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

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Editorial Reviews 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: #97,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By M. Helmke on August 12, 2009
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Parthasarathy on August 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Mcalpine on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on September 10, 2009
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: Hardcover
As a devoted lover of books, the novel "Fahrenheit 451" is one that I find most disturbing. In general, books and learning have been banned from the public arena; people are now entertained by multiple wall-sized screens showing very simple-minded scenes. The new laws are of recent vintage, for there are still ex-professors in existence and they talk about teaching from books. Firefighters now start fires, when a cache of books is reported; they race to the location and burn the house and books. War is also a constant thing, as is always the case; it is used by the government to justify many of the things it does.
Guy Montag is a fireman that has for years been a loyal soldier in the fight to eradicate books. However, his chance encounter with a young and free thinking girl causes him to have doubts as to the rightness of his cause. Those doubts grow and he tries to enlist the aid of his wife, an action of little value for she is an empty intellectual vessel. Eventually, Guy becomes a full member of the "opposition", largely the remaining intelligentsia, where the goal is to preserve the literary heritage of humanity.
Hamilton does an excellent job in capturing the essence of the novel in his images and the selection of the abbreviated dialog. The images are dark and unpleasant, exactly what should be used to depict such a dark and foreboding society. People are fundamentally unhappy, yet they are so doped by the mindlessness of their daily experience that they have even lost their ability to openly express unhappiness and resentment.
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