Books make us feel. Books make us think. Books can have opposing ideas. Books can make us unhappy. Books must be burned. Firemen are the book burners and the guardians of happiness. Guy Montag is a fireman but his life is shaken when he meets a strange girl who is so free from the constraints that others around him have. The freedom of life that this girl has and the conviction of people whose books he was charged to burn causes Montag to question the way that life has become. Things are supposed to be carefree and happy with books out of the way but he’s unhappy and so are so many others. Montag must make a choice to play the game or try to change the game they are playing.
The Graphic novel is an authorized version of the book so it is very true to the original story. Like movies, graphic novels don’t have room for all the details but this is very well done. The illustrations are in action hero comic styling and the color is great. Fahrenheit 451 is one of the best classics that I have read and I can’t even put my finger on the reason why. I like that Montag is not content with the status quo (keeping things the same). I like that he keeps asking questions and doesn’t give up in the face of losing everything. I like that this story makes you think about the importance of books and the purpose that they serve in this world. This book can be a bit challenging and is not an easy mindless read. There is a lot here and the graphic novel does not make it any less challenging of a topic. It’s a book worth digging into, whether it is in the graphic novel format or in the original novel format. Here’s my favorite quote: “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 what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together in garments for us.” That sums up books for me…the magic is in how it is put together and this book is magic. Illustrations were done by Tim Hamilton.