Friday, October 3, 2014

Review: The Toynbee Convector

The Toynbee ConvectorThe Toynbee Convector by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Toynbee Convector is highly misleading in both title and cover. Ray Bradbury, who has written both exceptional novels (Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes) and short story collections (The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man) swung and missed with this book of bite-sized tales, and mainly because it feels so disjointed and aimless.

The stories in this collection are all over the place, and only one of them ("The Toynbee Convector") could even come close to being considered science fiction. This is the reason I said the title and cover are misleading. Most of the stories feel hollow, and it's strange, given the richness of most of Bradbury's work, rest his soul. There are a few highlights here or there, but mostly, the stories are unfulfilling. You're left wondering, why did I read that?

Overall, The Toynbee Convector is a weak book of short stories from a master in the field. It happens, I guess. So even if you're a Bradbury fanatic, there's no need to read this book. There is much better material in his collection out there. Read that instead.

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