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The Martian Chronicles

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  192,196 ratings  ·  6,974 reviews
Librarian's note: Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780006479239.

The visionary master of science fiction at his best.

Written in the age of the atom, when America and Europe optimistically viewed the discovery of life on Mars as inevitable, Bradbury's closely interwoven tales of a brutal, stark and unforgiving Martian landscape are both astonishing and insightful.

"The
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Paperback, 305 pages
Published 2008 by Harper Voyager (first published 1949)
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Γείτων This book is nowhere near "what another planet might be like". Mars is Bradbury's symbolism of alien or foreign civilisations. The whole concept is to…moreThis book is nowhere near "what another planet might be like". Mars is Bradbury's symbolism of alien or foreign civilisations. The whole concept is to demonstrate how western civ, deals with people that have a different culture. The main point is that instead of learning from others we try to impose what's right on them. It was a huge deal in the era of modernism and it still is, as the way we treat other countries/civilisation is still modernistic.

If you approach it as a sci-fi book, it has nothing to offer, but this is because it is not sci-fi, it is just a chronicle of how America thinks and acts in the present tense.

I generally believe that trying to judge the Martian Chronicles as a Sci-Fi and focusing on it's ideas about "Mars", is kind of like judging the Animal Farm as a documentary and discussing it's ideas about life in a "farm". Not the point at all(less)
Joanna Fantozzi Yes, absolutely. I'm currently reading it. Although the science is very outdated (umm, how do humans actually breathe on Mars? There's no atmosphere!)…moreYes, absolutely. I'm currently reading it. Although the science is very outdated (umm, how do humans actually breathe on Mars? There's no atmosphere!) and the book itself feels old (with murmurs then shouts of total nuclear war stemming from Cold War worries), it has many other merits. First of all, Bradbury's prose is incredible and haunting. The book is funny in a sort-of dark and nihilistic way, and the lessons it teaches about the dangers of nationalism and the glorification of Manifest Destiny are especially relevant and pertinent today. (less)
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Six Stars
1,494 books — 768 voters
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Everyone Should Read
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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mark monday
RIDDLE ME A MARTIAN RIDDLE



A Riddle: What walks on two legs, uses two arms, talks like a human, acts like a human, kills humans, replaces humans, wants to be accepted and loved by a human?

Answer: A Martian!



A Riddle: What walks on two legs, uses two arms, talks like a human, acts like an animal except that's unfair to animals, kills others of its kind, wages war on its own kind, and destroys its own planet?

Answer: A Human!



A Riddle: What is built like a succession of linked stories, feels at times
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
"We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things."

This brilliant collection of science fiction short stories combines elements of humour and tragedy to show us how much man must learn, as such a very dim view of human society is evoked in these pages. Before he enters the world of the Martian, he has a lot of developing to do.

Bradbury suggests that Martian culture has transcended its human counterpart; the Martians have accepted an almost animalistic ethos in which they live
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Nataliya
"We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things."

The Martian Chronicles, a perfect example of what I'd call a 'quintessential Bradbury' - fragmentary, at times disjointed, occasionally crossing the line into the realm of surreal, full of his trademark nostalgia and sadness, this account of the failed American Dream approach to the exploration of the ultimate frontier never stops fascinating me and drawing me in with its inexplicable charm.

(Side note: as a person of Russian
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Lyn
Nov 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poetic science fiction.

Being set in the future and involving space travel, Mars and futuristic technology makes this fit into the science fiction genre, but Bradbury is a writer of literature. This is beautiful writing and Bradbury is an artist with a mastery of the language.

Mars could be another dimension, or fairy land, it does not really matter, Bradbury has concocted an alternate reality to explore psychological ethos. If Heinlein is the science fiction ideologist / sociologist, and Clarke
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Matthew
The Martian Chronicles is a book I have heard about for years, but ended up passing it by in lieu of other Ray Bradbury classics (do you need to qualify them by saying “classic”? I think that goes without saying). I have now finally read it and it is amazing. I continue to be impressed with Bradbury’s writing style – and his style is very well defined. I am pretty sure he is so integrated into how and what he writes, I could probably guess that a book is written by Bradbury after just a few ...more
Fabian
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A magnificent experience wherein we discover that the inhabitants of the fourth planet in the Milky Way are identical in the trifles of the everyday as the resident in the 3rd planet. Then some collective idea pops out of nowhere--a fine symbol of apocalypse and annihilation--& scares the living shit outta everyone.

I know I haven't read much sci-fi in the past, but I know that to top this one will be VERY tough.

"Martian Chronicles" surpasses, in some ways, that which Bradbury tried, and
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Henry Avila
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There once were a people whose children played in the sunshine, on a magnificent place, they laughed and sang....then the first rocket ship came...They laughed not as much some even cried now, but always resumed their merriment , still another rocket ship landed soon after, the children became uneasy... then the third rocket appeared the children went silent... a fourth ship followed and found no more people. So these brilliant beings vanished with the wind into the blue mountains some said, or ...more
Justin
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ray Bradbury has suddenly secured his spot at the top of my list of favorite authors. He’s the LeBron of writing. The G.O.A.T.

And Scott Brick has suddenly secured his spot at the top of my list of favorite audiobook narrators. He is the Tom Brady of narrating. Also, G.O.A.T.

So what happens when you mix the two together? Something magical. There isn’t even a word or an amazingly alliterative animalistic acronym to describe what happens. But, man, if you want to take your Bradbury experience to
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Adina
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this short story collection a lot more than the famous, Fahrenheit 451. I believe Ray Bradbury has an exceptional talent writing short stories. I am not a fan of short stories in general, however, I was totally absorbed and fascinated by this book.

I was expecting the stories to be something different than what i read, something more Science Fiction. Yes, it does have a bit of space travel, some alien encounters, some "hi-tech"technologies but they are totally not the point of these
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David Schaafsma
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”

The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet.I listened to this book, and my version features an introduction by Bradbury, wherein. we hear that Bradbury met Aldous Huxley, who read this book and insisted Bradbury was a poet. That makes sense to me, especially if you consider passages such as this:

“There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his
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Megan Baxter
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just...wow. Why have I never read this before? Ray Bradbury has written an amazing, lyrical, spooky-as-hell set of pieces that all add up to something much more. Some are very brief, mere sketches of events. Others are full-length short stories.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Calista
I found this Maudlin and Melancholia. I can very well see this is a beloved classic.

I will have to admit that I got this confused. I thought this would be part of the John Carter of Mars, but that, I now realize, was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and not Ray Bradbury. I kept expecting it to tie into that story and of course, it never did.

I did feel like this was never going to end. It felt very long. It is a collection of short stories on the colonization of Mars. Each story is about
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Apatt
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since Ray Bradbury passed away (about a month ago at the time of writing) it occurred to me to reread his books that I have read before, and read the others that I have missed. After rereading Something Wicked This Way Comes last month I thought I'd read Fahrenheit 451 but as it turned out The Reddit SF Book Club chose The Martian Chronicles as book of the month (July 2012) so in order to keep up with the Joneses here we are! How about that for a useless intro?

This book is a fix-up novel which
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Ellen Gail
Ray Bradbury's writing is literally flawless.
Ted
4 1/2
If you want to read a great review of The Martian Chronicles, skip this one and go directly to mark monday’s. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

If you’re still here, I will try to keep you entertained for a while by talking about myself, about my reading (and not reading) Ray Bradbury and other SF, about Ray Bradbury himself and his writing, and even a little (near the end) about this book.

(view spoiler)


Me the SF fan

This summer I
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Char
The Martian Chronicles is an amazing collection of interconnected stories about Mars. Human missions to Mars, religious missions to Mars, nervous breakdowns on Mars, etc... Even though some of the tales are outdated by today's views, the underlying values and messages remain the same; they are timeless.

Some of the stories have been released previously, and some have been changed over the years. I discovered, thanks to Wiki, that one tale having to do with race relations, was not included in this
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Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
4.5 stars

“I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion now. It's learning how to breathe all over again. And how to lie in the sun getting a tan, letting the sun work into you. And how to hear music and how to read a book. What does your civilization offer?”

I’m basically a noob when it comes to science fiction. Other than one Sci-fi book I dared (and enjoyed) a few years ago and a sampling of alien creature-features, I haven’t
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George
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
How wonderful, strange and poetic this book was.
Elizabeth
Dec 29, 2006 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I vividly remember reading this book. I was in 8th grade and I read it in Mrs. Zimmerman's class. She was this bizarre ageless woman who wore her jet-black hair in a crusty bee-hive and had gobs of pastel green eye shadow on her eyelids. She also had a rusty voice-like an ex-smoker, and spoke really slowly. She could have been a character in Martian Chronicles. I still kind of wonder if she was human.

Anyway, I read this book over and over. There was something so pristine about the world that
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Timothy Urges
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5

The Martian Chronicles is a connected collection of awe- and fear-inspired stories about Martian and human existence.

Wonder glazes the sky with sparks and lines of light, while dread permeates as an undercurrent.

There is a touch of racism in one story. Seriously, what’s up with all the watermelon references? But if you manage to ignore that and see it as a “product of its time,” then you will find a rather marvelous collection of short stories.

I’m still taking off half a point because, you
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Susan Budd
The Martian Chronicles is a book in a class all by itself. It is a work of visionary science fiction, a Winesbergian short story cycle, and a mythopoeic masterpiece. Ray Bradbury has created and peopled a Martian landscape that neither NASA nor the most brilliant science fiction writers of the future will ever supplant. Mars, to me, will always be Bradbury’s Mars.

This unique book is a collection of short stories connected by a series of vignettes which link the stories, advance the plot, and
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Gabrielle
4 and a half stars.

My husband ruined reading Ray Bradbury for me when he showed me this video : www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1IxOS4VzKM . Now I can’t pick up any of his books without that ditty getting stuck in my head, and if you click the (not really safe for work) link, the same thing will happen to you. You’re welcome.

I found “The Martian Chronicles”, “The Illustrated Man” and “October Country” at my favorite used bookstore, all the same edition, all in perfect condition. When that happens I
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Adrian
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a marvellous book. As I mentioned in a comment when I started reading it, I have read this before, I'm guesstimating mid/late 70s, and also (for some reason) have a fond remembrance of the 1980 Rock Hudson TV series. Well as a book it certainly lived up to my expectations.
I don't normally say much about the contents or stories of books I review as I leave that up to the back cover or others to read themselves, but I will say this about The Martian Chronicles (or Silver Locusts); it is a
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Duane
.

I've seen this referred to as a masterpiece of science fiction, but it's less about the science and more about the faults and failures of humanity, in this case Americans. He delivers a sharp slap to the face of American racial prejudice, aggressive colonization, wastefulness and disregard of the environment. I think Bradbury would be shocked to see the same conditions existing in the 21st century. He would also be shocked to see we haven't sent any humans to Mars yet.

This is a collection of
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Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent
I wish there were more books that told a story though many short stories the way this book does (or just more that I were privy to). I would have never thought that I would enjoy this book more than Bradbury’s most famous book, Fahrenheit 451. I guess that book is more widely read because it is focused for children and they apparently read more. Everyone should read The Martian Chronicles, not just those who like science fiction.
William
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this so very long ago, decades, almost into the Martian past, the past of the book.

It's part of me in ways I feel, but can see only in glimpses. Bradbury was my father in so many ways, along with Heinlein and Clarke and Asimov.

And my dreams are coloured by theirs.

Exquisite.
Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and
Jun 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and by: well sians & buryans
Shelves: mars, colonization, sci-fi
UPDATE

This recent study published in Science*, gives some reason to the imagined Dead Sea of Mars, by Ray Bradbury.


(NASA scientists have determined that a primitive ocean on Mars held more water than Earth's Arctic Ocean and that the Red Planet has lost 87 percent of that water to space. NASA/GSFC)

Prologue

Back in the late nineties I was a member of The Planetary Society. I used to receive, at home, their magazine. I always took notice of that name: Ray Bradbury, among the long list of other
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Darwin8u
“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”
― Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles

description

For the last couple years I've been dipping into some of my favorite books as a kid. Re-reading Bradbury's Martian Chronicles as an adult, like earlier reads of The Illustrated Man and Dandelion Wine, was totally worth it. Each read of Bradbury elevates him in my mind.

As an adult, I see the stories in bigger terms. Less about big "s" Space or Mars or martians, and more about race, colonialism,
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Werner
Mar 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science fiction fans
Note, Nov. 2, 3017: I edited this just now to correct a minor typo.

Though the 16 stories that comprise this collection are fitted into a super-imposed chronological framework, and are joined by some short units of bridging material, they were originally composed as stand-alones, not part of any larger unity. Bradbury was primarily a writer of short fiction, the main medium for his characteristic supernatural and science fiction in the era when he started writing; this book simply collects most
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Dirk Grobbelaar
There's not a lot more to add to all the positive reviews already here. I too found this book thought provoking, provocative, profound. It's an inspiring piece of work; there is a reason why this is a classic.

Some people criticize the science. However, Mr. Bradbury himself admitted that this was more a work of Fantasy than Sci-Fi. Who am I to argue?

The book concerns the colonization of Mars and the implications on both Humans and, yes, Martians. At this stage in time, I suppose it reads 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
“We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.” 322 likes
“Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.” 285 likes
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