Where Bradbury Was Bigger Than Hemingway

Not one more Bradbury reminiscence, you’re saying. Enough is enough! But  what if it’s a really good one? Like Mikhail Iossel’s revelation of Bradbury’s unsurpassed popularity in the old Soviet Union, from The New Yorker? Where he tells about the Russian boys who made their own dandelion wine?

In the last three decades of the Soviet Union’s existence, Ray Bradbury was the country’s most famous and widely read American writer. Only Isaac Asimov, Ernest Hemingway, and J. D. Salinger enjoyed somewhat comparable degrees of popularity. The big Soviet cities boasted dozens of Ray Bradbury fan clubs. It was impossible, as well as extremely uncool, for any au courant Soviet teen-ager or intelligentsia-bound young engineer not to have read and be able to discuss, at a party or in a dentist’s chair, “Fahrenheit 451,” “Martian Chronicles,” or “Dandelion Wine,” and the iconic stories “A Sound of Thunder” and “There Will Come Soft Rains.”

[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]