Tales From The Library - The Emissary
19 Nov 2020, 3:00pm
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Join us for Tales From The Library: A new connect book review club in the Virtual Coffee Shop. Every Thursday at 3PM we will explore a new book and tale from various different writers. Read the book in advance or listen to our available audio recordings of the stories and then join us for a chat about the story and its deeper themes and meanings. Book recordings will be made available on the Wednesday before the Connect Group chat. Sign up below in order to take part and access the books.
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The Emissary by Ray Bradbury
Listen to this book in the above audio book or read the book online Via the links below.
This week we will be reading the short story 'The Emissary' by Ray Bradbury. This story tells of a young sick boy who is confined to the house, with only his faithful 'Dog' to inform him of the outside world. We hear and see the world from the boy’s perspective with only this loyal ‘Dog’ as his emissary. This tale is both reflective on life and nostalgic as well as a personal introspective for Bradbury himself. Once, when Bradbury was a boy, he showed extreme despair after a particularly exciting Halloween party because he feared he might die before another Halloween came. His brother told him not to worry about missing Halloween because if he died, he would then be Halloween. "The Emissary" blends both Halloween and death, as this tale of death occurs on and around the holiday that has always been Bradbury's favourite.
This short story features in the book ‘The October Country’. ‘The October Country’ is a 1955 collection of nineteen macabre short stories by Bradbury. It reprints fifteen of the twenty-seven stories of his 1947 collection Dark Carnival, and adds four more of his stories previously published elsewhere.
This story however originaly apeared in the book 'Dark Carnival'. 'Dark Carnival' was Bradbury's first published book. 3,112 copies were printed by Arkham House, under the editorial direction of August Derleth. All but six of the stories had been first published elsewhere, although Bradbury revised some of the texts.
Fifteen of the 27 stories were reprinted in The October Country in 1955, some in revised form. this story is one of them, this version being slightly different from the original 'Dark Carnival' version.
It is worth noting that this audio book varries ever so slightly from the provided text.
The Emissary by Ray Bradbury (The October Country)
Dark Carnival Version:
The Emissary by Ray Brabury (Dark Carnival)
About the Author
Ray Douglas Bradbury, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He became a full-time writer in 1943, and contributed numerous short stories to periodicals before publishing a collection of them, Dark Carnival, in 1947.
His reputation as a writer of courage and vision was established with the publication of The Martian Chronicles in 1950, which describes the first attempts of Earth people to conquer and colonize Mars, and the unintended consequences. Next came The Illustrated Man and then, in 1953, Fahrenheit 451, which many consider to be Bradbury's masterpiece, a scathing indictment of censorship set in a future world where the written word is forbidden. In an attempt to salvage their history and culture, a group of rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy as their books are burned by the totalitarian state. Other works include The October Country, Dandelion Wine, A Medicine for Melancholy, Something Wicked This Way Comes, I Sing the Body Electric!, Quicker Than the Eye, and Driving Blind. In all, Bradbury has published more than thirty books, close to 600 short stories, and numerous poems, essays, and plays. His short stories have appeared in more than 1,000 school curriculum "recommended reading" anthologies.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday in August 2000, Bradbury said, "The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me. The feeling I have every day is very much the same as it was when I was twelve. In any event, here I am, eighty years old, feeling no different, full of a great sense of joy, and glad for the long life that has been allowed me. I have good plans for the next ten or twenty years, and I hope you'll come along."
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