Ray Bradbury’s 9 best books

*Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective, not an advertisement and is not a guide to purchase. Before buying, it is necessary to consult with a specialist.

Everybody knows Ray Bradbury, even those who haven’t read the author’s works. This man’s name has long transcended the genre of fiction. Today he is an acknowledged legend of foreign literature. Ray was once unable to get into military service because of his poor eyesight, endured the ongoing Cold War hard, but still managed to overcome difficulties and build a brilliant career that lasted more than seventy years. A large number of short stories, plays, and novels have come out from under the writer’s pen, some of which have made the lists of must-read books.

Bradbury saw modern society’s increasing fascination with various gadgets and technology, so he sincerely feared that at some point it would lead to dire consequences. The author devoted his dystopias to the subject and was against the electronic format of the editions of his works.

Our experts have prepared a rating including 9 Ray Bradbury books that everyone should read.

Rating of the best Ray Bradbury books

Nominationplacetitle of workrating
Rating of the best Ray Bradbury books1“451 degrees Fahrenheit.”5.0
2“Dandelion Wine.”4.9
3“The Martian Chronicles.”4.8
4“Midsummer Morning, Midsummer Night”4.7
5“And thunder struck.”4.6
6“Man in Pictures.”4.5
7“All Summer in One Day.”4.4
8“Trouble is coming.”4.3
9“Death is a lonely business.”4.2

“451 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Rating: 5.0

Leads a futuristic novel, one of the writer’s most famous. The work is part of the middle school curriculum. The book was written in just nine days, in the early fifties, but its relevance has not been lost over time, but has increased. Ray advocated for libraries and the paper format of books. Afraid people would stop reading literature altogether. Bradbury laid out his fears and vision of the future in the pages of.

The reader is presented with a world filled with mindless entertainment, where everyone’s eyes are fixed on the television. People don’t talk to each other, don’t think, and don’t need literature. Firefighters are now needed not to put out the flames, but to burn books that have become anachronistic. In an interview with The Associated Press in the early 2000s, the writer would say that the novel was based on real facts and on the hatred he felt for those who burned books. The title has a special meaning because 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper burns.

The dystopia is about a government that forbids the people not only to read, but also to keep any works, and it is done ostensibly for the good of. The protagonist, Guy Montag, once meets a young woman who rediscovers the world and makes us look at familiar things from a different angle. Working for a totalitarian state as a firefighter leads Montag to one of the houses where the books were found, but instead of burning everything, the hero takes some of the works home, as he has an inexplicable craving and interest. Guy hides literature behind a vent. When he sees a woman burning herself on one of her shifts, he decides to quit his job, but he takes just one sick day to start, which he wants to spend reflecting on what’s going on and studying the books he keeps in the house. For help, the hero turns to old man Faber, who happened to meet him in the park. After discussion, they make a pact to save the books. So Guy moves into the resistance camp. He becomes a renegade by getting involved in this dangerous game, and now his house, after a denunciation from his neighbors, is to be burned down. How does the hero get out of this situation?? Will he surrender under pressure from the authorities or continue the fight?

“Dandelion Wine.”

Rating: 4.9

Second line goes to a partly autobiographical novel set in the late twenties, in a fictional place called Green Town. The place has a prototype – the author’s hometown, Waukegan, Illinois. The reader gets to live one summer with a twelve-year-old boy, Douglas, and his ten-year-old friend. From the pages, everyone will learn what events can happen in three sunny months.

The narration begins with descriptions of the routines of the American countryside. The only simple joy here is to make wine from dandelion petals. This process becomes the central action of the story. Wine becomes not just a vessel for liquid, but a metaphorical vial for storing the joys of summer. Even in spite of the absence of the familiar to many readers of Bradbury’s books, the magic of ordinary life situations that revolve around a boy and his friend, is fascinating. It is impossible to experience such feelings and emotions again in another age, so the boys hope that the positive emotions are now hidden in ninety bottles along with the dandelion wine.

The tale consists of several small mini-stories linked together by characters. Numerous reviews and reviews say that readers are amazed at how accurately the author has conveyed the summer atmosphere. For example, the scene with the hanging swing near which the whole family gathers at sundown, watching the setting sun and listening to the crickets and cicadas. You needn’t try to read the work with gusto, for, tasting it page by page like a sip by sip, everyone will remember their own childhood, filled with inexplicable magic. Suitable for a wide reading audience.

“The Martian Chronicles.”

Rating: 4.8

Third position goes to the novel, which made its debut in the fifties. It is this book that brings Bradbury universal acclaim. The story is about humans militantly colonizing a utopian Martian nation. The work is made up of a chain of interconnected short stories, each one poking fun at societal problems that were topical at the time and remain so today–the superpower struggle for control of the planet, capitalism, racism, etc. d.

It is clear from the first pages that this is not Mars, but the Earth, the destruction of which is being wrought by men themselves… The action begins in the late nineties, when a huge rocket is being built that could travel sixty million light years to reach the red planet. In winter they will organize an expedition, consisting of the brave men who dared to be the first who will go on a dangerous journey. The author, in parallel, introduces the reader to a Martian resident, Mrs. K. She has been having strange dreams about aliens for several nights. While sharing her fears with her husband, a woman mentions the name of a stranger, Nathaniel York, who is among the invaders. Mr. K laughs at the whims of the other half, because people with pale skin and light blue eyes can not exist and there is no life on Earth because of the mismatch of the atmosphere. On Earth, meanwhile, wars continue to ravage more and more cities. America is bombed time and again, and Australia almost went under the water from the constant explosions. People run to Mars for salvation, but find doom. Expedition after expedition is defeated, finding themselves in strange circumstances. The reader will learn whether people can colonize the red planet and what difficulties they will face.

The book is written in an interesting, accessible language and therefore is easy to read. Will interest all fans of space travel, as well as people who want to look at the modern world through Ray Bradbury’s metaphors.

“Summer Morning, Summer Night.”

Rating: 4.7

In fourth place in the rating is a surprising work, of which one critic said it was as intoxicating as “Dandelion Wine,” as refreshing as apple and apricot, as water, which one begins to sip with thirst, waking up in the middle of the night, from a cool tin ladle. Readers will plunge into the unique atmosphere of Greentown, where summer never ends. The book is a collection of short stories, twenty-seven in all, bringing deep meaning and the mood of warm days.

Each story is filled with simplicity and ease, though there is a flip side, otherwise it wouldn’t be so interesting. The stories are united by the author’s writing style. As you immerse yourself in the book, you learn the fates of the characters, intertwined with nature’s greenery, love and death. Reviews note that the stories “Scream from Underground,” “All Summer in One Night,” “Fireflies,” “Anything Happens,” “Miss Bidwell,” “Seven Rivers,” “Autumn Day,” “In June, at the Darkest Hour of Night,” “There and Back Again,” “Summer Walk” and “At the End of Summer” were the most powerful. All of the stories in the collection together look like one, although they tell about different people, events. In one – a wonderful allegory of fire and love of a young girl, in the other – a heartfelt love story, for which the difference in age, but even the opposite, in another – the emotional indifference; in the next – the severity of feelings and experiences. Everywhere there are different endings, destinies, and important passages in life. Some of the characters are spinning in a frenzied dance, while others are quietly and deliberately listening to the echoes of their past.

There are genuine feelings and emotions that the reader will live through, experiencing at times sympathy and solidarity, and at times fear and excitement. The familiar characters of “Dandelion Wine” will be encountered on the pages of the book. The book is great for those who loved this novel. Advised to read on overcast, cool weather to lift your spirits and feel the summer breeze filled with the scents of herbs and flowers.

“And there was thunder.”

Rating: 4.6

The fifth is a story about a passionate hunter who is bored with the usual safari, so he goes back in time with the desire to hunt a dinosaur. The rules are strict, allowing only one animal to be killed. At the heart of the story is a theory called the “butterfly effect,” saying that even minor changes to the past can have disastrous consequences for the future. At the time the story was written, the term did not exist, so the work used to refer to chaos theory. A film adaptation of the same name took place in the early twenties.

Eckels, an amateur hunter, is made aware of the rules by his supervisor Travis: you must not step off the special anti-gravity path, for even stepping on a blade of grass can set off a chain of irreparable changes in the future; you may kill a Tyrannosaurus, which will soon die of natural causes; at the end you must remove traces of your stay in the past, including bullets. At first, everything went according to plan, until the dinosaur came along. Eckels did not expect to see such a huge beast. Greatly frightened, the protagonist steps off the trail and runs wherever he can see. While the rest of the group battles the dinosaur, he climbs into the time machine. Back from their journey, the hunters discover a global change. Wrong president, language, even man and the atmosphere of Earth. Eckels notices that one of his shoes has a crushed butterfly on it, which he accidentally crushed when he stepped off the trail. Realizing the horror, Eckels decides to go back and make things right, but Travis takes the gun.

“And Thunder Rocked” is an inexorable, time-flow-like, harsh work that shows that some actions and mistakes cannot be made, because you cannot turn back later to relive the moment once more. The story is instructive and thought-provoking about the human thirst for empty and sometimes foolish and dangerous entertainment.

“Man in Pictures.”

Rating: 4.5

The sixth position gets a collection consisting of eighteen short stories with popular science themes, written in the early fifties. The author tries to look into the human essence to understand and describe the reasons for certain behaviors. The struggle between psychology and technology only increases, and in parallel the reader is introduced to the life of the tattooed vagabond, in other words, the man in pictures. Bradbury took this character from a previous collection called “The Dark Carnival”.

Critics unanimously declare that Man in Pictures is a collection of the blossoming creative powers of the writer. The themes raised in the pages will later form the basis of Ray’s fantastic philosophy. The stories share a common theme, that of a painted man whose pictures come to life at night, revealing to the reader alternately startling and eerie and terrifying predictions of the future. All the stories are sketches from the body of a vagabond. In this mode you will see the terrifying Veldt and the city that possesses people, puppets that chill and dream to take the places of originals, Jesus returning to Mars, Venus raining eternal rain, writers settling on the red planet together with the characters of their works. A lot more fantastic, beautiful and horrible things will happen.

The collection is filled with the magic of the cosmos and human vices. In the reviews, readers especially note six stories: “Other Times,” “Veld,” “The Hour of Lesson,” “The Concrete Mixer,” “Cats and Mice,” “The Cosmonaut”. The book will appeal even to those who are not interested in fantasy or refers to this genre rather quietly.

“All Summer in One Day.”

Rating: 4.4

Seventh goes to a story about childhood cruelty. The narration is about a situation occurring not only among children, because the feeling of black envy and desire to do meanness to others is present in people of all ages.

A simple plot twists around a girl who has become an outcast in her class. The school described is on Venus, where the rain never ends, and the sky is covered with blue, dark, and heavy clouds that hang low over the passing. The sun appears here once every seven years and only for a few hours. Of all the students, Margot was the only one who saw the Sun… The little girl had a bad life on a rainy planet, especially with the memories of the warmth radiated by a big yellow disk; of snow-white weightless clouds floating on the soft blue sky; of caressing warm rays touching the skin; of playing tag in the fresh air, but not in the damp underground corridors. Envy and hatred settle in the hearts of children who were hurt that they did not see the coveted star in the sky. Such feelings push the brutal act toward Margo. In the reader, this may bring condemnation, but Bradbury shows that it is not all so unequivocal, and perhaps in other circumstances, students have not committed such. But the truth remains unshakable – the situation has happened. Repentance comes only when the dark, wet streets are bathed in the children’s first sunshine, but nothing can be undone.

Though the story is short, it takes a long time to let go of the experience. The reviews and reviews say that every line here is filled with meaning that you can think about for hours. Appropriate for a general reading audience.

“Trouble is Coming.”

Rating: 4.3

The eighth becomes another short story-parable. Unlike the previous one, it’s about ominous, horror-inducing events. The spooky merry-go-round will spin when the first visitors enter the Mirror Maze. A festive carnival will turn to tragedy, and the small town, the venue, will be at the mercy of evil forces. Only residents with a pure heart and soul can save themselves and help others from turning into horrible zombies.

The reader will meet a man in pictures and an old witch with her eyelids sewn shut, as well as many other freaks who live in a mobile moon park. A seemingly ordinary tarp is the black wings of an ancient bird; the cages smell of wild bloodthirsty beasts, the carousel spins backward, and a mirrored maze lures and does not let go. The promise of free tickets and fun stupefies the citizens, who live in anticipation of the upcoming event. If not for two boys, friends following each other everywhere and always, it could have ended very miserably. The comrades, one with hair as white as down and the other as black as thistles, reveal the terrible mystery of carnival and the evil it brings with it. The author gradually builds up fear from the first pages, preparing the reader for something to happen.

This story is about the eternal battle of good in the face of light versus evil in the face of darkness. Bradbury filled the story with symbolism, for example, the boys Willie Hallway and Jim Knitschel are the light and the shadow, and thus a difficult choice in everyone’s life. The main negative character, Mr. Dark, is a concentration of misfortune and disasters that can only be defeated by knowledge, kindness, mercy and smiles, for “do not let sorrow cling to your tears, it will make you smile. Recommended reading for everyone, especially teenagers.

“Death is a lonely business.”

Rating: 4.2

Closes the rating with a detective novel set in California in the late forties, in a town called Venice. A series of brutal murders are committed, unambiguously linked to each other. They capture the attention of a young aspiring writer (Bradbury’s prototype). Together with detective Elmo Crumley, the writer tries to figure out the circumstances of what happened. The book is based on real murders committed in Los Angeles from the forty-second to the fifties. Bradbury lived there at the time and followed the story with undisguised interest.

Events begin to unfold on a rainy evening when the writer is riding on a streetcar and hears a shout-out: “Death is a young thing!”. Afterwards, he discovers a male corpse in a canal. When a police officer arrives on the scene, he tries to prove that the death was not accidental. But the investigator is skeptical at first and only then, when the bodies appear one by one, takes it upon himself to investigate a series of. The protagonist, as a creative individual, is a bit out of this world, his perception of his surroundings is very different, taking place on some other level. Crumley is also an unusual detective, so these two get along from the first minutes. The characters bear a strong resemblance, they need each other to bring the case to a successful conclusion. True, this does not exclude controversy and disagreement. The dialogues of the characters are full of sparkling jokes and witty retorts, so they are especially fun to read.

The book is full of subtle humor, and even against the tragic background of what is happening there is something to smile or laugh about. As many readers have said, the author has written a work of noir. And the highlight of the text was the atmosphere and interesting comparisons. The detective plot unfolds slowly, but with each turn it sharpened the intrigue, keeping the attention. Recommended for all fans of the detective genre.

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