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The Martian Chronicles [Hardcover]

Ray Bradbury
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 1 1997

Man, was a a distant shore, and the men spread upon it in wave... Each wave different, and each wave stronger.

The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury is a storyteller without peer, a poet of the possible, and, indisputably, one of America's most beloved authors. In a much celebrated literary career that has spanned six decades, he has produced an astonishing body of work: unforgettable novels, including Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes; essays, theatrical works, screenplays and teleplays; The Illustrated Mein, Dandelion Wine, The October Country, and numerous other superb short story collections. But of all the dazzling stars in the vast Bradbury universe, none shines more luminous than these masterful chronicles of Earth's settlement of the fourth world from the sun.

Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams and metaphor-of crystal pillars and fossil seas-where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn -first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars ... and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.

Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is a classic work of twentieth-century literature whose extraordinary power and imagination remain undimmed by time's passage. In connected, chronological stories, a true grandmaster once again enthralls, delights and challenges us with his vision and his heart-starkly and stunningly exposing in brilliant spacelight our strength, our weakness, our folly, and our poignant humanity on a strange and breathtaking world where humanity does not belong.


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Review

“A modern classic” —The Washington Post

“A giant…One of the country’s most popular and prolific authors.” —Los Angeles Times

“One of the greats of twentieth century American fantasy.” —Newsday

“There is no simpler, yet deeper, stylist than Bradbury. Out of the plainest of words he creates images and moods that readers seem to carry with them forever.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A wonderful storyteller….Nearly everything he has written is sheer poetry.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Man, was a a distant shore, and the men spread upon it in wave... Each wave different, and each wave stronger.

The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury is a storyteller without peer, a poet of the possible, and, indisputably, one of America's most beloved authors. In a much celebrated literary career that has spanned six decades, he has produced an astonishing body of work: unforgettable novels, including Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes; essays, theatrical works, screenplays and teleplays; The Illustrated Mein, Dandelion Wine, The October Country, and numerous other superb short story collections. But of all the dazzling stars in the vast Bradbury universe, none shines more luminous than these masterful chronicles of Earth's settlement of the fourth world from the sun.

Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams and metaphor-of crystal pillars and fossil seas-where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn -first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars ... and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.

Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is a classic work of twentieth-century literature whose extraordinary power and imagination remain undimmed by time's passage. In connected, chronological stories, a true grandmaster once again enthralls, delights and challenges us with his vision and his heart-starkly and stunningly exposing in brilliant spacelight our strength, our weakness, our folly, and our poignant humanity on a strange and breathtaking world where humanity does not belong.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By Ronald W. Maron TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
All of us have enjoyed the writing prowess of Ray Bradbury throughout his writing career. His style, while varied, has given us the rich boyhood tales from 'Dandelion Wine' to his myriad of insightful and haunting short stories to his eerily descriptive "Something Wicked....". "The Martian Chronicles" fits perfectly into the imaginative sequence of stories written by this poetic master.

In a unique manner of offering us a series of short tales and essays written about inhabitants of Mars and covering a progressive number of decades, we are given an overall view of man's inhumanity to anyone but himself and, because of these actions, we are led to the eventual nuclear destruction of our home planet, Earth. While Earth, itself, is what it is, the proving ground for man's insanity, Mars is presented as symbolic prose. Does it represent man's retreat or escape from reality? Is it merely a dream-like repression from our own aggressions? Or does it offer us a means for hope and the striving for an existence other than the one we find ourselves living through? The answer to this puzzling question could not be answered by the author anymore than it can be by his most ardent readers..............
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5.0 out of 5 stars book Aug. 15 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
very good book and I enjoyerd it a lot I recommand it to all my friends and IM sure they will buy it Bradbury was a very good writer
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Aug. 19 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was Ray Bradbury’s first novel, from 1949 when he and his wife were expecting their first child. That said, it isn’t a true novel, but rather collection of short stories that are tied together. It well-written, compelling, and I really enjoyed it.

Other than Fahrenheit 451, I haven’t previously read anything by Bradbury. In terms of science fiction, I’m more used to the science fiction of Robert Heinlein, a man who Bradbury looked up to and considered a major influence.
Heinlein was clearly a pioneer in world of science fiction. He lead the pack in terms of the technique of indirection, describing far out worlds not through a lot of explicit description, but rather subtely through the eyes of his characters enabling the readers mind to fill in the details. According to Eric Raymond, he got that from Kipling.

That said, I believe there is an area in which Bradbury excels far beyond Heinlein, that is in the lyrical/poetic power of his writing. Bradbury’s writing is beautiful in a way that Heinlein’s is not. And that beauty shines forth even in this, his earliest published book.

Bradbury once said “Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries”. It’s very clear that as an author, Bradbury loved reading and that he drank very deeply from the works of the best poets.
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2.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE THIS BOOK IS EDITED!! Sept. 18 2002
By bob
Format:Hardcover
There is supposed to be a story where all of the black people get fed up with the south, and the way they are treated, load up the rocket and leave all of the bigots behind. Incredibly some paper pushing editor must have thought this story would offend our sensitivities, and took it upon him or herself to remove it from the chronicles.
Strange that the work of Mr. Bradbury, a champion of free speech, is being edited.
Do not get this version! (I got hosed, but vowed to save my fellow readers from the same fate)!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Science Fiction Book of All Time Aug. 1 2001
By Brian
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading Fahrenheit 451 in my high school English class, I was quick to ask my teacher what other books by Bradbury that he would reccomend. He told me to check out the Martian Chronicles...and so I did. When I started reading the book, I thought nothing could touch the breath taking sci-fi epic that I had just read by Bradbury...but I was wrong. The Martian Chronicles starts out with a bang and ends with an unusually happy ending. In between, you are taken on a roller coaster ride of climactic events; and although the book is broken up into several separate mini-stories, all of them intertwine with each other brilliantly.
What puts Bradbury's work above other science fiction writers is that although his books are fictional, they have a great deal of real life meaning. Several parts of this book depict how the ignorant humans are so quick to ravage a vast world's ancient history and land. "The rockets set the bony meadows afire, turned rock to lava, turned wood to charcoal, transmitted water to steam, made sand and silica into green glass which lay like shattered mirrors reflecting the invasion, all about. The rockets came like drums, beating in the night. The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke. And from the rockets ran men with hammers in their hands to beat the strange world into a shape that was familiar to the eye, to bludgeon away all the strangeness." (Page 78-'The Locusts')
Bradbury uses his excellent way with words to artistically describe the futuristic destruction of a world, which all relate to one common principle, the same principle many of his books relate to: We are afraid of what we don't understand.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated, but a classic in its era Nov. 18 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I finally sat down and read this novel -- a collection of loosely-linked short stories, really -- and caught myself comparing it to the sophisticated sci-fi of recent years. If I had kept up that mindset, I'm sure I would have rated it lower. But...
Think back (those of you who can remember) to the days when the giants of sci-fi roamed the Earth: Bradbury. Asimov. Anderson. Clarke. Farmer. There was something fundamental, something elemental, about their writing, born of the dime novel and magazine column-inch, that you don't have today. That gritty, anti-Bronte sense where character development didn't matter as much because the writer's energy was going into creating a universe that heretofore didn't exist.
Bradbury's Martian Chronicles is all this and more. In some ways, it is a Western, where the Martians are the (dare I say it?) Indians and clutzy Earth Men are the Europeans come to take what was never theirs. Like all great novels, it is a mirror, a dark one at that.
All Science Fiction poses a question: if the laws of the Universe behaved thus-and-so, what would the outcome be? The Martians are a sophisticated and cultured race of telepaths and time-travelers, and are about to meet up with homicidal and self-absorbed Man. What will the outcome be? Bradbury doesn't flinch from painting an all-too-likely ending.
Four stars, however, because Martian Chronicles, while a classic, has not stood the test of time well. It does owe almost too much to its noble and humble roots, and reads far more like a set of magazine articles than a homogeneous novel. Still, it is well worth reading, and gives a good glimpse into the glory that science fiction used to be.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars F¥çk me Ray Bradbury !
This came a bit late but in good shape. (although a sticker on the side of the book kinda damaged the cover a bit... Read more
Published on July 3 2011 by H_rry H_dler
5.0 out of 5 stars Take the time to figure out this puzzle! It's worth it.
As the paranoia and fear of the early stages of the Cold War escalated and the prospect of global destruction in an atomic war crystallized into a terrifying possibility, a... Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2008 by Paul Weiss
2.0 out of 5 stars I expected better...
The first time I read this book I was in high school and in the latter half of a research program on chemical perception enhancement. At the time I thought this was a great book. Read more
Published on Aug. 30 2005 by Jason Harris
3.0 out of 5 stars Not science fiction... But does that make it bad?
Certainly not. Admittedly there are a few bland points but one must get over the fact that it really _isn't_ a science fiction book. By all means that does not make it bad. Read more
Published on June 24 2004 by Akan
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Bradbury is phenomenal...as always!
The Martian Chronicles is an important book, especially now. It is a whatif, a maybe and a possibility. Read more
Published on June 23 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great work by Bradbury!
Even under the guise of a sci-fi book, this book, as other reviewers have pointed out along with the editorials, it is a comment on humanity it the human condition. Read more
Published on June 16 2004 by Eric
3.0 out of 5 stars BUDDY FLORA
Martian Chronicles is a book about the colinization of people on Mars. I found this book very appealing because I found the topic very interesting. Read more
Published on June 9 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars A book gone boared
The martian chronicles is a book about the colonization of people on Mars. The begining of the book started out pretty good. Read more
Published on June 2 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars An Origonal Concept by Ray Bradbury
Bradbury came up with a totally original idea of instead of having the aliens the ones who come to our planet and explore, it is instead the humans who are the curious ones and... Read more
Published on June 2 2004 by Orion
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't look at this as a science fiction book
In the half century after most of it was written, as Bob Dylan would say, things have changed. Racial relations are different, we know there are not water filled canals on Mars,... Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by The MacGuffin
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