The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury (first published in 1951) is one of my all-time favourite books. I found a copy in my late grandfather’s collection of books, and was intrigued by the cover design, so I sat down to read it. I cannot remember how many hours it took me to read it, but I certainly recalled that I did not let the book go until it was finished. Before The Illustrated Man, I was only interested in crime novels and chick lit. After reading Bradbury’s eighteen weird tales of the nature of mankind, I became a huge fan of science fiction books.
I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds earlier when Dr. Spencer Reid mentioned the book in relation to one of the unknown subjects they were investigating. It’s been years since I last read the book, but the stories are still clear to me as if I only read them yesterday. One of my favourite stories in there is The Long Rain, where four astronauts hike through the never-ending rain of the jungles of Venus in search for the shelter of a Sun Dome.
It’s raining right now as I type this, and while I am safe and warm inside the house, I can still imagine how a rain refusing to let up and does not allow for a moment of peace or calm can tear away at the sanity of men. I shudder when I remember what happened to three of the four characters in the story. Makes you wish you can go to somewhere else ASAP, trading the bleak weather for a place warm and sunny.
Heck it’s what I wish for right now, what with the everyday rain since last week. It’s not exactly making me stir crazy, but it does make me want to see a bit of sunshine and stay in bed all day. Which is a good excuse, actually, to re-read The Illustrated Man, but this time on e-book, since I have no idea whose hands my grandfather’s copy of the book is in right now.
Read an oldie but a goodie with me on this rainy day?