The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury
As fall rolls into full swing it is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. Personally, when it’s cold and damp outside I prefer to crack open an old favourite rather than start a new book. There is just something comforting about wrapping up in a fuzzy blanket, grabbing a tea and falling into a familiar story. It definitely gets me in the fall mood! So this month I thought it would be the perfect time to feature one of my favourite rereads, The Illustrated Man.
*Perfect for fans of science fiction and Arthur C. Clarke!
Don’t forget to email your latest fave to firstname.lastname@example.org to have it featured in our monthly book club. :)
That The Illustrated Man has remained in print since being published in 1951 is fair testimony to the universal appeal of Ray Bradbury’s work. Only his second collection (the first was Dark Carnival, later reworked into The October Country), it is a marvelous, if mostly dark, quilt of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
In an ingenious framework to open and close the book, Bradbury presents himself as a nameless narrator who meets the Illustrated Man–a wanderer whose entire body is a living canvas of exotic tattoos. What’s even more remarkable, and increasingly disturbing, is that the illustrations are themselves magically alive, and each proceeds to unfold its own story, such as “The Veldt,” wherein rowdy children take a game of virtual reality way over the edge. Or “Kaleidoscope,” a heartbreaking portrait of stranded astronauts about to reenter our atmosphere–without the benefit of a spaceship. Or “Zero Hour,” in which invading aliens have discovered a most logical ally–our own children. Even though most were written in the 1940s and 1950s, these 18 classic stories will be just as chillingly effective 50 years from now. –Stanley Wiater
I first bought this book because it was mentioned on a show I was interested in and I have reread this book so many times since initially bringing it home. The spine and pages are all very worn with love. Every intricate story has a strong message that translates just as well now as it did when originally published, if not more so. The Illustrated Man really made me sit down and take a look at my own life and every time I open it I reevaluate something. Stories like “The Rocket Man” and “Kaleidoscope” really tend to put things into perspective. I love this book and I am sure I will read it many more times. This book is perfect for all readers, but it is especially catering to those of us that have short attention spans or cannot get hooked in a book and lose themselves. The individual stories make it feel like you are reading a different book every chapter. If you “can’t” read books because you can never get into them or focus this is the perfect book to break that cycle.