“Bradbury’s classic collection of short stories is framed by the tale of “The Illustrated Man” whose tattoos move and predict the future. Written mostly in the 40’s, some of the stories seem a bit dated, and there is quite an emphasis on space travel and the planet Mars, but I can imagine that they must have been surprising in the context of the pre-space flight times in which Bradbury first wrote them. There are not many happy endings here and the stories are generally dark, yet for the most part the tales are satisfying to read and all are beautifully written. Bradbury focuses on the quirks of human nature and man’s interactions with others (including extraterrestrials, especially Martians.) The stories often address philosophical fears and questions concerning how we can best live together in this world we inhabit. Like “1984”, many of Bradbury’s themes remain relevant for today’s times and will likely stay with me in the same way Orwell’s classic has. I look forward to sampling more of Bradbury’s work, especially “The Martian Chronicles” and “Fahrenheit 451”. ”bookkaddict wrote this review Monday, October 28, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“These sci-fi short stories are timeless (and not just because after re-revisiting these stories after several decades it was like reading them for the first time). The stories' themes examine human nature (often dark and evil) and probe real and psychological fears (of our children, of nuclear holocaust) that remain relevant even now. Counterbalancing some of the heavier material are other stories that examine man's religiosity. None are clunkers, though one or two stories are a bit heavy handed by today's standards, with their meaning spelled out for the reader in too much detail. But for the most part, these 18 tales are masterpieces of the genre. Originally written in the late 40s and early 50s for pulp magazines, these stories stand the test of time and tell us an incredible amount about ourselves, and illustrate a fantastic vision for our future, even today.”Adam R wrote this review Tuesday, October 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Each story gives a new perspective on a situation and how one should handle it.”Zenon Kampman wrote this review Sunday, September 15, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Amazing Book! As the Illustrated man sleeps under a tree his tattoos become animated and begin to tell us their stories. We learned about each story through the eyes of the Traveler, whom the illustrated man met earlier in the day. This collection of stories are set in the future, traveling to Mars, Venus, and Earth. They were sad, creepy, with a warning of what the future could become. I felt sad for the Illustrated man after learning how he got his tattoos and the different ways he tried removing them with no effect. I remember seeing the movie on TV when I was little. It was good to finally read the book.”Diana S wrote this review Thursday, September 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The fact that Bradbury could write something with the power to grip your attention in only a few pages would be amazing enough by itself, but coupled with timeless life lessons and his unique visuals of a beautiful, terrifying future makes it a classic that will never grow stale.”Lucas P. wrote this review Saturday, September 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very interesting, very disturbing, very thought provoking.”Una B. wrote this review Thursday, August 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A man traveling down the road in Wisconsin meets a man with strange tattoos. When night falls the tattoos come to life and tell stories and the man stays up all night watching the tattoos until he see something that frightens him and he wants to leave.”Yvonne P wrote this review Sunday, July 7, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Ugh. Did NOT like this book at all!! Almost all the stories left me feeling empty, sad, or simply creeped out. Except one. There was one with a good ending.
So glad to be done with this one.”
“ The Illustrated Man is a collection of short stories by Ray Bradbury framed by an overarching story of a man covered in moving tattoos. These are not even merely moving tattoos; they predict the future. The stories present a variety of possible future worlds, on Earth or on Mars. Some of the stories warn against too easy a life, or too planned a world. Many of the stories are also simply speculation on where technology could bring people. The vast majority of stories occur in space. In all of those, there is intelligent life on other planets. One story discussed a completely automated life, another a Martian invasion in which only a single soul realizes that there are dangers other than the physical.
The framed short stories are themselves frames for philosophical thoughts on the past, current and future of the world.”