Best of: books for ages 18+ #7: ‘The Illustrated Man’ by Ray Bradbury
This is a series of eighteen short stories, which makes it unique amongst our best books so far! The premise is simple – the illustrated man of the title is a circus performer covered in tattoos, each of which tells a story – the short stories that make up the collection in the book. Between them they are set in the past, the future and the present, and are scary, funny or thoughtful.
Many of the stories are set in space or on a different planet, and each of them features an aspect of the world which is unfamiliar to us. This is what makes true science fiction. The unfamiliarity which reigns in each of the stories then allows Bradbury to examine important themes or aspects of our world.
Made into a truly dreadful 1969 film, this is one book which is – without a shadow of a doubt! – best experienced in paper form.
By the same author: some of the very best science fiction ever produced, including the novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’, set in a world where books are banned and everyone watches huge screens for entertainment…