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The Illustrated Man (Flamingo Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Ray Bradbury
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Aug 2008 Flamingo Modern Classics

A classic collection of stories – all told on the skin of a man – from the author of Fahrenheit 451.

If El Greco had painted miniatures in his prime, no bigger than your hand, infinitely detailed, with his sulphurous colour and exquisite human anatomy, perhaps he might have used this man’s body for his art…

Yet the Illustrated Man has tried to burn the illustrations off. He’s tried sandpaper, acid, and a knife. Because, as the sun sets, the pictures glow like charcoals, like scattered gems. They quiver and come to life. Tiny pink hands gesture, tiny mouths flicker as the figures enact their stories – voices rise, small and muted, predicting the future.

Here are sixteen tales: sixteen illustrations… the seventeenth is your own future told on the skin of the Illustrated Man.


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The Illustrated Man (Flamingo Modern Classics) + Something Wicked This Way Comes + The Martian Chronicles (Flamingo Modern Classic)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; New Ed edition (4 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006479227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006479222
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the greatest writers of science fiction and fantasy, Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1920.

He published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was just twenty years old. Among his many famous works are Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.

Product Description

Review

‘Ray Bradbury has a powerful and mysterious imagination which would undoubtedly earn the respect of Edgar Allan Poe’ Guardian

‘It is impossible not to admire the vigour of his prose, similes and metaphors constantly cascading from his imagination’ Spectator

‘The sheer velocity of his words is an apocalyptic torrent which sweeps the reader on’ Independent

‘As a science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury has long been streets ahead of anyone else’ Daily Telegraph

‘Readers unfamiliar with what Bradbury at his best can do should look to The Illustrated Man.’ Washington Post

‘No other writer uses language with greater originality and zest. he seems to be a American Dylan Thomas – with dsicipline’ Sunday Telegraph

From the Back Cover

"As a science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury has long been streets ahead of anyone else."
'Daily Telegraph'

If El Greco had painted miniatures in his prime, no bigger than your hand, infinitely detailed, with his sulphurous colour and exquisite human anatomy, perhaps he might have used this man's body for his art … Yet the Illustrated Man has tried to burn the illustrations off. He's tried sandpaper, acid, a knife. Because, as the sun sets, the pictures glow like charcoals, like scattered gems. They quiver and come to life. Tiny pink hands gesture, tiny mouths flicker as the figures enact their stories – voices rise, small and muted, predicting the future. Here are sixteen tales: sixteen illustrations … the seventeenth is your own future told on the skin of the Illustrated Man.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Bradbury's timeless classic 11 April 2005
Format:Paperback
This is one of the best collections of Ray Bradbury short stories to be found. The Illustrated Man of the title is a fairground worker who is covered in tattoos, or 'illustrations'. While he sleeps the illustrations move and each one tells a different story to anyone who may see them. Although the descriptions of rockets and technology may seem a little dated now, these are still excellent stories for any true fan of sci-fi. Particularly good are 'The Veldt' a story of two children and their virtual reality nursery and 'The Long Rain', a tale of astronauts who crash land on Venus. This is certainly a Classic of modern literature and I would highly recommend it for any bookshelf.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent depiction of 1950s science fiction 27 Mar 2003
Format:Paperback
What is most interesting about this book is the reflection of science fiction in the 1950s and 60s. While we have the technology and the visual effects nowadays, people during that time only had their imaginations and a fuzzy television set. Bradbury's intensity in his stories are full of the depth of character, philosophy, life, and mind. During the "Long Rain," he brings in the idea of how far a man will go in such a relentless environment of pouring rain on another planet. He also is quite subtle in his vision of what the world would be like when we get to the end of the world and how would we actually react to this adversity. In essence, do not read this book to find some "Matrix-style" action and science fiction, but the reactions of people in different situations in the future and the way some things could be. If you are intrigued by thinking of books and films long after you've finished with them, then I think you will really like this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of short stories 6 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
This is another collection of short stories connected by a tenuous theme - they're the stories told by someone's tattoos - but this time it's intended to be a bunch of shorts, and most of them are good, a few are outstanding, only a couple are bad, and none are awful. And three are utterly brilliant. Originally published a couple of zears before Fahrenheit 451, the connections are obvious in two of the stories - two of the best stories at that.

The theme of the man of the title's tattoos provides a nice lead-in to the first story, and the epilogue provides a satisfactory end, but in all honesty those two sections could have been dropped entirely. I'd not be at all surprised to find that the individual stories have also been published independently of them.

The stories are a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, almost all of them character-based, most concentrating on human weaknesses and relationships. The successful ones, however, do have at least some action in them too: it's only the two stinkers in which nothing happens except blathering.

Note that the UK and US editions differ: I read the UK edition, which omits four stories from the US version and adds two others. As it happens, I feel that the two added are amongst the best in the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book 11 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic collection of science-fiction/horror stories from the boundless imagination of Ray Bradbury.

The books begins with a chance meeting between two wanderers, one of whom is extensively tattooed all over his body (or 'Illustrated' as Bradbury beautifully puts it) the tattooed stranger explains that he is searching for the woman who gave him his tattoos to kill her. He states the tattoos are cursed and come to life every night. The enthralled stranger then watches as the ink comes to life each one telling a different story.

The premise of stories within a story is brilliant and using tattoos as a medium to tell them is both extraordinary but also wonderfully creative.

Although the short stories are all science fiction based there is a good variety of stories. The reason I also termed them 'horror' is that there is a good deal of death and violence in the stories although not excessively so. The stories really get under your skin and will stay with you forever (ironically not unlike the illustrations themselves)

Well worth a read and (in my opinion) Bradbury's best book to date.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
As the line in the film went which showed three of the stories from the anthology. And it is this line which best exemplifies the difference between common all garden short stories and the true work of art. Anyone with a needle and ink can make a tattoo that makes a statement from a mermaid or heart that says mother. But it takes an artist to create a skin illustration that goes beyond a statement and tells a story an art that Bradbury demonstrates in each tale. Not only does he tell a story but he also leaves you at the end of each one with questions gnawing away in your consciousness. Questions such as "What if that could really happen?" or "What if it was me?"

Like all great works art after your first encounter, it leaves an indelible impression on your soul very much like a tattoo, or should that be skin illustration?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sixteen dark tales 6 Nov 2006
By T. R. Alexander TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I originally came across this book when I had to read some of the short stories in it for school years ago I liked it then and have always wanted to go back and finish the other stories but never had the chance until recently. Each of the sixteen short stories are brought together by the preface that sets each story as a scene depicted on the body of the Illustrated Man as witnessed by a traveller he meets on the way. Each tale is usually quite dark with lots of death, betrayal and warnings about censorship and tyranny. Written in the fifties the book does give a good outlook on what people of those times thought the future would hold and it is quite fun to see what has happened and what hasn't. The tales are very well written and although they are quite short they are always good and interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
Nicely written, highly entertaining, very perceptive.
Published 1 month ago by S. Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This book is a classic - great stories, great author. If you are a fan of sci fi, brilliantly written stories it's a must read!
Published 1 month ago by Liz
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of the Unexpected meets Lost in Space!
A wonderful amalgam of sci fi and horror and a real period piece of the 60s depicting all the serious confusion and anxiety of that time such as the Cold War, the space race,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Katkin
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bradbury short story collection
I shouldn't like Ray Bradbury's stuff, for the most part - its all about ideas, its short stories, you never know if what you get will be horror or sci-fi or fantasy. Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Middleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
A stunning collection of short stories mainly around the narrative of space. Was finished with this in a week and some of the imagery will stay with me for a long time. Read more
Published 6 months ago by BenAbbott88
5.0 out of 5 stars The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
I first read this over three decades ago and have bought this excellent book to re-read on my Kindle. Highly recommended.
Published 7 months ago by Mr R
5.0 out of 5 stars jacket
As described, unfortunately I could not afford the hard back which has has a better jacket.Good just the same.Thanks.Thanks
This has gone nuts
Published 8 months ago by edwina procter
5.0 out of 5 stars First Bradbury stories I ever read
Amazing. Story telling so grim I decided to read everything he has written. It was funny to read how people expected future to be back then, but buying this book you would be... Read more
Published 9 months ago by T. Durden
5.0 out of 5 stars Another classic science fiction.
Another book I have bought for my husband. He likes this type of book and has a collection of Ray Bradbury's books. Read more
Published 10 months ago by booksal
5.0 out of 5 stars Visionary
For a book written when it was, how much has come true? Such a wonderful collection of tales from a master story teller.
Published 11 months ago by Sausage1
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