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From the Dust Returned

Review by Mark L. Olson

From the Dust Returned

by Ray Bradbury

William Morrow, 2001, 205 pp, $23.00, October 2001

This is a very odd book – it’s a series of connected stories (it could be called a fix-up novel, I suppose) which are written so poetically, it’s almost not in prose. There’s no rhyme nor noticeable rhythm to the words, but they’re musical in a very Bradburyian way.

The Family lives in The House somewhere on the Illinois or Indiana prairie. The Family — whose members all claim kinship, though they’re evidently not related — are all the people of myth and story: mummies, ghouls, ghosts, clairvoyants, etc. — all the Halloween creatures (except vampires who prey on people and are for that reason shunned.)

The book is actually a series of stories the first of which was written for Weird Tales in the 40s but was ultimately sold elsewhere and illustrated by Charles Addams. (That illustration led to his famous Addams Family cartoons.)

The stories are Bradbury, lovely, poetic and not terribly plot-driven. Read and enjoy.