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The Illustrated Man
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Group Read Discussions > JUNE book read of The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (Can Contain Spoilers)

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message 1: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
Hi leave any thoughts here on this read and excerpts.


message 2: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
I have been wanting to read this one for a while. Interesting to see any connection with the illustrated man from something wicked this way comes.


Debra (debra_t) | 6 comments I ordered this one from the library. Don't think I've ever read it. Will certainly enjoy doing so.


message 4: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
Debra wrote: "I ordered this one from the library. Don't think I've ever read it. Will certainly enjoy doing so."
Same here I bought it a while back in paperback.


REMEMBER UKRAINE NOW ReadingReindeer (readingreindeerproximacentauri) i read it as a VERY young child-was totally impressed. Don't know why I didn't go on to read all of Mr. Bradbury then. Certainly should have.


Kylie (kylielowen) | 13 comments I haven't read this for a few years. Not sure if I own it or not... I've only read it 2-3 times over the years. If I can scrounge up a copy, I will give it another read.


Jeanne I just picked up my copy today. I have never read this one before. I read the intro and prologue without even leaving the parking lot.


message 8: by Lou (last edited Jun 09, 2012 09:34PM) (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
I found the stories so far a pleasant surprise. There is a illustrated man but also many stories from the future with a scifi theme.


Jeanne As I read the first few stories I kept asking myself why I had fallen out of the habit of reading short stories. It may have been 10 years since I have had a collection sitting on my bedside table. Now the "Illustrated Man" is in that place and once it is complete it will be replaced by one of my past favorite collections that I am sure I never completed "Black Water".


message 10: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
Jeanne wrote: "As I read the first few stories I kept asking myself why I had fallen out of the habit of reading short stories. It may have been 10 years since I have had a collection sitting on my bedside table...."

Great news, short stories dont seem to get the same attention as novels.


Debra (debra_t) | 6 comments Bradbury seemed way ahead of his time with all his stories about space travel and such. I would have liked to hear more about the illustrated man, but did enjoy the stories.


Jeanne Already looking forward to our options for next month. Is Dandelion Wine being considered?


message 13: by MaryJude (new)

MaryJude Schmitz (mjschmitz) | 12 comments I loved this book. I read it after Something Wicked this Way Comes and I felt a connection with the Illustrated Man story too. Ray Bradbury was way ahead of his time. People will be amazed by his stories/novels for a long time into the future.


message 14: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
Debra wrote: "Bradbury seemed way ahead of his time with all his stories about space travel and such. I would have liked to hear more about the illustrated man, but did enjoy the stories."

Yes it would have been nice to more of him. The rest of the stories were are pleasant surprise. Great writing Bradbury was a real thinker.


message 15: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
Jeanne wrote: "Already looking forward to our options for next month. Is Dandelion Wine being considered?"

Sorry i got to your message late i will put it up next time thanks for the suggestion.


message 16: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
MaryJude wrote: "I loved this book. I read it after Something Wicked this Way Comes and I felt a connection with the Illustrated Man story too. Ray Bradbury was way ahead of his time. People will be amazed by his..."
True this stories are a real treasure trove of delights and really displays how great short stories can be.


message 17: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
I loved the first few stories, when the stories drifted into scifi territory and other planets i found some stories less interesting. The title is misleading in that you dont read much of the tattooed man.


Debra (debra_t) | 6 comments I agree with you, Lou, about the sci-fi stuff. And I also agree that the title is misleading!


message 19: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
I came to this understanding which i commented in my review..
"Ray Bradbury inspired many to take pen to paper; he enlightened many dark vessels and was a visionary beyond comparison. His sentences are laden with words in the right places with the right words.

This collection of stories only covers stories taken from illustrations on the illustrated mans body. We don’t get to walk with the illustrated man for long in fact only a few pages in the beginning. Don’t let this belittle the whole collection I want to just make it clear, because some could be disappointed to not to hear more about the man.

There are a few stories i cover below that hold startling truth and this was the magic of Bradbury contained also within Fahrenheit 451 he gave us a view on how things could be the way we live now in the future. At times beyond belief and unrealistic but thought provoking, food for thought.

The second half of this collection was less meaningful as the first a few sci-fi stories in other planet etc. with less depth.

What am I thinking even though maybe 5 stories really left a mark for me can I still rate this a five star?

Yes I say due to his hypnotic and emotionally potent voice and vision of terrible beauty.

His words are compared to ancient carvings in a tree that will stand the test of time I am sure."


message 20: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
There is a look at the Illustrated man in this excerpt..

“Another reason I keep my collar buttoned up,’ he said, opening his eyes, ‘is the children. They follow me along country roads. Everyone wants to see the pictures, and yet nobody wants to see them.’
He took his shirt off and wadded it in his hands. He was covered with illustrations from the blue tattooed ring about his neck to his belt line.
‘It keeps right on going,’ he said, guessing my thought. ’ All of me is illustrated. Look.’ He opened is hand. On his palm was a rose, fresh cut, with drops of crystal water among the soft pink petals. I put my hand out to touch it, but was only an illustration.

As for the rest of him, I cannot say how I sat and stared, for 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 ad stars and suns and planets spread in a Milky Way across his chest. The people themselves were in twenty or more odd groups upon his arms, shoulders, back, sides, and wrists, as well as on the flat of his stomach. You found them in forests of hair, lurking among a constellation of freckles, or peering from armpit caverns, diamond eyes aglitter.
Each seemed intent upon is own activity; each was a separate gallery portrait.
‘Why, they’re beautiful!’ I said."


message 21: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
And Ray Bradbury with some beautiful lines has the Man explain how stories are made from the illustrations on his body in the following excerpt.


“The sun was gone. Now the first stars were shining and the moon had brightened the fields of grass and wheat. Still the Illustrated Mans pictures glowed like charcoals in the half-light, like scattered rubies and emeralds, with Rouault colours and Picasso colours and the long, pressed-out El Greco bodies.
‘So people fire me when my pictures move. They don’t like it when violent things happen in my illustrations. Each illustration is a little story. If you watch them, in a few minutes they tell you a tale. In three hours of looking you could see eighteen or twenty stories acted right on my body, you could hear voices and think thoughts. It’s all here, just waiting for you to look. “


message 22: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
Kaleidoscope


In this short story Bradbury puts forward some deep food for thought here in these notable lines worth re-reading in this excerpt.

“And it was not. It was gone. When life is over it is like a flicker of bright film, an instant on the screen, all of its prejudices and passions condensed and illuminated for an instant on space, and before you could cry out, ‘ There was a happy day, there was a bad one, there an evil face, there a good one,’ the film burned to a cinder, the screen went dark.
From this outer edge of life, looking back, there was only one remorse, and that was only that he wished to go on living.
Did all dying people feel his way, as if they had never lived?

Did life seem that short, indeed, over and done before you took a breath?

Did it seem this abrupt and impossible to everyone, or only to himself, here, now, with a few hours left to him for thought and deliberation?

(A rather comical response from one character)

One of the other men, Lespere, was talking. ‘Well, I had me a good time: I had a wife on Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. Each of them had money and treated me swell. I got drunk and once I gambled away twenty thousand dollars.”


message 23: by Lou (new) - added it

Lou (loupendergrast) | 172 comments Mod
The Other Foot
This excerpt describes the situation quite clearly. A situation of segregation coming to a possible end here or was it a matter of survival?

“ ‘Tell us some more!’
‘Well, ‘the white people live on Earth, which is where we all come from, twenty years ago. We just up and walked away and came to Mars and set down and built town’s and here we are. Now, were Martians instead of Earth people. And no white me’ve come up here in all that time. That’s the story.’
‘Why didn’t they come up, Mom?’
‘Well, ‘cause. Right after we got up here, Earth got in a atom war. They blew each other up terribly. They forgot us. When they finished fighting, after years, they didn’t have any rockets. Took them until recently to build more. So here they come now, twenty years later, to visit.’



A recollection on the past found in the following excerpt and the consequences of the war in this story.

“It was stirring them now. After twenty years it was rushing back. The towns and the places, the trees and the brick buildings, the signs and the churches and the familiar stores, all of it was coming to the surface among the gathered people. Each name touched memory, ad there was no one present without a thought of another day. They were all old enough for that, save the children.
‘Laredo.’
‘I remember Laredo.’
‘New York City.’
‘I had a store in Harlem.’
‘Harlem, bombed out.’
The ominous words. The familiar, remembered places.
The struggle to imagine all of those places in ruins.
Willie Johnson murmured the words,’Greenwater, Alabama. That’s where I was born, I remember.’
Gone. All of it gone. The man said so.

The man continued, ‘So we destroyed everything and ruined everything, like the fools that we were and the fools that we are. We killed millions. I don’t think there are more than five hundred thousand people left in the world, all kinds and types.


Another excerpt few pages later..

“Willie stood with the rope in his hands.

He was remembering Earth, the green Earth and the green town where he was born and raised, and he was thinking now of that town, gone to pieces, to ruin, blown up ad scattered, all of the landmarks with it, all of the hard men gone, the stables, the iron-smiths, the curio shops, the soda founts, the gin mills, the river bridges, the lynching trees, the buckshot-covered hills, the roads, the cows, the mimosas, and his own house as well as those big-pillared houses down near the long river, those white mortuaries where the women as delicate as moths fluttered in the autumn light, distant, far away. Those houses where the old men rocked, with glasses of drink in their hands, guns leaned against the porch newels, sniffing the autumn airs and considering death. Gone, all gone; gone and never coming back. Now, for certain, all of that civilization ripped into confetti and strewn at their feet. Nothing, nothing of it left to hate- not an empty brass gun shell, or twisted hemp, or a tree, or even a hill of it to hate. Nothing but some alien people in a rocket, people who might shine his shoes and ride in the back of trolleys or sit far up in midnight theatres….”


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