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The Illustrated Man

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  85,987 ratings  ·  4,251 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 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 cover…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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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old uncle who drinks too much at parties and who makes embarrassing comments, but who everyone likes in spite of his outdated ways – kind of a loveable rogue.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
“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
Sean Barrs
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
Mario the lone bookwolf
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bradbury-ray
Reading Bradbury a second and third time is like exploring a natural wonder, finding more and more details and interconnections and wondering more and more about how something like this can be both created and function so well.

The amazing thing is that, while recalling the short stories after getting absorbed by them, one realizes that there is often no real violence, many outer plots, explosions and kidnappings. Just the inner worlds of the characters and that magnificent all-knowing narrator
When the fuzzy bootie slippers and knit shawls come out, so do the Ray Bradbury books...

As someone who could have made a living as a tattooed lady in a sideshow a hundred years ago, I am completely enamored of this short story collection's structure: one tale for each drawing on the titular Illustrated Man. In tattoo culture (whatever than means), people like me who have a lot of ink are sometimes called "tattoo collectors", and I thought a lot about that expression as the Illustrated Man shifte
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
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
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 Right
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 conc
A banquet of flavoury and colourful short novels delicately put together.

The French Gallimard edition

The Contents :

Introduction : Dancing, So As Not to Be Dead
Prologue: The Illustrated Man
🟊 The Veldt
🟊 Kaleidoscope
🟊 The Other Foot
🟊 The Highway
🟊 The Man
🟊 The Long Rain
🟊 The Rocket Man
🟊 The Fire Balloons
🟊 The Last Night of The World
🟊 The Exiles
🟊 No Particular Night or Morning
🟊 The Fox and The Forest
🟊 The Visitor
🟊 The Concrete Mixer
🟊 Marionettes, Inc.
🟊 The City
🟊 Zero Hour
🟊 The Rocket
🟊 The Illust
“I shall remain on Mars and read a book.”
― Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man


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 wel
Sep 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked about half of the stories and did not like the other half. So I would give this collection 2.5 stars. Although I am not a regular reader of science fiction, I did read The Martian Chronicles on recommendations from Goodreads review(s), and liked it immensely (I gave it 5 stars). Some of the stories in The Martian Chronicles seemed to be timeless, even though they were written in the late 1940s. In contrast a number of these stories written around the same time period seemed to be either ...more
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.
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 st
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 o
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 sa
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.
Vit Babenco
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Illustrated Man is written in the iridescent language of those kaleidoscopic tattoos it tells us about…
“The nursery was silent. It was empty as a jungle glade at hot high noon. The walls were blank and two dimensional. Now, as George and Lydia Hadley stood in the center of the room, the walls began to purr and recede into crystalline distance, it seemed, and presently an African veldt appeared, in three dimensions, on all sides, in color reproduced to the final pebble and bit of straw. The c
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 clevern
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh Ray, you heart-stealer you...
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favorites
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.
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 worr ...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!
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More)
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
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.
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 W
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
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. ...more
"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
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 tell
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
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Goodreads Librari...: Fix ISBN for this edition 4 12 Mar 02, 2021 03:29AM  
MoPOP Book Club: Last Night of the World discussion questions? 2 9 May 13, 2020 12:03PM  
MoPOP Book Club: What do you want to talk about when we talk about The Veldt? 4 11 Apr 22, 2020 09:54AM  
favorite story? 34 306 Apr 21, 2020 09:30AM  
Never too Late to...: 2019 March THE ILLUSTRATED MAN 98 49 Apr 01, 2019 08:30PM  

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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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