so we will have to take a break once again.

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Dr. Seuss

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Ah Dr. Seuss. There is so much to say, but no words exist to describe how much I love you Dr. Seuss and all your works. You were such an amazing writer and such a HUGE part of my childhood.

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I’m not going to write about every book, as that would be too much, but instead going to talk about my three favorite books.

The Cat in the Hat– Too iconic to pass by. Such a cute book about the consequences of our actions, and who can’t love that adorable Cat?

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Bartholomew and the Oobleck– In this book, the sequel to Bartholomew and His 500 Hats, Barthlomew is living in the castle and life is doing good. That is until the King wants something different from the sky. He’s tired of rain, snow, sunshine, etc. He gets his magic men to create something new, Oobleck. It is kind of a Frankenstein of the sky, a story on how you should never try to be “bigger than your britches”, and absolutely adorable.

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The Sneetches & Other Tales-Some of the Sneetches have stars on their bellies and some do not. Those with Stars think they are better than all the others. When a man comes to town who promises that for a great deal, he can give the starless Sneetches stars; they pay up. Now the orginals are upset and pay to get their’s removed. This becomes an endless cycle until all the Sneetches’ money is gone and no one knows who was orginally born first stars and who wasn’t. A great tale about being happy being you, and that no one is better than others because of their looks.

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And my all time favorite!!!! The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I used to read this story over and over and over again, as I just loved that grumpy grinch. One year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal just to send away for a special Grinch keychain. Sadly, I lost it though in one of my moves. The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

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For more Dr. Seuss, go to Speed Racer

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James Bond

What can I say? I’m a Bond girl (fan not film star). Aw James Bond. Where to start?

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Whenever I think of Bond the first thing that comes to mind is my brother. He was a HUGE James Bond fan and we used to watch the movies together when I was younger. Of course I could only watch them on TV and had to leave at certain points, (when he began to get it on with a lady). I remain a fan today and have seen every single film with Bond, James Bond.

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My favorite Bonds are without a doubt Sean Connery (the first and the all-time best), Timothy Dalton (the handsomest of them all), and Pierce Brosnan (cool and elegant).

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Jimmy Stewart

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Aw James “Jimmy” Stewart. One of my all-time favorite actors. It started with a few movies, then I read a biography, and before you knew it: I WAS Obsessed.

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Let’s start with the fact that he is tall, dark, and handsome.

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The kindest and most adorable man ever!

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Not to mention being the first actor to sign up for WWII, choosing to fight for his country rather than live in privilege as other suffered.

He’s perfect!

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I love all his work, but if I talked about them all it would take way, way, way too long. Now which one should I pick? I mean he was in Westerns, Comedies, Drama, Alfred Hitchcock films, Mysteries: his screenography is a little bit of everything. How can I pick a favorite out of so many, many cinematic masterpieces? I can’t it’s too hard. So I’m going to pick a few, and I promise just a few.

After the Thin Man

This sequel to The Thin Man is the only film Jimmy Stewart was in that was radically different from any role he has ever played. After the Thin Man has Detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora, back in her home town of San Francisco. There they stumble onto a murder and try to save their friend from going to jail, believing in her innocence. Jimmy Stewart plays a secondary character, but steals the scene in one of his earliest roles

Mr Smith Goes to Washington
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This film was supposed to be a sequel to Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, but when Gary Cooper was unable to reprise his role; it became a film about an ordinary, sweet, guy being chosen as a senator and going to capital hill to shake up the greed and corruption. This film is the essence of Stewart’s own beliefs and one incredibly powerful film.

It’s A Wonderful Life

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I’ve already written on this film three times- twice for my Valentine’s Day posts and for one of my Christmas countdowns. This film is just amazing as it shows the complete stretch of Stewart’s talent. A man who has only ever wanted to leave his town, but finds himself constantly being stuck there. He goes through incredible obstacles, with one ultimately bad day causing him to wish he had never been born. When his wish is granted, he discovers that everyone’s life would be way worse without him. Let me tell you, there is a reason why this film has been parodied, remade, and referenced in film and television.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Probably one of the best Westerns of all time, it stars John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy Stewart is Ransom, a lawyer from the East intent on bringing justice and civility to the West. He encounters Liberty Valence, a horrible outlaw, and has to contend with his own morals on whether he should continue the lawful way, or follow the way of the territories, taking justice into his own hands. He is just amazing in it!

Those are all I’m going to pick as it was hard enough choosing those four, and I don’t want to be writing for the next year on why he is so amazing.

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to Hunk-a-Thon

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Psych

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I love, love love Psych, I am so sad it ended.

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

It was soooooo amazing!!! Why is it over?

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I remember the very first promo for this show.

I was watching Monk at the time and dabbled in a few The Dead Zone episodes, but this new show Psych? I just wasn’t sure. Then one day it was re-airing that week’s episode Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead (season 2 episode 16). In this a supposed Mummy comes back to life. I found the show absolutely hilarious and started watching it all the time. That is until they mentioned the last season. I stopped watching as I didn’t want it to end right away.

Last year, I decided it was time and completely went on a spree watching every episode ever, through my computer and Netflix.

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I just love this show so much. Why did it have to end? I mean it just gets me. From the love of ’80s, film references, music, comedy: ah I just adore it so, so, so darn much. *sigh* WHY, WHY, WHY did it have to go?

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

So the show is about Shawn Spencer (James Roday) who is just your average guy, except for one thing. He has a photographic memory. His father was a cop and honed a thousand such skills, like psychology of body language, how to detect liars, etc in him. He rebelled from his father and left his home of Santa Barbara, CA to travel all over. When he returns, he is able to solve tons of crimes just from watching the news reports. When the cops get suspicious on how he is doing it, thinking he is actually committing some of these crimes, he lies and says he is a psychic. Soon he has roped his best friend since childhood, Burton “Gus” Guster into being a part of his crime solving crew, and the duo become consultants for the SBPD (Santa Barbara Police Department). Now a lot of my favorite characters I have actually posted about in my 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroesbut I’m still going over my favorite characters anyway.

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Shawn Spencer

Shawn can be a jerk, childish, selfish, and a bit whiney at times; but all in all he is one pretty cool guy. He may be a goofball, but he is also highly intelligent, passing the detective test 100% at age 15, often feeling that things are too easy for him. He has great taste in films and music, making all these references that I absolutely adore. While he often uses Gus; his money, car, etc; he cares for his friend and would do anything for him. As the series progresses, Shawn matures; refraining from his previous extreme narcissistic tendencies. He and Juliet start dating in the last few seasons, this relationship really changing his childish ways, but not too much, as Juliet’s level-head and stable life works really well with Shawn.

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Burton “Gus” Guster

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Gus and Shawn have been best friends forever. He is smart, intelligent, and typically the saneer one of the two. After high school he went to college and became a pharmaceuticals rep, doing quite well for himself. When Shawn returned from his adventures, Gus was quickly swept up into his quirky ways. Out of the two, Gus is the researcher, planner, bill payer: i.e. responsible. While Shawn solves the crimes, Gus is the one who typically comes up with the information that is key to solving it. He is hilarious and adorable, the perfect balance in all that is Shawn and Gus.

Juliet “Jules” O’Hara

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Jules is the young police officer who moves from Miami to Santa Barbara when Carlton Lassitar’s old partner is transferred. Jules may be a very pretty, bubbly, sweet, rainbow-sunshine kind of girl; but she is not just bubbles and fizz, but also a very deep and intelligent person.

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She has scored the highest on the detective test (second to photographic memory Shawn), beating Carlton Lassitar. She also is fluent in Spanish, due to her time in Miami. While she is gentle and sweet, she can be gruff and unmoving when she needs to be; holding her own and not allowing anyone to walk over her. She and Shawn Spencer end up getting together and her stability and his goofiness work well together.

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Carlton Lassiter

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Now I have a huge TV crush on Carlton Lassiter, its a little hard not to. He is pretty awesome and handsome (played by Timothy Omundson). Carlton is a strictly by the book kind of guy; SB law, the Constitution, NRA, etc. He is a great cop, a bit old fashioned, but stubborn, persistent, etc. He is a huge Clint Eastwood fan, wishing he could be Dirty Harry or Tom Highway. He also loves Westerns and wants to be a modern day cowboy. He is a huge Civil War history buff and takes part in reenactments. He knows how to shoot like every type of gun and has built up a immunity to chloroform.

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However, the best thing about him is how strongly he throws himself into relationships. He does everything he can to try and work things out with his ex-wife (really not wanting to get a divorce). True he did cheat on her with his old partner, but they had been separated for quite some time and she was porking around with someone else. (Doesn’t make it right but it is understandable). However, the best thing was when his girlfriend was arrested and imprisoned (she stole blood from a blood bank for her sick brother), he went and visited her every time he was allowed to. Nothing kept him from being there or true to her. He also did everything he could to free her from the jail. So sweet! 🙂

And who can forget the amazing singing done on this program?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

One absolutely awesome show.

For more on Psych, go to Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

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Ray Bradbury

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I love Ray Bradbury. He is one of my all-time favorite writers. He is just so amazing and his work unbelievable.

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So I first was introduced to him through the film Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian future film.

It’s a powerful film and when my mother told me it was based on a book, I was like I HAVE to read that. I did, and I loved it!

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The story is set in the future. All people are really concentrated are on reality shows, entertainment that mean nothing, and no one reads (sound familiar?). In fact the firemen jobs are not to put out fires, but to burn books and libraries. Guy Montag is a fireman that has started to wonder about the books. He picks one and starts reading it.

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And before you know it he is hooked. Stealing books and hiding them all over his house.

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His neighbor also gets him interested in thinking outside the box and about real things. However, it’s not long before he is found out and has to go on the run, hoping to find the place where people become books. That is they have memorized one book completely and recite it, so that it may never be lost. Oh I love this book so much and read it over and over and over.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

He wrote many other novels and short stories, some of which were turned into episodes for Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. Out of his other books, my favorites are The Illustrated Man, in which a man is covered in tattoos, each telling a story. They range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. Children talking to aliens and planning on taking over the world, a man getting a copy of himself so he “can have fun” only for the marionette to want to completely take over his life, and more. The Machineries of Joy, mushrooms really being alien spores trying to take over you, priests going to space, etc. And The Martian Chronicles, a collection about the colonization of Mars. They are just amazing.

And these are just a few, there are a ton more of his stories and novels, I haven’t been able to even read them all yet.

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For more on Ray Bradbury, go to Heaven on Earth

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Fandom

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For the previous post, go to Fans and the Furious

And Stay tuned for part 17

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For more bookish posts, go to To Win a Part of My Heart

 

Heaven on Earth: 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries

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So if you’ve been following me, you are pretty aware of my love of libraries.

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A few months back I tried to get a job at Buzzfeed, who won’t let you apply unless you create posts. So as I was racking my brain for something to write about, I decided to do a post on my favorite fictional libraries. After all:

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Sadly, it didn’t get very much interest on Buzzfeed as I would have liked. So I decided that I would repost it on here.

So here we go, my top 13 Favorite Fictional Libraries.

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13) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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Guy Montag is a fireman in the future, and as a fireman his job is to burn books. Books are now illegal, and it is up to firemen to root out the secret libraries and destroy them. After witnessing a woman willingly burn alive with her library, it gets Guy thinking about what the books contain. It begins with one book, but ends with Guy questioning everything he has ever known.

Why the library is awesome!: So we don’t actually know what is in this library, but if a person is willing to die with it you know it has to hold some amazing things. Even if the books are only valuable to the owner.

For more on Ray Bradbury, go to Friday Night Fun

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12) The Music Man

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A conman salesman, “Professor” Harold Hill (Robert Preston),  visits the town of River City, Iowa; and convinces the townspeople that the only way to save their children from becoming bad eggs, is to create a boys’ band. But where to get the instruments? From Professor Harold Hill of course! Marian, the town librarian, is a piano teacher, and the only one who could expose Professor Hill as a fraud, so Professor Hill sets out to seduce her. Along the way Professor Hill changes as he starts to care for the people he plans to con.

Why the library is awesome!: One of the musical numbers is Marian the Librarian in which Professor Hill attempts to seduce Marian by singing and dancing with her around the library. A library in which the librarian and town dance around singing? You get two in one—items to read and a show.

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11) The Cat Who… Series

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The Cat Who…Series is about amazing reporter  Jim “Qwill” Qwilleran who solves murders with the help of his cats. Qwill was a nationally-acclaimed reporter, until he became an alcoholic and lost everything. The first book, The Cat Who Read Backwards, Qwill is trying to put his life back in order and is searching for a job as a reporter. He joins the staff of the Daily Fluxion as a feature writer. After his landlord, the art critic, is killed, Qwill starts investigating with little clues pointed out by his landlord’s cat, Kao K’o Kung (Koko for short). As Qwill continues his investigations he ends up picking up another cat, Yum Yum. In The Cat Who Played Bhrams, Qwill journeys up north to the small town of Mooseville, and visits an old family friend. He ends up inheriting millions, but in order to get them, he has to remain in Moose County. This changes his life forever.

Why the library is awesome!: Qwill is an avid reader and collects as many as he can afford. When he inherits the money, he also receives a stone mansion with a giant library. It holds thousands of books from rare pieces that are worth millions to secondhand and beloved buys.

For more on The Cat Who… Series, go to The Cat Who Wrote A Blog

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10) The Breakfast Club

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So the movie begins one Saturday morning when five very different students have been sentenced with detention and are stuck with each other. We have Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy), “the basket case” who just came for fun; Andrew Clark (Emilio Esteevez), “the athlete”, who recieved detention for bullying a kid; John Bender (Judd Nelson), “the criminal”, sent there because of his acting up in class;  Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), “the princess”, caught skipping school to go shopping; Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), “the brain”, who brought a flare gun to school. At first everyone abides by their cliques, but through the course of the day they all bond together sharing their most personal secrets and working out their dysfunctions.

Why the library is awesome!: A gigantic library with multiple levels and a great sound system! Who wouldn’t want to spend their Saturdays there?

For more on The Breakfast Club, go to The Anniversary of Its Formation

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9) My Fair Lady

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Based on the play Pygmalion, this musical has Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is disgusted with how the English butcher their English. As he is complaining, he runs into a cockney-accented, flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn). He makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering, that he will be able to teach Eliza how to speak so well that people will mistake her for a duchess. Eliza agrees to the bet as she wants to own a high class flower shop. However, they have their work cut out for them, as Professor Higgins methods are helpful, but extremely rude and harsh.

Why the library is awesome!: Henry Higgins may be rude and a jerk, but this professor has one of the best libraries. Why can’t all libraries be like this?

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8) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

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In the late 19th century, something is destroying ships as they are navigating the seas, cutting huge holes in the sides and completely ruining them. Professor Aronnax, a leading marine biologist, theories that the creature destroying the ships may come from the deepest depths of the ocean, which would give it incredible strength. He joins a crew who has set out to destroy it, taking along his assistant. The ship is destroyed; but Professor Aronnax, his assistant, and whaler Ned Land survive. They find themselves on a giant submarine, the Nautilus, joining its creator Captain Nemo on a journey under the sea.

Why the library is awesome!: This library is a masterpiece as Captain Nemo had thousands of books by the greatest minds. His collection covered science, morals, philosophy, and literature-in every language.

Professor Aronnax: “I thank you for having placed this library at my disposal. It contains treasures…and I shall profit by them.”

For more on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, go to Episode VI: Return of the Favorite Movie Lines List

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7) The Mummy (1999)

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In 1290 B.C. Egypt, a high priest Imhotep is caught having an affair with the Pharaoh’s woman. He is put through all the death rites, while still alive, and buried in Hamunaptra. Fast forward to 1932, a French Foreign Legion officer, Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser), finds himself in Hamunaptra, but lost in the desert. Three years later, librarian Evie (Rachel Weisz) is approached by her treasure-hunter brother Jonathan, with an artifact that he thinks will lead him to Hamunaptra. They pick up Rick O’Connell as a guide, and find the city. As they search for treasure they discover the mummy, and accidentally awaken him.

Why the library is awesome!: Even though Evie makes a mess, most of us book lovers wouldn’t mind putting the library she worked at back together as it would allow us to check out all those books. Plus it holds a map to a lost city that holds the Book of Life and the Book of the Dead.

For more on The Mummy (1999), go to Part X: The Movie List That Would NOT Die!

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6) Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

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In this Indiana Jones adventure, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is on the search for his dad (Sean Connery) and the Holy Grail. His father had been searching for the artifact and disappeared, causing Indy to pick up the trail. He picks up where his dad left off in Venice with Dr. Elsa Schneider, discovering a clue to the Grail. He continues from there to save his dad on the Austria-Hungary border, and discovers a betrayal stebbing all the way from the Nazis

Why the library is awesome!: You have a library that has spiral staircases, stain glass windows, and secret treasure underneath. How cool is that? It does rest over the graves of dead bodies…BUT you hold a key to finding the Holy Grail! That’s a great tradeoff.

For more on Indiana Jones, go to And Away We Go

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5) The Swan Princess

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Derek and Odette were arranged to be married when they were babies. Every summer Odette and her father would visit Derek and his mother in order to get the two to become friends and hopefully, fall in love. The two dislike each other as they don’t like playing with each other. They reach the marriageable age, but Derek messes up with Odette as he tells her that beauty is the only thing that matters. As he runs after them to make up for his stupidity, Odette is captured by an evil wizard and her father killed. The wizard wants Odette to marry him so he can have her kingdom, but Odette says she will never marry the wizard and is turned into a swan, only to become human when the moon touches the pond. Derek searches for Odette and trains himself to be able to handle it. When Derek discovers Odette, the two have to find a way to save her and change her to human.

Why the library is awesome!: So we only see this library for one scene in the film and it rivals that of Beauty and the Beast. Multiple levels, spiral staircases, and incredibly tall ladders to reach everything.

For more on The Swan Princess, go to You Should Write a Book

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4) Harry Potter Series

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Harry Potter discovers that he is a wizard and goes to Hogwarts School, learning magic spells, potions, and having to fight all kinds of creatures.

Why the library is awesome!: Think of all the magical knowledge within in this place? How awesome would it be to roam these stacks and unlock that. Really explains why Hermione likes to spend so much time there.

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For more on Harry Potter, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi3) Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Buffy is a teenage girl that discovers she is a slayer. She’s equipped with certain abilities that allow her to take down all kinds of monsters-demons, vampires, etc.

Why the library is awesome!: You have a library that holds tons of books for school along with almost anything on the supernatural. Not to mention it doubles as a training area that holds all kinds of weapons. What else do you need?

For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to Simply Fantastic

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2) The Sandman Chronicles

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The Sandman Chronicles follows the story of the sandman, or Dream. He was captured and imprisoned, but manages to escape after years, and then has to right his dominion and the rest of the world. These series combines Christianity, mythology, Shakespeare, and more.

Why the library is awesome!: The library in Dreaming holds every book ever dreamt of, even those that were never written. How awesome would it be to roam those stacks?

For more on The Sandman Chronicles, go to Dreaming of the Sandman 

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1) Beauty and the Beast

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Belle loves to read and finds it hard to relate to anyone in her town. Her father goes out of town on business and gets lost, staying over at a castle he finds. He upsets the owner and is kept prisoner, that is until Belle offers herself in her father’s place.

Why the library is awesome!: Do I really need to explain how awesome this library is? I’m sure every book lover has fallen in love with it. Multiple levels, spiral staircases, and comfy chairs in front of the fireplace-it’s a dream come true.

Yep:

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For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to You’re Doing It Wrong

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Yep these are some of the greatest libraries ever, and I hope the one I create is even a fraction of these.

WalkInLibrary

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For more on libraries, go to When in Doubt

For more book filled posts, go to Taking in Strays

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Perfectly Imperfect

For more quizzes, go to Fandom Love