Review of The Small Assassin by Ray Bradbury

March 5, 2004
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobooks - The Small Assassin by Ray BradburyThe Small Assassin
By Ray Bradbury; Read by Ray Bradbury
1 Cassette – 39 minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Caedmon
Published: 1981 – (OUT OF PRINT & HARD TO FIND)
ISBN: NONE (Library of Congress #91-740020)
Themes: / Fantasy / Childbirth / Babies /

Ray Bradbury is different from most speculative fiction authors. His stories feel almost organic – the ideas in them seem to grow out of a small seed rather than to be built, there is a structure present but the elegant symmetry of his tales appears to come solely from their functionality rather than deliberate act of ornamentation. This is doubly true in the case of “The Small Assassin”. Written in 1945, when he was only 25 years old, Bradbury sold the story to Dime Mystery Magazine and it appeared in the November 1946 issue. It tells the story of a brand new family, the father is a proud parent, the mother is dutiful but worried and the baby is trying to kill his parents. Its a slight premise, the story is short and it needs to be for the limited range of consequences it can explore. But its successful and leaves the listener with just that much more cautious about assumptions. A lesson Bradbury teaches well. Caedmon was the pioneer of audiobooks (Caedmon is now an imprint of HarperAudio), and like many of its earliest recordings it liked to have authors read their own stories. Bradbury reads his own tale here and he reads it well.


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