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The Bradbury Report

3.06 of 5 stars 3.06  ·  rating details  ·  189 ratings  ·  66 reviews
In language of stunning beauty, Steven Polansky presents a provocative vision of the American future and creates a haunting story of love, friendship, and self-discovery. "The Bradbury Report" is set in 2071, when human cloning is the linchpin of the health-care system in the United States. Almost every citizen has a "Copy" living in a sequestered area called the Clearance ...more
Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by Canongate Books
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(showing 1-30 of 387)
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Bondama
This book had one of the best premises I've come across in a long time. Set in the future, everyone in America has a clone (for replacement parts, apparently) One clone escapes their "farm" and it turns out that this clone is the protagonist's own.--- Sadly, the writer has to have the dullest style I've come across in a long time as well -- I just couldn't finish this book.
********
This is being written about a month after the above. Finding myself with nothing to read and being snowed in, I retu
...more
Rebecca
Things I liked:
It was true to character. The "report" is written in first person and he stays true to his self described lack of creativity. Yes, it was tedious at times, but a socially awkward man such as Ray would have sounded like that.

The narrator was great.

Didn't like:
Lack of answers. Very few of the things I wanted to know were asked or addressed.

Sexual content. Could have done without it and it didn't fit into the book. That was probably the only thing I found inconsistent, so I wondered
...more
Brett
I did not finish this. I was willing to overlook the appalling naivete displayed by the author of economics. I was willing to overlook the sheer implausibility of the premise, as there may have been time to explain.

I was less willing to overlook the complete lack of believability in the setting. This is 2071 -- except that you would think it was the early 2000s. If this book had been written in 1980 I might have been more tolerant. People don't even read the newspaper today! Cell phones, brief m
...more
Sooz
I understand if there are readers who don't like this book. I am actually surprised I like it as well as I do.

firstly -while considered sci-fi- the book has little of the genre about it. yes there are clones, but the story's focus is the human aspect rather than the scientific. coming from the issue in this way, there is no action and -some might argue- not a lot of plot.

secondly there is a plethora of detail included in the first person singular narrative. that type of story is problematic in
...more
Rion Shupe
Polansky wrote this novel with an eloquence of language I am not accustomed to in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. This is certainly not a work of hard-science fiction, which I initially expected, and I actually found myself glad. The focus of Polanksy's prose was an exploration of personal motivations and self-love, it seems. I can't deny that this struck a chord with me particularly, perhaps digging up a few long-buried personal flaws for new inspection. Regardless of the meandering plot and hurry-up ...more
Alexandra Korshunova
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ignacy
The book The Bradbury Report, by Steven Polansky, is a science fiction/fantasy novel about a man who is one of only two people on the earth who knows the secret of time travel. By writing this book, Polansky is telling the readers a secret no one is supposed to know and which is censured by the government. This book is enjoyable, however, it isn’t especially memorable. This is mainly because this book doesn’t have enough happening in it for most people. The introduction is too extensive and it g ...more
Mark McKenna
ATTN: Thar be spoilers here!

"The Bradbury Report" is a speculative novel in the form of a thought experiment.

What would happen if cloning became legal in the US and several western states were evacuated and turned into "The Clearances," a land set aside for clones who are being raised as spare parts for Americans who can afford them?

The year is 2071. As "The Bradbury Report" opens there are almost 250 million clones held in a setting reminiscent of "Area 51."

After a clone escapes and is found b
...more
Aaron
While it's true you can never tell a book by its cover, you can ascertain the premise of some books by their title. Right away, you know the Bradbury Report is going to be science fiction. Clones used for personal harvesting? A concept to close for comfort.

United States has become a rogue nation where cloning is not only condoned but required for any kind of health care benefits to be affordable. It is regulated and highly secretive. The book follows around three main individuals; Ray (not his r
...more
Sheri
This was a fun read. I have several complaints with the details, but overall it was well done. The narrator "Ray Bradbury" had a very clear and consistent voice. He reminded me at times of Mersault from Camus' The Stranger; once again I'm finding slightly autistic, very literal voices appealing (and the fact that Anna hated Sundays I did take as a throwback to The Stranger). This book also (for obvious reasons) reminded me of Kashiguro's Never Let Me Go. The premise is the same (farming clones t ...more
Sheryl
I started this book with eager hopes, having read that it is the new '1984' or 'Brave New World.' It was a force of will to get past the first 50-100 pages, but eventually the story drew me in.

The story is meant to be a 'report' by a man in his late 60's, who goes by the alias of 'Ray Bradbury.' Set in the year 2071 in the United States, most aspects of life seem familiar, except that Americans can choose to have a clone made of themselves for spare parts. Ray had a clone made when he was in his
...more
Amber
I give up. The detailed description of the shit in the clone's pants did me in. 3 disks in but I don't care how it ends; I'm returning it. More detailed review later.

[LATER] I had a few problems with this book, one of them not having to do with the novel itself but with the audiobook, which was narrated by the worst reader I've yet heard on these things. I've seen other reviewers posit that the narrator was merely playing the part of the dull, humorless, monotone and completely bland narrator of
...more
Tez
When someone needs a new organ, he can obtain one from his clone - or any clone. The copies live in the Clearances, deliberately separated from their originals, and never the two shall meet. But one of the copies has escaped, and anti-cloning protestor Anna recognises him. Thus sixty-something-year-old widower Ray meets his twenty-something-year-old clone.

The anti-cloning group plans for Ray to write a report about life with his copy, Alan. Anna and Ray become Alan's teachers, caretakers, and fa
...more
Steven Dzwonczyk
This was a very interesting pseudoscience fiction book which has more social science implications than other types. It forces you to face several moral questions involved with cloning so long as you are willing to suspend your disbelief and make it all the way through. It is a very plausible narrative of a fairly implausible eventuality of government-forced cloning for the purpose of tissue transplant. If you can get past the fact that the government has become organized enough to set up a wides ...more
Mary
Okay, okay. I may be just a little bit prejudiced with my high rating, but after 11 weeks of writing class with Steve Polansky (the author), I have become a very critical reader and found so much to admire about this work. For a smallish town, we are very fortunate to have him hanging out at various coffee shops and teaching classes. If you liked Orwell's 1984, this is better.
Morgan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
The Bradbury Report is one of the more interesting social commentaries disguised as science fiction that I have read in quite a while. The basic premise of the story is that one hundred years from now, the US government has undertaken a wholesale cloning endeavor, and those clones live in the area that used to be the Dakotas. This is the story of a not-terribly thoughtful person who comes face to face with his own clone, and the report he then writes about it. The moral questions are treated wel ...more
Clare
In this not-so-far in the future story, clones are kept in a special area of the United States. They exist for one purpose only - to be available in case the "Original" needs a part. The government of the U.S. has done a great job at keeping thoughts of these nameless copies far from the minds of the 'regular' citizens. There are a few who decided not to participate in this government run health program for moral reasons and this creates problems for them should they become seriously ill. No ave ...more
Alicia
Note: I received an Advanced Reader Copy from my local bookstore.

The writing style took me a bit to get used to. At one point I almost gave up because it seemed too choppy, too disconnected. But then I convinced myself "hey...it's supposed to be written as if the guy was writing a report himself" so, I got over it...sorta. Enough to finish the book at least. I enjoyed the plot, though I felt impatient, waiting for some action at some points.

I'd definitely suggest it to those who like Science Fi
...more
Tyler
A very interesting premise, which I thought was poorly executed. There is some thought-provoking dialogue in the book about the ethics of cloning, but this could have almost been separated from the story without any loss to it, since in the story, nothing really HAPPENED. If the purpose of this book was to explore what would happen if cloning for spare organs became a reality, then a very large portion of the book was completely superfluous.
Patrick
Polansky is an accomplished wordsmith and, like Margaret Atwood, makes the reader believe that his vision of the future can come true. That having been said, The Bradbury Report is a "thriller" without any thrills, a plodding work of futurist sci-fi with heavy-handed symbolism. Telling the story through the report itself (like an extended journal entry) robs the narrative of its liveliness. This is unfortunate, because Polansky's ability to craft sentences has the potential to make him a strong ...more
Lisa
In 2071, the US is the only country in the world where cloning is legal. It's so legal, in fact, that the government run cloning program is a large component of the health care system--the clones are used for parts.

This is a thoughtful, well-written examination of love, humanity, righteousness, the ways in which people use one another, and choices. I'm really glad I took a chance on this book. I'll probably go back and read the last 50 or so pages again. The ending sucked me in and took my brea
...more
Ryan Zimmerman Carstairs
Disappointing in so many, many ways. The only thing saving it from getting a one is that I think the author had some sort of point in this mess, and since he was apparently trying to write a cautionary tale (most good SF and Speculative fiction serve as cautionary tales). The use of clones as spare parts would be pretty horrific, but frankly it has been done better. It seemed mainly a vehicle for his characters to have uncomfortable talks about sex and relationships (all of which happen off-book ...more
Matt
If I had a clone I'd use him to finish this book for me. The circular dialogue is enough to hypnotize you to sleep. this was supposed to be a think piece, and there's an interesting 15 minutes about the "what if's" of cloning, but clearly not enough to carry the plot. The characters and locale, details, etc. are so bland that it seems like the intent of the author was only to highlight the social implications of cloning - would make an interesting article but felt stretched as a novel.
Sarah
I get that the uninspired prose and overwritten back story is there to help define the main character, but it's a challenge to get through. Very pedestrian writing style.

All the same, the story has merit, providing interesting moral quandaries and touching moments. The best parts are when the three main characters get to grow and develop their relationships with each other.

Unfortunately, even at its best, it reads too much like what it is supposed to be: a report.
Lynne
Much has been written about the issue of cloning to provide spare parts for an original and this futuristic fiction book does a good job of exploring what the feelings and reactions of an original and clone might be if they were to meet. Although the scenario that the author envisions is somewhat depressing and definitely sad at the end, it is a realistic one if the government were to conduct such a program in secrecy as set forth in this book.
Karen
At the beginning of this story, I thought it was a very boring book. But as the plot started to unfold, everything started to get more interesting. This book was easier to understand than the other futuristic books I have read. I found this book very sad near the end. This book made me wonder about reality and how I would feel if I found out there was more to the world than the place where I live right now. Scary book.
Roy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tamlyn
Apr 25, 2011 Tamlyn rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
The premise seemed interesting, but the book was very dull. There was so much speculation about the situations; it’s like when characters describe their dreams – usually nothing that truly moves the story forward. I could see this rewritten as more of an action drama. I think that would be more fun to read. This felt too much like a school assignment. Two stars for the interesting concept.
Robin
A fairly significant negative for me is that though it is supposed to be 2071 it reads as if it is about 1985. No internet, no high tech, no involvement with computers. I am guessing, though we will never know, that the world of 2071 will be far beyond our imagination in conceiving. But it definitely will not be like 1985.

Otherwise a fairly interesting concept if not particularly likely.
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