With his disarmingly simple style and complex imagination, Ray Bradbury has seized the minds of American readers for decades.This collection showcases thirty-two of Bradbury's most famous tales in which he lays bare the depths of the human soul. The thrilling title story, A Sound of Thunder ,... read more
The story is set in the year 2055. A hunter named Eckels pays to go travelling back into the past on a guided safari to kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex. As the party waits to depart they talk about the recent presidential elections in which an apparently fascist candidate, Deutscher, has just been... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
The story is set in the year 2055. A hunter named Eckels pays to go travelling back into the past on a guided safari to kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex. As the party waits to depart they talk about the recent presidential elections in which an apparently fascist candidate, Deutscher, has just been defeated by the more moderate Keith, to the relief of many concerned.
After the party arrives in the past, Travis (the hunting guide) and Lesperance (Travis’s assistant) warn Eckels and the two other hunters, Billings and Kramer, about the necessity of minimizing their effect on events when they go back, since tiny alterations to the distant past could snowball into catastrophic changes in history. The hunters must stay on a path to avoid disrupting the environment and only kill animals which were going to die at that moment anyway.
Despite his earlier eagerness to begin the hunt, Eckels loses his nerve at the sight of the T. Rex. Travis tells him he cannot leave, but Eckels panics and veers off the path. The two guides kill the dinosaur, and shortly afterward the tree that would have killed the dinosaur in the absence of human intervention falls on the corpse. Travis’s elation quickly changes to fury when they find Eckels and see by his muddy boots that he did in fact fall off the path. Travis threatens to leave Eckels in the past unless Eckels removes the bullets from the dinosaur’s body, as they cannot be left behind.
Upon returning to the present, Eckels notices subtle changes. English words are now spelled strangely, people behave differently, and, worst of all, Deutscher has won the election instead of Keith. Looking through the mud on his boots, Eckels finds a crushed butterfly, whose death was apparently the cause of the changes. He frantically pleads with Travis to take him back into the past to undo the damage, but in reply there is only the ominous “sound of thunder,” the same sound which had previously preceded the arrival of the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Eckles is shot by Travis.
“War's never a winning thing, Charlie. You just lose all the time, and the one who loses last asks for terms. All I remember is a lot of losing and sadness and nothing good but the end of it. The end of it, Charles, that was a winning all to itself, having nothing to do with guns. -The Time Machine”
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