by Ray Bradbury
"The basic premise behind Ray Bradbury's novel 'Fahrenheit 451' is compelling. In the future, fireman don't put out fires, they start them. It is their job to seek out books and put them to the flame, making sure that no one indulges in the 'crime' of reading one. But what makes this nightmare so interesting, and relevant, is that it was not forced upon the people by their government, but was decided upon by the people themselves. Minority groups, religions, and ethnicities, who were offended by the words of writers, simply made reading unpopular and convinced the world that books were, first, a waste of time, and then the root of all evil. A wonderful 'Negative Utopia' novel in the tradition of '1984' and 'Brave New World' Bradbury's novel differs in his writing style. His prose is difficult to follow and at times leaves the reader unimpressed. If you can you're not easily turned off by Bradbury's odd and difficult way of writing perhaps you'll enjoy the deeper message of this work." ~Coda Carlson, amazon.com
"Parents need to know that Fahrenheit 451 is a classic example of dystopian fiction, written by one of the most acclaimed authors of American science fiction and fantasy. It depicts a near-future America where books are prohibited and the populace is placated with cheap, shallow entertainment. Ironically, the novel's inclusion in schools and libraries is frequently opposed by various special-interest groups. There is some violence -- the main character deliberately burns one of his colleagues to death, one woman sets herself on fire and burns to death, another attempts suicide with pills, a mechanical hound goes after one man and kills another." ~Common Sense Media, commonsensemedia.org
About the Author
Bradbury had to support himself as he wrote, so he sold newspapers for a living. In 1983, he started publishing short stories to a fan magazine, some even to a fan magazine he made himself. The story "Pendulum", however, was his first professional story, and it was published in 1941. By 1943, he had become a full blown writer. In 1847, he married Maggie McClure, and had 4 children, Susan (1949), Ramona (1951), Bettina (1955) and Alexandra (1958).
His first major story came in 1950, and was titled "The Martian Chronicles". He published "Fahrenheit 451" in 1953, which is his most well-known work. Despite distastes towards television, Bradbury also wrote many screenplays, including a 1956 take on "Moby Dick".
In total, Bradbury wrote about 30 novels, 600 short stories, and countless other poems, essays, screenplays, and plays. His favorite award was being named "Ideas Consultant" due to the fact that he was happy that he was influencing lives.
He wrote well into the 90's, and died on June 12, 2012, at the age of 91. Bradbury's fascinating science-fiction works will be remembered for decades to come.