Posted in Short Stories

Ray Bradbury: Long After Midnight

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It’s week 12 of my 2014 Deal Me In Project and I drew the three of spades which corresponds to Ray Bradbury’s short story “Long After Midnight”.   Deal Me In is sponsored by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a story by Ray Bradbury so I looked forward to choosing one of his stories.  At four pages, it’s also one of the shorter stories on my list.


Three EMT’s arrive at the scene of a young girl’s suicide.  The scene bothers Latting, the least experienced of the three men, while the more seasoned Carlson and Moreno have built up their defenses to deal with such situations.  In the ambulance, Latting discusses life and love and family with his colleagues and manages to put a small nick in their armor.  I liked the fact that Bradbury didn’t completely break the veneer of the older men.  This made the ambulance discussion more realistic.  And this realism gives more of an impact to the surprise discovery Latting makes and the validity of his final question.

I admit that the final discovery took me by surprise.  While this particular story is not science fiction or fantasy, it’s a good reminder that writers known for these genres don’t need to be excluded when discussing works of social commentary.

6 thoughts on “Ray Bradbury: Long After Midnight

  1. Dang, when I saw you’d drawn a “Bradbury card” I was hoping it would be the Lazarus story you mentioned last week. Oh well, I will be patient, though I’m dying to learn about that one. I’ll ask Jon Eller (of the Bradbury center) on Thursday about th genesis of this one. (It’s his month to lead the discussion at the Vonnegut book club) 🙂

    1. Hi Jay,
      Three more Bradbury stories are still in the deck. I’d love to hear what Jon Eller has to say about this story. Let me know.

      1. Hi Dale,
        I did ask Jon about the origin of this story at lunch today. He said it was “a true story” but I didn’t press him for details as he was reluctant to spoil it for me as I haven’t read it yet. He said it was originally in the collection titled The October Country.

        I asked him also about Some Live Like Lazarus. Sounds like you’re in for a treat with that one. Heading know the Andreyev story that I read.

        – Jay

      2. Thanks, Jay! Now I’ll see if I can wait until I pick Some Live Like Lazarus to read it! I’ve heard of the collection The October Country. I’m trying to think if this (Long After Midnight) was the first Bradbury story I’ve read in which there was no sci-fi or fantasy element to it.

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