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The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

The Illustrated Man (original 1951; edition 1951)

by Ray Bradbury

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5,98199698 (3.99)182
Title:The Illustrated Man
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:Doubleday & Company; Inc. (1951), Hardcover
Collections:Read but unowned

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The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (1951)



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English (95)  Danish (2)  German (1)  All (98)
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In Something Wicked This Way Comes the Illustrated Man is a villain. This is his past. He got his tattoos from a woman he claims could travel in time. They come alive in the night and one can see the story in each. This is a collection of eighteen stories. The most common themes are fear of atomic war and the alien invasion. ( )
  Aneris | Feb 15, 2017 |

The mid-point of the century was an extraordinary moment of creativity for Ray Bradbury. One of these stories was published in 1947, another in 1948 and the rest in 1949, 1950 and 1951. You can see his genius in applying the writing style of the mainstream to sf tropes - the end of the world, Mars, alien contact. He was ahead of his time as well: the very first story is about parents worrying that their children are spending too much time in virtual reality (first published in the Saturday Evening Post); the third story is set on a Mars settled by African Americans who are then begged for forgiveness by the white men who have screwed up the Earth (first published here).

The stories don't have the same continuity of theme that The Martian Chronicles do, so it makes sense for them to be linked by a narrative of moving tattoos on the ever-flexing skin of the Illustrated Man. And a lot of them are allegories on mid-century America, dressed up as SF tropes, and perhaps a little odd in the pulps where most of them were first published. I did once meet someone who wondered if Ray Bradbury could really be counted as an sf writer because he is so literary in approach. Bradbury himself, however, had no doubt. ( )
  nwhyte | Feb 4, 2017 |
many of these stories[and several in the Martian Chronicles] were in The Stories of Ray Bradbury. His old familiar themes of hate, despair, revenge and weirdness. I only read this because I'd gotten it out at the same time as Something Wicked... and it seemed a waste to have taken it out and not read it. But no more. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
It is pretty easy for me to give this collection of stories 3 1/2-4 stars, in comparison to other works of 1950's era science fiction. There's a wraparound story here of the Illustrated Man, but it isn't much of anything as it turned out, despite a promising beginning, and just leaves this reader wishing there was more. It should have been a beter story of the Illustrated man. The treasure here are the 18 stories assembled. This book is older than I am, which says something. I read this as a teenager in High School, and I don't think I read it since, although a number of the stories have appeared elsewhere and a few of those I have read more recently. Despite a few dated characteristics and ideas, the writing here is almost uniformly excellent and I really savored reading these stories one or two at a time. Bradbury slips in social commentary just about everywhere. I'd recommend this one as an introduction to Ray Bradbury.

The leadoff story "The Veldt" appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, which goes to show you how mainstream Ray Bradbury was, and yet so wildly imaginative. The Veldt is perhaps my favorite story in this collection. Another really good one is "The City", a tale about spacemen who find a city that has waited 20,000 years for revenge. Horror science fiction, that one is. Most, maybe all of the stories in the Illustrated Man are really science fiction stories - ot fantasy - outer space exploration is a running theme for example.

The contents are:

• 1 • Prologue: The Illustrated Man • (1951)
• 7 • The Veldt • (1950)
• 19 • Kaleidoscope • (1949)
• 27 • The Other Foot • (1951)
• 39 • The Highway • (1950)
• 42 • The Man • (1949)
• 53 • The Long Rain • (1950)
• 65 • The Rocket Man • (1951)
• 75 • The Fire Balloons • The Martian Chronicles • (1951)
• 90 • The Last Night of the World • (1951)
• 94 • The Exiles • (1949)
• 106 • No Particular Night or Morning • (1951)
• 114 • The Fox and the Forest • (1950)
• 128 • The Visitor • (1948)
• 139 • The Concrete Mixer • (1949)
• 156 • Marionettes, Inc. • (1949)
• 162 • The City • (1950)
• 169 • Zero Hour • (1947)
• 177 • The Rocket • (1950)
• 186 • Epilogue (The Illustrated Man) • (1951) ( )
  RBeffa | Nov 27, 2016 |
A collection of SF short stories that mostly have a setting in the future, Mars, and fantastical elements. Each story is great with its own set of twists. They are all pretty dark that doesn't give much hope for humanity's future. All are incredibly interesting and gripping. A great collection from a great author. ( )
  renbedell | Nov 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bing, JonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Binger, CharlesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bringsværd, Tor ÅgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burns, JimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butchkes, SydneyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
豊樹, 小笠原Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodfellow, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Brien, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for Father, Mother, and Skip, with love.
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It was a warm afternoon in early September when I first met the Illustrated Man.
They walked down the hall of their soundproofed, Happylife Home, which had cost them thirty thousand dollars installed, this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them. Their approach sensitized a switch somewhere and the nursery light flicked on when they came within ten feet of it. Similarly, behind them, in the halls, lights went on and off as they left them behind, with a soft automaticity.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 055327449X, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:31 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury--a collection of tales that breathe and move, animated by sharp, intaken breath and flexing muscle. Here are eighteen startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin--visions as keen as the tattooist's needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body. The images, ideas, sounds and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast, empty space of stars and blackness ... the sight of gray dust settling over a forgotten outpost on a road that leads nowhere ... the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father's clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets. Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man is a kaleidoscopic blending of magic, imagination, and truth, widely believed to be one of the Grandmaster's premier accomplishments: as exhilarating as interplanetary travel, as maddening as a walk in a million-year rain, and as comforting as simple, familiar rituals on the last night of the world."--Publisher's description.… (more)

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