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The Illustrated Man (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Paperback – October 11, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Capable of envisioning futuristic tech gadgetry such as robot food preparation, automated house cleaners and virtual reality entertainment rooms, Ray Bradbury was unable, somehow,... Read morePublished 27 days ago by John H. Matthews
It's a slow read because it's complex, but it's beautifully written.Published 28 days ago by Cassandra
I’ll preface this review by saying that I am a big Bradbury fan and really love his work. As much as it is difficult to criticize the creative mind of Bradbury, these stories... Read morePublished 1 month ago by fra7299
One of the best science fiction books published in 1951 is Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man. The book is an anthology of 18 (mostly) science fiction short stories Bradbury wrote... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Andrew Barger
I love this book. There are some who say that the writing is too simple, but I think that is a good thing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer