Graphic Novel Review: Fahrenheit 451

Hamilton, Tim. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation. 2009. Hill & Wang. New York.

I picked up this graphic novel in Vienna to keep me occupied on the plane ride home.  I really enjoyed reading it. I don’t think I read enough graphic novels.

In the novel, Guy Montag is a “fireman” in a future year, where “firemen” go around burning books.  Book have been made illegal in this future world.  However, the novel is quick to point out that this isn’t a top-down government conspiracy to keep people in the dark.  Books are illegal because the people demanded that they become illegal.

In this future world, books began to take a back seat to other forms of media as attention spans shortened.  Television became more popular, stories became shortened and condensed, and the people could no longer stomach full-length novels.  In this futuristic society, comic books are the only books allowed because they are sufficiently dumbed down and provide plenty of pretty pictures for the now-weakened minds to digest.

The irony of reading this book in comic book format is absolutely hilarious.

3 thoughts on “Graphic Novel Review: Fahrenheit 451”

  1. I recently reread the book for a bookclub and then convinced Ben to read it for the first time. There were things that really bugged and dissapointed me the first time through, and the experience was similar the second time. The line about comic books bugged me this time since my last time reading the book as I have read some really great comicbooks. It is not surprising that the original looks down on comic books because of when it was written etc, but we need to continue to change the idea that comic books are easier to read and don't challenge the reader (i.e. a lower form of art/literature).

  2. When my daughter was in high school, we read 451, 1984 and one other (can't remember) in sequence. Wow, so many similarities to our life today.

    As for books being illegal because people wanted them to be illegal, Look at 1984 and realize that we have less privacy today because we are giving it up freely — and to play FarmTown.

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