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Publisher's Summary

"Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a land mine. The land mine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces back together. Now, it's your turn. Jump!"

Zest. Gusto. Curiosity. These are the qualities every writer must have, as well as a spirit of adventure. In this exuberant book, the incomparable Ray Bradbury shares the wisdom, experience, and excitement of a lifetime of writing. Here are practical tips on the art of writing from a master of the craft - everything from finding original ideas to developing your own voice and style - as well as the inside story of Bradbury's own remarkable career as a prolific author of novels, stories, poems, films, and plays.

Zen in the Art of Writing is more than just a how-to manual for the would-be writer: it is a celebration of the act of writing itself that will delight, impassion, and inspire the writer in you. In it, Bradbury encourages us to follow the unique path of our instincts and enthusiasms to the place where our inner genius dwells, and he shows that success as a writer depends on how well you know one subject: your own life.

©1994 Ray Bradbury Enterprises (P)2018 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Zen in the Art of Writing

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Trying too hard

Felt pretentious and trying to hard, made it difficult to listen to. Would rather it be direct and deliver the point rather than try for elaborate ways of explaining things. The narrator was annoying to listen to, also.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-03-2018

Evocative fuel for any Muse!

This book has been a deeply cherished favorite of mine since adolescence. I've hoped to find it on Audible for years. It's finally here. Mr. Frangione's narration brings Bradbury's dynamically vital text to life. What a relief to find a voice so perfectly suited to such spiritually demanding material! As I listened, I worked on Surrealistic drawings, refreshed and reminded of wisdom that had been instilled by Bradbury decades ago. These are lessons for life, immediately applicable to any life lived in mindfulness and flow. Reaching the end, I shed my first tears of joy in recent memory.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Angelica Smith Bill
  • 10-10-2019

Passionate Writing Inspiration

Very inspiring! Keep in mind that this is a collection of essays on writing. Bradbury gives so much inspiration and you feel his passion of the craft. It truly makes you want to grab a notebook and start jotting down your own titles for story inspiration to bloom from.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Susan Joslyn
  • 07-12-2018

Good advice - re-readable.

Glad I bought this one, I'll be listening to it again. Bradbury had immense innate talent, but he also had a perseverance and discipline that can be learned.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jake LaFrance
  • 31-01-2018

Great, informative book!

I love Ray Bradbury and this book gave some helpful advice to an aspiring writer.

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  • ES
  • 27-03-2019

inspirational

If you've been feeling blocked, unmotivated or forgot how much FUN it can be to write, this will help. It's humorous and inspirational. He talks about how he got started writing and how he kept going. There's also a chapter where he answers reader's questions about his books, which was interesting.

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  • Gabriel Yacso
  • 19-11-2020

Awesome

My new favorite! It’s going in my forever collection. I could listen to this a thousand times.

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  • kurt lindner
  • 16-11-2020

Awesome!

It's Ray Bradbury -of course it's amazing. This was very motivating, both the words an delivery. Many topics are touched on from direct examples of writing method to the experience of that experience. The narrator gives an outstanding performance, many times I had to remind myself it was Mr. Bradbury himself speaking to me.

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  • Christopher K.
  • 17-08-2020

Excellent

This is an amazing book. That is the truth of what I need to hear as an artist. I’m not a writer. I am a painter and this book relaxed my being.

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  • Jacqueline Landry
  • 16-08-2020

Wanted to love this book, but...

A lifelong fan of Bradbury, I was very disappointed in this ego-stroking, self-involved book supposedly on writing. Doesn't change my opinion of his wonderful fiction, but this was a failure for me.

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  • Martin Ljungqvist
  • 22-07-2020

Some good advice about writing

The narrator was excellent. There were good messages about writing and creativity: write every day for the passion of it. There were also a lot about his career. And then finally the zen part i the end.

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  • P. A. Dourado
  • 22-06-2020

Exuberant, excitable, of its time

I love some of Ray Bradbury's output. His grandiloquence - that's his kind of word - can get wearing though, and these essays are overflowing with it. And the real not faux naivete that fuels the excitable flow of words: his writing on how to write is full of the kind of gosh, darn, golly, mouth wide open awe that you'd expect from a kid growing up in small town America decades ago. The naivete and optimism of the mid 20th century mid West are everywhere. Grandparents are all kind, all wisdom, compared in the cringiest passages to Aristotle with Ray and the other kids at their feet on the lawns, soaking up their age old wisdom and philosophy and goodness. Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of the most arresting titles of any piece of writing. But the backwards Yoda speak is not just occasional, it is everywhere in Bradbury's writing. And watching The Upstart Crow in which a comic Shakespeare defends dramatising a sentence by 'putting all the words in the wrong order' because 'that's what I do' is a reminder that a style of writing suited to Astounding Stories and often coming across as written by an excitable boy for excitable boys can be endearing in small doses now. But it feels very dated, lacking in irony and sometimes hypey in its attempts to evoke wonder and portent and fear today. Ray was, from his writings here, a scared, sensitive child who once listed all the things that scared him - the attic, skeletons, the carnival, the thing on the stairs, the old man, the old woman, the storm etc - and decided to write about each one to set loose the fear and excitement attached to it. Write a thousand words a day for fifty years and some of it will be breathtakingly good but a lot of it won't is what he himself says. About ten percent, he says, is the good stuff. From quantity comes quality, he writes. Which applies to this book of essays, too. Some of the overlong, hyperbolic writing (in case the first metaphor in a list doesn't wow you, there are plenty more queuing up to do the same job until one does or you give in under the unrelenting barrage of words, shouting 'I get it, Ray, I got it with the first one, please move on') is partly entertaining in the way a garrulous uncle you're fond of but find annoying after a while keeps telling you the same old stories at length and insists this is deep timeless wisdom you need to pay attention to. Good insights for writers hiding in the verbiage - your subconscious is your muse, for example - but elaborately surrounded and dressed up, as you'd expect if you've read any Bradbury. Most moving anecdote - told several different times in the different essays collected into this book - is how as a small child he played on a lake beach with a little girl and then she was gone and he was playing alone. He was so young it wasn't till years later he found out she'd gone into the lake and drowned. Years after that he wrote 'The Lake ' purely so he could rescue her, bring her back out of the water, because he couldn't bear her having been left there for decades, 'though I didn't realise that until I finished it - hadn't even known how deeply she'd affected me - and couldn't stop sobbing as I typed the last word, but felt I'd released her and, after ten years of bad writing, had finally written something true.' (That's a paraphrase). Gotta love him for that.

2 people found this helpful

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