The Illustrated Man Mass Market Paperback – Nov 1 1983
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
A man is encountered who has skin Illustrations all over his body. Each illustration represents a tale from the future. The illustrations come to life and tell a tale of doom or impending doom. In this way ray Bradbury can tell related but different tales in this book. Its Bradbury's writing style and dialogue that holds you as much as the storyline.
At first they are intriguing and fresh. Later they don't as much repeat but are similar in form and function.
One of the best "The Veldt" is first. Of course everyone will have a different favorite.
I suggest that you make your cats leave the room if you read out loud.
The Veldt (Classics Stories of Ray Bradbury)
However, Bradbury covers a wide range of topics: child psychology; machine vs. man; imagination and emotion vs. cold science; religion; time travel, and race relations. Some of the stories are unbelievably poignant. In fact, I would say that poignancy---the ability to bring out that quality without being sappy or twee---is Bradbury's strongest suit. If you don't like science fiction, this book probably isn't for you, but it certainly has made its mark on American culture, with 47 printings through 1990. One story, "The Exiles", probably laid the basis for his later "Fahrenheit 451".Read more ›
The narrator met a man covered in tattos, tattos that moved to tell stories, eighteen of which are told in this volume. The stories, many of which have been published separately, are:
THE VELDT - overindulgence is bad for both parents and children
KALEIDOSCOPE - doomed astronauts floating in space
THE OTHER FOOT - reverse discrimination with a vengence
THE HIGHWAY - sometimes life passes you by and sometimes it doesn't
THE MAN - is it the journey or the destination that matters?
THE LONG RAIN - sometimes madness is the answer
THE ROCKET MAN - career vs. family
THE FIRE BALLOONS - is religion the answer or the question?
THE LAST NIGHT OF THE WORLD - the end with a whimper not a bang
THE EXILES - do people live for art or does art live for people?
NO PARTICULAR NIGHT OR MORNING - again the answer could be madness
THE FOX AND THE FOREST - you can run but you cannot hide
THE VISITOR - sometimes you don't know what you've got 'til its gone
THE CONCRETE MIXER - Mars invades
MARIONETTES, INC. - machines can be asked to do too much
THE CITY - revenge can be served very cold
ZERO HOUR - parents need to parent
THE ROCKET - Desire, envy and the triumph of the human spirit
Although these tales are hauntingly disturbing and many contain rather gruesome images Bradbury writes with a gentleness that takes material that could be shocking in another writer's hand and instead makes it poignant. He allows the more subtle message of the stories to come through by taking the edge off the sensationalism.
It is particularly interesting to read these stories and rember (or discover) what life was like in the fifties and then reflect (investigate) what changes took place in the subsequent fifty year.
For those who have read this and didn't like it try it again in a few years.
When I was young, my favorite short story was "The Veldt", the first one in this collection of Bradbury's best short stories. A modern house contains what we would now call a holodeck, and instead of the children conjuring up delightful images, they are interested only in a scene of the African veldt, where lions pursue and devour their prey. Complete with the smell, sound and heat of the plains, the parents of the children are concerned that it is unhealthy. The parents try to do something to stop it, but they end up being consumed by the lions conjured up by the room.
Most of the other stories deal with the same theme, technology gone wrong. Atomic and biological warfare appears in many of the stories. However, the best part of all the stories is the tension and the unusual endings, often based on the frailties of human psychology. The intertwining of science fiction and horror makes these stories unique and I see a lot of similarities between Bradbury and Stephen King. In this area, he is better than King.
Most recent customer reviews
I really enjoyed this book. It is an interesting read with many short stories. It arrived much faster than the estimated time frame which is always nice.Published on June 3 2013 by Alexandra Laking
We had the chance to have The Illustrated Man as an assignment in secondary school ESL, and ever since I just knew I would have to buy it one day. Read morePublished on June 11 2010 by B. Veilleux
"Eighteen illustrations, eighteen tales." "The illustrations came to life..."
A man is encountered who has skin Illustrations all over his body. Read more
This is one of the best collections of Ray Bradbury short stories to be found. The Illustrated Man of the title is a fairground worker who is covered in tattoos, or... Read morePublished on Sept. 9 2006 by Amazon Customer
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury is a book full of interesting short stories. Each story is a continuation into a new story, which keeps the reader wanting more. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2005 by Amber Pope