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A Sound of Thunder

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  4,344 ratings  ·  390 reviews
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The short story, A Sound of Thunder, involves a Time Travel Safari where rich businessmen pay to travel back to prehistoric times and hunt real live dinosaurs.
ebook, 15 pages
Published by (first published 1951)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,344 ratings  ·  390 reviews

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Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
The butterfly effect is a term coined by Edward Lorenz, an American mathematician, meteorologist, and a pioneer of chaos theory (and who does NOT look like Jeff Goldblum) that essentially says that a hurricane can be influenced by the distant flapping of butterfly wings several weeks earlier. Although his research took place in the 50s, his description of the idea took place in the later 60s.

Ray Bradbury’s short story A Sound of Thunder, first published in Collier's magazine in the June 28, 1952
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Cecily by: Apatt
A short story about using a time machine to hunt dinosaurs. The company that runs the trips is explicitly aware of the risks: “We don’t want to change the Future”, hence oxygen helmets, sterilised clothes, and an anti-gravity path that “Doesn’t touch so much as one grass blade”. What could possibly go wrong?

It was more clichéd than exciting for me, but Bradbury wrote it in 1952, whereas the other explorations of these ideas I’ve read and watched mostly date from after that. It’s always a shame w
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This is the Ray Bradbury SF story that inspired the "butterfly effect" theory ... well, maybe. At least there's a really intriguing connection there!


Review first posted at

In the year 2055 (about 100 years in the future when Ray Bradbury wrote this classic science fiction short story), one of the uses of time travel is for big game “safari” hunting: hunters pay a huge fee to take a guided safari trip to the far-distant past and bag a Tyrannosaurus Rex or other dinosaur
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Time travel,
Democracy or Dictatorship

The adventure in the Past begins
SAFARIS TO ANY YEAR IN THE PAST. YOU NAME THE ANIMAL. WE TAKE YOU THERE. YOU SHOOT IT. A warm phlegm gathered in Eckels' throat; he swallowed and pushed it down. The muscles around his mouth formed a smile as he put his hand slowly out upon the air, and in that hand waved a check for ten thousand dollars to the man behind the desk. "Does this safari guarantee I come back alive?"

"We guarantee nothing, "He turned. "Thi
Butterfly Effect, Chaos Theory, time paradoxes, all are contained in this brilliant short story by Ray Bradbury. It's about time travel and it's possible consequences on the future, and as usual Bradbury's messages are not delivered with subtlety; they are delivered with force and they are delivered loudly, and they roll around in your consciousness like "a sound of thunder".
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow! Another brilliant story by Ray Bradbury! Although it's a really short one, you will get the essence of a lot of things like safari, time travel, the butterfly effect (literally and I loved this part the most!) etc.
I can see that the story was first published in 1951 and it talks about 2055! Isn't that interesting? Bradbury was really ahead of his times I must say! :D
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Why are you reading reviews right now? You could probably read the whole story in the time you're spending reading reviews.
Click here for a free copy!!!!
You won't be disappointed.

Hopefully you listened to me and left, but obviously, if you're reading this, you didn't. Here's a second chance.

Seriously? You didn't click the link? Shame on you. I'll cut to the real review now.

This was a grate boook tht was funn to read. Itta had eferythinc that yu could want. It waz grate.

You're probably thinking
Apr 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
It wasn't a good story or story line, and it had a lot of unnecessary (long) lists of cause and effect that were unneeded for the plot line in the first place. Plus the ending is awful! It doesn't wrap anything up, and just abruptly ends the story!
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What would happen if you make the tiniest of errors?
Bradbury makes a great explanation of the chaos theory. Contrary to popular belief, he did not invent the concept of the butterfly effect.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars
I had to read this book for my English class that I am taking this year. At first I was not to crazy about reading this book simply because what we read in school is always is boring for me. As we got reading though I had changed my mind about this book. I did like how it was short with only 41 pages. I was kind of surprised that we actually read a book that was short because most of the time we read books that are kind of long. I thought the writing was good. I was really surprised that
Marts  (Thinker)
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The impact of our actions...
Tim Pendry

Possibly the most anthologised science fiction story of all time, this 1952 tale has dinosaurs and the problems of time travel so what's not to love. In fact, its interest lies in its early exposure of the public of time travel paradox and the butterfly effect (which Bradbury uses here but did not invent).

Like most science fiction, it does not last well in terms of the detail required to maintain an illusion of credibility and the writing is actually not the best we have seen from Bradbury but i
Madhulika Liddle
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In 2055, a company named Time Safari Inc. has invented a time machine which it uses as the main tool of a commercial enterprise—of taking big game hunters back millions of years into the age of the dinosaurs, and giving them a chance to kill something magnificent. Like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, which the main character of this short story, Eckels, has paid to be able to hunt.

It’s all very carefully planned, and there are strict rules about what you may do and what you may not. Down to the detail o
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is actually a short story from Ray Bradbury. Its not something super shiny or fancy by today's standards, but there are so many books, comics and movies that have been based on the things written in this story. At its core, this book is about rich men who manage to pay for a unique experience. They get to enter a time machine and go back millions of years to hunt dinosaurs. This does not go well for them, and the mistake, literally the Butterfly Effect used more and more ever since this sho ...more
Peter Wolfley
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was making a joke about time travel at work and was rebuked by a librarian for not knowing my source material. He recommended I read this before I make any more erroneous jokes about how small changes in the past can make huge changes in the future.
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Time travel and dinosaurs? Hell yeah!

3.5 stars

You can read it here.
John Hatley
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good short story, one that makes me sincerely hope that time travel will never be possible.
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
On to Westworld then!!
Amy Nicole
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Bradbury for the sci-fi elements, but I also love that his books have so much historical context. You can see how outdated his concepts from the 50s are and it always sends me into great Wikipedia article tailspins to try to figure out what he’s referencing.

The concept of significance in this story is so incredible. By going back in time, everything becomes so much more important. I think it makes you reflect on your own importance and how the future can be more dependent on you than the
This is an excellent and thoroughly engaging short story exploring the concepts of 'The Butterfly Effect' and 'Time Paradox'. Thrill seekers are sent back in time to experience the ultimate rush; hunting dinosaurs - but are warned extensively about the dangers of altering the past.

Ray Bradbury really was a pioneer of science fiction, and I love how his tales are so readable and compelling, and they translate incredibly well to modern times.
Polly Roth
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school-reading
I don't know why, but I've been thinking about this short story a lot lately. I read it 5 or 6 years ago, and it still influences the way I think. If that's not a sign of an amazing piece of writing, I don't know what is.
Jason Liwag
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the most interesting short stories I've ever read.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Short Story

Excellent story - Bradbury is the first person who showed "The Butterfly Effect" in this story from the 1950's. Definitely want to read more of this author.

Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was tutoring my student for the final exam, and she had to revise this short story while I was there, sitting calmly to contain the envy.
Tom Mathews
The short story that gave us The Butterfly Effect. (view spoiler) ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
Bradbury's works are simply amazing.
I have always loved the idea of the Butterfly Effect and how every little action is important.
Highly recommended.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So much fun! Incorporating into my class literacy block.
Ri ♥
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a science-fiction nerd, time-travel is definitely my favourite trope of all times. But most of the science-fiction time-travel records we read or see in the mainstream or classics are very inconsistent. The reason basically is the inconsistency in incorporating The Butterfly Effect. The butterfly effect is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. The concept is imagined with a butterfly flapping its wings and causing a typhoon in the future. And this short s ...more
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Ray Douglas Bradbury, 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 ...more

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“A Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Tyrant Lizard, the most incredible monster in history. Sign this release. Anything happens to you, we're not responsible. Those dinosaurs are hungry.” 0 likes
“It fell to the floor, an exquisite thing, a small thing that could upset balances and knock down a line of small dominoes and then big dominoes and then gigantic dominoes, all down the years across Time. Eckels' mind whirled. It couldn't change things. Killing one butterfly couldn't be that important! Could it?” 0 likes
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