The Written Image: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451

From the September/October 2009 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

In 1953, Ballantine Books published Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's novel about a dystopian future in which books are outlawed—destroyed by "firemen" for the good of humanity—and critical thought is muffled by an all-pervading government. The panels above are taken from Tim Hamilton's graphic adaptation of the novel, published in August by Hill and Wang, a division of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The graphic novel was authorized by Bradbury and features an introduction by the author in which he charts the origins of the story and reflects on its theme of censorship. "May I suggest that anyone reading this introduction should take the time to name the one book that he or she would most want to memorize and protect from any censors or ‘firemen,'" Bradbury writes. "And not only name the book, but give the reasons why they would wish to memorize it and why it would be a valuable asset to be recited and remembered in the future."