The Vintage Bradbury

November 4th, 2009

vintagebradbury There are only three stories in The Vintage Bradbury (1965) that were not in the previous anthologies. The Vintage Bradbury is the first (of many) Bradbury greatest hits collections. This one dates from 1965 and I remember being disappointed that there were only a few new stories. The stories are not really new, just not previously anthologized.

My favorite is the story The Illustrated Man. The collection called The Illustrated Man does not contain a story called the Illustrated Man, which in my opinion is a strange thing. The story is an expansion of the idea that appear as the interstitial material in the collection and is pretty good. I like the last view of the Illustrated man’s final illustration as it appeals to my math sensibilities.

There is a Martian story called Night Meeting which is better than many of the Mars stories in or out of The Martian Chronicles. It is about a meeting between a Man and a Martian across millions of years. There is also a Mexican story And the Rock Cried Out. I am not a big fan of Bradbury’s Mexican stories, but this one has a very good premise. What would happen if Americans suddenly become the world’s illegal aliens without the mighty US government to protect our interests? I liked it.

The rest of the stories, Bradbury’s Greatest Hits, are diminished by the fact that they appeared everywhere. Each of the stories has been anthologized and adapted to radio or TV many times and I’ve read them enough that they have lost their appeal to me. Rather than read the Vintage Bradbury, I would suggest reading Some of the previously discussed anthologies or jump right into Martian Chronicles or Dandelion Wine.

There is an Introduction by Gilbert Highet that contains nothing new or interesting and can be skipped.

I am counting this as Book #10 in my October is Bradbury Month series, even if it only had three new stories. These three stories are worth seeking out the Vintage Bradbury. I don’t think that they can be found in other collections.

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