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Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems
Emily Dickinson, Helen McNeil
Les Misérables
Victor Hugo, Norman Denny
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle
Selected Poems
William Shakespeare
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Fannie Flagg
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury This was up and down for me. A really good start, then a lacklustre middle, with more ideas and action at the end. At times the story felt a little schizophrenic and having read the afterword by Ray Bradbury, now I realise why. The ideas within this book came from 5 different short stories by Bradbury, which were then woven together within a 9 day period. After much struggling for anyone to buy it, Bradbury agreed to flesh the story out with another 25,000 words, thus doubling the count. I think all this tells in the story. Ideas explored were really exciting....banned books, fire-starting firemen, a mysterious girl next door and zombified TV viewing wife. Then there was the narrative on why this was happening and whose idea it was to torch the books. Topics of knowledge, literature and history were pondered upon, but ultimately this ended in an apocalyptic tale. So while I found all of these themes interesting on their own, there was too much crammed into one short book, with no one idea really being fleshed out. What I did love more than anything, was Bradbury's writing style. He constructed sentences and paragraphs in a way that I don't think I've seen before and it felt fresh and new to me 60 years after writing. One word - Clarisse - I see now why Bradbury mentioned her in the 50th Anniversary introduction. He recognised that she should have played a further part in the end, which she did in the film and play version, although Bradbury resisted the temptation to later revise the text. Final note of interest. Once this story had its additional 25,000 words, Bradbury still struggled to sell the book. It was picked up by a young Hugh Hefner, to be serialised in the first few issues of his new groundbreaking magazine, Playboy. I'm wondering if Fahrenheit 451 is typical of it's content nowadays - something makes me think maybe not.