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Dandelion Wine Audiobook

Dandelion Wine: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

Ray Bradbury’s moving recollection of a vanished golden era remains one of his most enchanting novels. Dandelion Wine stands out in the Bradbury literary canon as the author’s most deeply personal work, a semiautobiographical recollection of a magical small-town summer in 1928.

Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding knows Green Town, Illinois, is as vast and deep as the whole wide world that lies beyond the city limits. It is a pair of brand-new tennis shoes, the first harvest of dandelions for Grandfather’s renowned intoxicant, the distant clang of the trolley’s bell on a hazy afternoon. It is yesteryear and tomorrow blended into an unforgettable always. But as young Douglas is about to discover, summer can be more than the repetition of established rituals whose mystical power holds time at bay. It can be a best friend moving away, a human time machine that can transport you back to the Civil War, or a sideshow automaton able to glimpse the bittersweet future.

Come and savor Ray Bradbury’s priceless distillation of all that is eternal about boyhood and summer.

©1946 Ray Bradbury (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Bradbury is an authentic original.” (Time)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (530 )
5 star
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4.0 (471 )
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Story
4.3 (471 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Julia Blake 02-25-17
    Julia Blake 02-25-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Thought Provoking Story"

    This is a wonderful book which perfectly captures every human emotion and examines each one. My only complaint is that there was no pause at all between chapters, nor did the narrator say when a new chapter was beginning, which left me momentarily confused.

    28 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 04-25-17
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 04-25-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Small Town Summer, And Oh The Writing!!!"

    June mornings, July noons, August evenings, each day perfect and held in a bottle of dandelion wine that can be opened in the cold and dark of winter.
    "Dandelion Wine", while called a novel, is mostly a series of perfectly drawn stories, each featuring colorful characters with wants and needs, dreams and despair. Green Town is, after all, a small town with barely over a thousand people, most who know each other, know their business, wonder and wait with held breath as life rolls by.
    While Paul Michael Garcia isn't my favorite narrator, he does a wonderful job here, capturing loneliness, joy, fascination and intrigue. The only problem isn't his fault but a production blip: each chapter runs straight into the next, not giving you, the listener, time to absorb, to roll around on your tongue the wonderful words and essences of what you've just heard. Bradbury writes to be heard, to be digested fully and appreciated. Each story is perfect in its own way, with beautiful last lines that just sink into you.
    This might not be everybody's cup of tea. It is, after all, a simple compilation of simple lives, but oh the writing!
    Ray Bradbury once said something along the lines of: When you write, you're running off a cliff and sprouting wings as you descend. With "Dandelion Wine", I truly believe he sprouted those wings and soared high above, showing us our lives, our sorrows, our joys just as we live them.

    59 of 64 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-07-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic Writing That's Read Well!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to Dandelion Wine the most enjoyable?

    The way Ray Bradbury writes coupled with the excellent reading done by Mr. Garcia was truly a treat. The words romance you out of your daily life and back into a time where life revolved around relationships. It invites you back to small town America, where old lady's always have brunch on Sunday, old men curse their bodies as their spirits remain young. It provides hope in what sometimes seems like a dismal reality.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love how Bradbury touches on topics that have left universal scars on almost everyone's soul. Maybe I am just too young to see how many universal events there are that unite us all in this world but Bradbury seamlessly touches all those chords playing on life's trials like a grand pianist: The result me understanding life (or at least I think I do;)...) a smidgen more.


    What about Paul Michael Garcia’s performance did you like?

    I love how he reads the sounds of nature, you can tell he isn't half-assing it. I love how he makes the sounds for the old ladies, dials it down even more to mimic naive and pure youth. He truly does the story justice, which is rare...


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No...I'd rather sip this one and enjoy it


    Any additional comments?

    I would love to see this narrator read the Illustrated Man...I have yet to read it, but I know he would do a great job.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John B. Kendrick 04-01-17
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    "Stunningly perceptive and beautifully written"

    Get ready to be transported back to a simpler time, and get ready to be transported to a future that is clarified by Bradbury's ability to sense the essence of life and what is truly important.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karltonwrites 06-23-12
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    "Fears and Glories of Childhood"

    This mash-up book of Bradbury short stories works well as a novel (as did the Martian Chronicles). The book masterfully taps into the fears and glories of childhoood. I'm only sad that it took Bradbury's death to bump it up on my reading list. Of the two versions, I chose Paul Michael Garcia's version because the tone of his voice is youthful and I've found higher voices are easier for me to hear in the car. He did a good job, convincingly breathing life into the novel's wide variety of characters.

    25 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cojoki 11-20-16
    cojoki 11-20-16
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    "Your mileage may vary"
    Any additional comments?

    If you haven't previously been exposed to Ray Bradbury's writing, or if you've only read (or listened to, or viewed) his more well-known works of fiction, like Fahrenheit 451, this review may not be for you. But if you grew up in the '50s or '60s - or maybe in the early '70s - these words may be helpful. If you consumed Tolkien, and were appalled by Peter Jackson's increasingly perverse interpretations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, you'll understand where I'm coming from.

    Audio interpretation of the written word is a somewhat dicey proposition. As we read, we hear a voice (or voices) in our head, speaking the words we read. When we return to the text, those same voices reappear, once again bringing the written word to life. When we revisit the text via an audio recording, the story seems changed. The voice may be in a different register, have a different timbre; and the pacing is wrong. Dramatizations can be worse, with mispronunciations, or more (or less) emotion than we felt when we read the story, or when it was read to us.

    For me, Dandelion Wine carries an extra burden. It's not just fiction, but memories. My memories. Some of the events in the book happened to me, or so closely correspond with my own childhood memories, that they may as well have been part of my own past. The voice in my head as I read those words does not track them the same way they're presented on the page, but uses them as if they were signposts, leading me to a host of memories that take me back to my own childhood.

    Because I'm looking to revisit my own memories, I'm looking more for narration than dramatization, because a narration frees me to recreate my own thoughts. A dramatization, especially this one by Paul Michael Garcia, forces his own version of events on me, making this an entirely different book from the one I know. The difference, and the disappointment, was so great that in the end I had to stop listening. This wasn't the Dandelion Wine I was looking for.

    Your experience may be entirely different. I certainly don't fault Audible, the production company, or Mr. Garcia. The technical quality is good. But for me, this version doesn't approach the bottled summer quality of the words as they flowed from Bradbury's typewriter, onto the page, and into my mind.

    46 of 58 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 07-06-17
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 07-06-17 Member Since 2012
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    "I want to feel all there is to feel..."

    "I want to feel all there is to feel, he thought. Let me feel tired, now, let me feel tired. I mustn't forget, I'm alive, I know I'm alive, I mustn't forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that."
    -Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

    Ingredients

    1 quart yellow dandelion blossoms, well rinsed
    1 gallon boiling water
    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1 orange, sliced
    1 lemon slice

    Directions

    Place dandelion blossoms in the boiling water, and allow to stand for 4 minutes. Remove and discard the blossoms, and let the water cool to 90 degrees F (32 degrees C).

    Stir in the yeast, sugar, orange slices, and lemon slice; pour into a plastic fermentor, and attach a fermentation lock. Let the wine ferment in a cool area until the bubbles stop, 10 to 14 days. Siphon the wine off of the lees, and strain through cheesecloth before bottling in quart-sized, sterilized canning jars with lids and rings. Age the wine at least a week for best flavor.*

    Review

    Periodically this year I've been revisiting the great novels of my youth. I can't escape Ray Bradbury. He was the Michael Chabon of my childhood. He taught me to see magic in seasons and find miracles in the ordinary moments in the day. This is another Bradbury reread from 30 years ago that has improved with age. Add sugar and nostalgia and time. Let life ferment you for 30 years. Come back to his delicate, nuanced prose. Read his sweet notes of youth, of a past infused with both sunshine and magic and see if you don't add a couple stars to your re-read.

    Reading this on the Fourth of July was nearly perfect. This book, bookended a day filled with family BBQs, fireworks, community festivals, apple pie and icecream. The book bottles youth, Summer, Americana, etc. It is a love note to being alive, being young, and flirting with the knowledge that life IS fleating, Summer ends, friends move, loved ones die, and there are no machine of happiness. Just 93 days, 15 hours, and 38 minutes of Summer in 2017 to be absorbed one day, one smell, one word at a time.

    * stolen wholecloth from one Internet receipe machine or another. Look for the one that is smoking.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clair 04-28-15
    Clair 04-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Ray B tells a story with amazing creativity!"

    I can't imagine a better afternoon than sitting down and listening to a story by Mr. Bradbury and the narrator was a pleasant surprise as he came up with all of the nuances to the voices and sound affects that added a special magic.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David D. Schneider 06-09-16 Member Since 2017
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    "A Good Book. A Must Read. 😱"

    Early Bradbury has a poetic lilt and cadence that is really magical and isn't found in any other science fiction writer I've ever read.
    This and his Martian story are unique in that regard and being unique -- they must be enjoyed and appreciated.
    Three stars is OK.
    Four stars is good.
    Five stars is excellent 😱

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teri GILLETTE, WY, United States 09-15-16
    Teri GILLETTE, WY, United States 09-15-16 Member Since 2013
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    "charming story"

    What a charming story of youth and imagination. One can only hope that every child can experience a summer such as this.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
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  • Mr Jeremy J Osborn
    8/13/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A celebration of language "

    "Bee-fried air", flies that "land, sizzle and fly away", "scarves of smoke" from chimneys. I wonder how long it took Bradbury to think of the descriptions? Not edge if the seat stuff by any stretch of the imagination but a description of small-town America one summer between the wars that should be read in summer to add to the atmosphere created.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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