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The Illustrated Man (Grand Master Editions) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1983

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Editorial Reviews 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

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.

Product Details

  • Series: Grand Master Editions
  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (November 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055327449X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553274493
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (431 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 64 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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35 of 38 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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15 of 16 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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