"Classics Rock! is the best of both worlds--music and books."
-- CNBC.com "Bullish on Books" blog

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sound of Thunder/Duran Duran

The title of Duran Duran's song Sound Of Thunder, from their 1981 album Duran Duran, alludes to Ray Bradbury's celebrated short story "A Sound of Thunder." First published in the magazine Collier's in 1952, Bradbury's tale has become one of the most widely reprinted science fiction stories ever written, and is currently available in Bradbury Classic Stories 1. It concerns a hunter named Eckels who contracts with a company called Time Safari to go back in time to kill a tyrannosaurus rex. While visiting the distant past, Eckels is repeatedly warned by his guide not to stray from Time Safari's predetermined path--damaging even a single blade of grass might cause reverberations through time that could have a dramatic impact on history. "A little error here would multiply in sixty million years, all out of proportion," the guide warns him. Unfortunately Eckels is terror-stricken when confronted with the live T. rex, and in his panic he steps off the path, inadvertently killing a butterfly. Upon returning from the past, the hunting party discovers that the death of that single butterfly millions of years earlier has produced devastating changes to their own time. The song's lyrics seem to refer specifically to Eckels with the lines: I'm the man who stepped off the path/And I just lie here/It's what I was made for. [In the story, the phrase "a sound of thunder" does double duty: It is used to describe the terrible noise made by the approaching dinosaur as well as a climactic gunshot.]

No comments:

Post a Comment