Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bradbury 31, Day 8: "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl"

First published in 1948, "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" is an interesting short story by Ray Bradbury first printed as "Touch and Go." In this tale, a man commits a crime of passion, angrily killing his rival. Desperate to keep himself from being connected with the murder, the killer begins obsessively cleaning everything he touched in the house - but quickly loses track of what he did or did not touch.

As "Touch and Go" it was published in EC Comics' Crime SuspenStories by Al Feldstein and Johnny Craig; Craig did an excellent job of depicting the killer's confusion and madness. Under the story's later title, "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl," it appeared on a 1988 episode of The Ray Bradbury Theater with Michael Ironside as the killer. Ironside is an actor beloved by film buffs but not exactly renowned; in this program he's absolutely riveting as the rattled killer. It's one of the best episodes of that series and a very fine adaptation.

Tomorrow: another Ray Bradbury tale!

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