Farewell Summer

Farewell Summer

by Ray Bradbury

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In the deceiving warmth of earliest October, civil war has come to Green Town, Illinois, an age-old conflict pitting the young against the elderly for control of the clock that ticks their lives ever forward. The graying forces of school board despot Mr. Calvin C. Quartermain have declared total war on thirteen-year-old Douglas Spaulding and his downy-cheeked cohorts. The boys, in turn, plan and execute daring campaigns, matching old Quartermain's experience and cunning with their youthful enthusiasm and devil-may-care determination to hold on forever to childhood's summer. Yet time must ultimately be the victor, as life waits in ambush to assail young Spaulding with its powerful mysteries—the irresistible ascent of manhood, the sweet surrender of a first kiss . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061131554
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/30/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 434,668
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2011 at the age of 91, inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."


Los Angeles, California

Date of Birth:

August 22, 1920

Place of Birth:

Waukegan, Illinois


Attended schools in Waukegan, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California

Read an Excerpt

Farewell Summer LP

By Ray Bradbury

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Ray Bradbury
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061470950

Chapter One

There are those days which seem a taking in of breath which, held, suspends the whole earth in its waiting. Some summers refuse to end.

So along the road those flowers spread that, when touched, give down a shower of autumn rust. By every path it looks as if a ruined circus had passed and loosed a trail of ancient iron at every turning of a wheel. The rust was laid out everywhere, strewn under trees and by riverbanks and near the tracks themselves where once a locomotive had gone but went no more. So flowered flakes and railroad track together turned to moulderings upon the rim of autumn.

"Look, Doug," said Grandpa, driving into town from the farm. Behind them in the Kissel Kar were six large pumpkins picked fresh from the patch. "See those flowers?"

"Yes, sir."

"Farewell summer, Doug. That's the name of those flowers. Feel the air? August come back. Farewell summer."

"Boy," said Doug, "that's a sad name."

Grandma stepped into her pantry and felt the wind blowing from the west. The yeast was rising in the bowl, a sumptuous head, the head of an alien rising from the yield of other years. She touched the swell beneath the muslin cap. It was the earth on the morn before the arrival of Adam. It was the mornafter the marriage of Eve to that stranger in the garden bed.

Grandma looked out the window at the way the sunlight lay across the yard and filled the apple trees with gold and echoed the same words:

"Farewell summer. Here it is, October 1st. Temperature's 82. Season just can't let go. The dogs are out under the trees. The leaves won't turn. A body would like to cry and laughs instead. Get up to the attic, Doug, and let the mad maiden aunt out of the secret room."

"Is there a mad maiden aunt in the attic?" asked Doug.

"No, but there should be."

Clouds passed over the lawn. And when the sun came out, in the pantry, Grandma almost whispered, Summer, farewell.

On the front porch, Doug stood beside his grandfather, hoping to borrow some of that far sight, beyond the hills, some of the wanting to cry, some of the ancient joy. The smell of pipe tobacco and Tiger shaving tonic had to suffice. A top spun in his chest, now light, now dark, now moving his tongue with laughter, now filling his eyes with salt water.

He surveyed the lake of grass below, all the dandelions gone, a touch of rust in the trees, and the smell of Egypt blowing from the far east.

"Think I'll go eat me a doughnut and take me a nap," Doug said.


Excerpted from Farewell Summer LP by Ray Bradbury Copyright © 2007 by Ray Bradbury. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Farewell Summer 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1928 in Green Town, Illinois with school to shortly commence twelve years old Douglas Spaulding leads his brother and their friends in a make believe war against the town¿s older male citizens. Their childish mischief irks octogenarian Calvin C. Quartermain, who expects children to respect not harass the elderly. After a cap gun raid followed by the abduction of chess pieces, Calvin, invoking his memories as a young teen during the Civil War, mounts a counter offensive while the courthouse big clock keeps on ticking.------------------ The war between the young and the old escalates with neither side ready to capitulate or allow the sandwich generation to intercede with a punishing self-serving truce. However, the two ring leaders quickly gain respect for one another, but it is life that intervenes when Doug discovers he likes girls more than war.---------------- Ray Bradbury is at his best with his expanding a tale included in his work DANDELION WINE. The lead ¿generals¿ make the tale as both start out with dissing their adversary, but soon respect their opponent. Both soon realize they walk in the same shoes as Calvin sees Doug as his past and Doug sees Calvin as his future. One of the grandmasters of twentieth century literature, Mr. Bradbury is still in top form with a superior character study that looks at time ticking with a child eventually becoming the adult.---------
bohemiangirl35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Dandelion Wine, but could not get into this sequel. I was glad it was short. The boys' actions to declare war on the elders didn't make much sense to me. Or maybe they would have if the boys talked more like preteen boys. When Doug made the speech about the chess pieces, the story lost me and never did get me back. I finished it because I kept waiting for it to grab me and because it was Ray Bradbury.
drewandlori on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I saw Ray Bradbury had written a sequel to "Dandelion Wine", one of my all-time favorite books, this went straight to the top of my reading list. Taking place just over a year after Dandelion Wine, it follows the exploits of Douglas (now "Doug") Spaulding and his family and friends. Unlike the various stories and digressions and sub-plots of the first book, this one focuses on one big story: how Doug's terror of growing up provokes a "civil war" between the children of Green Town and its senior citizens. This book is significantly darker than the first (especially the ending), and I didn't like the focus on a single plot as much, as it felt like this plotline was a little stretched out at times. Even so, I really enjoyed this book. Bradbury writes as well as ever, and I'm very glad he wrote another book about Green Town, even if it took him almost 50 years to do it.
ocgreg34 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Green Town, Illinois, signs appear that summer is almost officially over. A change in the air. A blooming of a particular flower. A last, final grip of the summer heat slowly giving way to cooler winds. Doug feels the pull of autumn, but unlike the other boys in town, he senses something else. Something trying to control him and the other boys. Something the old folks in town, lead by the head of the school board Calvin C. Quartermain. In a final effort to keep autumn at bay, he gathers together his friends for a final battle against the Quartermain and his cronies."Farewell Summer" is a fantastic tale of youth fighting against growing up. The one thing I love about Bradbury and why I can't seem to get enough of his books is the language he uses. The phrases seem alive, full of movement, and have a way of recalling the excitement and wonder of childhood adventures.And yet, the last two chapters threw me for a loop, mostly due to the imagery -- the idea of Quartermain bidding his sexual drive goodbye and passing it on, in a bizarre way, to Doug. The idea fits with the story of young vs. old, but its presentation was a bit abrupt and odd.That, however, doesn't detract from me recommending the book as a great look into the eternal struggle to keep from growing older.
foomy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's supposed to be a great book, and I get the point, but I could not quite relate to the boy.
conformer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The sequel to Bradbury's own Dandelion Wine pits the boys of summer against the old men of Green Town, Illinois. According to the afterword, the ideas laid down here were also in the first draft of the first book. It only took him 50 years to catch up.
JohnGorski on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was very apprehensive when I purchased this book last year and again when I picked it up over labor day weekend. After all, Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors and certainly the favorite author of my youth. "Dandelion Wine", the novel to which this is the sequel, remains one of the most powerful evocations of an American boyhood summer in a small country town. "Farewell Summer" is about the end of that boyhood but not in an empty, post-modern way. It is more about the natural flow of life and how if you keep your inner eye open, the magic does not have to end with the coming of manhood. It is about the continuity of generations and what we give to each other as human beings. It is also about forgiveness and redemption about how we are never separated from community. At the close of this story, I was overcome emotionally in a way I haven't been since I finished "The Lord of the Rings" for the first time. If you are a Bradbury fan, read this book. If you have become cyinical about the human race, read this book. If you just want to feel better about things in general, read this book.
elbakerone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fifty years after Dandelion Wine, this sequel puts a new twist on the themes of the original. Ray Bradbury is amazingly poetic in his storytelling, weaving an interesting tale of maturity and responsibility. Bradbury reintroduces readers to Douglas Spaulding and his young friends who proceed to wage a war against the old men of the town, convinced that they can find a way to keep from growing up. As the story progresses the reader comes to an understanding of the different seasons of life the characters are in as the young men and old come to an understanding of themselves and each other.
Karlstar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a short but wonderful book about life and growing up, told in a very different, unusual way. Definitely worth reading over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Farewell Summer, by Ray Bradbury, a sequel to Dandelion Wine, disappointed me greatly. It is about a group of pre-teen boys who learn the lessons of growing up. They play cap-gun fights, and steal certain pieces from the small town they live in. On the way, they meet a Mr.Quartermain, who ends up being the person who tries to beat the boys at everything. However, the boys eventually find that some things are more important that others. The story takes place in a small town in the 1920's, where summer isn't quite ready to leave the area. This book is a book with very in-depth lessons. To be able to understand it, you must really sit down for a couple hours, and reread most of the pages. For me, it just takes the fun out of reading, and I think that's one of the reasons I didn't like it. I found the book incredibly disappointing, because it was boring to read. I didn't get into it at all, and I dreaded having to read it. The reason I gave it a whole star, though, is because the actual writing, not the plot, was not bad. Some descriptions were good; however they were not about the right things. Instead of describing something vital to the story, the author would describe for pages something completely irrelevant to the story line. I would not recommend this book to anybody. Reading reviews, some people like it, but I find it so indescribably hard to get into I don't know why they like it. However, if you must read the book, try to read the first one, Dandelion Wine, and it might be slightly easier to understand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago