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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Bradbury's timeless classic, 11 April 2005
By 
Ms. H. Sinton "dragondrums" (Ingleby Barwick. U.K.) - See all my reviews
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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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of short stories, 6 Aug 2010
By 
D. R. Cantrell (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Illustrated Man (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
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent depiction of 1950s science fiction, 27 Mar 2003
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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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 (East Anglia, UK) - See all my reviews
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They are not tattoo's, they are skin illustrations!, 21 Mar 2011
By 
Fleabag the wise ( allegedly) "My tin foil ha... (Physically in Hampshire UK, but really all over the universe as I allow my thoughts free roaming.) - See all my reviews
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to hand down through the family - amazing!, 10 Jun 2006
By 
Alan Burridge (Poole,, Dorset. United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Ray Bradbury was an amazing and futuristic writer, and he used the 'illustrated man' concept as an ingenious way of linking 18 short stories. A man is on a walking holiday in Wisconsin, it's a hot day and he meets a guy who has his clothing buttoned up tight as if it is winter, and he is sweating, of course. They camp down for the night, and the guy takes off his thick shirt. His body is covered in illustrations, (not tattoos), and they are beautiful, they move, and have tiny voices. He tells how he met an old witch who looked a thousand years old one minute, and twenty one the next, and after she illustrated his entire body with her magic needles, she disappeared. Believing her to be a time-traveller, the man has spent his life trying to hunt her down. The series of short stories are linked by the other man seeing the actions take place within the illustrations. A brilliant concept, amazing stories considering when they were written, and I book I have treasured for many years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Skin illustrations, the sign of an artist", 26 Oct 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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"Eighteen illustrations, eighteen tales." "The illustrations came to life..."

A man is encountered who has skin Illustrations all over his body. Each illustration represents a tale from the future. The illustrations come to life and tell a tale of doom or impending doom. In this way ray Bradbury can tell related but different tales in this book. Its Bradbury's writing style and dialogue that holds you as much as the storyline.

At first they are intriguing and fresh. Later they don't as much repeat but are similar in form and function.

One of the best "The Veldt" is first. Of course everyone will have a different favorite.

I suggest that you make your cats leave the room if you read out loud.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-Fi Fantasy - The Illustrated Man, 23 July 2007
By 
Miss S. Bonnick "alternatives4women" (Cornwall, England) - See all my reviews
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-----------------------------------

A Collection of weird and wonderful Tales... Tales that were tattooed on to the body of a man by a witch. At night the tales moved, glowed and became vibrant with stars, suns and planets, each one telling another fragment of the future.

But there was one place where the story was not clear... where the colours and patterns blurred and moved in no particular pattern. And that story was the most terrifying of all...

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic for all ages, 20 Jan 2011
By 
R. E. Cameron-dick (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a wonderful book. Recommended to me as a child, it's been read several times both then and now. I've just bought it for my own daughter. Highly recommended.
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