Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bradbury 31, Day 11: Fahrenheit 451

Reading Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451 was, in retrospect, an important moment in my development as a reader. There was a copy lying in the "free reading" bin of my grade 5 English class and when I gave it a try, I didn't know anything about that Bradbury fella. But here was a reading experience in which the act of reading was itself lionized, a tale of a book burning society and the one "fireman" who develops a fondness for books and rebels against the status quo. Bradbury visited similar ideas throughout his career in short stories such as "The Exiles" and "Usher II."

In 1966, director Fran├žois Truffaut adapted the picture to a film; I likewise have very fond memories of watching it on the Sci-Fi Channel. The film was not entirely faithful - it omitted the advanced technology of the book and the ending was much more somber than the novel. Still, I think most people consider it the best film adaptation of Bradbury's work.

In 2009, Fahrenheit 451 became the first of Bradbury's works to be adapted to comics format by publisher Hill & Wang (I've already referred to The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes, the other two). Adapted by artist Tim Hamilton, it set the series off on a very promising start as Hamilton made a faithful adaptation (including elements such as the robot dogs) but also one with a lot of style. Hamilton made the world of Fahrenheit 451 feel whole and it is the best full-length adaptation of Bradbury's work.

Let's talk about Bradbury again tomorrow, how about it?

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