While no one can top Stephen King (for me), Ray Bradbury is certainly my second favorite author. His writing is so precise — he says neither too much nor too little — with nary a word out of place. He evokes emotions buried deep within me, every damn time.
Dandelion Wine is magical realism mixed with coming of age; this story oozes charm and is filled with quotable passages. While the main character is Douglas, a twelve year old boy who is realizing what it means to be 'alive', the narrative does shift focus to several peripheral characters. I must admit I didn't quite know where the plot was going some of the time (I felt it meandered a good deal), but I'm not sure if that was just me not understanding, or the book failing to engage me at certain points. Those times were few and far between, however!
This is excellent reading for summer. Bradbury uses the season and locale to his advantage, making it all come alive with his pen. While a little confusing at times, this deeply poetic novel is one to be read and treasured. A definite classic.