Farenheit 451 Reborn Into a Graphic Novel

One of the most inventive science fiction classics is set to be reborn as a graphic novel on the 56th birthday of its creation. Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 is taking up new space on shelves. Don’t get me wrong, I love the graphic novel. It’s a delicate mix of story line and artistry; a unique and powerful art form. Even Bradbury is excited about the new interpretation of his work, gracing it with an introduction and his blessing. But for me, this announcement was tinged with sorrow and melancholy.

Bradbury is required reading across the board in high schools nationwide and soon, the graphic novel will be pulled out as an equivalent to Cliff’s Notes, leaving scores of bored or lazy students with an easy way to never crack the cover of the classic. I’m sure diehards and overachievers will still read the actual book; some will enjoy it, some will close it and never think of it again, but some will be deeply touched by it and carry the experience with them. It’s a beautiful, one-of-a-kind experience; touching, creative, foreboding and brilliant. While I love the interpretation of a classic into another art form, I’m saddened by the knowledge that fewer people will inclined to read the book and will miss that experience. But maybe I’m wrong; I hope I’m wrong. I want to be as optimistic as Bradbury himself: “That’s what good graphic novels can do. They can make you read more.” Fingers crossed that’s true.

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