Knopf, 1957. 267 pgs. Science Fiction.
It is the beginning of summer, 1928, in Green Town, Illinois, and Douglas Spaulding is determined to savor every moment. For him, summer begins with some long established rituals like the hanging of the porch swing, the buying of new tennis shoes, and the first harvest of his Grandfather's dandelion wine. This summer he discovers what it is to be alive and also the reality of death.
I read this book right as summer was starting and it was great timing to experience Bradbury's descriptive writing on the wonders of summer. It made me look around and try to determine what sights, smells, or activities represented the beginning of summer for me. The plot was a little meandering but overall I enjoyed it and the characters were very likable.
I started listening to this on CD and soon realized that the Jerry Robbins and the Colonial Radio Players version was vastly different from the book. After going back and finishing the book, I was discussing it with someone who had only listened to the book on CD and we may as well have been discussing two different novels. This was a great, clean, book for a book group with only a few very mild swear words but a lot of things to discuss. This book is found in the Science Fiction section but it seemed like just a normal fiction book to me.