Friday, September 5, 2014

Review Me Twice - The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

This is Alex's favorite book, and I do enjoy it.  I mean, Bradbury is a well known writer for a reason.  But, this is one of those times that you realize why Alex and I enjoy such different favorite books.  The Martian Chronicles is a series of short stories that are loosely related.  They're obviously chronological (and would be even if he didn't mark them with the date at the top) and Bradbury takes us through the extinction of the Martian race and then, inevitably, the human race.

Bradbury is a lot like Orwell.  He kind of hits you over the head with the message.  We're industrializing too much.  We don't respect cultures.  There's too much censorship.  We need to just live and let live (I don't know this for sure, but I get the feeling he was a Republican.  And I'm not even saying as a mean thing.  The vibe I get is just very anti-big government, pro-the individual.)  Orwell is very similar in the writing style.  He's really obvious about the message.  Almost like we, as readers, aren't smart enough to figure it out if we're not completely hit over the head with it (remember that conversation about didactic writing?)

That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the book.  There's something about Bradbury's writing that's just... I don't know.  Calming.  It's soothing and enjoyable and like being read a good story by Barry White.  He just has that kind of writing that you can't help but enjoy, so even though it should kind of drive you crazy, it doesn't because he just writes it so well.

So, I liked the book, but I don't LOVE the book, like I know Alex loves the book.

(Why yes, I did write my review two days late... Let's just say it's because I assumed you've picked up on all the clues that I love this book and didn't really need my review.)

You may have heard that this is my favorite book! You may have even heard that I have a tattoo based on it. Both of these things are true.

I love good sci-fi, especially from the 1960s-ish era, I love collections of short stories (related or not), and I love Ray Bradbury's work. So it's kind of like the perfect book for me. I particularly like that all the stories are from very different perspectives. You have the astronauts on the first few expeditions to Mars; you have the Martians themselves; you have people from out in the country, people with the high-tech commodities in cities, families, loners, eccentric billionaires... everyone is a part of the story.

And this is a book that I can carry everywhere (it's short enough that the book fits in my purse... well, the paperback does, anyway) and pick up at any time to read from any point. It comes in very handy in waiting rooms or if you have a few minutes to kill before you need to go somewhere.

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