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    Review of LET'S ALL KILL CONSTANCE by Ray Bradbury

    HarperCollins, 2003

    Aging movie star Constance Rattigan shows up on Ray Bradbury's doorstep with a problem. Someone has dropped off an address book that Constance got rid of years before--because so many of the people in it are dead. It is a book of the dead--and a threat--especially since some of the people listed in it aren't dead, yet. Bradbury is sucked into the mystery and follows it through the streets of old Hollywood. As he and his friends investigate, they find that Constance was more than they had suspected--and more dangerous. For Constance is investigating on her own, and where she goes, death seems to follow. Could the entire thing be a setup by Constance? Or is someone systematically destroying her past--before they destroy her?

    Author Ray Bradbury is a master at taking a simple story and revealing the layers of meaning and depth that are normally hidden and LET'S ALL KILL CONSTANCE is a fine example. In the early 1960s Hollywood where so many people are creations, Constance is the ultimate creation. What she really is underneath the Hollywood glitz, Bradbury, the others, and even Constance herself can scarcely discern. Fans of Ray Bradbury will get a kick out of seeing him come up with the ideas for several of his best and most famous works as he chases down the mystery.

    In the final third of the book, LET'S ALL KILL CONSTANCE occasionally gets muddled in itself. Still, Bradbury brings it to a strong (if weird--but it's Bradbury so you wouldn't expect anything else) conclusion. Bradbury's strong writing and the powerful character of Constance herself carry the reader's interest and compell us through this short novel.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 2/07/03

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