It’s kind of hard to review a story collection, especially one like this, because it includes 32 completely different short stories. So instead, I’m going to post mini reviews of four of the stories each month, for eight total posts. This month’s post is the second installment. Enjoy the next four stories, and if you missed it, check out the first post here!
The Flying Machine
In ancient China, a man builds a flying machine. Unfortunately, the Emperor is displeased. This super-short story manages to be truly sad in just a few pages, and really makes you think about the things we consider miracles—and how they, when examined from different angles, can become the stuff of nightmares.
An eerily prescient story about the ubiquity of technology—particularly technology that allows us to be contacted anytime, because we always have our devices with us—The Murderer is the classic story of a man who just can’t take it anymore. I shudder to think of what Bradbury would think of the Apple Watch.
The Golden Kite, The Silver Wind
Two ancient Chinese towns continually change the shapes of the walls surrounding their lands, each working tirelessly to out-build the other. This story was originally published long enough ago (1953) that I can’t be sure if the blatant misogyny is satirical or not. I’m going to give Bradbury the benefit of the doubt and say it is.
I See You Never
A boarding house tenant gets deported for overstaying his visa. This was another particularly poignant story, considering the state of immigration laws, and another story that managed to be terribly sad despite only being a few pages long.by