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The Illustrated Man
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The Illustrated Man discussion > "Prologue: The Illustrated Man" by Ray Bradbury

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This is our discussion of the short story....

" Prologue: The Illustrated Man " by Ray Bradbury

From the anthology The Illustrated Man collection by Ray Bradbury. See The Illustrated Man anthology discussion hub for more info on the anthology and pointers to discussion of its other stories.


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This is the opening, a bracketing story within which all the subsequent stories are told.

The titular Illustrated Man wanders by. He could clearly use a good self-help book, such as The Power of Positive Thinking. His magical tattoos show scenes from the future.

It's interesting using an essentially fantasy story, a time traveling witch who drew enchanted tattoos on the unnamed carny drifter, to introduce a series of what are essentially sci-fi stories.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) I don't remember reading another short story collection that uses this type of bracketing story to set up the rest of the stories. Was this the first collection to do so?


Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments Randy wrote: "I don't remember reading another short story collection that uses this type of bracketing story to set up the rest of the stories. Was this the first collection to do so?"

One Thousand and One Nights?


Phil J | 329 comments I love this framing device. It sets up the macabre tone of the whole book. There's the feeling that the Illustrated Man is kind of trapped in his tattoos, and a lot of the stories in the book have a trapped or claustrophobic feel to them.


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