Ahmed and the Oblivion Machines: A Fable

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9780380977048: Ahmed and the Oblivion Machines: A Fable

In the stories of Ray Bradbury, readers have journeyed beyond the boundaries set by their imaginations, and have reveled in fantastic realms created by "one of the world's outstanding storytellers" (Toronto Globe & Mail). Now this prolific writer spins an enchanting fable about a lost boy who makes the acquaintance of a long-forgotten, though very powerful, ancient god.

When Ahmed, the twelve-year-old son of a caravan leader, falls from his camel, he is lost in a vast desert, and his situation looks ominous. Isolated and alone, the young boy begins to cry and his tears awaken the ancient god Gonn-Ben-Allah, Keeper of the Ghosts of the Lost Names, who lies beneath the sand.

Rising to full form for the first time in tens of thousands of years, the majestic Gonn tells his frightened savior that fate has brought them together. To comfort Ahmed, the god bestows the gift of flight upon the boy, and the pair sets off on an evening of spectacular adventures. Traveling through time and space, Gonn shows the fascinated Ahmed the wonders of the world-past and present-and its sorrows. Within each startling revelation, Ahmed finds wisdom-and learns to accept life for all it has to offer.

A wondrous fable for children of all ages, AHMED AND THE OBLIVION MACHINES is yet another glorious testament to the remarkable gifts of master storyteller Ray Bradbury.

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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."

From Kirkus Reviews:

From Bradbury (for adults, Quicker Than the Eye, 1996, etc.), a fantasy with moments of brilliance swamped by mystical befuddlement. Ahmed, a young boy, gets lost in a sand storm while trekking across the desert with his father's caravan. He stumbles on a gigantic buried statue, which his tears awaken. The statue is an ancient god, Gonn-Ben-Allah, Keeper of the Ghost of Lost Names. Gonn-Ben-Allah takes Ahmed through space and time, tracing the history of human efforts to fly (an analogy for the ability to imagine and invent). Bradbury is at his best when he describes past flyers who tried and failed; pterosaurs are called ``boney kites'' and a balloon is described ``as ripe as a peach.'' There's also an aviator, a collector of butterflies who sewed up ``a thousand small bright wings''a captivating imagethat attempts flight. Ahmed takes in all that Gonn-Ben-Allah shows him, and when the god ``dies,'' Ahmed follows in the deity's footsteps, becoming a flyer himself. The exotic setting is exhilarating, although Gonn's ornate speech comes across as puffed-up posturing, often stalling the plot and sidelining the story's purpose. Clearly labeled a fable, the tale has instruction built into most passages, but those passages are occasionally breathtaking. (b&w illustrations) (Fiction. 10-13) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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