Quicker Than the Eye

Quicker Than the Eye

by Ray Bradbury
Quicker Than the Eye

Quicker Than the Eye

by Ray Bradbury



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The internationally acclaimed author of The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury is a magician at the height of his powers, displaying his sorcerer's skill with twenty-one remarkable stories that run the gamut from total reality to light fantastic, from high noon to long after midnight. A true master tells all, revealing the strange secret of growing young and mad; opening a Witch Door that links two intolerant centuries; joining an ancient couple in their wild assassination games; celebrating life and dreams in the unique voice that has favored him across six decades and has enchanted millions of readers the world over.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062242235
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Format: eBook
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 928,225
File size: 278 KB

About the Author

About The Author

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury 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, 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. An Emmy Award winner for his teleplay The Halloween Tree and an Academy Award nominee, 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.


Los Angeles, California

Date of Birth:

August 22, 1920

Place of Birth:

Waukegan, Illinois


Attended schools in Waukegan, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California

Read an Excerpt


The incredible event occurred during my third visit to Gustav Von Seyfertitz, my foreign psychoanalyst.

I should have guessed at the strange explosion before it came.

After all, my alienist, truly alien, had the coincidental name, Von Seyfertitz, of the tall, lean, aquiline, menacing, and therefore beautiful actor who played the high priest in the 1935 film She.

In She, the wondrous villain waved his skeleton fingers, hurled insults, summoned sulfured flames, destroyed slaves, and knocked the world into earthquakes.

After that, "At Liberty," he could be seen riding the Hollywood Boulevard trolley cars as calm as a mummy, as quiet as an unwired telephone pole.

Where was I? Ah, yes!

It was my third visit to my psychiatrist. He had called that day and cried, "Douglas, you stupid goddamn son of a bitch, it's time for beddy-bye!"

Beddy-bye was, of course, his couch of pain and humiliation where I lay writhing in agonies of assumed Jewish guilt and Northern Baptist stress as he from time to time muttered "A fruitcake remark!" or "Dumb!" or "If you ever do that again, I'll kill you!"

As you can see, Gustav Von Seyfertitz was a most unusual mine specialist. Mine? Yes. Our problems are land mines in our heads. Step on them! Shock-troop therapy, he once called it, searching for words. "Blitzkrieg?" I offered.

"Ja!" He grinned his shark grin. "That's it!"

Again, this was my third visit to his strange, metallic looking room with a most odd series of locks on a roundish door. Suddenly, as I was maundering and treading dark waters, I heard his spine stiffen behind me. He gasped a great death rattle, sucked air, and blew it out in a yell that curled andbleached my hair:

"Dive! Dive!"

I dove.

Thinking that the room might be struck by a titanic ice berg, I fell, to scuttle beneath the lion-claw-footed couch.

"Dive!" cried the old man.

"Dive?" I whispered, and looked up.

To see a submarine periscope, all polished brass, slide up to vanish in the ceiling.

Gustav Von Seyfertitz stood pretending not to notice me. the sweat-oiled leather couch, or the vanished brass machine. Very calmly, in the fashion of Conrad Veidt in Casablanca or Erich Von Stroheim, the manservant in Sunset Boulevard . he . ..

. . . lit a cigarette and let two calligraphic dragon plumes of smoke write themselves (his initials?) on the air.

"You were saying?" he said.

"No." I stayed on the floor. "You were saying. Dive?

"I did not say that," he purred.

"Beg pardon, you said, very clearly--Dive!"

"Not possible." He exhaled two more scrolled dragon plumes. "You hallucinate. Why do you stare at the ceiling?"

"Because," I said, "unless I am further hallucinating, buried in that valve lock up there is a nine-foot length of German Leica brass periscope!"

"This boy is incredible, listen to him," muttered Von Seyfertitz to his alter ego, which was always a third person in the room when he analyzed. When he was not busy exhaling his disgust with me, he tossed asides at himself. "How many martinis did you have at lunch?"

"Don't hand me that, Von Seyfertitz. I know the difference between a sex symbol and a periscope. That ceiling, one minute ago, swallowed a long brass pipe, yes!?"

Von Seyfertitz glanced at his large, one-pound-size Christmas watch, saw that I still had thirty minutes to go, sighed, threw his cigarette down, squashed it with a polished boot, then clicked his heels.

Copyright ) 1996 by Ray Bradbury

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