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Fahrenheit 451 a Prose Poem?

January 28, 2009

ChrisL wrote a gorgeous post about rediscovering Ray Bradbury.

When I was a teenager, in the course of a few years I gobbled books by all the masters of science fiction — Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Harlan Ellison — paying more attention to plot than prose. That was mostly appropriate, both as  a 13-year-old and because for most, what made the books special was their exquisite and inventive plots. I know I read Fahrenheit 451: what I remembered most vividly was the ending scenes of old men whispering excerpts to one another, which is where its stellar plot takes you. After I left the boys behind for a more varied literary canon, I lumped Bradbury in with the others and never looked back.

This week, the book came into my hands almost accidentally. “OK, how come no one told me he’s  a poet?” I asked Rachel, astonished by its first pages.

I’ll have to go back and reread it.  I remember being scared by the idea of books being destroyed.  Not just spooked, but horrified on a deeper, visceral level.  Yikes!

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