The Martian Chronicles
Author: Ray Bradbury
Published: June 1, 1984
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
The strange and wonderful tale of man’s experiences on Mars, filled with intense images and astonishing visions. Now part of the Voyager Classics collection.
The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet. The first men were few. Most succumbed to a disease they called the Great Loneliness when they saw their home planet dwindle to the size of a fist. They felt they had never been born. Those few that survived found no welcome on Mars. The shape-changing Martians thought they were native lunatics and duly locked them up.
But more rockets arrived from Earth, and more, piercing the hallucinations projected by the Martians. People brought their old prejudices with them – and their desires and fantasies, tainted dreams. These were soon inhabited by the strange native beings, with their caged flowers and birds of flame.
This is my first Bradbury book and it was brilliant!! Pretty sure ole Bradbury understands humanity to the same extent that Orwell did. The Martian Chronicles is a look at humanity as a whole and its effect on everything. Humans ruin Earth, so they go to Mars. Humans ruin Mars, so they start to miss Earth. Humans go back to Earth and they abandon Mars. And all of this is told in an anthology of stories, starting with early, unsuccessful expeditions to Mars. Oh and he definitely starts with Martians who in some ways, have the same problems as humans. It’s just a fascinating read from start to finish! And for being on the philosophical side, it’s surprisingly easy to read as well. Even those who don’t really like sci-fi, would like this book. This is one that I would require for high school students to read; there is much they could learn and use to make themselves better people. I loved it!