Reviews for Fahrenheit 451

Booklist Reviews 2009 July #1
It's no wonder Hamilton's comic novelization is authorized by Bradbury himself: this evocative button-pusher will almost certainly entice readers to seek out the original. Hamilton begins with the famous opener ("It was a pleasure to burn.") and remains doggedly faithful, even when Bradbury's many-tentacled poetry threatens to strangle the action. And never again did Bradbury write such action! When Montag, the fireman whose job it is to "fix" forbidden libraries by reducing them to cinder, becomes enticed by the printed word, his treason unleashes no less than subterfuge, paranoia, thuggery, and even robotic killer dogs. Hamilton renders much of the story in triptych panels and moody, two-tone palettes that blot characters' features into Munch-like skulls. This mysterious and measured tone pays off during the fiery moments, when the art fractures into dazzling red sickles. An introduction by Bradbury provides insight into how this version represents "a pastiche of my former lives"; here's hoping he's got a few lives left for the upcoming take on Something Wicked This Way Comes. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews 2009 April #2
A graphic novel that even those who don't read graphic novels will love, this visualization of Bradbury's classic looks bold, bright, and almost too hot to handle. Even better: Hamilton, a noted artist who's been all over the map, worked directly with the sf legend. With a reading group guide. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 October #4

After years of working as a fireman--one who burns books and enjoys his work--Guy Montag meets a young girl who makes him question his profession and the values of the society in which he lives. Stephan Hoye's narration is perfectly matched to the subject matter: his tone is low and ominous, and his cadence shifts with the prose to ratchet up tension and suspense. He produces spot-on voices, and his versions of the gruff Captain Beatty, the playful Clarisse, and the fearful professor Faber are especially impressive. A Ballantine paperback. (Aug.)

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 July #2

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)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2009 September

Gr 10 Up-This adaptation of Bradbury's iconic classic about the perils of censorship has an introduction by the author that is an insightful discussion of how a story can be altered even by its originator as it takes on new forms and lengths. Hamilton's moody palette and 1950s version of "the future" fit well with the original text. In keeping with the period feel, such visual details as characters' noses project personal traits. Best of all, this rendition of the endangered books themselves shows well-thumbed copies of titles by authors teens will recognize as seminal, such as Darwin and Shakespeare. This is a good crossover graphic novel for classrooms but even better as a discovery for sci/fi readers browsing the shelves.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia

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