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I Sing the Body Electric! And Other Stories…

I Sing the Body Electric! And Other Stories (original 1969; edition 1998)

by Ray Bradbury

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2,189264,570 (3.83)42
"The mind of Ray Bradbury is a wonder-filled carnival of delight and terror that stretches from the verdant Irish countryside to the coldest reaches of outer space. Yet all his work is united by one common thread: a vivid and profound understanding of the vast set of emotions that bring strength and mythic resonance to our frail species. Bradbury characters may find themselves anywhere and anywhen. A horrified mother may give birth to a strange blue pyramid. A man may take Abraham Lincoln out of the grave---and meet another who puts him back. An amazing Electrical Grandmother may come to live with a grieving family. An old parrot may have learned over long evenings to imitate the voice of Ernest Hemingway, and become the last link to the last link to the great man. A priest on Mars may confront his fondest dream: to meet the Messiah. Each of these magnificent creations has something to tell us about our own humanity---and all of their fates await you in this collection of twenty-eight classic Bradbury stories and one luscious poem. Travel on an unpredictable and unforgettable literary journey, safe in the hands of the century's great men of imagination"--Publisher.… (more)
Title:I Sing the Body Electric! And Other Stories
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:Harper Perennial (1998), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:Science Fiction, read

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I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Bradbury (1969)

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English (23)  Danish (3)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
18 short stories by Ray Bradbury
  PendleHillLibrary | Jun 4, 2019 |
I don't always do well with short story collections. If they're good I want to read them one after the other, only to find the individual stories get lost in the blur. If they're not so good, I'm tempted to put the book down part way through and never pick it up again.

I suspected this book of Bradbury stories was more likely to be the former, so had a strategy going in. I would read one story at a time, switching to other books in between so that the stories remained distinct in my mind. And I took the time after finishing each story to jot down a very brief description of each one, again to help me remember them as individual tales. And that's what I'm going to share here.

Not all of these stories have science-fiction elements, and several reveal Bradbury's preoccupation with his fellow writers. I've marked my favorites with an asterisk.

The Kilimanjaro Device — A man invents a time-travel contraption to give Ernest Hemingway a better ending. (This is not the last we'll read of Papa. I gather Bradbury was a bit of a fanboi.)

*The Terrible Conflagration Up at the Place — A comic tale of some bumbling IRA soldiers and the best-laid plans of mice and men.

Tomorrow's Child — A baby is born into another dimension, and appears in this one as a small blue pyramid with tentacles, to the distress of his all-too-human parents.

The Women — Something in the sea wants to claim a sunbather, but his wife has other plans.

The Inspired Chicken Motel — In the depths of the Great Depression, a chicken lays prophetic eggs.

*Downwind from Gettysburg — A man named Booth assassinates a man named Lincoln, 100 years after the Civil War.

*Yes We'll Gather at the River — The relentless march of progress leaves a small town behind.

*The Cold Wind and the Warm — The fairies return to Ireland, if only for a day.

Night Call, Collect — The last man alive on Mars is haunted by the voice of his younger self.

The Haunting of the New — A house forcefully renounces its history of debauchery.

*I Sing the Body Electric! — Robot Grandma comforts a family of young children after their mother dies.

*The Tombling Day — An old woman encounters her first love, who has been dead for sixty years.

*Any Friend of Nicholas Nickelby's is a Friend of Mine — Charles Dickens takes up residence in a small Illinois town — in 1929.

Heavy Set — An overgrown boy and his mama.

The Man in the Rohrschach Shirt — A retired psychiatrist finds a new clientele on the California beaches.

*Henry the Ninth — The last king of England surveys his kingdom.

The Lost City of Mars — An expedition to an abandoned underground city that runs itself — and the people who stumble on it.

The Blue Bottle — On a long-abandoned Mars, a man searches endlessly for his heart's desire.

One Timeless Spring — A 12-year-old boy is convinced his parents are poisoning him.

The Parrot Who Met Papa — A man birdnaps a parrot that met Hemingway and memorized his final unpublished manuscript.

*The Burning Man — On the hottest day of the year, a boy and his aunt pick up a most unusual hitchhiker.

A Piece of Wood — A pacifist soldier invents a device to turn the world's weapons to rust.

*The Messiah — The Second Coming of Christ, on Mars.

G.B.S. Mark V — A voyage through space with George Bernard Shaw.

The Utterly Perfect Murder — A middle-aged man travels across the country to avenge a childhood snub.

*Punishment Without Crime — A man is sentenced to an authentic penalty for a faux crime.

*Getting Through Sunday Somehow — A man struggles through a gloomy, sleepy Dublin Sunday until he meets the perfect antidote.

Drink Entire: Against the Madness of Crowds — A brutal heat wave drives a man to desperate things.

Christus Apollo — A cantata contemplating other Jesuses on other worlds. ( )
  rosalita | Aug 31, 2018 |
Classic Bradbury - funny, frightening, touching, and always sung onto the page with furious poetry. Not quite his best, but better than most everyone else's. ( )
1 vote mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Another one first read long ago in my late childhood. It’s a nice collection, sweet and nostalgic. But this collection pales when compared to Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man.” Not bad at all, but I can’t help comparing them. So naturally I put “Illustrated” on my reading list. ( )
  solitaryfossil | Aug 11, 2017 |
This book is a collection of 17 short stories and a poem from a few different genres written between 1948 and 1977. The titles of the book and the corresponding short story are based on a poem by Walt Whitman. I thought the calibre of the stories was a little uneven, and this may be partly due to the age in which the stories were written. I give this collection 3 stars out of 5.

The stories cover lots of different topics from the mundane to science fiction. They include:

1. The Kilimanjaro Device - a man driving an unusual truck seeks an old man who he wants to take on an unusual trip;
2. The Terrible Conflagration Up at the Place - a group of Irish nationalists want to make their mark by burning down the house of a peer;
3. Tomorrow’s Child - a baby is born in another dimension but is visible in the normal world, the parents seek ways to reverse the situation for their child;
4. The Women - a woman contests ownership of her man with a seaboard entity;
5. The Inspired Chicken Motel - a man and his family are driving during the Great Depression when they encounter a motel that leaves a lasting impression;
6. Downwind from Gettysburg - a man shoots a robotic version of Abraham Lincoln;
7. Yes, We’ll Gather at the River - a group of store owners in a small town awaits the opening of a highway bypass that is likely to kill their town and their businesses;
8. The Cold Wind and the Warm - an eccentric group visit Dublin for a very short stay;
9. Night Call, Collect - the last man on Mars waits for people to return, meanwhile he is plagued by phone calls made by his younger self;
10. The Haunting of the New - a house that had been burnt down is rebuilt in exact replica, but it appears that it may be haunted;
11. I Sing the Body Electric - a man who has lost his wife buys a robot grandmother to look after his children;
12. The Tombling Day - a small town goes to work to relocate its graveyard affected by a road diversion;
13. Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby’s is a Friend of Mine - a stranger arrives in town pretending to be Charles Dickens and befriends a twelve-year old boy;
14. Heavy-Set - a bodybuilder prepares to celebrate Halloween with some friends;
15. The Man in the Rorschach Shirt - a man boards a bus and asks the passengers what they see in his unusual shirt;
16. Henry the Ninth - the last man in Great Britain refuses to leave;
17. The Lost City of Mars - a group of people answer an advertisement for a trip on a Martian canal hoping to find a lost city;
18. Christus Apollo - a poem celebrating the eighth day of creation and the promise of the ninth. ( )
  Bruce_McNair | Jul 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Crisp, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, DickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SalononiCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scobie, TrevorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Szafran, GeneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I sing the Body Electric;
The armies of those I love engirth me
and I engirth them;
They will not let me off till I go with them,
respond to them,
And discorrupt them,
And charge them full with the charge of the Soul.

    --Walt Whitman
This book, a bit late in the
day, but with admiration, affection,
and friendship, is for

First words
I arrived in the truck very early in the morning. ("The Kilimanjaro Device")
The men had been hiding down by the gatekeeper's lodge for half an hour or so, passing a bottle of the best between, and then, the gatekeeper having been carried off to bed, they dodged up the path at six in the evening and looked at the great house with the warm lights lit in each window. ("The terrible conflagration up at the place")
He did not want to be the father of a small blue pyramid. ("Tomorrow's child")
It was as if a light came on in a green room. ("The women")
It was in the Depression, deep down in the empty soul of the Depression in 1932, when we were heading west by 1928 Buick, that my mother, father, my brother Skip, and I came upon what we ever after called the Inspired Chicken Motel. ("The Inspired Chicken Motel")
"Oh, he had readers all right, all kinds of readers. Even me. I don't touch books from one autumn to the next. But I touched his. I think I liked the Michigan stories best. About the fishing. I think the stories about the fishing are good. I don't think anybody ever wrote about fishing that way and maybe won't ever again. Of course, the bullfight stuff is good too. But that's a little far off. Some of the cowpokes like them; they been around the animals all their life. A bull here or a bull there, I guess it's the same. I know one cowpoke has read just the bull stuff in the Spanish stories of the old man's forty times. He could go over there and fight, I swear." ("The Kilimanjaro Device")
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This short story collection contains: "The Kilimanjaro Device", "The Terrible Conflagration Up at the Place", "Tomorrow's Child", "The Women", "The Inspired Chicken Motel", "Downwind from Gettysburg", "Yes, We'll Gather at the River", "The Cold Wind and the Warm", "Night Call, Collect", "The Haunting of the New", "I Sing the Body Electric!", "The Tombling Day", "Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby's Is a Friend of Mine", "Heavy-Set", "The Man in the Rorshach Shirt", "Henry the Ninth", "The Lost City of Mars", and "Christus Apollo".
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