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The Illustrated Man

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  37,322 ratings  ·  1,551 reviews
That The Illustrated Man has remained in print since being published in 1951 is fair testimony to the universal appeal of Ray Bradbury's work. Only his second collection (the first was Dark Carnival, later reworked into The October Country), it is a marvelous, if mostly dark, quilt of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. In an ingenious framework to open and close the boo...more
Paperback, Voyager Classics #33, 186 pages
Published August 2002 by Voyager Classics / Harper Collins (first published 1951)
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Charles Shepherd If you've ever watched the original Twilight Zone think of that then replace the narrator at the begining of those episodes with a wondering man…moreIf you've ever watched the original Twilight Zone think of that then replace the narrator at the begining of those episodes with a wondering man covered in magic tattoos(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Algernon
It was a dark and stormy night. Enters a mysterious character that seems escaped from a different novel (Something Wicked This Way Comes) . His body is completely covered in animated tattoos, images that he claims show events yet to pass. If you look carefully, you might even get a glimpse of your own future.
The role of this opening sequence of the collection serves as a foreword from the author explaining why these previously published stories were included here and not others: they are a map o...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
I am a very big fan of Ray Bradbury. He has an incredible imagination. He inspires me as a writer and a reader. I loved that this book has stories within a story. What an interesting idea of having a tattooed man as the "Scheherazade" in this story. The narrator is the body of a man who has tattoos all over himself. Each tattoo tells a story. Each story is different. Some are more science fiction-oriented and some are pure fantasy. Yes, Bradbury's view of outer space might be considered naive fo...more
Emily
I love short stories. To be able to pack such a punch in just a handful of pages, each word has to be meaningful, each metaphor perfect, each phrase exquisitely crafted and The Illustrated Man is chock-full of stories with staying power.

As Bradbury mentions in his introduction, these stories are possible answers to "What if?" questions. Some are humorous, some downright frightening, some thought-provoking. He starts out with a bang: the short story "The Veldt." Those two children are straight ou...more
Chris
As a newly-minted high school reading teacher, my introductory book to spoon-feed to the young'ns was Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. It was a really good one to start with, as it had a fairly simple and uncomplicated storyline, a small cast of characters, and fairly well-defined themes and literary techniques. Therefore, teaching it to students who weren't native speakers (but whose English was really good nonetheless) was a good experience.

I hadn't read a whole lot of Bradbury prior to that, an...more
Apatt
"... he was a riot of rockets and fountains and people, in such intricate detail and color that you could hear the voices murmuring small and muted, from the crowds that inhabited his body. When his flesh twitched, the tiny mouths flickered, the tiny green-and-gold eyes winked, the tiny pink hands gestured. There were yellow meadows and blue rivers and mountains and stars and suns and planets spread in a Milky Way across his chest. The people themselves were in twenty or more odd groups upon hi
...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The Illustrated Man is a collection of Ray Bradbury’s stories which are sandwiched between the account of the titular man whose tattoos come alive at night and set the scenes for the 18 tales in this collection. All of these stories are classic Ray Bradbury — full of spacemen, Earth-Mars conflict, psychiatrists, spoiled children, bad marriages, book burning, domestic work-saving technologies, and nervous breakdowns. They deal with the fear of atomic war, l...more
Jessi
Jul 26, 2007 Jessi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Bradbury's short stories
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a powerful collection of short stories. The two that are my favorites are "The Veldt" and "The Fire Balloons." The first time I read this book, I wasn't sure what to expect. Little did I know that it contains "The Veldt," which I has seen on film in my 6th grade Creative Writing class. Even way back then, this struck me as a unique and haunting story, and I am forever grateful to my teacher and good friend Rhonda Selph for introducing me to it. (She passed away during my freshman year in...more
Lou
Ray Bradbury inspired many to take pen to paper; he enlightened many dark vessels and was a visionary beyond comparison. His sentences are laden with words in the right places with the right words.

This collection of stories only covers stories taken from illustrations on the illustrated mans body. We don’t get to walk with the illustrated man for long in fact only a few pages in the beginning. Don’t let this belittle the whole collection I want to just make it clear, because some could be disapp...more
Josh Bratton
I’m fairly new to the whole ‘short story’ type of prose; I mostly read novels or novellas. I’ve always wanted to read Ray Bradbury’s material, but never got around to it. I was fond of this work due to the common themes. Particularly, the ones regarding the pondering about the skies and human nature, dealing with race equality, metaphors about the destruction of one world and the advent of a ‘city’ built on revenge, or even the theories about technology and what mankind would do with said techno...more
Kate
Nov 16, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
"The Veldt" is a must-read from this selection. In this story set in the not-too-distant future, the automated appliances and children's toys suck the life (literally and figuratively) out of a traditional family. It makes you wonder if we haven't already begun sliding down that slippery slope.

This short story among others are compiled and tied together through a man's magical tattoos. His body is covered in tattoos, and they animate to tell each story. Once again, Bradbury's language makes his...more
Debra
I wish there had been more story directly involving the illustrated man; perhaps a novel about him. Bradbury was way ahead of his time with some of the stories, especially those involving space travel. A very interesting collection.
MiLi
Jul 06, 2014 MiLi rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Personas que buscan un buen libro de cuentos
Con un estilo muy similar a The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man es una recopilación de cuentos que Bradbury publicó en diferentes revistas entre 1947 y 1951. El disparador de la historia es un hombre que tiene el cuerpo con tatuajes muy lindos y llamativos que a la noche cobran vida para relatar, cada uno, una historia distinta. Los cuentos que componen este libro son el relato esas historias.

Hay 18 narraciones en total y todos pertenecen al género ciencia ficción fantástica y tienen lug...more
Joaquin Garza
Cuando se habla de los tres grandes de la ciencia ficción (Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein), por lo general al crítico de café se le olvida mencionar al recientemente fallecido titán que llevaba por nombre Ray Bradbury. ¿Por qué? Tengo dos teorías: una proviene de la afirmación del mismo autor de que él no escribía ciencia ficción, sino ficción a secas que exploraba temas profundamente humanos, sólo que enmarcándolos en historias con cohetes y marcianos. La otra teoría proviene de la novela más celebra...more
Emily
A man meets another man who has "pictures" all over his body. They look like tattoos, but he relates that he was "cursed by a witch" and that the pictures move. Unfortunately, the moving pictures tell stories so disturbing he doesn't like to go out in public. The first man spends an entire night watching the pictures in the firelight and the collected stories in this book are what he sees. A good description of these tales would be "science fiction nightmares." They go a step beyond even caution...more
Brian
What I like about Ray Bradbury is his messages to society, some of them pretty blunt, and his deep philosophical narratives. Once in awhile I would be reading and something would hit me, the classic light bulb turning on over the head. I like how "weird" his stories are. I guess the appropriate word would be "prolific."

Writing style is a big deal to me. I had some trouble adapting to Mr. Bradbury's style. I am not saying it was "bad" necessarily (and who am I to criticize such a man of impact?...more
Mike
Sep 07, 2012 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Read at least twice and deserves to be read again.

Ray Bradbury was one of the more original and engaging writers, ever. He easily blurred the genre boundaries mixing "classic" themes of SF with fantasy, mystery and horror.

Just the concept of the "Illustrated Man" is enough for me to want a copy in my hands right now. If you only know him because of "Fahrenheit 451" (book or movie) then, you are doing yourself a disservice. (Not that you should not read F-451, that's a great book, also.) Bradbury...more
Rade
I did not really like this book for some reason. It started off great, but the similar themes of space travel and living on other planets got tired really fast. Most of the stories revolve around living on rockets, on Mars, or remembering how it was to live on Earth that has either ceased to exist or was destroyed by the people who inhabit it.

I like Ray Bradbury and some of the stories in this collection of short stories, but a lot of them were not interesting to me. I will probably read more o...more
Alannah
This book is similar to Martian Chronicles. It is a collection of short sci-fi stories written by the very talented Ray Bradbury. I don’t often read sci-fi and I almost never read short stories but after reading and devouring The Martian Chronicles I had to read this one. The stories were thought provoking and wonderfully written.
Kevin Lucia
Bradbury's science fiction is best read for its passion, beauty, and lyricism. Even he's said that the only "purely science fiction" take of his is Fahrenheit 451, and that for the most part he should be considered a "fantasy writer". Anyway - his prose is sweet, and there's a beauty and joy there in his words...
Jordan
Tattooed all over the body of a man are startling images. Startling for their content, but also for their movement; the tattoos move, light up, and make noise to present viewers with stories of a futuristic, yet hostile, arduous, and bloody future.

All of the tattoo-stories are great.

I love Bradbury's style and imagery, which prompt me to continue to give him five-star ratings. He can lyrically convey the hopefulness of a futuristic society, with automated houses and interplanetary travel, but...more
Tancredi
"Niente e nessuno è contento di morire... e una stanza non fa eccezione."

Seconda opera del grande Ray Bradbury, precedente del cult Fahrenheit 451, questa originale e visionaria antologia di racconti è un piccolo capolavoro di quell'adorabile, lungimirante ed altrettanto inquietante fantascienza americana degli anni '50.
Nella classica struttura a cornice - che qui prevede il misterioso Uomo illustrato, un individuo anonimo ricoperto di tatuaggi capaci di animarsi e raccontare storie - Bradbury r...more
notgettingenough
Ray Bradbury is the only writer I can say with certainty has not so much changed my life as made it what it is. I'm scarcely the first or last to say that, and most definitely not the most important.

Neil Gaiman began his acknowledgement to Bradbury thus:

I can imagine all sorts of worlds and places, but I cannot imagine one without Ray Bradbury. Not Bradbury the man (I have met him. Each time I have spent any time with him I have been left the happier for it), but Bradbury the builder of dreams.
...more
Brett Starr
"The Illustrated Man" is one book that I have been wanting to read for quite awhile. If you've ever heard anyone talk about Ray Bradbury's books like their "amazing", don't judge it, until you have read his stuff. The guy IS "amazing"!

The fact that all these stories were written before 1952 is really "amazing"!

Ray Bradbury's obession with space, astronauts, Mars, peoples overall greed, laziness & reliance on computers/technology in the future were rampant throughout all the stories, but he...more
P D
Ok, so I just spent half an hour learning about the shibe meme and here is my summary of this short story collection, with all due apologies:

such science

many imagine

existence is crisis

Ahem.

The narrative framework for this collection is its titular character, and a narrator watching the Illustrations on his body. I don't want to say too much about it, because it has its own story, but the themes explored in the frame relate back to what is explored in the rest.

In fact, this has got to be the most...more
Estella
I really wanted to give this 5 stars because when I read it in high school it was one of the most amazing things I'd ever read.

I guess I loved the characters, their understandable flaws and their varying desires for freedom, which inevitably lead them to space and the kind of liberation only the dying know.

And wow, at the start of the '5os, Bradbury sees the civil rights movement coming, only he sees it ending in Mars. "The Other Foot" is fantastic!

Reading the book now, I see more warts, like...more
Peter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rhys
I first read this when Bradbury was my favourite writer back in my teenage years. I remember thinking that ‘Kaleidoscope’ was a perfect story, symmetrical, ironic and quirky. I also remember enjoying ‘The Long Rain’, about men trapped on the surface of a Venus where the weather is like the weather of Ireland or Wales but even worse. ‘Usher II’ was another favourite and I regarded it as the ultimate revenge story (I was also a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe, so I got all the references). My other fav...more
L.G. Estrella
Bradbury is rightfully hailed as one of the best writers in the short story format, and the Illustrated Man showcases him at his finest.

First and foremost, I have to acknowledge the breadth of feeling in this collection of stories. Some (e.g., The Rocket) are incredibly endearing while others (e.g., The Rocket Man) have much darker undertones. Bradbury takes the plight of ordinary people and makes the reader care about them, whether they are in space, on earth, or somewhere else entirely.

Second...more
Rauf
The stories were terrific and I think everyone should read it.
NOw, I didn't know that most of them would be about space explorers and Mars and rocket rides. But Ray Bradbury didn't write sci-fi stories with highly complicated technobabble. He wrote about the characters and their drama. Maybe some aliens but not too weird. They were easy to read (fun too!)

You will see that my favorite stories are marked with Xs.

The stories are:

THE VELDT XXX
KALEIDOSCOPE X
THE OTHER FOOT (didn't like it because it...more
Grace Wilson
Nov 09, 2007 Grace Wilson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sci-fi lovers
The illustrated man is covered in tattoos that a witch gave him while he was laid up in bed. They come to life and if you watch them long enough they start to move and tell stories. They can even tell the future. The book is told as stories come alive one night as an unsuspecting man watches.

The stories are all excellent. They were written in the late 1940s & early 50s. It's interesting to see how some of the "future" dates have come and gone already. The themes of some of the stories were b...more
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favorite story? 28 148 Oct 03, 2014 12:05PM  
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1630
American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He bec...more
More about Ray Bradbury...
Fahrenheit 451 The Martian Chronicles Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2) Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1) I Sing the Body Electric! & Other Stories

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“We're all fools," said Clemens, "all the time. It's just we're a different kind each day. We think, I'm not a fool today. I've learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact we're not perfect and live accordingly.” 133 likes
“Long before you knew what death was you were wishing it on someone else.” 29 likes
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