The Illustrated Man
The blurb on the back:
'There is no writer quite like Ray Bradbury'
Ray Bradbury hardly needs any further praise from the likes of me, but really his work is right up there amongst the greats of American writing in the 20th century. And this is one of his very finest. It is therefore, by definition, one of the best books of its time.
Essentially it's a collection of short stories, and they're fine works in their own right. But what really lifts the book is the concept linking them together. We are introduced to a man who, back in 1900 when he was just twenty, got the first of his tattoos. Now his body is covered with illustrations and - to his horror and self-hatred - they're not static. They move. They live. They foretell the future. They tell stories. And it is these stories that we hear. A total of eighteen tales of wonderful variation and imagination.
Hugely recommended, the book was filmed in 1969 with husband and wife team Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom being directed by Jack Smight. Inevitably the film trimmed the book considerably but it was still a nice bit of work and rightly celebrated.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 5/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 4/5
not Rod Steiger