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The Playground

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Years ago I was going through a movie slump, when I saw the preview for a new movie during a coffee break while doing night shift, which made me sit up and go: Over the course of the summer, the six adults all become closer and even go to Greece on vacation. The unsupervised children also grow close but what is really going on with the kids. Is it simple hide and seek or is there something much more sinister going on? The story twists and turns while the three families search for answers. It’s only as they begin to unravel the truth of what happened over the summer that they realize evil has crept quietly into their world while they weren't paying attention. If you are at all familiar with Aron's writing, then you should be well prepared for the darkness that lies within his storytelling. But you should also be expecting superb character developement, well developed plots, and unique settings. You will see some parallels with that movie when you read this one, but it is hard to imagine how far the author went with this one. If this was made into a movie, it would never see the light of day. It is SAW on steroids to the AAHHHHH degree. Married since 1947, Mr. Bradbury and his wife Maggie lived in Los Angeles with their numerous cats. Together, they raised four daughters and had eight grandchildren. Sadly, Maggie passed away in November of 2003.

Three low-income families have been given a handsome retainer to join Geraldine Borden for a day at her cliffside estate. All the parents must do to collect the rest of their money is allow their children to test out the revolutionary playground equipment Geraldine has been working on for decades. But there’s a reason the structures in the bowels of her gothic castle have taken so long to develop—they were never meant to see the light of day. Some who suffered in childhood, say it did them no harm, and the next generation should endure as well. From the iconic science fiction author of Fahrenheit 451, a chilling dystopian short story that became a classic episode of TV’s Ray Bradbury Theater.Ray Douglas Bradbury, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He became a full-time writer in 1943, and contributed numerous short stories to periodicals before publishing a collection of them, Dark Carnival, in 1947. Ray Bradbury has never confined his vision to the purely literary. He has been nominated for an Academy Award (for his animated film Icarus Montgolfier Wright), and has won an Emmy Award (for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree). He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's Ray Bradbury Theater. He was the creative consultant on the United States Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. In 1982 he created the interior metaphors for the Spaceship Earth display at Epcot Center, Disney World, and later contributed to the conception of the Orbitron space ride at Euro-Disney, France. He heard the voice and turned to see who had called him. There on top a metal slide, a boy of some nine years was waving. "Hello, Charlie . . .!" The characters are well fleshed out, the story makes sense, but deep inside all the gore there is a commentary about parenthood and the ills of the world we live in. Psychologically speaking, this is a study in all that can be done incorrectly to a child.

The boy was smiling high in the misty air, and now, jostled by other yelling children, rushed shrieking down the slide.

A new friendship between three sets of parents and six children develops when one child in each family takes part in tutoring for dyslexia. To say these families are different is putting it mildly. We have: Not to say that he is a writer of children’s stories, a conveyer of fun in the sun and a chronicler of innocence; Bradbury documents the autumnal child, that channel towards adulthood that remains long after the ascent to older age has been accomplished. And remembering all of that, painful as it was to let go and watch the child learn to navigate the big scary world, I feel all the sympathy for Bradbury's Mr. Underhill - and wishing that I could tell him that it would all be okay, that we all need to eventually face the world and, painful as it may be, let the ones we love face it, too. That ultimately it will all be okay. The Playground features three families that live in the surrounding areas of London. Eve and Eric have three children, Melissa and Paul have a teenage daughter, and Grace and Martin have two children. The three families are brought together because they all have a child who has dyslexia. Eve is a teacher and stay-at-home mom who has decided to start tutoring her oldest daughter and other dyslexic children.

As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes. Brilliant (toxic) context. Loved the epistolary touches. Taut, dark, and seriously addictive.’ WILL DEAN

Want to go in," said Jim, leaning against the high wire fence, watching the late-playing children beat each other and run. And in this story, the Playground is hell, the place where children go to be bullied and beaten, and it is this fate, that of living a childhood of torment, that Charlie wants to save his son from experiencing.

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