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michaelcrane

Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.

 

Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

An oustanding collection from a master. One of the best collections I've ever read.

The Illustrated Man - Ray Bradbury

It's been quite the journey with Mr. Bradbury and his amazing collection of short stories, The Illustrated Man. It's been a while since a collection has roped me in like this. It was bittersweet to finally finish it, but at the same time I was excited to reach the ending--if that makes any sense.

 

These stories are pleasantly odd, haunting, somber, and even darkly funny at times. Bradbury makes no secret of condemning certain technological advances, but he does it brilliantly through his stories (two that immediately come to mind are "The Veldt" and "The Concrete Mixer"). And it never comes off as preachy. Bradbury uses that anger and fear to construct brilliant pieces of fiction. In the end, that's what writing's all about.

 

There isn't a stinker in the bunch. Even though I have my favorites, every single story was good. Not once did I find myself wanting to skip around here and there. Every story felt like they belonged in this collection. And in this exact order. I loved the prologue and epilogue, which ties it all together in the end. Yet every one of these stories is good on its own.

 

A few days ago I listed my current favorite stories from the collection, even though I had a few more to go. I've added a few more to the list. Again, just because I don't list a story by no means does it mean I didn't like it. I loved all of them. But these are the ones that stuck with me the most, and will continue to stick with me:

The Veldt

The Other Foot

The Rocket Man

No Particular Night or Morning

The Fox and the Forest

The Visitor

The Concrete Mixer

Marionettes, Inc.

Zero Hour

The Rocket

The Illustrated Man

 

This is an outstanding collection. One of the very best I've ever read. Even though I was always familiar with Bradbury and a few of his stories ("A Sound of Thunder" was my first introduction to him), this was the first time I sat down and really read him. I'm glad I did. He was one of the best storytellers out there, and The Illustrated Man is proof of that. This is a collection I'll revisit again and again.

 

5 stars