09 Jul 2012
There’s nothing particularly special about the characters or the plotting of the story, but Bradbury’s ideas and style seem to carry the book. Bradbury’s delirious prose evokes a lot of emotion and imagery … It’s not an easy read, perhaps even overly poetic, but in this case it works. The novel is short enough and the ideas behind it are crazy enough that Bradbury’s style fits.
I have always felt that Ray Bradbury was more poet than author; that his words and sentences flowed much more smoothly than those of his futurist contemporaries — Asimov may have written better science and Heinlein may have been grander in scope, but Bradbury wrote more beautifully than either of them.
And he was not concerned with predicting forward in time or in suggesting fantastic technologies. His use of the future, dystopian or otherwise, was a method of exploring the human condition and he crafted stories in an attempt to answer fundamental questions about the nature of being alive. Fahrenheit 451 was not an imagining of the world that could have been, it was an examination of the human being through the lenses of censorship and mass media – not prediction, but allegory.