Caution, mild spoilers ahead.
“Ignorance is fatal.”
The Martian Chronicles was a book that my dad mentioned whenever we talked about good books and classic science fiction. Ray Bradbury was known to me since I was little and I think Fahrenheit 451 was one of the books that showed me that love for literature that all of us practiced readers have. It was short, precise and it painted a futuristic image that we’ve almost achieved in today’s society. With the exception of burning books… Wait, I heard some priests in Poland actually have burned Harry Potter ones…
But I am here not to talk about Fahrenheit 451 no matter how good it was, but about The Martian Chronicles.
It had been on my want-to-read list for far too long and then on my bookshelf for another few months before I finally opened it.
I came biased and I don’t regret it. I enjoyed every last page of it.
Not a single review of this book can be done without a quote that describes the human nature just the way it is. For me there was a passage to be remembered on almost all the pages.
But I am going to try not to copy the whole book just to make the review. I just think that Ray Bradbury saw us for who we are. Humans, creatures capable of adapting, but preferring to smooth the edges whenever it is possible to make our lives easier, to pollute and corrupt whatever we touch but still capable of greatness.
This book is a collection of stories, sometimes a few-pages long showing only a glimpse of a well-constructed and a bit scary world, other times they’re a long-narratives exploring an alien race and their upper hand in the evolution but lacking to foresee the total destruction by the our race. The symbolism of our perceived greatness, but flawed actions appears throughout the book.
The Martian Chronicles makes us ask numerous questions about who we are and what is the reason for our presence here. I just hope that there are more of us out there that are like Jeff Spender or even Captain Wilder than Biggs or Parkhill.
As in any science fiction, Ray Bradbury uses the imagined future it to create a world in which he can talk about what he wants, to describe and criticize it in subtle ways. He succeeds in getting the message across to the reader. The only question is will we achieve greatness or stay a blunt race that will do anything to accommodate themselves disregarding the consequences.
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