The Martian Chronicles

Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles Cover

Classic Tales from a Master Storyteller


This was my first read (or rather listen) of The Martian Chronicles. I really enjoyed the style of the book, the various short stories weaving an interconnected tapestry telling the history of Earth men and Mars over the period of 27 years. All the stories are good but I do have a few favorites. In The Earth Men, the second expedition of men from Earth is all but ignored by the native Martians until they're confined to a Martian mental hospital as delusional. The Third Expedition finds the tertiary wave of men from Earth met by dead loved ones, seemingly alive and well on Mars, waiting with open arms. A murderous mad man fights back against the censorship of the imagination in Usher II. Finally, in The Martian, a couple believes that their long dead son has returned to them on the planet they now call home. All of these are excellent tales from a master storyteller.

I listened to this as an audiobook, narrated by Scott Brick, an award-winning narrator of over 600 audiobooks. The first audiobook I heard narrated by Brick was Erik Larson's excellent Devil in the White City. The second was the unabridged version of Ayn Rand's magnum opus Atlas Shrugged, a long, tortuous novel that I had to force myself to finish. When I heard him start the narration for The Martian Chronicles, it almost immediately put a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe I'm suffering from PTSD after Atlas Shrugged, I don't know, but I (at least tried to) put aside my prejudice and continued on listening. Fortunately, Bradbury's writing is far superior to Rand's so the experience was far more enjoyable. Still though, I have to say that I just don't really care for Brick's delivery. Maybe I just haven't found the right book that he's narrated, I don't know. With over 600 to choose from, including many of my upcoming listens like Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Frank Herbert's Dune, where he is part of an ensemble cast, I'll have plenty of opportunity to find out.