Boucher and McComas gave The Illustrated Man a mixed review, faulting the framing story as "markedly ineffective" and the story selection for seeming "less than wisely chosen". However, they found the better stories "provide a feast [from] the finest traditions in imaginative fiction" and later named it among the year's top books. Villiers Gerson, reviewing the volume for Astounding Science Fiction, praised it as "a book which demonstrates that its author is one of the most literate and spellbinding writers in science fiction today". In The New York Times, Gerson also praised the book for its "three-dimensional people with whom it is easy to sympathize, to hate, and to admire".
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