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“A giant…One of the country’s most popular and prolific authors.” —Los Angeles Times
“One of the greats of twentieth century American fantasy.” —Newsday
“There is no simpler, yet deeper, stylist than Bradbury. Out of the plainest of words he creates images and moods that readers seem to carry with them forever.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“A wonderful storyteller….Nearly everything he has written is sheer poetry.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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One minute it was Ohio winter, with doors closed, windows locked, the panes blind with frost, icicles fringing every roof, children skiing on slopes, housewives lumbering like great black bears in their furs along the icy streets.
And then a long wave of warmth crossed the small town. A flooding sea of hot air; it seemed as if someone had left a bakery door open. The heat pulsed among the cottages and bushes and children. The icicles dropped, shattering, to melt. The doors flew open. The windows flew up. The children worked off their wool clothes. The housewives shed their bear disguises. The snow dissolved and showed last summer's ancient green lawns.
Rocket summer. The words passed among the people in the open, airing houses. Rocket summer. The warm desert air changing the frost patterns on the windows, erasing the art work. The skis and sleds suddenly useless. The snow, falling from the cold sky upon the town, turned to a hot rain before it touched the ground.
Rocket summer. People leaned from their dripping porches and watched the reddening sky.
The rocket lay on the launching field, blowing out pink clouds of fire and oven heat. The rocket stood in the cold winter morning, making summer with every breath of its mighty exhausts. The rocket made climates, and summer lay for a brief moment upon the land....
They had a house of crystal pillars on the planet Mars by the edge of an empty sea, and every morning you could see Mrs. K eating the golden fruits that grew from the crystal walls, or cleaning the house with handfuls ofmagnetic dust which, taking all dirt with it, blew away on the hot wind. Afternoons, when the fossil sea was warm and motionless, and the wine trees stood stiff in the yard, and the little distant Martian bone town was all enclosed, and no one drifted out their doors, you could see Mr. K himself in his room, reading from a metal book with raised hieroglyphs over which he brushed his hand, as one might play a harp. And from the book, as his fingers stroked, a voice sang, a soft ancient voice, which told tales of when the sea was red steam on the shore and ancient men had carried clouds of metal insects and electric spiders into battle.
Mr. and Mrs. K had lived by the dead sea for twenty years, and their ancestors had lived in the same house, which turned and followed the sun, flower-like, for ten centuries.
Mr. and Mrs. K were not old. They had the fair, brownish skin of the true Martian, the yellow coin eyes, the soft musical voices. Once they had liked painting pictures with chemical fire, swimming in the canals in the seasons when the wine trees filled them with green liquors, and talking into the dawn together by the blue phosphorous portraits in the speaking room.
They were not happy now.
This morning Mrs. K stood between the pillars, listening to the desert sands heat, melt into yellow wax, and seemingly run on the horizon.
Something was going to happen.
She watched the blue sky of Mars as if it might at any moment grip in on itself, contract, and expel a shining miracle down upon the sand.
Tired of waiting, she walked through the misting pillars. A gentle rain sprang from the fluted pillar tops, cooling the scorched air, falling gently on her. On hot days it was like walking in a creek. The floors of the house glittered with cool streams. In the distance she heard her husband playing his book steadily, his fingers never tired of the old songs. Quietly she wished he might one day again spend as much time holding and touching her like a little harp as he did his incredible books.
But no. She shook her head, an imperceptible, forgiving shrug. Her eyelids closed softly down upon her golden eyes. Marriage made people old and familiar, while still young.
She lay back in a chair that moved to take her shape even as she moved. She closed her eyes tightly and nervously.
The dream occurred.
Her brown fingers trembled, came up, grasped at the air. A moment later she sat up, startled, gasping.
She glanced about swiftly, as if expecting someone there before her. She seemed disappointed; the space between the pillars was empty.
Her husband appeared in a triangular door. "Did you call?" he asked irritably.
"No!" she cried.
"I thought I heard you cry out."
"Did I? I was almost asleep and had a dream!"
"In the daytime? You don't often do that."
She sat as if struck in the face by the dream. "How strange, how very strange," she murmured. "The dream."
"Oh?" He evidently wished to return to his book.
"I dreamed about a man."
"A tall man, six feet one inch tall."
"How absurd; a giant, a misshapen giant."
"Somehow"--she tried the words--"he looked all right. In spite of being tall. And he had--oh, I know you'll think it silly-he had blue eyes"'
"Blue eyes! Gods!" cried Mr. K. "What'll you dream next? I suppose he had black hair?"
"How did you guess?" She was excited.
"I picked the most unlikely color," he replied coldly.
"Well, black it was!" she cried. "And he had a very white skin; oh, he was most unusual! He was dressed in a strange uniform and he came down out of the sky and spoke pleasantly to me." She smiled.
"Out of the sky; what nonsense!"
"He came in a metal thing that glittered in the sun," she remembered. She closed her eyes to shape it again. "I dreamed there was the sky and something sparkled like a coin thrown into the air, and suddenly it grew large and fell down softly to land, a long silver craft, round and alien. And a door opened in the side of the silver object and this tall man stepped out."The Martian Chronicles. Copyright © by Ray Bradbury. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted January 11, 2009
When I read the Martian Chronicles I thought it was an amazing book filled with many stories that I loved. The one that I loved the most was The Usher 2: I thought it was the best out of all of the other stories in the book because of the story itself and how it was played out as well as how I liked the characters in it (Pike being my favorite) I had also liked the way the references to edgar allen poe and the way that Mr.Stendahl had condemned the people who had lived on earth for destroying his favorite authors books and all of the others in the horror and science fiction genre. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fictional stories or anyone who likes stories like this that show what could happen to us. I think this book would be good for any high school or college student.
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Posted September 30, 2007
This book is terrible. Fahreinheit 451 was ok, but this book sucks. Telepathic martians that die of chicken pox. What kind of garbage is that
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Posted November 7, 2007
The Martian Chronicles is a fictional novel by Ray Bradbury. The book is set on the Fifth planet of Mars. You could call this novel a science fiction book since it occurs in space. This is a very interesting book. As you read it, all you will want to know is what is going to happen next. It was a well written novel using tremendous vocabulary and using many specific details. I found this book to be such a fine novel because of the way Ray Bradbury described Mars and its Creatures. I really felt like I was on the planet! The setting of this novel is the planet mars. The time period of this novel is set in the 1960¿s. It is also set on the red planet Mars. Through out the book NASA is trying to send people to Mars. They try many times, but after every expedition the people that land end up going insane or end up being murdered by the Martians. Since the book changes stories so frequently, there is never one main character. There is how ever one main goal. NASA wanting to set up civilization on Mars, expect everything always goes wrong. For example, on the second expedition, the crew is murdered by a martin psychologist who thinks the crew is a group of insane martins. This also happens on the third expedition. On this expedition the crew finds members of their family that have died in the past. The family members end up being Martins and killing them. Ray Bradbury does a fanomial job writing The Martin Chronicles. The book is a collection of short stories woven together to make a great novel. I love this idea and it made the story more enjoyable. This book is written in the third-person point of view with Bradbury narrating. If you like science fiction books then you should defiantly read The Martin Chronicles. It will keep you on the edge of your seat until you finally turn that last page.
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Posted July 24, 2007
I don't normally like science fiction, so I really didn't want to read this book but I had to for school. However, after the first chapter, I completely changed my mind. This book has some parts that you have to look closely at to pick up on, if that makes sense. Characters from the beginning come back at then end, only the author doesn't point out that it's the same people. You should try to read this book in a relatively short time span because if you read it little by little, you will probably not make some of the connections. I highly recommend this book. It is surprisingly good (and easy to summarize for school as well!)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 27, 2007
read this book. do it. The story was so pointless I wanted to cry in the middle of it. The main storyline is how humans will move to Mars, kill off the martians who were already living there, and then dominate the planet. After this tragic climax of a story, the author then finishes it off by having all the stupid humans from Mars move back to Earth in time to be demolished by the nuclear war that we were having back on Earth. Killing everybody. Fun huh? let me answer for you....yesWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 7, 2007
This book is great. I read the first chapter through, and I was hooked. The Martian Chronicles was the one book that got me hooked on reading. You should read this book, its constantly changing stories and plotlines will make you laugh at one instant, and cry at the next. This is a book that should not be missed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 26, 2007
This is a great book about people from America who go to Mars to escape earth on the edge of its destruction. Each chapter will hook you quickly and you will hate to put down this great book. The first sentence in chapter 15, June 2003: Way in the Middle of the Air, the first sentence begins with:'Did you hear about it?' When I read that sentence, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to hear what happened. You never know if the earth settlers will come across some ancient Martian temple ruins, ancient Martian literature, or even Martian paintings. This book is unique and unlike any other I have read because its chapters are all short stories about humans from earth and their experiences on Mars. Even with the unusual chapteres, the book still runs fairly smooth. There are some downsides though, the book can sometimes get confusing and leave you hanging. In the 2nd chapter, the book states that Ylla hears her husband fire two shots in the distance, but you are never really sure that he shot at Nathaniel York, a man from the first American expedition, or just an animal. This is a great book that I recommend to anyone ages middle school and up.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 18, 2006
Ray definately is a talented writter. When I began reading the first chapter I was inthralled. However, no sooner I fell in love with a character and he died. the book was comprised of mostly short chapters in which a new character was introduced and then died. Because the main character changed so often there was absolutely no emotional conection. It was a horrible waste of time.
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Posted June 5, 2006
Never read this book. Ever. The story was so pointless I wanted to cry in the middle of it. The main storyline is how humans will move to Mars, kill off the martians who were already living there, and then dominate the planet. After this tragic climax of a story, the author then finishes it off by having all the stupid humans from Mars move back to Earth in time to be demolished by the nuclear war that we were having back on Earth. Killing everybody. Fun huh?
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Posted September 22, 2005
Posted November 25, 2004
A lot of sci-fi novels are plain horrible.This one is at times not able to captivate you enough to make you forget that you've been sitt'n down a little too long, but as books go- this one's good, oh yes.The stories about the 2nd, 3rd and 4th expeditions are extremely amazing, different, cool and some times plain scary.SOLID GOLD!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 24, 2004
I read this book a while ago and still haven't forgotten how great it is. I would recommend this book to any reader who likes to get blown away by a book's imagination. Ray Bradbury is an excellent author, definitely two thumbs up!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 31, 2004
the martian chronicles is the best book ever written!! when i first read it in 6th grade, i was astounded that anyone could come up with such an amazing book!! i recommend this to anyone who loves science fiction, and great literature!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 30, 2004
I was forced to read this book in English during a time of other mass projects. We never, ever get to read science-fiction and I was sort of excited, I don't enjoy reading 'school books' (for the exception of this one and The Catcher in the Rye). It's a wonderul book of stories about Mars and how humans civilize things. Bradbury has a sort of 'Steven Spielberg' mind, if I do say so myself. A wonderful book and I'd recommend it to anybody!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 26, 2003
Many authors have written about outer space adventures and finding Martians, but none as interesting and original as The Martian Chronicles. It is a science fiction book written by Ray Bradbury. Bradbury based his book in the future, relating to trips Earthmen had taken to Mars. It has an interesting story line with a few very remarkable chronicles including Usher II. It is also filled with other imaginative chronicles jam-packed with suspense. Throughout the book, The Martian Chronicles, separate stories interlock to form one full one. Each story takes place in the future, in the years 1999 through 2036. At least it was in the future when the book was written in 1950. There isn¿t a protagonist, main character, but there is one within each chronicle. They each play an important role throughout the book so that it forms one story line. The story plot of the Martian Chronicles revolves around a win lose situation. The Chronicles tell the story of a dying race of Earthmen on Earth and how they leave their home planet and arrive on Mars. They soon conquer the beings that live there in an instant and now there is a dying race of Martians on Mars. The Earthmen¿s new world might also be coming to an end as they learn that life on Mars isn¿t easy. The enchantment of the red gold deserts and bright blue waters curse the men and the planet slowly conquers them. Within Bradbury¿s novel he included a few very fascinating chronicles including Usher II, a short story about a man who was a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe and other horror and fantasy books. This man was attempting something that had never been attempted before. It was the building of a house known as the House of Usher, and was the most scariest ¿haunted house¿ ever to be built in either of the two worlds. Inside was home to hundreds of robots with the flesh and skin of vampires, witches, mice, and so much more. Everything inside the house mimicked a part of a book, including some of Edgar Allan Poe¿s work. No one would be able to get out alive¿unless of course they were familiar with these writings. Not only this, but the man could also be sent to jail just for the construction of the house because everything to do with fantasy or horror was banned and would be destroyed. The man had a plan though to keep the house from being ruined, for he had learned from much failure, and new that the law was enforced. Did his eerie plan work? The Martian Chronicles offer many surprises, twists and turns both good and bad throughout the novel. Each character encounters unique problems they have to overcome for survival. Ray Bradbury writes a magnificent book with each Chronicle building on the one before. I fully enjoyed reading this book and I will rank it FIVE STARS with all my heart. It was defiantly time well spent.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 29, 2003
Posted September 18, 2003
either have limited mental capacity, or maybe they just weren't paying attention when they read it. Whichever holds true, it is their loss. This book represents Bradbury's best work. His romanticist portrayl of the planet MARS as inhabited by a cultured civilization on a collision course with the human race is a metaphor of the expansion of early American settlers who encountered the Indian tribes. Like the Indians centuries before them, it is ultimately to the Martian's loss. However, there is also the additional story of discovery and of the Earthlings eventual triumph over a mysterious and different world. And finally, there is the story of a ' new beginning,' for those whom humanity has rejected and who have found a place of hope upon the red planet. A place to call their own. Truly an interesting, inspiring, timeless and fun book. Bradbury never stops teaching us about what could be, and about ourselves.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 3, 2003
After reading Fahrenheit 451, I was eager to get my hands on another Bradbury book thinking it would move me the way Fahrenheit did. I am the type of person that has to finish something once they start it, and thats the way I felt about this book, The Martian Chronicles. It was just something I started so I had to finish. I liked the description of things, but the book had very little main story and not even a good one at that. The story was pretty much of the planet itself and what was going on. I did, however, love the part about the man who created a house of horrors, i thought that was wonderful, but that was the only part of the book that I thought was interesting.
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Posted April 12, 2003
It is incredible, phenomenal, ageless. Its genius is unparallel. I've read 100s of books in my relatively short (21 years old) life, and Martian Chronicles is the only book that I've ever thought of as being absolutely perfect. I've read it SIX times, and it only gets better with every read. God (if you believe in one) could not write a better novel. Read it!! Your imagination will never taste such pleasure, and your mind will be forever thankful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 1, 2003
i love to read. i love it when the art that is literature can become something greater than the artist. i love it when people like ray bradbury use their intellect and ability to produce something as meaningful and as beautiful a piece of art as the martian chronicles. it doesn't matter how many stars are incorporated into this rating system, i would have given this book all of them. it deserves more than that... most of what i see in the world around me is meaningless, none of what i hear is worth being said. most of whats played on the radio and on tv is there for the sake of money, not the sake of art. it's target audience, trendy, commercialized dross. and then i read something like this, and it justifys life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.