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The Bradbury Report

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  82 reviews
It is 2071. A cloning program provides spare organs for the healthcare system. An unlikely candidate for adventure, Ray is a man in his sixties, who gets a call out of the blue from ex-girlfriend Anna. Now a political activist, she asks for his help to hide an escaped clone. The escapee is none other than his own clone.
Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by Canongate Books
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3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  290 ratings  ·  82 reviews


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Bondama
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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This is being written about a month after the above. Finding myself with nothing to read and being snowed in, I retu
...more
Brett
Mar 06, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rebecca
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sooz
Sep 17, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Shane Knysh
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, library
The Bradbury Report

Over the last few nights I have listened to this (audio) book twice. I started it because I like Ray Bradbury and I had terrible insomnia. When I started it it was not the book I was looking for but I decided to stick it out for a hour. Maybe it would put me to sleep. It did not put me to sleep. It may have made the insomnia worse as I fell not into sleep but into the story.

After the rough start I am glad I continued the story. The story is not just good, it's great. Without s
...more
Sarah Rigg
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is Polansky's very first book, and his writing style is so minimal and straightforward that you don't realize how powerful it is until a passage or a scene sneaks up on you. I ended up really impressed by this book. My husband and I found it remarkable and remember scenes and quotes from it many years later.
Brian
Jun 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Vast swaths of narrative summary, with a dearth of actual scenes. It picks up in the last hundred pages, but it never lives up to it's (wildly implausible, unscientific) science fiction premise, which is unrealistic enough to be a literary conceit. Contrived, and the narrator is a real stinker, too. Poor company on a long, dull voyage.
Sheri
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Ginny Erisman
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dystopian sci-fi book about the ethics of cloning; interesting.
Robin Ferguson
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Innovative speculative fiction. I enjoyed the easy pace, like talking to an old friend....what would you do if?... So, if you liked Brave New World or The Handmaid's Tale you will like this.
Amber Marshall
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
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-swap
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
Mark McKenna
Mar 16, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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
Ignacy
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 8th-grade
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
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
Morgan
Apr 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
David
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Alicia
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Bob Collins
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A disturbing novel about the ethics of cloning - particularly cloning for "spare body parts." (it does lower government health care costs, after all). Using the alias, "Ray Bradbury," the narrator tells of meeting his clone - something no one else in the general population has ever done, and which the (U.S.) government doesn't allow. He, the clone and an old friend travel through Canada, on the run, for over a year as a covert group of an anti-cloning group try to protect them from the governmen ...more
Jan
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jan by: The author's brother
Shelves: science-fiction
While this is hard science fiction, the author is preoccupied mostly by philosophical and ethical concerns raised by the idea of cloning. Written as a "report" by our protagonist on his experience of meeting his own clone, who escaped from the clone farm where he was being bred for spare parts, it deals not at all with the science behind cloning. Instead, it's the story of a man learning to love and to be fully human through the experience of getting to know his own clone and getting reacquainte ...more
Reno Belmont
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
Patrick
Sep 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rion Shupe
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
B.  Barron
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
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
Karen
Jan 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tyler
Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
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