The Illustrated Man ~ Ray Bradbury

The Illustrated Man

Rating: 3/5

This collection of short stories is science fiction, but in a lot of them there is a heavy element of psychological thriller. This thriller component is part of what makes Bradbury’s writing exciting and why I believe he has had a large readership over time. These stories feel as if they could almost be reality, an element I am drawn to in reading sci fi.

My favorite stories were The Veldt, Marionettes Inc., and the Illustrated Man. The Veldt stood out to me as the first story in the book, one that seems plausible in our near future. The parents have this nanny room for their kids in which the kids can imagine whatever they wish and the room will create the imagery and atmosphere for them. I would love a room like that, but Bradbury takes it one step further to the dark side, delivering a chilling curiosity about what would happen if the room crossed it’s logical boundary into reality.

Marionettes Inc. was another story that fulfilled that close to reality but took it one step too far concept. If I could have a duplicate of myself made, what would I do with my duplicate when not in use? If the goal is to create a duplicate so lifelike that it could fool others into thinking the duplicate was in fact you, how would you get the duplicate to go away when not in use?

My biggest complaint with Bradbury’s stories was that women were not often portrayed in his stories, and when they were they were often villains or temptresses, never heroes or fleshed out characters. I hate not getting to experience fleshed out women characters.

I’m also not a big fan of space sci-fi, and many of the stories didn’t do it for me simply because they were about space travel. Some of the stories included space travel, but weren’t themed around space travel per se, and those were much more enjoyable to me. He definitely had a lot of interesting concepts, and I feel inspired by his imagination.


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