Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* First published in 1950, this collection of linked short stories (many previously published in the 1940s) chronicles Earth's attempts to colonize Mars, beginning in 1999 and concluding with the nuclear annihilation of Earth in 2026. Wildly imaginative and told in Bradbury's signature poetic voice, the stories are often elegiac in tone, mourning the death of an ancient Martian civilization in the wake of Earth's rough arrival. Though some of its contents are dated especially a story about racial prejudice ( Way in the Middle of the Air ) and another that borders on the misogynistic ( The Silent Towns ) this remains one of Bradbury's (and science fiction's) most important books, since it established a mainstream readership for both author and genre. Its loose, episodic structure foreshadows such later books as The Illustrated Man and Dandelion Wine, while the theme of one of the stories ( Usher II ) censorship run amok will be further developed in Bradbury's famous novel Fahrenheit 451. Another story, There Will Come Soft Rains, about an automated house's attempts to maintain itself in the wake of nuclear holocaust, remains one of Bradbury's most famous. Like so many others in this landmark book, it is surprising, haunting, and deeply troubling.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2008 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
The Martian Chronicles, widely considered to be sf legend Bradbury's masterpiece, is less science fiction than social commentary on the America of the years immediately following World War II. These stories of Earth's colonization of Mars, including the accidental wiping out of most Martians and a nuclear war back home, are really about what concerned many Americans at the time they were written: the threat of annihilation, conformity, racism, censorship, the promise and fear of technology, and the stability of the family. Bradbury is essentially asking an audience nostalgic for a simpler time to examine the nature of civilization. While his characters and plots seem a bit dated, his themes still resonate. Peter Marinker is an excellent narrator; his wide variety of character voices truly enhance the material. Recommended for all collections.Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr., New York(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.