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Death Is a Lonely Business

Bradbury, Ray

3,465 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0394547020 / ISBN 13: 9780394547022
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1985
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Warwick Books, member IOBA (South Pasadena, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Hardcover in dustjacket. 8vo. First trade edition. Book and jacket are in near fine condition, with some light soiling to page edges. Jacket has lightly rubbed edges. 276 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 10229

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Death Is a Lonely Business

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, New York

Publication Date: 1985

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: First edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Ray Bradbury, the undisputed Dean of American storytelling, dips his accomplished pen into the cryptic inkwell of noir and creates a stylish and slightly fantastical tale of mayhem and murder set among the shadows and the murky canals of Venice, California, in the early 1950s.

Toiling away amid the looming palm trees and decaying bungalows, a struggling young writer (who bears a resemblance to the author) spins fantastic stories from his fertile imagination upon his clacking typewriter. Trying not to miss his girlfriend (away studying in Mexico), the nameless writer steadily crafts his literary effort--until strange things begin happening around him.

Starting with a series of peculiar phone calls, the writer then finds clumps of seaweed on his doorstep. But as the incidents escalate, his friends fall victim to a series of mysterious "accidents"--some of them fatal. Aided by Elmo Crumley, a savvy, street-smart detective, and a reclusive actress of yesteryear with an intense hunger for life, the wordsmith sets out to find the connection between the bizarre events, and in doing so, uncovers the truth about his own creative abilities.

Review:

The image of drowned circus cages in the trash-filled canals of Venice, California, both haunts and illuminates famed fantasy and science fiction author Ray Bradbury's rare venture into the mystery field. Like filmmaker Federico Fellini, Bradbury is fascinated by the seedy splendor of cheap carnivals and circuses--"a long time before, in the early Twenties, these cages had probably rolled by like bright summer storms with animals prowling them, lions opening their mouths to exhale hot meat breaths. Teams of white horses had dragged their pomp through Venice and across the fields."

But now it's the early 1950s, and foggy, shabby Venice is the last stop on the circus train for scores of old silent-movie stars and young writers trying to keep their art and their bodies alive. As Bradbury's autobiographical hero, a young writer, pounds out his short stories, someone is killing off the older denizens of the tacky city. The writer joins forces with a quirky detective called Elmo Crumley and a faded screen star to investigates the deaths. Their search begins and ends in one of those iconic, waterlogged cages.

Blending hard-boiled detective fiction with beautiful descriptions of this strange Californian town, Death Is a Lonely Business is well worth investigating. --Dick Adler

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Warwick Books, is an Internet-only bookseller that specializes in hard-to-find books for avid readers and collectors. Many of our books are out of print. Specialties include literature, signed firsts, art and photography, design, illustrated books, cookbooks, field guides, children's books, needlecraft books, and Americana. We recently acquired a large private collection of books on military history. The focus is on World War II as well as aviation history. Warwick Books is a member of IOBA, the Independent Online Booksellers Association.

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We accept personal checks, money orders, Paypal, and credit card payments through ABE's secure ABE Commerce arrangement. California residents add 9 percent sales tax. Please e-mail or phone to confirm availability of books before sending payment. We can be reached at Warwick Books, 101 Warwick Place, South Pasadena, CA, att: Suzanne Mantell. Phone 323-683-3294; e-mail warwickbooks@socal.rr.com. All items are guaranteed as described. Books may be returned within 30 days if not as described; notic...

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