"They had a house of crystal pillars on the planet Mars by the edge of an empty sea..." So begins this classic chronicle of the colonization of Mars. More fantasy than science fiction, the stories create a rich allegory of the tragic moral blindness of mankind. In lyrical prose, Bradbury describes the decline of the mysterious and fragile Martian civilization, overwhelmed by the human newcomers. These are tales not of bug-eyed monsters and laser-wielding spacemen, but of common people - families, truck-stop owners, priests - who confront a new world with their human pride, fears, tenderness, and greed intact. And at the heart of each story lies the basic conflict between man's search for new frontiers and his irresistible urge for the comfort of the past. Bradbury's writing is a brilliant blend of satire and wonder, terror and innocence, bitterness and poetic fantasy.
Executive Producer: Laura Wilson
Cover art: Construct and Destroy detail by Yves Tanguy, courtesy of Scala/Art Resource, NY
©1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1958, Copyright Renewed 1977
(P)1974 Listening Library
It is always a delight and special experience to hear an author read his own works. The additional commentary provides the background to make this listening experience even more satisfying.
Ray Bradbury was the man who initially kindled my voracious appetite for reading back in the fifth grade, appropriately, with his novel, Fahrenheit 451. The Martian Chronicles soon followed as I plowed through all of Mr. Bradbury's work.
28 years later, it was nice to revisit a book I have read and reread over the years. My insights and observations of the book changing as I mature.
I simply added this audiobook to my monthly selection on a whim without reading any of the reviews or details, just remembering how much I enjoyed it. I listen to audiobooks on my iPod in my car which makes for a more peaceful commute. So, imagine my surprise when the distinctive voice of Ray Bradbury comes out of the speakers and begins reading me the book.
The further bonus of the author sharing his personal insights, inspirations, and reasoning behind each story makes this truly a treasure and well worth the download. Enjoy it yourself! I know I did!
Bradbury has found himself a new fan. If I had picked this book up and simply read it myself, or if it had been narrated by somebody else, I might not have been so quickly drawn in. The fact that Bradbury himself narrates the book makes it particularly charming. I feel as though he were reading to me, one on one, and because of this, I've come to like the old guy quite a lot. His personality really comes through in the brief discourses he gives between each story. You come to see what he thinks is important in life and what he disapproves of. He has his own unique style of intonation and pronunciation, reminescent of movies and TV shows from the 50s, which I find wonderfully charming. To hear the lines read, and to hear the characters expressing themselves, as Bradbury intended them is really a rare privilege.
Besides all that, the stories themselves are interesting and well-written. I've found myself laughing out loud while speeding down the freeway, frowning with displeasure at the actions of unsavory characters, marvelling at the silver pages of a Martian book, shivering with loneliness at the edges of the dead Martian sea... There are some incongruities to be found from one story to another, but that simply adds to the attraction. I can see Bradbury himself, spotting the inconsistencies and disregarding them for the love of the story. I'm actually glad that the story of Mars has not been laid down in concrete from beginning to end, with a strict history to remember and follow. It leaves so much more open to the imagination. I am able to fill in the holes myself, which makes the world created by Bradbury that much more personal and alive for me.
Bradbury's prose is breathtaking in its beauty and power. The harsh landscape of Mars becomes a living creature that fills the listener's imagination. Few audiobooks have been as satisfying to me as this one. I was initially apprehensive about Bradbury as narrator, but after listening, I feel he is probably the only one who can do justice to his wonderful tales.
I read this as a teenager and I loved it then...to hear now Bradbury read and comment between chapters was a wonderful experience...nostalgia blended with discovery. I recommend this to any sci fi reader or anyone else, for that matter. Thoroughly loved this listening.
Most of the stories were worthwhile and interesting. It was also interesting to hear some of Bradbury's comments about the stories, looking back several decades after writing them. But I did not at all enjoy his narrative style. Blasphemous though it may be to say so, I think this would have been a much better audiobook with a different, perhaps more professional narrator.
I've long loved this book, but having it read by Ray Bradbury makes it very special. I didn't realize when I purchased it that he would also be commenting on the chapers as he went along, and I REALLY loved hearing his thoughts and remembrances. Every story is a gem by itself, but the weaving of them into "The Martian Chronicles" is magic. Long live Ray Bradbury!
Anyone who likes Bradbury's books will enjoy this even more. The author reads the stories (and who better to tell how he intended it to sound than him?) and gives a bit of a synopsis of what lead to writing it or other tidbits of info on each one. I highly recommend this one.
This Is my favorite book by Ray Bradbury. The only complaint I have is that in order for me to understand the book I had to read it 3 times. Its probably just me but every time I read i find out something I didn't realize the time before. It is a great read for on the go. It was my first scifi novel and i have to say I made a great first choice.
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