17 October 2011
Fiction, Mars, Ray Bradbury, Robots, Science Fiction, Short Stories, The Illustrated Man, Venus
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury — 9780380973842 — ****
Genre: Science Fiction
Time to Read: Average 1 hour or less per story
A young man on a walking tour of Wisconsin encounters a tall, powerful, tattooed–illustrated–man. The ink on the man’s skin tells of the future. Among the menagerie of art are tales of men on Mars, the rainy jungles of Venus, an Earth occupied by robots and a family that dreams of taking a trip into space. As the young traveler sits with the illustrated man, the latter shares his stories. The future is full of hope and horror, and the illustrated man knows it all.
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury is a collection of short stories that are tied together with an introduction about an illustrated man sharing stories of the future with a young traveler and ending with the illustrated man’s own story. All of the stories in the collection are science fiction, but they are otherwise unconnected, making this a great “book between books” title. I’ve been reading it in morsels for quite a while, but some of the short stories still stay with me, even after having read them months ago. Ray Bradbury is my favorite author, and his style shines through in each word. He is a master of metaphor, and even a one-page short story resonates in the heart and mind of a reader. I did like some of the stories better than others, which is to be expected, but when taken as a whole, The Illustrated Man is an amazing collection, and a must-read for anyone who enjoys Sci-Fi and is looking for a really well-written book.
Check out Ray Bradbury’s website!
Read it? Rate it!
17 October 2011
Adventure, Alexandre Dumas, Anne of Austria, Aramis, Athos, Cardinal Richelieu, Classic Literature, Comte de Rochefort, Constance Bonacieux, D'Artagnan, Duke of Buckingham, Fiction, France, Historical Fiction, Louis XIII of France, Milady de Winter, Porthos, Seventeenth Century France, The Three Musketeers
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas — 2940000952726 — ****
Time to Read: 43 days
Young D’Artagnan has long dreamed of becoming a musketeer. When he decides it is time for him to join the king’s men, his father sends him with a letter of introduction to his friend, the captain of the king’s Musketeers. Along the way, the young upstart loses his letter of introduction, finds an enemy of the worst sort and has his heart captured by the beautiful Constance Bonacieux. He also finds himself the companion of three musketeers known as the inseparables: Athos, Porthos and Aramis. The four men become close friends, watching out for one another and getting into trouble together. As the Duke of Buckingham is preparing to wage war on France, the four uncover a plot dreamed up by Cardinal Richelieu that could ruin the king of France and mean life or death for many, D’Artagnan included.
A novel filled with sword play, intrigue, humor and love, The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is an exciting read through and through. I’ve been vaguely familiar with the story for a long time, but there is so much more to it than I ever imagined! I didn’t expect to read this book, I must admit. It was on my list of books to read, but it was floating loosely among the ranks as a “maybe I’ll get to it someday, maybe I won’t” addition. I just happened to find it for free on my NOOK Color at a point in time when free was just the right price. After reading the first sentence, I was hooked, and The Three Musketeers became my “reading now” title.
It did take me a very long time to get through, partially because I was reading it during one of the busiest points in my year, so I only had 20-30 minutes at a time to read once or twice a day and partially because I started planning my NaNoWriMo novel and got a little carried away. I expect that, if I’d had the time to read, I would have gotten through it much faster just because it was such a good book that, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have been able to put it down.
There is a chunk of it maybe 3/4 of the way in that slowed down the plot a good deal, and by the time I was nearing the end, I was ready to move on to my next read, so it seemed to drag a little more slowly than I like, but it picked up again and ended with a whirlwind of plot twists and excitement. I would certainly recommend The Three Musketeers to anyone looking to read more classics since, as far as classic novels go, this one is more fun than challenging.
(As a side note: I started reading this before I knew there was a Three Musketeers movie coming out and, after reading the book, I probably won’t be seeing the movie, because the book is amazing, and the movie looks to me as though it will be a bit of a farce with its airships 160+ years too early.)
Learn more about Alexandre Dumas’s life and works here.
Read it? Rate it!