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Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451 by Tim Hamilton

Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451 (original 2009; edition 1953)

by Tim Hamilton, Ray Bradbury

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4541622,953 (3.84)8
Title:Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451
Authors:Tim Hamilton
Other authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:[Kbh.] : Fahrenheit, 2012.
Collections:Your library, 2012 (inactive)
Tags:Fremtidsfortælling, Grafisk roman, Tegneserie, Skrevet 1950-1959, Skrevet 2010-2019, Amerikansk litteratur

Work details

Fahrenheit 451 [Graphic novel] by Ray Bradbury (2009)



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Fahrenheit 451, written by Ray Bradbury in 1953 during the height of the Cold War, cannot be fully understood outside of its historical context. America was clouded by an atmosphere of paranoia, suspicion, and the fearful sense of a world rushing toward a nuclear holocaust. It was the heyday of "McCarthyism," named after Senator Joe McCarthy, who went on a crusade to root out alleged Communists and homosexuals both inside and outside government. His witch-hunts destroyed a great many careers, and even resulted in suicides by some of his victims. As PBS reports:

"... the paranoid hunt for infiltrators was notoriously difficult on writers and entertainers, many of whom were labeled communist sympathizers and were unable to continue working. Some had their passports taken away, while others were jailed for refusing to give the names of other communists. The trials, which were well publicized, could often destroy a career with a single unsubstantiated accusation. Among those well-known artists accused of communist sympathies or called before the committee were Dashiell Hammett, Waldo Salt, Lillian Hellman, Lena Horne, Paul Robeson, Elia Kazan, Arthur Miller, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Charlie Chaplin and Group Theatre members Clifford Odets, Elia Kazan, and Stella Adler. In all, three hundred and twenty artists were blacklisted, and for many of them this meant the end of exceptional and promising careers."

"Fahrenheit 451," Bradbury tells us at the start of his original novel, is the temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns. In his imagined future dystopia, Guy Montag is a “fireman” who starts fires rather than stopping them. The firemen respond to calls of those who accuse someone of harboring books: they burn the books along with the house, and the owners are arrested (unless they choose to commit suicide). Books are forbidden because they can allow people to think, to be unhappy, to question the government, and to question war.

Montag, married to a drugged-up, tuned-out wife he can’t even remember how he met, believes he is happy, until he encounters his new neighbor Clarisse. A seventeen-year-old girl, she has been identified as “crazy” and “dangerous” because she is not enslaved to the media and its hypnotic messages; she takes walks, examines her surroundings and the people in it, talks with her family and others about matters of substance, and most importantly, is not afraid to ask questions.

The honesty and openness of Clarisse unhinges Montag, and he soon becomes one of those who hides from the fires, rather than one of those who sets them.

This graphic retelling, approved by Bradbury, is a shorter version of the original, and in a way, does a lot of the “thinking” for you, since it provides visual images to replace ideas, and dialogue to sit in for narration. The truncated speeches by characters fit with the format as well as the (sometimes, at least) shorter attention span of readers.

Tim Hamilton does a good job with the illustrations, using a muted color palette to provide a bleak dystopian feel, with periodic leaps to the bright yellow, red, and orange of the fire scenes. Thankfully, the people he draws are not as unattractive as are so many graphic novel protagonists (for reasons unknown to me).

Discussion: Many classics are now being issued as graphic novels. I tend to have an “old-fashioned” outlook, preferring books. But I know that all the young people in my family, at least, tend to reject anything that doesn’t have a lot of visual content and a video-game type appeal. So a graphic version is therefore, to my mind, preferable to no version at all. Furthermore, in this case I am entertained by the fact that a graphic novel version of Fahrenheit 451 is in the postmodern sense a meta-commentary on the fate of books, taking the plot of the original one step further.

Evaluation: Tim Hamilton does an excellent job on this graphic version of the book, if you prefer this particular format. ( )
  nbmars | Sep 28, 2015 |
While Hamilton's art is above reproach, his sense of pacing in terms of visual composition is off. Many scenes that should be separated by some time are shoved together back to back, so that the emotional payoff is stunted. An okay graphic novel, but not a very good adaptation if the novel. ( )
  JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
I barely remember Fahrenheit 451 & reading this doesn't really make the story come back. The artwork is kinda disturbing; but I think that is purposeful. Of all the graphic novels I have read, I'm not sure this translates very well. ( )
  lesmel | May 16, 2013 |
Fahrenheit 451 is one of my favorite books, so needless to say, I was kind of elated when I found out there was a graphic novel adaptation that had actually been approved by Ray Bradbury himself.

My good friend got me a copy for my birthday and I dove into it immediately! It is beautifully illustrated, and just as powerful and moving as the original work despite a few minor changes.

It is a definite must if you're a Bradbury fan and if you aren't yet, you will be after this read. ( )
  RuzNuz | May 7, 2013 |
It was good but I was not jumping for joy with this book. It has a nice message but I think it's just wasn't for me. Half of the time I don't know what's happening. I felt like the book has this heavy and hot atmosphere (maybe because of all the burning) which may be effective but a bit uncomfortable for me. I did like the end though when Montag meets the other "authors". It was actually pretty sad, a world without books, having to burn a book. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Jan 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Bradbury is no Beatty. He's a pluralist. He loves high and low, literature and comics, opera and movies. He's adapted his novel for just about every medium. Given this, perhaps the message of the comic-book rendition of Fahrenheit 451 is that the elitist, nostalgic, black-and-white thinking of a Beatty is part of the problem and leads to black-and-white solutions like censorship and book burning. Beatty has a love-hate relationship with the paper he burns. Bradbury does not.
added by Shortride | editSlate, Sarah Boxer (Aug 17, 2009)

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, TimIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed

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To David Passalacqua, whose voice is still in my head every day and I would like to thank the following: Ray Bradbury, Thoma LaBien, Deep6 Studios, Chris Sinderson, Tory Sica, Howard Zimmerman, Dean Motter, my mom, and Jean Lee
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It was a pleasure to burn.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 080905101X, Paperback)

Book Description
"Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn ’em to ashes, then burn the ashes." For Guy Montag, a career fireman for whom kerosene is perfume, this is not just an official slogan. It is a mantra, a duty, a way of life in a tightly monitored world where thinking is dangerous and books are forbidden.

In 1953, Ray Bradbury envisioned one of the world's most unforgettable dystopian futures, and in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, the artist Tim Hamilton translates this frightening modern masterpiece into a gorgeously imagined graphic novel. As could only occur with Bradbury's full cooperation in this authorized adaptation, Hamilton has created a striking work of art that uniquely captures Montag's awakening to the evil of government-controlled thought and the inestimable value of philosophy, theology, and literature.

Including an original foreword by Ray Bradbury and fully depicting the brilliance and force of his canonic and beloved masterwork, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is an exceptional, haunting work of graphic literature.

Look Inside This Stunning Adaptation of Fahrenheit 451
In the panels below, fireman Guy Montag returns home after a night of burning books and encounters Clarice, a teenager who changes his life.
Click on each image to enlarge.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:17 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

As could only occur with Bradbury's full cooperation in this authorized adaptation, Hamilton has created a striking work of art that uniquely captures Montag's awakening to the evil of government-controlled thought and the inestimable value of philosophy, theology, and literature. --from publisher description… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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