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The Illustrated Man | [Ray Bradbury]

The Illustrated Man

Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man is a kaleidoscopic blending of magic, imagination, and truth, widely believed to be one of the grand master's premier accomplishments. Collected here are eighteen tales, 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man is a kaleidoscopic blending of magic, imagination, and truth, widely believed to be one of the grand master's premier accomplishments. Collected here are eighteen tales, 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.

©1951 Ray Bradbury; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Here is an open circuit on ideas, which range from religion, to racial questions, to the atom bomb, rocket travel (of course), literature, escape to the past, dreams and hypnotism, children and their selfish and impersonal acceptance of immediate concepts, robots, etc." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A must for sci-fi fans!" (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (190 )
5 star
 (61)
4 star
 (66)
3 star
 (41)
2 star
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1 star
 (6)
Overall
3.9 (129 )
5 star
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4 star
 (46)
3 star
 (28)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
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Story
3.9 (127 )
5 star
 (37)
4 star
 (57)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
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  •  
    Beverly Bronx, NY, United States 03-14-11
    Beverly Bronx, NY, United States 03-14-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Curling up with an old friend"

    I have an old dog-earred paperback copy of this book and have enjoyed the 30-minute versions of several of the stories produced for radio. But nothing beats the unabridged book when it comes to my listening enjoyment. Paul Michael Garcia does a very good job with the narration. This is one of those audio books I will listen to again and again.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Whittier, CA 07-24-12
    Dave Whittier, CA 07-24-12 Member Since 2010

    I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Treasure Trove of Stories"

    I???ve listened to Bradbury???s seminal collection of short stories twice now, and it???s very much like hanging out with an old friend whom you haven't seen for ages, but jump back into things as if you'd been speaking to every day. Some have suggested that it hasn???t aged well, but I disagree: the stories certainly have aged (the book itself is over 60 years old), and they certainly look different than today???s SF/F/H stories, but they???re still full of imagination, excitement, fear, and wonder. The stories contained are as diverse as the titular characters tattoos ??? whether it???s lonely astronauts floating through space as their oxygen runs out, the ghosts of some of our greatest authors and poets exiled to Mars, or a poor father who can???t afford to send his family on vacation in outer space ??? and each one is a treasure.

    Paul Michael Garcia does an amazing job reading these, adding an additional layer of emotion and character to each story. If it???s been a while since you read Ray Bradbury, Paul Michael Garcia is the narrator to reunite you with him.

    The book contains the following stories: The Veldt, Kaleidoscope, The Other Foot, The Highway, The Man, The Long Rain, The Rocket Man, The Last Night of the World, The Exiles, No Particular Night or Morning, The Fox and the Forest, The Visitor, The Concrete Mixer, Marionettes, Inc., The City, Zero Hour, The Rocket, The Illustrated Man

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Surrey, BC, Canada 11-01-11
    Robert Surrey, BC, Canada 11-01-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great storyteller but not as good as I remember"

    Ray Bradbury was one of the favorite writer’s from my youth; Fahrenheit 451 was one of the first books I read about “ideas” it was not just a cool story but it was actually about something. I followed that up by devouring most of his work. I decided to revisit him.
    He was not as good as I remember. But I am not listening to this with fresh ears. But even so, I have read numerous books numerous times but I just found listening this to be a trudge listening to these familiar stories again. It felt like I was watching a bad sitcom and I remembered all the punchlines.

    However to fresh ears this collection of short stories might be as exciting and exhilarating as my first reading. This book would be great for a family roadtrip or something. The stories are short and punchy and are relatively easy to comprehend but are real involving. It is great YA material that has kind of been lost in a midst of hip YA Fiction that is out. However once you know the twist or what it is about a large chunk of the enjoyment is gone. I think it boils down to Bradbury being a great storyteller and mediocre craftsman of language. As opposed to something like the Great Gatsby (a book I have read and listened to numerous times) which is a triumph of storytelling and language.

    To be honest you can find a large chunk of these stories as radio plays on Audible or as free podcasts. That is the best method to hear most of these stories. The narration is rather utilitarian hardly as magical as the old radio show some of these appeared on like X Minus One and Dimension X.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Colston Trabuco Canyon, CA USA 07-15-11
    J. Colston Trabuco Canyon, CA USA 07-15-11 Member Since 2010

    Jimcoco

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Get Ready for Prozac"

    The narration is quite good. This is a classic from the genre. It is well written and entertaining. 3-stars are as a result of the depressing nature of this collection of short stories. At first I really enjoyed hearing the stories, but I was ready to jump off a building after listening to a dozen of them. It is the most depressing look at the future that I could imagine. Of all the stories, only a couple would I consider as containing hope or a positive outlook from the characters.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Musa mid-Missouri 11-24-13
    Musa mid-Missouri 11-24-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Stories wonderful, narrator not"
    What would have made The Illustrated Man better?

    A different narrator possessing greater fluidity, subtlety and range. The stories themselves are wonderful. and I'm glad I'm finally getting around to reading/hearing them.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Illustrated Man?

    The concept of these stories appearing from within the very skin


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Paul Michael Garcia?

    I've started listening to Ray Bradbury's works and immensely enjoyed Steven Carpenter as narrator of I Sing the Body Electric. I also enjyed Jeff Halberstadt as narrator of Fahrenheit 451. I encountered these two narrrators horugh National Library Service audiobooks (I'm visually impaired) and they may not be available in comnmercial audiobooks. However, their work doe sillustrate hat it is possible to convey the wonder, whimsy and poetry of Bradbury whereas Garcia's narration, in my opinion, turns strips the stories of their poetry.


    What character would you cut from The Illustrated Man?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    Bradbury's preface is well written and actually rather well read. It definitely gives the sense that Bradbury is inviting the reader to "come explore with me." These stories are best approached with that in mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed G United States 07-22-11
    Ed G United States 07-22-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hasn't aged well"

    This is a great reminder that the 1950's weren't as wonderful as some people seem to think. As far as I can tell, most of the female characters are pathetic and whiny. In several of the stories, female characters are bad not because some people are bad, but specifically because they are women. Pretty depressing book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Ventura, CA, United States 09-03-12
    Steve Ventura, CA, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Creepy"
    What would have made The Illustrated Man better?

    Nothing. It is what it is.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I would like to have listened to Inside Coca-Cola, but it is not in audio.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    None


    What character would you cut from The Illustrated Man?

    None.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like nighmarish, creepy stories like the old Twilight Zones, this is your book. Although I did not like the stories, the narration was well done.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results
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  • Wendy
    United Kingdom
    3/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flawed but interesting."

    An imaginative collection of stories, and beautifully written. But alas, the undertone of chauvinism (sometimes dipping its toe into misogyny) stopped me from engaging as fully as I'd have liked to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Garry
    Cardiff, United Kingdom
    2/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unfortunately showing it's age"
    What did you like best about The Illustrated Man? What did you like least?

    Ray Bradbury has a way with words that verges on the poetic. The premise behind this collection is quite a clever way of binding together disparate short stories.


    Any additional comments?

    These stories were obviously written some time ago, and the "sci-fi" element seems somewhat "1950s" in feel - rockets as opposed to space ships, atmospheres on the solar systems inner planets, etc.
    The Science fiction settings for these stories seem almost surplus to requirements, they don't seem to add an awful lot to the plot and offer only a backdrop for Mr. Bradbury's emotive prose.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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