Book Reviews · POPSUGAR Reading Challenge · Science Fiction

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2021 Update: Week Twenty-Four

Good morning, everyone! I hope that you are having a great week so far, and that you are continuing to stay healthy.

While we’ve had a few really nice, sunny days, for the most part it’s been a rather grey and rainy week. It’s been a great excuse to curl up on the couch with a good book though, so I can’t complain.

This week for the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge, I decided to tackle the prompt “a book by an author who shares your zodiac sign.” The book I chose to read was The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury.

The Illustrated Man is a collection of eighteen short stories, which are all connected by an interesting premise. In the prologue of the book, the reader is introduced to an unnamed narrator, who is on a walking tour when he meets a man covered in illustrations. The stranger is looking for work, having been let go from several carnival jobs because of his tattoos, which come alive at night and tell a complete story about their subject.

Despite the illustrated man’s recommendation that the narrator attempt to ignore these stories, the narrator can’t help but watch them play out on his companion’s skin.

Along with the prologue and epilogue, the book includes the following stories:

  • “The Veldt”
  • “Kaleidoscope”
  • “The Other Foot”
  • “The Highway”
  • “The Man”
  • “The Long Rain”
  • “The Rocket Man”
  • “The Fire Balloons”
  • “The Last Night of the World”
  • “The Exiles”
  • “No Particular Night or Morning”
  • “The Fox and the Forest”
  • “The Visitor”
  • “The Concrete Mixer”
  • “Marionettes, Inc.”
  • “The City”
  • “Zero Hour”
  • “The Rocket”

This was my first time reading The Illustrated Man, and I really enjoyed it! Many of the stories focus on “classic” science fiction topics, such as: space exploration, time travel, dependence on technology, and alien invasions. Bradbury had an ability to tell really compelling stories, and the ones included in The Illustrated Man are fantastic! They all did a marvelous job of keeping my attention, and I would find it very difficult to choose a favorite among them.

I do think it is important to mention that this book does include elements which might cause distress for some readers. One of the stories, “The City,” includes some graphic descriptions of a medical procedure, and a couple other stories contain references to suicide.

Whether you are a fan of Ray Bradbury, or the science fiction genre in general, I highly recommend giving The Illustrated Man a try. It’s a great collection of short stories! If you do have an opportunity to read this book for yourself, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Next week’s POPSUGAR Reading Challenge update will be posted on Saturday, June 19th. In the meantime, I hope you will visit The Unapologetic Bookworm on Wednesday for my review of The Way of the Househusband, volume five.

Have a fantastic weekend!

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