These were some of the most profound stories I have ever read, losing nothing from their shortness. "Kaleidoscope" was the first story in a very long time to make me cry as hard as I did. "Rocket Man" and "The Last Night of the World" were also cry-worthy.
"The Veldt", "The City", "Zero Hour", "The Long Rain", and "Marionettes, Inc." were the most haunting and creepy of the stories, all having a certain tone to them that made you know something horrible was going to happen, ramping up the tension before the finale.
One of the best parts of this book is that, contrary to most sci-fi authors, Bradbury focuses on the simple human element of everything. He knows that, if we knew it was the last night of the world, all we would want to do would be to spend it with family, and that a father-children trip in a rocket is no less meaningful because the rocket isn't real. It is the human element that makes these stories so wonderful.
I love this collection of short stories, although to be honest I have yet to read a "so-so" Bradbury story. My favorite of the collection (if I really have to choose just one) is The Exiles.
This is a must read for anyone who enjoys science fiction. It is an anthology of 18 works by Ray Bradbury. The stories are very simple in terms of character design, but they all contain many messages. The settings are unique and abstract. My favourite story in this is The Veldt, which is about the impact that technology has on our psychological development and relationships. The parents use a virtual reality nursery in order to let their children have fun. Anything that the children imagine is created in the virtual reality. This impacts the relationship between the parents and children as the children have no sense of dependency on their parents. The Veldt also had a very tense writing style, which made it an enjoyable read. Most of the stories are great, although there were a few that I did not enjoy. I also feel that the Illustrated Man could be expanded on in order to tie the stories together, but it seems that Bradbury only did that for 2-3 of the stories included. Overall, I would rate this book 4/5 stars. I would recommend this to anyone who loves science fiction as well as space themed stories.- @SuperSilk of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library
One of the greatest Sci Fi short story collections of all time! Dive deep into this plethora of abstract, provocative, and speculative story lines; you'll quickly learn why Bradbury is known as a master of Science Fiction.
could this be his best collection of stories? it would most certainly have to rate up there. the first Bradbury I ever read, it remains high in my estimation.
Bradbury is a master of flash fiction. He takes his readers to a moment of time, a time of horror or wonder, and entices us with stunning prose and imagery. There is basically no characterization in these stories; characters are mere stock characters. And yet, the reader is not bothered by this. Bradbury fills his stories with meaning by recurring themes and imagery (space imagery especially).
Title/Author: The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
Read by: Anna, Teen Central Librarian
Summary: In the arcane designs scrawled upon the illustrated man’s skin swirl tales beyond imagining: tales of love and laughter, darkness and death, of mankind’s glowing, golden past and its dim, haunted future. Here are eighteen incomparable stories that blend magic and truth in a kaleidoscope tapestry of wonder–woven by the matchless imagination of Ray Bradbury.
Diversity: Yes. For example, one story, “The Other Foot”, deals with the interplanetary segregation of blacks and whites.
Relatable characters: Yes.
Would I recommend this to others?: yes.
Personal thoughts: I enjoyed reading each story and was very glad they were extremely short as I don’t think they would have been as enjoyable had they been longer. However, I did feel as if I was meant to learn a lesson with each story, which Bradbury has done with his work before, so I wasn’t too surprised. For example, there were a few about what would happen if books were banned and one about perseverance when you feel as if all hope is lost. I think the one that really stood out for me, though, was the very last one entitled “The Rocket”. The outcome of that story was not what I was expecting at all, and so heartwarming, compared to the others. It was the perfect way to end the book. If you enjoy science-fiction, I highly recommend this collection of short stories set in the future when interplanetary travel has become “the thing to do”. When reading this, you very quickly realize that just because it’s the future and we can travel to other planets, that doesn’t mean our human problems have gone away.
I read this book when I was young and it had a huge impact on my life and writing. Reading it now, it is somewhat paler, but Bradbury can weave magic like no other. If you want to write great stories, this is a perfect place to study the craft. If you just want to lose yourself for a few hours you'll be spellbound by this book.
While I did find many of these stories similar to the ones I read in The Martian Chronicles, it did not detract from my enjoyment.
This was a very loosely connected collection of short stories. Just a couple added paragraphs telling the illustrated man's story held it together.
Good stories, good writing and science fiction make this a great book.
A classic collection of short sci-fi stories that still amuses, horrifies, and provokes thought of how we live today and what our expectations of the future are.