Dale Lehman's Reviews > The Illustrated Man

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
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it was amazing

Ray Bradbury's classic short story collection consists of tales written between 1948 and 1951, mostly dark science fiction and fantasy, strung together by a framing story of a circus performer, an "illustrated man" whose myriad magical tattoos foretell the future. To the fellow he meets in the introduction, he says, "I don't sleep much. Don't you look at them, either. I warn you. Turn the other way when you sleep." But of course the man does watch, otherwise we would have nothing to read.

The collection contains such well-known stories as "The Veldt" and "The Man" and "Marionettes, Inc." None of them can truly be described. You just have to read them. These are terrors of an elegant sort, not the gore and scream ridden horror so popular in film and on cable TV, although there is a little of that--"The City" is the most graphic in the collection. Rather, these terrors run deep. They are in our bones. The resentments of little children toward their parents amplified by technology to deadly force, an endless search for peace rendered fruitless by the pursuit itself, a technology designed for deception that turns on its masters.

Bradbury has sometimes been criticized for the lack of solid scientific grounding in his stories, but his stories were never about science and technology. They were always about us, even when Martians were the characters. He hit his mark time and again, in prose unmatched.

So just read it, already.

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Reading Progress

July 21, 2017 – Started Reading
July 21, 2017 – Shelved
October 8, 2017 – Finished Reading

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