R Is for Rocket

By: Ray Bradbury

He can make you see things that have never been seen by human eyes. Feel things that no flesh-and-
blood creature has ever felt. He can create visions so compelling that they seem to dance before your eyes. He can push you back to the beginnings of time and then suddenly, without warning, thrust you forward the outmost limits of the future. But most of all, he can ensnare you in his strange worlds so that you never want to leave.


I hope that this is the one and only time that I give a Ray Bradbury book less than 5 stars. To
say that giving one of his books less than a perfect score is painful would be an understatement. My
favorite author, a man I hold in higher regard than almost any other author, has disappointed me.


There’s something so dissatisfying about picking up a short story collection that you later realize
recycled/repeats stories from other anthologies. The more of Bradbury’s works I read, the more I
understand that such practices were common. Of the 17 stories, 4 of them I’d already read previously
which makes me restless. I know, you might think, that’s 13 new stories. What’s the problem? The issue
is that those 4 stories make up nearly a quarter of the whole book. That doesn’t sit well with me, not
because I didn’t love those stories when I read them or that I wasn’t willing to reread them. The problem is that I didn’t sign on to reread tales I’ve seen before. I wanted new content and only new content because then I can be joyfully suprised by new and exciting ideas. Had I wanted to pick up something
familiar, I could have just reread those stories from the anthologies already sitting on my shelf.


To top it off, I only cared about 9 of the 13 new stories. The others I could take or leave. I’ve never had
that happen before, and I don’t particularly like that it’s happening now. So, this will be an incredibly short review as it’s hard to articulate what I enjoyed about a story that’s 10 pages in its entirety without giving the whole thing away. If you can find these stories online for free without buying this collection, I would encourage you to read them.My favorites are as follows:

  • R Is for Rocket
  • Fog Horn
  • The Rocket Man
  • The Sound of Thunder
  • Here There Be Tygers
  • The Strawberry Window
  • The Dragon
  • Frost and Fire
  • Uncle Einar

Overall Rating: 4

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