Web standards alert

Account: log in (or sign up)
onebee Writing Photos Reviews About

"A Sound of Thunder" - free reads!—2:27 PM

Andy mentioned today that Warner Brothers is releasing a movie based on Ray Bradbury's short story "A Sound of Thunder". I haven't read the story, but most of us are familiar with its general theme because The Simpsons spoofed it in the "Time and Punishment" segment of their 1994 Halloween episode, "Treehouse of Horror V". Homer goes back in time with a magic toaster, and returns to see that seemingly minor changes in the distant past have created various drastic effects in his present.

The trailer seems interesting although the film necessarily departs from Bradbury's story. (Andy also noted that the film has more writers than can fit in one billing block, which is generally a red flag.) Regardless, the idea of the story is a fascinating analysis of the paradoxes of time travel – a subject always near and dear to my heart.

As luck would have it, Wikipedia links to a copy of the story online. Since I'll be traveling this weekend, I thought it might make dandy plane reading. It simply wouldn't do to just print out the web page version (this is me, after all), so I laid it out with proper type and margins in InDesign, then crafted it into a booklet that I could carry with me. It turned out pretty nicely, so I decided to share it with you in case you want to read it.

I have no idea why the full text of this story is freely available online. As far as I can tell, it's still protected by copyright. However, if Dr. Snavely can do it, I assume I can as well. We'll try it at least until some crazy lawyers tell me to take it down.

UPDATE 11/22/2016, 9pm: On that note, apparently the folks minding the works after Ray's passing have a hard limit of 11.5 years, and then they bring the hammer down! My web host was contacted with a DMCA complaint, and they are extremely good people, so I removed the files immediately in order to spare them any trouble (or risk them kicking me out–I love it here!). My apologies to anyone seeking the text of the short story, and to all you tireless eighth grade teachers doing your best to keep things interesting in an underfunded school system... to the library with you! (I know, right? So gggggggaaaayyyy.)

A Sound of Thunder [61k PDF]

If you want the booklet like I made, try this one instead. (Print the first five pages on the back of the last five, fold, and staple.)

A Sound of Thunder (booklet) [61k PDF]

By the way, if anyone has any tips on how to get InDesign to output a booklet like this, please do pass them along. The method I've always used is to get a page count, dummy up a mock booklet, and work out which pages should be printed on the back of which by hand. Then I just rearrange them in InDesign and print. I'm sure there's an easier way – I just don't do this often enough to know what it is.

55 Comments (Add your comments)

"Julian"Tue, 9/6/05 4:19pm

Thanks for the full text of A Sound of Thunder - been lookin' for that!

"john"Mon, 9/12/05 9:41pm

the link seems to not exist any more. can someone please email me a copy of the full text of a sound of thunder. my email is john3690@hotmail.com

""trinket""Sun, 4/9/06 5:36pm

This is such a great site! Thank you :o)

"Clunie"Thu, 4/13/06 5:08pm

Thankyou so much for this, been looking for this for ages:)

Anonymous CowardTue, 5/2/06 7:44pm

thanx this is a good book

Anonymous CowardWed, 6/28/06 10:37am

It was a nice pdf, story has anyone got a vhs copy of the original tv show the raybradbury theatre A sound of thunder, i think 1985 , had a copy on vhs ages ago but lost it, It had the hunter guy from jurasic park in it, i remember it was very good. So if anyone has a copy of it leave me your email addy cheers bob

"scott"Wed, 9/13/06 8:32pm

great story i really liked it

Anonymous CowardWed, 9/27/06 12:33pm

First time reading this was in 8th grade (1984) for discussion. Couldn't remember title, etc., so Googled safari, time travel, dinosaur, etc. Great effort & much appreciated.

Anonymous CowardSun, 10/1/06 8:12pm


Anonymous CowardThu, 10/5/06 3:58pm


Anonymous CowardSun, 10/29/06 6:02pm

fuk this fuken lame shit

Anonymous CowardThu, 11/2/06 6:46pm

Very good! Great example of the butterfly affect and great moral/theme – that the small things we do now can affect the future massively.

"Im an anonymous coward"Wed, 11/22/06 10:45pm

I love this story, and the cheap movie made everywhere else take down the file, so thanks

"Lisa"Wed, 11/29/06 5:06pm

Dude! Thanks a LOT for the copy of the story. I wanted to use it in teaching and couldn't find it. You've helped out 23 students today!! Thanks! :)

Bee BoyThu, 11/30/06 9:51am

a) No, it is you who is helping those students. They're our future, and you're in the trenches giving them a better life. Thank you!

b) A class size of 23! That's certainly encouraging to hear. I suppose it could always be better, but considering in some schools that number approaches 40, I'm very glad you're working with a better ratio (or a massive truancy problem – not as good).

c) I would've given anything for a teacher who started a sentence with "Dude!"

Anonymous CowardTue, 12/5/06 9:56am


Anonymous CowardMon, 12/25/06 5:53pm

this site is great thanks, i needed a copy of that, great story, encouraged me to go buy his book on more short stories, thanks again

Anonymous CowardSun, 12/31/06 11:37pm

Thanks for providing this! I am planning on using it in my 8th grade Science classes as an interdisciplinary project with 8th grade English classes.

"Tai Lee"Tue, 1/9/07 11:53pm

i've tried to see the story, and it's not coming up, what am I doing wrong?

"dayi"Tue, 1/23/07 8:09am

i tryed every site i now and nothing

Anonymous CowardThu, 2/8/07 12:43am

"Design Diva" Thrilled to find this, it isone of my all time favourites"

Anonymous CowardThu, 3/8/07 3:59pm

wuts going on?

Anonymous CowardSun, 6/3/07 12:26am

Em... Where's the italicised words? I thought the original had them....

"Chad"Wed, 9/19/07 5:53pm

Thanks for this. I first read A Sound of Thunder while in college when it was reprinted in Penthouse magazine. Who says guys dont read the articles, anyway, I have been a Bradbury fan eversince and have been looking for this all over the web. Thanks again.

"Putzay"Mon, 10/22/07 8:54pm

I hate my teacher!!! she is making me do al this fuckin workkk....fuck mrs.pusztay!!!!!

"xkookiemonstar"Wed, 1/30/08 12:53am

Thanks for the story!! It will help me greatly in my assignment =]

"Tom"Fri, 2/8/08 1:51am

oh my god, it's a great story but very boring to learn about in school. i can't find a copy anywhere and i have to do an essay on this story for tomorrow!

"war"Mon, 2/25/08 11:23pm

oh come on, I want a whole story cause I will do a school project. Do you have?this is not a kind of story ive been looking for..

"Patch"Mon, 4/14/08 9:56am

Another 8th grade teacher giving thanks for the site. I read this over 15 years ago when I was in school and remembered enjoying it– trying to pass it along to the next generation. Going to use it with "The Murderer," although I've forgotten the author. Thanks!

"Ian"Mon, 11/3/08 6:13pm

Thanks! i need to do an essay and I forgot to get my textbook...... thank you!!!

"Anomous"Thu, 12/4/08 12:40pm

OMG!! even though i didn't read most of it but of what i did read OMG it SUX!!!! man i mean really it was stupid so yea just sayin'!!!!

"Anonymous"Sat, 1/17/09 10:37pm

funny that this is available online. I think you should attribute the file to Ray Bradbury and whoever edited the text. Besides, this isn't Wikipedia, where everything is "free-content", so I guess it's okay.

"david"Fri, 5/29/09 3:26pm

This wbsite is so gggggggaaaayyyy!!!!

Bee BoyFri, 5/29/09 6:37pm

Well, Dave that's the whole point. Would you go on Hulu and say "all this wbsite does is show videos!!!"? Would you tell Twitter that it's boring, narcissistic bullshit? It's their whole goddamn raison d'ĂȘtre.

And being gggggggaaaayyyy is ours. This wbsite was established solely for the discussion and deliberation of gggggggaaaayyyy issues and elements of the gggggggaaaayyyy lifestyle. We work tirelessly to support gggggggaaaayyyy pride and create a safe, non-hostile environment for gggggggaaaayyyys and non-gggggggaaaayyyys to gather and expand on their understanding. Welcome!

"Deb B"Fri, 2/26/10 11:02am

To print out the the booklet: first print out the story from the site. take the page with numbers 10-11 and clip the page with numbers 12-9 to the back of it. flip 12-9 upside down. Both pages will be facing up but one is upside down from the other. Place in copier and print 2 pages to one page Front to Back. Continue clipping the pages together. Once clipped together turn the back page print side up and turn it 180 degrees. Print 2 pages to Front to Back. Assemble finished pages and staple in the center. HINT: Do NOT use copier stapler unless yours is a super-duper copier that can staple in the middle of a page!

"Magnulus"Wed, 4/14/10 6:22am

Thanks for putting this up! Very nice and handy format for printing. I'm writing an essay on time travel in film right now, and this comes in handy for discussing the horrid film based on the story.

If you're interested in reading the essay, it'll probably be uploaded to my blog at http://www.magnulus.com when it's finished in a week or two.

(honestly, how that film could cost 80 million is beyond me)

"dawonna thornton"Tue, 9/21/10 9:11am

thanks, i forgot y things in the classroom

"your worst nightmare"Sun, 10/24/10 10:21pm

You guys are all dumb reading this dumb shit....

"mih cack"Wed, 2/16/11 7:50am

This is alright. Although when you download the file, there is a hidden file that you can change the file altogether. This meaning that, if I wanted to I could change that file, so that ever time someone downloads it againg, there will be a virus on there computer. Any sugestions on what I souuld do? Hehe i'm evil.

"A guy"Fri, 3/11/11 8:04pm

this is a great story! thanks so much for putting this up!

Anonymous CowardFri, 4/29/11 1:17pm

I have been using "A Sound of Thunder" for a few years now in my eighth-grade English class, and my students have always loved it. It works well w/ the movie I am Legend...just cut out the sad dog part. ...lots of butterfly symbolism.

"zoe"Wed, 10/12/11 6:11pm

this is a good story

Anonymous CowardWed, 5/2/12 8:22am


"the option"Fri, 8/3/12 7:24pm

WHY CANT I READ THIS jeez i really hate school projects

"Anonymous Coward"Fri, 8/3/12 7:25pm

yep dont we all :P Level:TROLLING

Anonymous CowardFri, 8/3/12 7:25pm


Anonymous CowardFri, 8/3/12 7:26pm

hey i am not a coward

"zoe"Fri, 8/3/12 7:26pm

like a boss like a boss like a boss like a boss

"your worst nightmare"Fri, 8/3/12 7:27pm

more like worst sightmare lol still trolling

"david"Fri, 8/3/12 7:28pm

you mad bro

"zoe"Fri, 8/3/12 7:29pm

"i think this is the most"Fri, 8/3/12 7:30pm


Anonymous CowardFri, 8/3/12 7:32pm

this is defintly the most this website has ever been talked on and even worse its all one person lolollolololollollolololololololololololol olol ol ol ol oo lo lo lo lollolol olol ololol ololo lololo lollo lo lll olollolo lolo lolo lolo lolo lolo lolo lolo lolo lolol lolol ol ol ol o lol ol ol olo lol lol lol lol lol olol :D nah jk i dont know who it is or do i O.o

"fuckmehard"Thu, 9/27/12 10:19am

this shitt is retarded

Anonymous CowardFri, 12/14/12 6:36am

what the hell are you gay guys talking about

Your Comments
Name: OR Log in / Register to comment

Comments: (show/hide formatting tips)

send me e-mail when new comments are posted