Friday, January 6, 2012

Bradbury Friday: The Wind

In 1984, Mike McDonough (working at BYU Media Services) produced and directed a series called Bradbury 13 through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. NPR aired the 30-minute radio dramas, and my dad recorded each episode on high-quality cassette tapes.
These 13 stories, based on stories written by Ray Bradbury, are a part of my childhood. My dad knew a good thing when he heard one, and he was keen to share it with our family. Any time we were on a road trip or headed anywhere that took more than 30 minutes to get there, he had the glove box stocked with tapes, and we had a story to listen to. We heard these over, and over, and over... Each of my siblings had a favorite, and we all hoped to be granted the next choice.

I remember being about 6 years old, headed to California, listening to Bradbury 13. I am amazed that at so young, I heard some of these chilling stories. My own young children may be a bit sheltered, but I don't think I'll let them listen to the series for a few years, yet. But, still, they are a memory that I am glad to have, and I'm grateful to find out that the series is now available for purchase on mp3 over at or on CD format as well (I saw it on Amazon, but it might be available in your local record store!).
My sister, over at Such a Sew and Sew, posted about the Bradbury 13 radio series about a year ago. It was actually what got me into reading blogs. As I've reminisced about the series, I've decided to find and read each story, and share them with you. The series are numbered, but the mp3 recordings are not in the same order as the original series air dates, so I am not going to be putting them in any particular order. Mainly they will be posted as I locate them. The stories do not all come from the same collection of Bradbury stories. I have 3 books on loan from the library, and in them I have found 5 of the 13 stories. I still have to find 3 or 4 other books to locate the rest.

Our first story is called The Wind. It was first published in the March 1943 edition of a magazine called Weird Tales. Later it was published in Ray Bradbury's The October Country, a book of his short stories.

We open the scene on a dark December evening. Herb Thompson and his wife are getting ready for dinner when the phone rings. It is Allin, an old friend of Herb's, hoping Herb can come stay with Allin for the night. The wind is bothering him. Unfortunately for Allin, Herb and his wife are expecting company after dinner. Herb can come next week, when his wife is out of town. The wind, however, continues to be a bother to Allin, and he calls several times during the evening. Herb becomes increasingly worried about his friend, while his wife is becoming increasingly irritated with both of them.

You'll have to read the story yourself, but be sure the windows are closed and you aren't sitting near a draft. And if you are in for some great radio drama, find the CD or mp3. The story is nearly identical to the original print, and the 3D sound effects are amazing. Ray Bradbury really knows how to paint a picture in your mind, and The Wind is a great place to start.


Anonymous said...

Oh Yes, Ray Bradbury, one of the greatest American science fiction authors. As you said, he can really paint a picture in your mind. His stories are best in Print and The NPR series, Very Excellent, added a really great sound quality to help brighten the painted Picture your mind mind is creating as the story unfolds.

The Bradbury 13 NPR series was far and away superior to the "Old Time Radio theatres" of the 40's and 50's that presented a few of his tales of Mars, monsters, and outer space.

However, his stories are so detailed that the motion picture and TV industry has never been able to cough up enough money to make one of his stories into a visual media match for the visual Quality that human mind can create. The movies and TV Visual presentation always fells a flat, and the story is never fully painted by the mind.

I have always marveled at the little twist in the road at the end of each story. You think your going full speed forward, when all of a sudden the story turns hard to the left, right or does a complete U-turn. It is always a surprise at the end.

I look forward to more of this.

Elizabeth said...

Hey! We're both Ravenclaws! How awesome is that?

OK, so awesome post. I love Bradbury. The Wind is one I didn't remember much when I did my Bradbury posts. I've listened to it a couple of times since and really enjoy this one.

In my research about the series, I read somewhere that Mike McDonough tried to stay as true to the stories as possible. I might just have to make a trip to the library and see for myself ;).

This is a really fun series!

xo -E