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The Illustrated Man

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  70,310 ratings  ·  3,473 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 ...more
Paperback, Voyager Classics #33, 186 pages
Published August 2002 by Voyager Classics / Harper Collins (first published February 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)
soleil Either "The Long Rain" or "Kaleidoscope"... inspired me to be a writer. Thrilling, imaginative, and the message just hits hard, man.…moreEither "The Long Rain" or "Kaleidoscope"... inspired me to be a writer. Thrilling, imaginative, and the message just hits hard, man. (less)

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Lyn
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read a review once that described Robert A. Heinlein as a creepy old uncle who drinks too much at parties and who makes embarrassing comments, but who everyone likes in spite of his outdated ways – kind of a loveable rogue.

Ray Bradbury, similar but by contrast, is like the dotty old professor whom everyone cannot help but love and who overlook his eccentricities. His stories are as warm and imaginative as a summer afternoon. And all due respect to Fahrenheit 451, which is a fine novel, but I
...more
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Ray Bradbury was an absolute master storyteller whose writing was creative and full of moments of pure bitter irony: he was an imaginative genius, nothing more nothing less.

Bradbury picks the bones of society clean; he gnaws at them until he exposes the reality of the marrow beneath. Each story in here has a piece of wisdom to share, a resolution or disaster that could have been easily avoided if man was not so corrupt in his ways. The more I read of his writing the more convinced I become that
...more
Matthew
“And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I'm a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone”

Rocket Man – Elton John – Inspired by a story from The Illustrated Man


Sometimes when I read Ray Bradbury, I feel like I am not worthy.

That was definitely the case this time! Not just a 5 star book – all the starts in the universe!

Bradbury is a master story teller. He is a weaver of the unique and
...more
Raeleen Lemay
The first few stories were AMAZING, and with the exception of a few more that I enjoyed later on, the rest of the stories were pretty boring. They were all really futuristic and most had to do with Mars in some way, which I thought was cool. Most of the stories also had very clear moral lessons, so they're great stories to read aloud (maybe not to small children, but I'm sure older kids would enjoy them).

My favorite stories are:

-The Veldt
-The Other Foot
-The Rocket Man
-The Last Night of the
...more
Apatt
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
"... 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
...more
RJ
Sep 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bradbury's classic short story collection includes some Golden Age gems and some duds too:

- Prologue: The Illustrated Man - 3/5 - framing story that starts off the collection
- The Veldt - 5/5 - you can take the kids out of the veldt, but you can't take the veldt out of the kids
- Kaleidoscope - 3/5 - dying astronauts' final thoughts and wishes
- The Other Foot - 5/5 - what happens when a rocket brings a Caucasian to an African-American settlement on Mars (written in 1949 prior to the Civil
...more
Maciek
This is one of Ray Bradbury's earliest collections of short stories, and the concept behind is quite brilliant. On an early September day in Wisconsin, the unnamed narrator meets the eponymous Illustrated Man - a wandering carnie with incredible images tattooed across his body. They are detailed, colorful and mysterious, and able to move on their own; the narrator counts eighteen different illustrations, each depicting what the Illustrated Man claims to be the future.

Unfortunately, both the
...more
Darwin8u
“I shall remain on Mars and read a book.”
― Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man

description

Ray Bradbury is forever connected to my youth. He is 180-proof literary, pulp, scifi nostalgia. I remember reading him for fun, reading him anthologized, reading him again and again. I permanently dented my aunt's couch one summer reading Vonnegut and Bradbury. I've recently returned to him as a father and an adult and get to re-establish connection to this great writer of American pop-lit. His stories (and books as
...more
Ivan
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Better than I expected and I expected a lot.Like Martian chronicle this is book of sci-fi short stories and like Martian chronicle there is lot more going on beneath the surface.

As with all short story collections not all of stories are same quality and not all deserve 5 stars but even lowest point of this book is pretty damn high.
Scott
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
One of the great joys of exploring old Science Fiction is coming across stories like the best works in this book, stories that make you wonder how you could possibly have gone so long without reading them.

Bradbury is best known for his novel Fahrenheit 451, which is deservedly famous, However to my jaded readers' eye some of his short stories deliver more bang for buck, more emotional punch per word. Of course, not all the works in this book are great or even good, and like almost every short
...more
Helene Jeppesen
I stumbled across this short story collection when searching for horror literature online. However, the stories in "The Illustrated Man" are not straight up horror; they're more like sci-fi stories and predictions on what life will look like 50-100 years from its publication date.
The narrative frame of the stories goes like this: A man, covered in tattoos, tells another man that he stumbles across to not look too deeply at his tattoos because they all tell stories that come true. Needless to
...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
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
...more
soleil
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
Bradbury is unmatched. This collection serves as a constant inspiration and reminder to be better, in the hopes that one day I can inspire the awe and thrill that Bradbury's imagination and talent instilled in me.
My uncle gifted me this book. When he was younger he collected every story Bradbury wrote through science fiction magazines in the mail. I am SO grateful to him for introducing me to more of Bradbury's stories.
Marko
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh Ray, you heart-stealer you...
Ana-Maria Petre
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Bradbury is The Man. The stories comprised in this book are both disturbing and serene, ranging from the innocent cruelty of children to the desperate longing of Man for the deep, unknown outer space.
Krystal
What an incredible read this was! It's full of futuristic settings yet relevant, modern themes. I'm not normally into the sci-fi stuff but every single one of these stories was utterly captivating. These are the kind of stories that draw you in instantly, hold you tight and keep you thinking about them long after you finish reading.

I had a couple of favourites: I loved the way The Rocket explored the power of the imagination, along with how the family dynamic was portrayed. I enjoyed the
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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 ...more
Leo Robertson
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting that Bradbury's aim with his writing was to make others "jealous of his joy", yet all of his stories are so dark! You can still hear him enjoying the telling of them :)

Reminds me to get over my fears of running out of ideas or writing first to please others—therein, as friends have told me too, is the path to madness!
Paul Falk
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book was first published in 1951, a mere six years after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. By reference, the fear the atom bomb created had managed to threateningly worm its way into some of the short stories. There were many other accounts of death and total annihilation by one means or another though not necessarily at the hands of the "A bomb". The author may have likely found himself caught up with the overwhelming paranoia of the times that ran rampant in the world. These ...more
Wayne Barrett
Another great collection from a master short story teller... not to say that his novels are not also great.

I wish I would have read this right after finishing The Martian Chronicles. It's a great accent to Bradbury's famous sci-fi masterpiece. Interestingly enough, though the stories ring of The Martian Chronicles, the collection begins with a tattooed (illustrated) man who has worked as an act in carnival freak shows. His story, which opens and closes the collection, brings to mind Something
...more
Maryam
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant collection of dark , sci-fi short stories. Each story makes you think over and over that what would happen in future.

While ago I watched Black Mirror Tv series and it reminded me again of this terrifying book. Technology and what it brings with itself can be really scary, coming from a software developer it's so lame, I know.
Ilana
4.5 — Among this year’s favourites. Great story collection, though some appealed to me more than others, but that’s inevitable. The Martian theme is prevalent and so are end-of-the-world scenarios, the two often interconnected, which reflect the times during which they were written. However, I was surprised at how many story elements were still very much current issues today. A couple of stories were familiar to me, as they’ve been included in other Bradbury story collections, and revisiting ...more
Joy
"So much space. I liked the idea of nothing on top, nothing on the bottom, and a lot of nothing in between, and me in the middle of the nothing."

This is my first time reading Ray Bradbury, and I've discovered that he has a very trippy and very twisted imagination... It's absolutely fantastic.

The Illustrated Man is a really amazing story concept. There's this man who is covered head to toe in illustrations. Before the crazy body art, he wanted to make himself more unique in the world but ends up
...more
Chris_P
War is a bad thing, but peace can be a living horror

Stories set in the future. Stories set in realities distant or not so distant from ours. Stories that linger on the doorway to... The Twiligh..... wow wow wow! I got carried away there! Although, I have to say, each of these stories could (and should) have been an episode of The Twilight Zone. A few of them could also be episodes of Black Mirror. There's no need to rate each separately. The Illustrated Man deserves all the stars I can give.
...more
Luke Kondor
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rockets, Mars, spacemen, time travel. All told in that vivacious lovely prose that I expect from Bradbury.

Some amazing stories and a few average ones. Here are my favourites:
The Veldt
Kaleidoscope
The Last Night of the World (actually an amazingly sweet story that I plan to go back and re-read)
The Fox and the Forest (time travelling cat and mouse story)
The City (surprisingly gory)
Zero Hour
da AL
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
read this eons ago & still love it - short stories are so great - such a shame they don't get more support.
Kaethe Douglas
The Illustrated Man - Ray Bradbury Because I was young, and my brain wasn't too crowded, the stories were indelibly branded on my brain. I'm almost afraid to revisit The Veldt, lest it disappoint. This was assigned reading in fifth or sixth grade, and the stories are deeply embedded in my brain.

***

Bradbury is primarily known as a science fiction writer. It’s odd because he doesn’t write science fiction. In fact, he’s crap at science, but that doesn’t matter because he isn’t interested in telling
...more
Chris
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
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,
...more
Francesca Calarco
Ray Bradbury’s unique style and voice shines through in The Illustrated Man. This collection is comprised of a series of short stories that are tied together on the back (literally) of the Illustrated Man, an enigmatic figure who is covered in tattoos. Look closely, and the inked images spin into tales of even stranger inklings.

Building on the lore and intrigue of The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury further adds to the cannon storyline of his peculiar multiverse. My favorite entries, including: “
...more
Emily
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, classics
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
...more
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17,083 followers
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
“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.” 252 likes
“Long before you knew what death was you were wishing it on someone else.” 76 likes
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