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The Illustrated Man (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Paperback – October 11, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reissue edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062079972
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062079978
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (336 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

That The Illustrated Man has remained in print since being published in 1951 is fair testimony to the universal appeal of Ray Bradbury's work. Only his second collection (the first was Dark Carnival, later reworked into The October Country), it is a marvelous, if mostly dark, quilt of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. In an ingenious framework to open and close the book, Bradbury presents himself as a nameless narrator who meets the Illustrated Man--a wanderer whose entire body is a living canvas of exotic tattoos. What's even more remarkable, and increasingly disturbing, is that the illustrations are themselves magically alive, and each proceeds to unfold its own story, such as "The Veldt," wherein rowdy children take a game of virtual reality way over the edge. Or "Kaleidoscope," a heartbreaking portrait of stranded astronauts about to reenter our atmosphere--without the benefit of a spaceship. Or "Zero Hour," in which invading aliens have discovered a most logical ally--our own children. Even though most were written in the 1940s and 1950s, these 18 classic stories will be just as chillingly effective 50 years from now. --Stanley Wiater --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up-Paul Hecht's calm, assured voice narrates this classic science fiction anthology by Ray Bradbury that brings to life the social and political fears prevalent in post World War II America, when they were first published. The unnamed narrator in the introduction watches the Illustrated Man's tattoos come to life presenting the 19 short stories. Resonant with authority, Hecht's voice presents rocket men in difficult circumstances, and yet he is able to be detached from their impending deaths. This is contrasted with the gentle tones of devotion of religious clerics. His speech presents a full variety of techniques. He changes pitch for the women characters, and modulates volume and speed to depict the full spectrum of emotions. Efficient production so that most stories are completed on a single side of a tape will enable teachers to locate easily a desired story for class presentation. Only a few of the shortest stories are two on a side. The wicked, colorful tattoos make a very eye-catching cover. A must for sci-fi fans!-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2012) published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was twenty years old. Among his many famous works are 'Fahrenheit 451,' 'The Illustrated Man,' and 'The Martian Chronicles.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By buddyhead on February 27, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Conceptually, The Illustrated Man is brilliant from the get-go, including its novel premise of 18 stories as told through the moving tattoos on a man's body; in addition to weaving intricate webs, the Illustrated Man's body art predicts the future.
And, oh, what stories are told. As a science fiction writer, it is no surprise that the majority of Bradbury's stories have to do with space and the future (heck, all of space was in the future when these stories were written in the early 50s). Additionally, the majority of the tales are pretty bleak, dealing with dark themes of revenge, futile searches for paradise, and Armageddon. However, save for their near-universal excellence, thought-provocation, and prescience, the similarities end there.
Among them: Mars is colonized by black people who have left Earth's prejudices, and await with apprehension the arrival of a white-piloted rocket ship from their former homeland; another planet's soldiers attack Earth and are surprised at the warm welcome they receive, only to learn that they can be conquered by Earth's lousy diet, sedentary ways, and shallow culture as easily as by the planet's military; an assembly of priests travels to Mars to learn about Martian sins, so as to spread God's word and earn converts of the Red plant; an entire city is built with the concept of vengeance in mind, by its citizens who were to perish before being able to exact that revenge themselves; the authors of classic tales of horror, whose works are banned on Earth, are themselves exiled to Mars and only kept alive by the few remaining copies not burned for censorship.
There are a couple of lame ducks herein, but even those are salvaged by the beauty of Bradbury's writing. His metaphors and descriptive devices flow from the pages and grant a macabre beauty to even the most desolate of landscapes.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on June 8, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sometimes it's hard to remember that Ray Bradbury approaches the art of the short story in a very unconventional way. His collections of short stories are often tied together by common sub-themes or settings, although each story could also stand on its own. Such is the case here, though the running theme to the Illustrated Man collection is mostly an abstraction. Apparently the stories here are told by a man's haunted tattoos, but don't worry about that too much. The true theme holding this group of stories together is examinations of human nature and mankind's place in the universe. Bradbury's frequent use of Mars (and occasionally other planets) as a setting, with the obligatory spaceships and technology, is merely his method of creating alternate realities to bring human nature into bold relief.
Bradbury's classic examinations of the dark and melancholy side of humanity are well represented here as always, with his trademark poetic writing style and underlying sense of creeping dread. The classic virtual reality tale "The Veldt" is found here, with the typical misuse-of-technology theme presented in an unexpectedly haunting fashion. More evidence that the stock sci-fi themes are merely a thin backdrop can be seen in "The Other Foot," a chilling examination of race relations; or "The Rocket," which deals with the yearning of regular people to reach beyond the confines of Earth. Other winning stories include "Kaleidoscope" and "The Long Rain" which are haunting tales of how human nature can still undermine the greatest achievements of cold technology. So don't concern yourself with the typical sci-fi backdrop, and get in tune with what Ray Bradbury is really talking about.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on March 11, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of those "must own" books that you always hear about, in a hundred years this and a handful of other Bradbury books will be considering classics of American literature. Basically a collection of about a guy who has all this illustrations on his body that shows the stories to an unnamed observer. Personally I have no idea why he bothered with the Illustrated Man concept, the stories stand on their own just fine, though it does give him the opportunity to give a great sucker punch ending. And the concept is basically ignored after the second story but hey when the stuff is this good who am I to complain? The stories themselves, like I said are all excellent, some more than others but it's mostly the distinction between "real good" and "really really really good". The highlights are the opening "The Veldt" which is classic Bradbury and some story about some guys on Venus who are going crazy from getting rained on and a few others. Most of his stories are science-fictional, often revolving in one way or another around rockets but Bradbury deals less with actual science and more about fantasy and dreams, leading to some real good touching moments, above all his stories are about people, they just happened to be set in the future on Mars. Some are sentimental, some are creepy, some are funny but all are good. And it's quick reading, so you have no excuse. Get it today
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By logosapiens VINE VOICE on May 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A sad, decorated wandering man stumbles into the life of another drifter.

The tattooed wandering man is a terrifying canvas of brillant skin art and darkened dreams. A hated circus performer "condemmed to be free" as a morbid living gallery- each tatoo moves and glows animately; this anthology treats us to the best of the pulp Bradbury of the fifties. As Rod Serling told us in his TWILIGHT ZONE introduction we are transported from the depth of our fears to the heights of our imagination. Rocketing from the past to the future to the subconscious we are invited to a world where...

A holographic Africa is so consuming that it...well... consumes.

Time travellers from the totalitarian future must travel to 1938 for vacation only to find that they can never escape the future.

An explosion rocks a spaceship... disgorging astronauts- making its crew satellites left to face their personal angst and collective end.

An artifical sun provides respite from the grey rain world of Venus, but only if the spacewreck survivors are willing to pay a price finding it.

A used rocket never travels to space but reveals the heart of a poor kind father,not the solar system,to his long suffering wife.

A man heals and performs miracles in world after world, yet can only be met through faith not a rocket trip.

A playground becomes a portal to the hell of childhood.

A couple go to sleep on the last night of the world and forget to set the alarm clock.

A man's robot duplicate has ideas of his own on where to vacation next.

Poe gets revenge against future thought police from a die hard fan who manages to make others die.
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