This 1997 short story collection is uneven and at times weak. There is less fantasy or science fiction than in many of Bradbury’s earlier works. All but four of the stories are new. A snapshot of the collection is seen in some of the themes.
- In the short story “Remember Me?” we find the theme of meeting a familiar face in a distant place.
- The theme of children’s storytelling and kissing games is found in “House Divided”.
- The theme of looking up an old flame is in “I Wonder What’s Become of Sally?”.
- One of my favorite themes, the revenge of the nerd everybody picked on is the theme of “The Highest Branch on the Tree”.
But the book has some terrific moments. Examples are when Bradbury recalls a tiny, dusty, moth-eaten Mexican circus, tells the hilarious story of Irish drinking buddies looking for a safe place in the bogs to take a woman, and yet another tale of perfect love squandered (“Madame et Monsieur Shill”).
If you’re new to Bradbury, this will do nicely, but for veteran readers it’s a bit of same old same old.