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Summary

The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury - a collection of tales that breathe and move, animated by sharp, intaken breath and flexing muscle. Here are eighteen startling visions as keen as the tattooist's needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body. The images, ideas, sounds, and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast, empty space of stars and blackness; the sight of grey dust settling over a forgotten outpost on a road that leads nowhere; the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father's clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets. Bradbury's The Illustrated Man is a kaleidoscopic blending of magic, imagination, and truth, widely believed to be one of the grandmaster's premier accomplishments: as exhilarating as interplanetary travel, as maddening as a walk in a million-year rain, and as comforting as simple, familiar rituals on the last night of the world.

    The stories contained in The Illustrated Man are:
  • "Prologue: The Illustrated Man"
  • "The Veldt"
  • "Kaleidoscope"
  • "The Other Foot"
  • "The Highway"
  • "The Man"
  • "The Long Rain"
  • "The Rocket Man"
  • "The Last Night of the World"
  • "The Exiles"
  • "No Particular Night or Morning"
  • "The Fox and the Forest"
  • "The Visitor"
  • "The Concrete Mixer"
  • "Marionettes, Inc."
  • "The City"
  • "Zero Hour"
  • "The Rocket"
  • "The Illustrated Man."

©1979 Ray Bradbury (P)2010 Tantor

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    4 out of 5 stars

As relevant today as when written

It is amazing to think these stories were written in the 1940s to early 50s. The sociopolitical comment in stories like The Other Foot are as relevant today as then. Be aware there us little or no gap between the stories on the recording, shame, as the narrator does a good job

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Stephenson
  • 30-10-10

A haunting performance of a Bradbury classic

That Ray Bradbury will ultimately be remembered as one of the finest writers of fiction of the 20th century is a virtual certainty, and the stories contained in this collection are some of the best examples of his remarkable body of work. The bujilding suspense and ultimate horror of "The Veldt." The unrelenting despair of "The Long Rain." The gentle wistfulness of "The Rocket Man." These stories are Bradbury at the peak of his powers and are treasures, each unto itself. Tied together in this volume they represent a literary feast.

I could go on and on about Bradbury, but the other real treasure of this edition is Scott Brick's absolutely remarkable narration. Brick captures every emotion that Bradbury wrote into these stories, delivering them with mastery, feeling and style that often transform passages from prose to pure poetry. I found myself often backing up a disk (I burn to CDs) just to hear Brick's delivery of a passage once again. Whenever I acquire an audiobook read by Scott Brick I expect a wonderful listening experience, but this reading was off the charts. Immediately prior to this edition I hear Brick's reading of Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles," which was also wonderful. However, in the case of "The Illustrated Man," something about his reading was different, deeper, more engaged and immersed in the tone and meaning of the stories. This is one of the best audiobook experiences I have ever enjoyed.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Graeme
  • 27-11-15

Wonderful

Loved this collection and the performance of it. Really drives into a lot of the pressure points in the genre.

Any one notice though, the narrator's character voices all sound like they are just on the verge of weeping, no matter who they are or what they're doing? It's really effective, but gets sorta old after a bunch of these stories in a row.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MsDayPlanner
  • 06-09-15

A blast from my past...love The Illustrated Man

My sincere apologies for my original review maligning the performance, the speed was wrong on my device. I corrected that and the rest of my listening experience was good.

I remember these stories from when I was a kid,The Vekt always being my favorite, but now that I'm all grown up and listened to these, I found several more that I'd either forgotten or just never understood when I was a kid so didn't remember. Made me buy the movie so I can watch that again too. It was fun "reading" this book again after so many years.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Wiklund
  • 07-12-16

Great narration, poor timings

Excellent narration made the book come alive but zero pause between chapters was annoying - would have appreciated 5 seconds between stories

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda S. Hess
  • 28-10-16

Something about the reader

Where does The Illustrated Man rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Love the stories but the reader irritates me, not his voice but the constant inflection in the downward direction. He should reserve those tones for endings. I'm going to avoid this reader in the future.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • kat.strauch
  • 19-07-15

Several stories within a story

The Illustrated Man is a telling of the stories of each illustration tattooed on his body. Each story is told like an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery. Most of the stories have a deeper message within it. I would be interested to hear how the last two generations view these stories since some of the features of technology are no longer fiction but actuality. I also wonder how they would view some of the social issues that are no longer present today. Makes one wonder if Bradbury saw the future or if the readers of the past were so enamored by his ideas they sought to bring them to fruition.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Triple X
  • 26-11-17

Bradbury has much better work

I didn't know *anything* about this audio book when I got it, so I legitimately didn't know what to expect. This is a collection of 18 stories, all read by the same narrator. Here are my issues with it:
- There's zero transition between the stories, so they just run together. Sometimes I'd have to check my device to make sure I wasn't crazy and this was indeed a new story.
- The majority of the stories are about space. While that's neat and all, I would have liked more variety.
- The narrator's voice is good, but he always has the same sad tone and inflection. If he used that tone where appropriate, he would have knocked it out of the park. But since it's always the same tone, it really loses me.

Of course Ray Bradbury was ahead of his time, and it's genuinely amazing that he had this kind of imagination in 1952, but I probably wouldn't buy if I had it to do over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Romeo421
  • 13-09-16

a great book

Brick is an awesome narrator. Classic Bradbury tales wonderfully brought to life. One of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rayford Lambert
  • 06-08-18

Small Bites of Classic Science Fiction

As a fan of both excellent writing and science fiction, I feel ashamed that it took me 37 years to get around to Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man". A collection of short stories that range wide in their settings and themes, this beautiful piece of work includes a unique narrative framing that holds them together within a larger story. This is classic science fiction and holds to the tenants of the time and genre. In the writing you can feel the influence of the social issues pressing on Americans following WWII: fear of atomic war, the encroachment of socialism, optimism around space exploration.

While some stories deal with a Martian population as it was imagined in the 1940's (think Heinlein's Stranger from a Strange Land) which can feel out of place to the over-analytic reader, the stories are vehicles to approach and question human nature. When viewed as such, you see that regardless of the fantastical setting and future dates, the human condition remains the backdrop which allows for the reader to find themselves lost in the excellent narration and seamless flow of the tales.

I highly recommend this novel to any fan of classic sci-fi, excellent writing, or introspection.

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  • Steph Mac
  • 17-03-18

chilling short stories read with utmost realizatio

highly recommend. each story has a sci fi background but each time and era is vastly different. the reader sneds goosebumps down your spine at each corner. just a fantastic piece.