donderdag 24 september 2015

Ray Bradbury: The Martian Chronicles


The Martian Chronicles is my second book by Ray Bradbury.
I got this beautiful edition from Bol and it has 241 pages.
It’s hard to believe that this story was first published in 1950. It doesn’t feel like a 65 year old novel most of the time.

“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 book is a collection of short stories that go together; not just because of the general themes (Mars, race, life, death, religion, loneliness, fear, politics and colonization) but also because of the timeline and the feeling throughout the book.
The stories give different perspectives of life on Mars. Obviously these stories refer to humans on Earth’s colonization past.
So every character lasts for only one chapter/story in which he/she is part of the greater story about Mars.
Each story is very different from the ones before even if they are about something similar (landing on Mars for example) and this makes for an engrossing and interesting collection full of thought-provoking stories.

The stories are very easy to read because of the simple but effective and quite beautiful prose and style used.

This whole collection is weird, definitely disturbing, spooky, very good and full of cynicism and bitter irony.
I couldn’t try to tell what my favorite story is. There were so many I absolutely loved.

But it’s a shame Bradbury didn’t give us a strong female character in this book. Still, it’s a product of its time so that’s not really surprising.

Happy reading!