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The Illustrated Man Hardcover – April 17, 2012
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A master... Bradbury has a style all his own, much imitated but never matched. --Portland Oregonian
Ray Bradbury has accomplished what very few artists do. With his visions of possible futures and edgy presents . . . he has changed us. --The Boston Globe
- Publisher : Turtleback Books; Book Club Edition (April 17, 2012)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 279 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1613832672
- ISBN-13 : 978-1613832677
- Lexile measure : 680L
- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4 x 1 x 6.9 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The novel, is eighteen different stories, unfolding on the tattooed body of a man, The Illustrated Man, who was cursed by a witch. The stories build upon each other, with different characters and story plots, culminating in a final story simply about a dream and one man's imagination and love for his family and wife.
Mr. Bradbury is a treasure, and "The Illustrated Man," is another piece in the treasure chest he left behind for all of us to read and marvel at for as long as our planet survives.
Bradbury is the author closest to my heart. The world as he paints it is a theophany, achingly beautiful, even when it isn’t friendly. I actually find myself to be rather cynical about many things, but not when I am reading this book. My only disclaimer would be the much repeated warning that Bradbury is not an author of hard science fiction, his genre is fantasy or perhaps magic realism. These stories are about the emotion, not the science, whatever the setting may be.
These stories were written in the late 1940s and early 1950s and it's very interesting that the majority of the stories about the future involved rockets, space travel, and life on other planets. It's funny how the future back then all focused on the discovery of what is out there in space, yet current books about the future more involve the collapse of current social systems and reconstruction of society. Maybe I don't read very much Sci-Fi, but it seems to me that the outlook of the future has changed since the 1950s. I really found this book intriguing. Each and every story left me thinking about something. It was very thought provoking.
Also, Ray Bradbury is definitely a time traveler from the future - you'll know what I mean when you buy this book.
That being said, if you can't buy into stories about the future, and time travel, or the fact that the entire book is based off some guys moving tattoos, then you don't have the intellect to be able to read this book.
If you want to explore themes that tackle tough issues, like spoiling children, race, religion, and many many more, then.... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? BUY IT ALREADY!!!
The collection of stories shows that although our scientific progress is happening fast, evolution of our human is following behind at extremely sluggish speed. A way to look inside our souls.
This classic did give me perspective on what futuristic predictions looked like so many many decades ago. While we haven’t seen books permanently outlawed or Santa Claus drowned in a vat of Lysol, we have certainly encountered our fair share of diseases, mercy killings, and a respectable amount of space travel. The descriptive writing quality was truly engaging, and I can see how such a collection of stories might trigger copious amounts of literary discussion!
Top reviews from other countries
The stories are a mixed bag. Some are interesting, such as 'The Veldt' (two kids become obsessed with a VR room) and some are touching, such as 'Rocket Man' (a man becomes out or touch with his family because of his job, which involves space travel for months). And then there are some weak ones. 'The Playground', about a man who wants to protect his son from a playground that turns kids into violent monsters, was not really fitting with the other stories.
There is a dated aspect to these stories. In the quasi-horror story 'The Long Rain', the planet Venus is depicted as being constantly rainy, indicating that it saw potential for colonisation. And we know by now that it's not true.
Other things that haven't aged well include the general 'gee-whiz' attitude and vocabulary of some of the characters. Not forgetting to mention the sexist attitude of some of the male characters, an annoying writing trait from that time period. Nonetheless, for something published in the 50s, The Illustrated Man is a groundbrraking book that proved that Ray Bradbury could easily rival Asimov or Clarke in the psychological arena of the sci-fi literature. Every sci-fi and fantasy fan must have it in their library.
While the "illustrated man" concept gave a slight framework to the stories, they were really quite independent stories of anything from 5-45 minutes reading (my pace, quite steady). In general, the stories themselves were dystopian and tended to rather black endings.
The stories read easily and I enjoyed them all, but they were showing their age slightly; interesting for all that and I'm sure quite innovative when first written.
Generally recommended, but I will not rush to buy other similar works.