Title: The Illustrated Man
Author: Ray Bradbury
Page Count/Review Word Count: 296
I was given this book as a Secret Santa present at work, and at first I was a little bit confused – I’ve never read Ray Bradbury before, and other than the obvious fact that I love to read, I wasn’t sure why one of my colleagues thought that this particular book was for me.
Then I started reading it, and I was hooked from the start – Bradbury is a gifted storyteller, and the author of Fahrenheit 451 delivers in style here with a collection of short stories that use the idea of an illustrated man, a man who’s covered in tattoos which move around and evolve over time, as a hook to gather them all together.
Expect some cracking sci-fi stories of a caliber that Isaac Asimov would be proud of, with some shockers and some serious twists that can change your perspective as a reader – Bradbury’s experimentation with artificial intelligence, space travel and various other staples of science fiction show just how imaginative the author could be, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of his predictions eventually come through.
The funny thing is, as with most sci-fi writers, Bradbury has this knack of making the reader seriously question themselves about his inventive new technology – he shows you the good and the bad, and then leaves the reader to come to their own conclusions about whether technology is going to save us all or destroy us all.
I don’t know whether technology will kill us all or not, but I do think that Bradbury is as good a writer as you’re likely to find. He’ll ask you the questions, and you should answer them yourself.