The Martian Chronicles

“Raw, gentle, and easy, it mizzled out of the high air, a special elixir, tasting of spells and stars and air, carrying a peppery dust in it, and moving like a rare, light sherry on his tongue.”
-Ray Bradbury

Note: If you have not read any of Ray Bradbury’s masterpieces of lyrical beauty, then you have been living your life in a dank, subterranean cave, only hearing stories of the sun and all it’s glory, and not experiencing it for yourself. My writing and the lens in which I examine the world have been enhanced a million times over, thanks to Mr. Bradbury.

Stepping down from the soapbox, I get back to my purpose…

I recently read “The Martian Chronicles,” by Ray Bradbury. A few months ago I read “Fahrenheit 451,” and my mind has been drooling ever since. His artisan grasp of words leaves every sentence a stroke in the masterpieces that are Bradbury’s The quote given above is just one of the jewels from “The Martian Chronicles” that I pulled out for my personal enjoyment.

Aside from his colorful descriptions, the format of the story was brilliantly orchestrated. The story is set up as a recounting of the history of the settling of Mars by the citizens of Earth. Rather than having chapters, the book is broken into journal entries detailing the general settling of Mars, much like an anthology of American pioneers’ diaries. Thus, there is no single storyline about a person and their life, but a snapshot of individuals throughout the history of Earth’s settlement of Mars.

All that aside, the story was filled with thought-provoking incidents. The topics Bradbury weaves through his tale range from love to obsessive serial-killing, madness to revenge, joy to tranquility, and enough to fill the space between Earth and the Red Planet!

My favorite “entry” happened to be a rather macabre tale of revenge, surprising me as I’m not usually a fan of the macabre. The tale was about a wealthy heir who moved to Mars and hired a host architects and home designers to recreate “The House of Usher,” a renowned Edgar Allan Poe’s. With all of its dreary, ghoulish splendor he planned to ensnare venerable leaders of Earth who had banned literature and the creative arts, killing them with creations and machinations from those famous works, using dragons, the pendulum from “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and various other gruesome methods.

After reading it I wondered why I had enjoyed it so much: it was a grim story of unrelenting slaughter, anyway. Then I realized that the artistry of words, the cleverness of the revenge, and my indignation at the burning of beautiful literature all put this story into perspective for me, and it is now a classic in my mind.

[prepare yourself for your over-used, shameless plug]

So, if you’re ever looking for a delightful, thought-provoking, imaginatively beautiful tale, read the The Martian Chronicles, it shall not disappoint. Trust me.

Peace out homies! ✌️

[yes, that name is not real, but it’s a cool, fantasy name I made up as a pseudonym, so violah!]


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