The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

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Few 16-year-olds will appreciate the subtleties of this book, but when they grow up, the more perspicacious among them may find The Martian Chronicles is a winner even without the special effects.
-Blog Critics


Mars was a distant shore, and the men spread upon it in waves... Each wave different, and each wave stronger.

The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury is a storyteller without peer, a poet of the possible, and, indisputably, one of America's most beloved authors. In a much celebrated literary career that has spanned six decades, he has produced an astonishing body of work: unforgettable novels, including Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes; essays, theatrical works, screenplays and teleplays; The Illustrated Mein, Dandelion Wine, The October Country, and numerous other superb short story collections. But of all the dazzling stars in the vast Bradbury universe, none shines more luminous than these masterful chronicles of Earth's settlement of the fourth world from the sun.

Bradbury's Mars is a place of hope, dreams and metaphor-of crystal pillars and fossil seas-where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization. It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn -first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars ... and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.

Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles is a classic work of twentieth-century literature whose extraordinary power and imagination remain undimmed by time's passage. In connected, chronological stories, a true grandmaster once again enthralls, delights and challenges us with his vision and his heart-starkly and stunningly exposing in brilliant spacelight our strength, our weakness, our folly, and our poignant humanity on a strange and breathtaking world where humanity does not belong.


About Ray Bradbury

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In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2011 at the age of 91, inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."
Published May 21, 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks. 298 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science & Math, Action & Adventure, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Martian Chronicles
All: 8 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 1

Blog Critics

Reviewed by Ted Gioia on Jan 31 2009

Few 16-year-olds will appreciate the subtleties of this book, but when they grow up, the more perspicacious among them may find The Martian Chronicles is a winner even without the special effects.

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Above average
Reviewed by Kelsy on May 10 2010

All in all, it's a good collection of stories that explore what humans would do to a new planet using evidence of past conquests. I like its mosaic style of storytelling, the way different perspectives put together a more holistic view of the overall story. The Martian Chronicles is a pretty good read.

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Inverarity is not a Scottish village

Above average
Reviewed by Inverarity on Mar 04 2013

The Martian Chronicles is a loosely connected series of stories, starting with the first ill-fated Mars expeditions...It's not a sci-fi epic in the traditional sense. It's a themed collection of stories, a little dated and sometimes rather slow-paced, but it's an enduring vision of Mars.

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The Introverted Reader

Reviewed by Introverted Jen on Dec 15 2015

By keeping the focus out and painting the characters in broad strokes rather than in details, I could imagine anyone as any character, making the themes more universal. That's really all I have to say. Don't let the fact that this is science fiction put you off. I found it to be more of a generalized, fascinating character study than anything else.

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Sarah Says Read

Reviewed by Sarah on Feb 25 2013

If you’re looking for an interesting sci-fi read about space, this probably isn’t what you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a book that explores humanity and how Bradbury thought of the world in the 1950’s, this is perfect.

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The Oddness of Moving Things Blog

on Nov 03 2014

Even though it’s over 60 years old, the novel stands the test of time. It might not be technologically (or geologically) accurate, but it still paints a moving picture of American exploration and expansionism even to this day.

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Reviewed by Carter Nipper on Sep 20 2015

The Martian Chronicles is a baklava of a book -- rich, layered, so sweet it has to be enjoyed in small bits. This novel-that-is-not-a-novel rightfully remains a classic in the science fiction genre...The Martian Chronicles is required reading for any science fiction enthusiast. For everyone else, merely highly recommended.

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Reviewed by Jesse on Oct 17 2013

...The Martian Chronicles is written in a flowing, prosaic script that allows the individual characters to transcend their stories...From environmental concern to egoism, honor to greed, Bradbury writes in deft, buoyant prose that is a joy to read...In the end, The Martian Chronicles is fully deserving of its place on all of the ‘best of’ lists.

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