August 18, 2008

Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury

Filed under: reading,Writing — crcb @ 2:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

Reading fiction by Ray Bradbury is a gamble. He’s created some beautiful stories, but you have to slog through a lot of mawk to find them. He’s a much better fiction writer than he is an essayist.

Zen in the Art of Writing consists of reprinted articles (and some awful poems) on the art and craft of writing. Bradbury provides good advice for beginners — write every day, read widely, have fun — but little of it is original, and even with repetitions (of which there are many), this advice accounts for only about a dozen pages. Much more space is devoted to mythologizing Bradbury’s childhood.

If you want to share Bradbury’s admiration of his ten-year-old self, this is the book for you. If you want insights into the fiction-maker’s art, look elsewhere.



  1. And I’d been considering picking that up too. Ah well, I’ll look into Stephen King’s book on writing instead.

    Comment by lucidlunatic — August 18, 2008 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

  2. I’ll have to look into Stephen King’s book, as well. I read his column in Entertainment Weekly now and then. He seems less full of himself than Bradbury. (Though I’m sure Ray Bradbury is a very nice individual in person.)

    Comment by crcb — August 18, 2008 @ 9:51 pm | Reply

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