Friday, October 28, 2016

Bradbury 31, Day 28: "The Whole Town's Sleeping"

"The Whole Town's Sleeping" is one of Ray Bradbury's most nightmarish tales. It first appeared in print in 1950 as a short story but was later adapted into his novel Dandelion Wine. However, a few things changed to fit the novel; it's the story of a woman who goes for a walk through a ravine on her way home late at night and she fears a serial killer may be lurking in the shadows. For the novel, Bradbury tacked on a fairly happy ending which is nowhere near as impactful as the original tale.

In 1955, the great radio show Suspense did a masterful job of adapting the story with a very chilling ending. You can hear it for yourself at here.

In 1984 the radio show Bradbury 13 adapted the story as "The Ravine" but used the version found in Dandelion Wine; you can hear it at Youtube here. A television version debuted on The Ray Bradbury Theater in 1992 as "The Lonely One" but I'm not sure the story works well on television; the bulk of the story goes on inside the mind of the protagonist as all her fears are intensified; the objective lens of a camera can't accurately depict what's going through her mind. A comic book version would be great, but there hasn't been one yet.

More macabre Bradbury tomorrow!

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