Audio Drama Review: Dandelion Wine

Twelve Year old Douglas Spaulding is growing up in the 1920s in Green Town, Illinois, a town that’s full of life, energy, and a reliable circle of friends and family, and Summer is the best time of all. In the course of Summer, the magic of Green Town makes for many wonderful moments, but Douglas also has to cope with the first pangs of growing up.

Dandelion Wine was originally a novel by Ray Bradbury, who later wrote it as a play and then turned it into this audiodrama for Colonial Radio Theatre.

Dandelion Wine showcases why Bradbury is such a beloved author even outside of the science fiction genre. Bradbury’s at his best and this story works very well for radio as the lyrical dialogue paints evocative pictures that capture the imagination. Dandelion Wine manages to take even mundane moments in life and wrap them in wonder. One of my favorite scenes involves Douglas’ grandfather taking inventory of his stock of the medicinal dandelion wine. It’s a well-done scene that creates a sense of nostalgia and gives a keen insight into the childlike way Douglas views the world.

The play is well-acted with Jerry Robbins turning in a great performance as the mysterious and soft-spoken Mr. Forrester. The sound design is ably done and helps to re-enforce the tone of the story.

The play is a story for all ages, though younger and older viewers will view it differently. Douglas relates well to the younger listeners. Yet, for older listeners, it’ll call to mind a whole other set of emotions: reminders of childhood and the moments when it ended with the realization that the world was changing whether you wanted it to or not.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

Note: This Audio Drama is available for free through Audible Channels for Audible subscribers. It’s also available for purchase for non-subscribers.

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