When I first read Fahrenheit 451 as a teen, I was already an avid book lover, so it frightened me then, with the palpable hate of the written word. This time, though, reading it as an adult in 2010, what frightened me more was how close our society has come to Montag's - the walls covered with tv? People interacting more with that tv and about that tv and it's programs than with actual people? THAT freaks me out on a completely different level.
It's a brilliant story - a world cut of the exact same cloth as our own, astonishing really, how close to right Bradbury got it. The masses have rejected books and reading, it's easier to not really think and just have fun - to watch the parlor walls and live a life insulated from any sort of bad news or philosophies that might tempt you to want to make an effort. It doesn't help that life is so fast paced, either - books take too much time and energy. Not only that, but there are so many ways to offend and be offended, that if you just stop reading - everyone is happier, right?
OH how it makes you think. I want to shake myself up from the inside out, remind myself of how lucky I am to have a world full of ideas and authentic feelings at my fingertips. The drawing are pretty sci-fi, they felt like the 50s and the burning scenes are intense. The adaptation did a fine job of giving you the plot with some actual quotes from the book as part of the text. This quote absolutely floors me:
"It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the “parlour families” today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not. No, no, it’s not books at all you’re looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us."
(the part in italics is not actually in the text of the graphic novel, but it's too good not to include :)
I love the idea of books stitching the patches of the universe together for me. If you have no inclination to actually read the whole of Fahrenheit 451, I would pick this up for sure. If you are a true lover of books, you need to know this story.