The Illustrated Man

The Illustrated Man

Book - 2001
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"Sometimes at night I can feel them, the pictures, like ants, crawling on my skin. Then I know they're doing what they have to do . . . "

Fantasy master Ray Bradbury weaves a narrative spanning fromthe depths of humankind's fears to the summit of their achievements in eighteeninterconnected stories--visions of the future tattooed onto the body of anenigmatic traveler--in The Illustrated Man, one of the essential classicsof speculative fiction from the author of The Martian Chronicles, DandelionWine, and The October Country.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, 2001.
ISBN: 9780380973842
Branch Call Number: BRADB
Characteristics: ix, 275 p. ; 19 cm.


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SPPL_Kristen Mar 21, 2018

Ray Bradbury at his best and most profound.

Sep 27, 2017

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.

JCLJessecaB Sep 25, 2017

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.

Aug 03, 2017

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

LPL_LoganI Jun 28, 2017

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).

BostonPL_JordanD Jul 28, 2015

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.

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Genre/sub-genre: Science-fiction

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.

Mar 15, 2015

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.

absamuels Jul 07, 2014

I loved this book as a kid, and I still love it now.

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RobertELPL Mar 05, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

BostonPL_JordanD Jul 28, 2015

BostonPL_JordanD thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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Jul 02, 2015

A collection of multiple science-fiction short stories.


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Feb 05, 2012

When life is over it is like a flicker of bright film, an instant on the screen, all of its prejudices and passions condensed and illumined for an instant on space, and before you could cry out, "There was a happy day, there a bad one, there an evil face, there a good one," the film burned to a cinder, the screen went dark. --from "Kaleidoscope"


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