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.