I first read this collection in the early ’80s, around 1980 or 1981, I think. Some of the stories have stayed with me (“The Small Assassin”, “The Scythe”), while some I’d completely forgotten (“Touched with Fire”, “The Cistern”).
Most of the stories were recycled from Dark Carnival, with a few being left out and a few being added. I’d hoped to have time to read the ones left out and discuss the differences in the two collections, but that will have to wait for a later post. For those unaware, Dark Carnival, from Arkham House, was Bradbury’s first collection. Original copies are hard to come by and will cost you a pretty penny. The author’s definitive edition from a decade or so ago isn’t cheap either.
Fortunately there isn’t that much difference in the contents, and the casual reader can enjoy the stories as they appear in this volume. There will be spoilers on some of them. Continue reading