Monday, May 2, 2011
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
By: Ray Bradbury
Audiobook Read by: Scott Brick
My rating: Interesting
If you've followed me for a while you may have seen that I was totally blown away by Ray's book Fahrenheit 451. I decided to try some of his other work and being a Science Fiction nut I thought I'd go for this one. I must say, it was very odd and not at all what I expected!
We all know that Martians are little green men with six arms and eleven eyes looking all around them at once, don't we? Well, maybe not after we reach the age of 12 but definitely before that we are enamored by daydreams of what a Martian might be like. Ray has painted a picture that flies in the face of any imagining I ever had of Martians by his portrayal of them as quiet, cultured beings of grace and beauty. As the story progresses we see the impact of human colonization on Mars and how in a very short time we as humans manage to ruin thousands of years of culture and replace it with our own warped morals and misguided opinions! Each new wave of explorers, adventurers, and settlers brings with it more and more of the disintegrating culture of Earth which is exactly what many of them are trying to escape! In the end, they find that no matter how hard they try to escape, there is nothing they can do. The destruction will follow them and pull them back every time!
This was a study of the decline of our societies and a picture of the destructive path we, as a race, are walking. Ray is attempting to show the error of our ways in this book and points out the fact that running from it won't do anything but spread the poison of arrogance we seem to be so prone to. As far as a plot goes, the story on it's surface is mildly entertaining at best, but looking deeper is pretty dark and disturbing. I found the technology amusing since it is based around 1950s ideas and is often behind today's advances instead of being innovative as I'm sure it was when Ray was writing this. The book's message is quite clear and just as relevant today as it was 60 years ago; We as a race are heading for a destruction of our own making!
I listened to the audiobook read by Scott Brick. I have enjoyed his work on other books but this one was a little disappointing for me. He used a very melancholy voice and it kind of droned on and on in a sing song style that I didn't enjoy very much.
Overall this was an interesting book just for the odd ideas of space travel and what Mars might be like but it isn't something I would rush out to get by any means.