I bought a copy of "The Illustrated Man" and it does NOT have "Zero Hour" in it. Maybe this is the difference between the US and UK Publisher.
When I recently listened to the Radio Drama, I tended to liken the children to what Lenin called "Useful Idiots". And the Parents as the "Willfully Blind" west. ((09/10/ 2001). I wanted to read someone's else opinion on this.
The royal "we" eh? Sorry about the Smarties revelation - I was just being pesky and diatribal. The Milky Bars are on me!
The UK (and consequently Australian) edition of ILL.MAN has a few stories omitted ('Zero Hour', 'The Concrete Mixer' and one or two others) and at least one story ('The Playground') was added. Curious.
Ah, yes I was forgetting that The Illustrated Man has different contents depending on where you are in the world. (As does The October Country, I believe, and sometimes The Martian Chronicles.)
T743441544, I think your characterisation of the children and parents is spot on for that radio dramatisation. I think things are a bit subtler (or more multi-faceted) in the original short story, though, as the story seems to be:
(a) showing the parents as somewhat negligent as parents (compare to "The Veldt", which has a similar theme)
(b) showing the intense seriousness of childhood play
(c) showing a distinct break between the child's ability to fantasise and the parent's INability to do the same (RB highlights this by having some older children come along who just don't get the game)
(d) celebrating the power of imaginative play
The X Minus One version is, I think, a nice 1950s McCarthy-era take on one aspect of the short story, but doesn't have the richness (timelessness) of the Bradbury original. When Bradbury adapted it himself for Ray Bradbury Theater, he put all of those elements back in, although the episode is very poorly directed in my opinion, and so it doesn't make very good television.
I like that the British say "spot on".
We used to hear "top drawer" too.
I'm working at a disadvantage. All I know about the story is what I've heard. The reason I joined this fourm was to find out more about the story that the Radio play was bassed on. Now I have to find the story.
I find, that I like the stories of "early Bradbury". How he found about the rental typewriters in the basement of the Library and the like.
So any more enlightinment you and others may have please pass them along.
T743etc, I didn't realise you hadn't yet located the story. If you can wait a couple of days, I may be able to scan it and email it to you, if you cna give me your address.
(If you don't want to post your email address in a public forum, head over to my website and email me from there.)
Thank you in advance for your offer. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can't wait to read the whole story.
If you're looking for details on the stories and publication, I think you need to get:
Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction. By Jonathan R. Eller and William F. Touponce. The Kent State University Press, 2004. An amazingly well researched book on Bradbury's work.
If you're looking for stories about Bradbury, get Sam Weller's authorized biography: The Bradbury Chronicles: Predicting the Past, Remembering the Future. William Morrow Publishers, 2005.
Both are excellent and both are available through Amazon.com
I think I will read "Zero Hour" to Spouse tonight. Last night I read the final two "parts" (kinda like chapters) of THE IRON MAN by Ted Hughes to Spouse. It went over really well. As opposed to the animated THE IRON GIANT, which is an adaptation of the Hughes story (remember, Hogarth Hughes or Hog Hug?), the ending is really transcendental, mystical, spiritual, New Age even. The ending is just beatiful, and there is quite a macho, if not masochistic, showdown leading up to it. I give it 5 stars *****.
"Years from now we want to go into the pub and tell about the Terrible Conflagration up at the Place, do we not?"
Many thanks for the PDF, I'll be posting my opinions very soon.
Okay, Now that I have read the story.......
I have said in this forum, the Children are "the Left Wing Elite" and the parents and the older children are the rest of Western Societies. They ignored the danger because they were "Impregnable". The angry, immature children conspired with their enemies to destroy them. What the children didn't know (or cared to know) was that they too would be killed. But, that doesn't matter as long as the people They didn't like "were killed it first" (Grown ups, Children over 10, the people who laughed at them).
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