The Illustrated Man

Hardcover, 275 pages

English language

Published June 1, 1997 by William Morrow.

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4 stars (1 review)

He was a riot of rockets and fountains and people, in such intricate detail and color that you could bear the voiced murmuring, small and muted, from the crowds that inhabited his body.

The Illustrated ManRay Bradbury brings wonders alive. A peerless American storyteller, his oeuvre has been celebrated for decades--from The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 to Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury --a collection of tales that breathe and move, animated by sharp, intaken breath and flexing muscle. Here are eighteen startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin--visions as keen as the tattooist's needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body.

The images, ideas, sounds and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast, empty space …

39 editions

Review of 'The Illustrated Man' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Ray Bradbury is a master of short stories, and many of these have either a horror or soft science fiction aspect. The collection is framed by a description of the illustrated man, the tales appearing as moving images on his flesh. My version of this lacked The Fire Balloons and included The Illustrated Man as a final story in the book.

Most of these were published elsewhere, and included here with minor changes to the text. Some were great, some good, and some fair. I particularly enjoyed Zero Hour (obvious though it was) and The Rocket. My least favorite was The Illustrated Man, a poor way to close out this collection.


  • Science fiction, American