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Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation Paperback – July 21, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.





From Publishers Weekly

A faithful adaptation of the original, Hamilton's comics version conveys the social commentary of the novel, while using the images to develop the tone. He uses grainy, static colors and images obscured by heavy black shadows and textures to portray the oppressive nature of this world where firemen start fires instead of putting them out. Malevolent forces and danger lurk in the shadows pervading the suburban home of fireman Montag and his wife, Mildred. Montag questions the happiness of his mundane life when prodded by his strange new neighbor, a young girl named Clarisse, as well as his wife's drug overdose. This leads him to throw himself into a dangerous struggle to expose the world's hypocrisy by spreading the forbidden knowledge contained in books. The art solidifies atmospheric elements such as the fire and rain; fire, tapering and curling, is rendered into a crucial additional character. Since the original expounds the importance of valuing and preserving books and knowledge, adapting it into the comics form emphasizes the growth of the medium, as well as its potency across genres and subjects. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080905101X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809051014
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read about this graphic novel adaptation of Ray Bradbury's classic book about a month ago. I was immediately intrigued. The original book is one of my all time favorites and I wanted to see if a graphic adaptation could do it justice. In short: it does.

Tim Hamilton and the folks at Hill and Wang, with the blessing of Ray Bradbury, who writes the introduction to the book, have produces a beautiful and well crafted retelling of the classic story that is both true to the original and able to stand on its own.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Guy Montag is a fireman, only in his world firemen don't put out fires, they start them. Books are banned and are the target of the firemen's activity. One day, Montag meets a person who intrigues him with her joie de vivre. He has never met anyone so alive and vibrant and he wonders why. He also begins to look at his own life and realizes he is not happy, that there is something missing. The rest of the tale revolves around his struggle to find meaning in a sterile, inoffensive world where everything is brought down to a common denominator of homogeneous agreeability. I won't spoil your enjoyment by revealing more than that.

Those of us who know the story well will note a few details are missing from this adaptation. Like when a movie is made, in this graphic novel it appears that some details of the written story were sacrificed to enable a cleaner telling in the new medium. Again, to avoid spoilers I won't mention here what has been left out, but I will say that the overall structure and message remain intact and the story does not suffer from the loss. Instead, those who move from this as an initial taste will find the book richer and even more enjoyable.

What about the artwork?
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I love Fahrenheit 451- the book by Ray Bradbury. I consider it one of my favorite books. When I heard about the authorized graphic novel adaptation, I immediately ordered it. I have read it twice now and here are my thoughts.
For starters, the GN is true to the original material but takes all the artistic liberties it is afforded. This does not dilute, affect or pollute the original message in any form or manner. The art is definitely eye catching and impressive. Tim Hamilton has done an excellent job in that regard. My only qualm against the GN adaptation is that it is too dark. Agreed the source material is dark and deserves the treatment from the artist but I would have liked to see a little more color- maybe contrast the few pleasant scenes with the otherwise grim situations in the story. I see why the artist colored it the way he did and I am sure there may be a lot more readers who like this approach better.
All in all, definitely a buy from a F451 fan.
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I think all of Ray Bradbury's stories are difficult to capture in movies. I think most of them have bombed. It's a shame that a writer that captures the imagination and illustrates it so well can't be translated into movies (so far). However, after reading this graphic novel, I believe Tim Hamilton was able to capture the visual magic of Bradbury's best novel in pictures. My message to younger people who have never read 451 (the book), but are picking up this graphic novel for the first time, need to read the book! Although this graphic novel is brilliant and works wonderfully as a graphic novel, it is abridged from the book. Since the whole subject of 451 is about the value of a book and it's ideas, the graphic novel should never replace the book, only add to its color and life! Have fun leafing through the pages of this great graphic version of 451!
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Format: Paperback
I was reluctant to get this one as I didn't think a graphic novel could do Fahrenheit 451 justice but I was pleasantly surpised to discover that this adaptation does a good job with the story, which is one of my favorites. It keeps close to the story as it was originally written. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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Format: Paperback
Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books burn. Guy Montag is a firefighter whose job it is to start fires and burn books. No longer does the average firefighter put out fires. In Bradbury's science fiction world, books and reading are banned because if people read, and therefore gain knowledge, they are no longer equal to everyone else in society. Therefore the people are forbidden to read or own books and television is taking over the minds and entertainment of the people.

Montag figures out that there must be something important in books because he witnesses owners willing to die over the love of their books. At every fire he begins to steal a book to discover what is so important inside of them. Clarisse, Montag's neighbor asks him if he is happy and he realizes that he hasn't been happy in a long time. When Clarisse turns up dead, Montag decides that his life needs to change.

Tim Hamilton has created a splendid visual, graphic novel adaptation of Bradbury's classic book. The pictures are colorful, interesting, eye-catching and worthwhile. This is a great way to introduce a young adult to world of Ray Bradbury. Years ago I watched a film version of Fahrenheit 451, which is weirdly odd but I loved the idea behind this story. When I saw the graphic novel at the store, I bought it immediately and now it has piqued my interest in the novel and I may actually commit to reading it.

In the introduction to the graphic novel adaptation, Ray Bradbury asks a question of his readers. Which book would you most want to memorize and protect from any censors or "firemen"? I don't even have to ponder on this question, I know I would choose my favorite book of all time, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I would choose this book because it is a masterpiece and contains, history of the Civil War as well as romance, culture, etc. Gone with the Wind is an iconic part of American culture and deserves to be remembered.
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Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation
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