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on May 17, 2017
The better half seemed to enjoy it. she keeps regaling me with stories from it.
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on April 23, 2017
One of my favourites, recommend for all sci-fi fans.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 1, 2010
"Eighteen illustrations, eighteen tales." "The illustrations came to life..."

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)
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on November 5, 2003
This is possibly the worst book that has ever been written. There is no plot, and no aparent theme unless you count death, misery, space, and martians. I have heard kindergardeners come up with stories much better than this, in fact i dont know how this book was ever published. This is a book that inspires you to write a book becuase it shows that basically it can be as crappy as you want becuase obviosly publishers cant tell good literature from bad. This big is terrible! dont buy it!!!
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on March 27, 2000
The Illustrated Man is an exciting science fovction book, filled with many short stories, one of my favorite stories in the book is the "Rocket Man," a young boy named James finds out what it's like to be an astonaunt. A boy who never gets the chanced to see his father, but James heard about his fathers conflicts with his job and his family. Another story I have enjoyed is "Kaleidiscope," this is where Applegate, a young farm boy, is looking through a kaleidiscope. He eventually finds a shipgoing down in space. You have lto pay very close attention to the book because it does get a little confusing. I would just recommend this book to serious readers and who are atleast 13 years old. This book klis filled kwith conflicts, such as "Vedle," a daycare center goes bad, bytaking the lives of young babies, find out what happens yourself. I gave this book a four and a half stars, because it was very confusing, but fun. So if you get the chance to read a good book, read this book.I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.
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on June 8, 2003
Sometimes it's hard to remember that Ray Bradbury approaches the art of the short story in a very unconventional way. His collections of short stories are often tied together by common sub-themes or settings, although each story could also stand on its own. Such is the case here, though the running theme to the Illustrated Man collection is mostly an abstraction. Apparently the stories here are told by a man's haunted tattoos, but don't worry about that too much. The true theme holding this group of stories together is examinations of human nature and mankind's place in the universe. Bradbury's frequent use of Mars (and occasionally other planets) as a setting, with the obligatory spaceships and technology, is merely his method of creating alternate realities to bring human nature into bold relief.
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.
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on February 27, 2002
Conceptually, The Illustrated Man is brilliant from the get-go, including its novel premise of 18 stories as told through the moving tattoos on a man's body; in addition to weaving intricate webs, the Illustrated Man's body art predicts the future.
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.
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on March 7, 2003
"Prologue: The Illustrated Man" and "Epilogue" are used as a binding element for this short story collection, linked together by images on the Illustrated Man's skin.
The name of "The City" was and is Revenge, upon the planet of Darkness - and after 20 millennia of waiting, Earthmen have come calling.
"The Concrete Mixer" Ettil objects to the Martian invasion of Earth - he's been reading illegally imported Earth fiction, and knows how all such invasions end.
Meet "The Exiles" - the reverse image of Bradbury's "Usher II".
"The Fire Balloons" Father Peregrine and his colleagues have come to Mars as missionaries to the Martians. But there are two species of Martians - the dying race of the Martian Chronicles, and a species of fire globes that humans can't communicate with yet.
"The Fox and the Forest" Fleeing from a war-torn future, two time travellers have taken new identities in 1938.
"The Highway" provides occasional windfalls for Hernando and his family - tourists driving south into Mexico who want to photograph him as a picturesque poor farmer, for instance. The drivers always complain - until today, as they flee the atom-bombing of the cities.
"Kaleidoscope" Although the crew were spacesuited when the ship was torn open, none had propulsion units - so here they are, falling, scattered so that they mostly can't see each other, unable to do anything except talk to pass their last few hours. (One twist is that they aren't all caught by Earth's gravity - some go one way, some another.)
On "The Last Night of the World", all the adults *know*, from having had the same dream, that the end has come. 'You don't scream about the real thing.'
"The Long Rain" Bradbury's Venus is a jungle suffering near-perpetual rain - in this story, rain that *never* ceases. The planet's only continent has been seeded with Sun Domes for lost spacemen - but the natives occasionally manage to destroy them. The survivors of a rocket crash are trying to make it to shelter before the endless water torture cracks them up...
"The Man" Hart, Martin, and the crew of their rocket have discovered a new world - but none of the inhabitants take any notice, because something *really* big has just happened - a messiah appeared the day before. Hart's first reaction is to ask if his competitors have beaten him here. :) ('I sympathize, Martin. I overlook your petty insubordination.' 'I don't overlook your petty tyranny.') Hart is driven to go on and on, so much so that he can't quite recognize what he's been looking for.
"Marionettes, Inc." Unlike _I Sing the Body Electric!_, here robots are illegally sold as replicas of specific people. Braling wants to escape his marriage, but gets more than he bargained for.
Hitchcock lives only in the moment, rejecting the pain of both memory and anticipation. But in space, it's "No Particular Night Or Morning".
"The Other Foot" - In _The Martian Chronicles_' "Way Up High in the Middle of the Air", African-Americans left Earth's segregation for Mars' freedom. Now the first rocket for 20 years brings the first white men the children have ever seen, while their parents aren't feeling charitable to these survivors of an atomic war. But Hattie Johnson doesn't want to see her husband turn into everything he hated.
"The Rocket" - The Bodonis dream of Mars - but have money for only one ticket.
Doug's childhood memories of his father, "The Rocket Man", are of a man gone for months at a time without a word, for fear he'd want to be with his family, "home" for three days or so, then gone again. Doug's mother treats space as though it doesn't exist, wanting her husband to stay and have a life with his family - hard, knowing that you can see all the places where he's been, while they're forever out of reach.
"The Veldt" - The Hadleys live in the kind of automated-to-the-max house seen in "There Will Come Soft Rains" in _The Martian Chronicles_. The adults worry that the nursery, with its full-sensory storytelling experiences, has supplanted them in their children's hearts - and what with the African stories they've been reading lately, the screams coming from the lions' kills are unnerving.
"The Visitor" - Victims of 'blood rust' are permanent exiles quarantined on Mars, and they suffer most from homesickness. When a newcomer displays a gift for creating illusions of home, though, whose home will it be?
"Zero Hour" - Children under nine have suddenly taken up a new game: invasion. It's creepy how Mrs. Morris' friends across the country *all* say their kids are pretending that the Martians are coming...
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 26, 2004
While the cover of the paperback that I read states that Bradbury is "The World's Greatest Living Science Fiction Writer", I respectfully disagree. Science fiction is so broad a field that there is significant overlap with horror and fantasy. I would without question call Bradbury the best author ever in the field of horrific science fiction. For, while his stories are generally based on a scientific theme, the real power is in the horrific aspects of the events.
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.
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on June 26, 2004
This group of highly imaginative tales, written in 1948-51, do nothing if not illustrate that 1) it's extremely difficult to predict the future and 2) no matter how much we struggle against it, we probably are doomed to reflect our own times and cultural environment. Over half a century after Ray Bradbury wrote these entertaining stories, we have a lot of answers to questions about the (then) future thanks to hindsight. Bradbury's characters still smoke like chimneys, they still use clunky mid-20th century machines for the most part---lugging electrical equipment and card tables across the light years in their bronze spaceships. There's only the vaguest hint of a computer ("The City") and then of the giant, controlling variety. Above all, there is no vision of the infinitely varied America of today---the space explorers in these stories are nearly all white Anglosaxons who speak and behave as white people did in the early 1950s. The cultural oppositions and arguments in the stories are those of mid-century America. While it is true that Bradbury writes of human nature it is also true that the nature he describes is as we saw it half a century ago.
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". Bradbury wrote many stories which featured the "wrap-around-comfort, totally mechanized houses" that appear in several works in this volume. How many Hollywood movies of the last 15 years owe a debt to "The Fox and the Forest", a story of people escaping through time from a bad future to a quieter or more prosperous present ? THE ILLUSTRATED MAN is a minor American classic in a perennially shortchanged genre, science fiction. The dated technology and cultural styles may seem primitive today, but even they add a dimension of telling us about the times in which they were written as well as about the future as they saw it then.
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