Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Quicker Than the Eye

Quicker Than the Eye

4.0 3
by Ray Bradbury

See All Formats & Editions

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


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

Macmillan Library Reference
Publication date:
Basic Series
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
5.73(w) x 8.75(h) x 0.88(d)

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

Meet the Author

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."

Brief Biography

Los Angeles, California
Date of Birth:
August 22, 1920
Place of Birth:
Waukegan, Illinois
Attended schools in Waukegan, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Quicker Than The Eye (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Do you wonder what lurks in the minds of writers? What hides in that mysterious world of the human brain? Quicker than the Eye will bring you there and back very satisfied! You get to dive into amazing stories, from a deserted back road of Los Angeles, to the small house of a homicidal couple, to the deep, dark past of an insane doctor! Are you looking for intrigue? A quiet mystery? Even the thrill ride of your literacy life? Pick up Quicker than the Eye and live!
Janice_agent99 More than 1 year ago
This is the first new Bradbury collection that I have read in a few years. Bradbury's style of narrative plays with the emotions to transport the reader to another time and place - one that is both strange and familiar. He has the ability connect the reader to the wistful, haunting and sometimes frighteningly desperate souls of his characters. Overall, a very satisfying read.
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
Quicker than the Eye is a short story collection by Ray Bradbury. Some of these twenty one stories bored me but a few I really enjoyed. There is a story, Another Fine Mess, about a man who sees the ghosts of Laurel and Hardy. My favorite story in this book is called The Very Gentle Murders and follows an aged married couple as they spend their last years lovingly trying to assassinate each other. Another good story in this collection is called The Witch Door. It's about a secret door under the stairs in an old farm house that links two separate centuries. Overall, Quicker Than the Eye is an interesting collection with at least a few very enjoyable tales.