By: Sydney D
Can we all just take a deep breath and admit that Ray Bradbury’s writing is boring, repetitive, and frankly not as astonishing as other written works? Because I can’t be the only one who found Fahrenheit 451 a watered down 1984 or Something Wicked This Way Comes to be as dull as watching paint dry on a sweltering day. However, I can still hear the silent cries of Bradbury supporters who thoroughly enjoyed his works and are google searching “Bradbury Pulitzer Prize” as they read this. But, I still think his writing is generic at best, mediocre at worst. And here’s why…
Now let’s be fair here, this is my opinion and it’s a very skewed opinion at that. I’ve only read a handful of books by Bradbury (none of which I liked), so he could have written an amazing book in his later years. But my thoughts on his writing will stem from his two more popular books Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Now that the lovely disclaimer is out of the way who here is ready for some rockin’ rambling from your neighborly gal?
Fahrenheit 451 in my opinion is a washed out, watered down, cheapened copy of the novel 1984 (written by George Orwell). They both follow the same premise: Large fascist government controlling citizens through the large technology movement. “Trapping” those citizens by keeping them occupied with government approved tech, and occasionally a pre-approved (and censored) book.
The only thing that really sets apart Bradbury's approach to this trope/genre would be the idea that firefighters are burning book- and sometimes housing storing books- instead of putting out fires.
Pretty much any interesting detail in Fahrenheit 451 was either written out of the story, glazed over, or both. I mean I am still pretty bitter about the fact that the main characters’ wife’s mental illness was never explored in the novel. It was basically just “Oh she has depression, wait she might be bipolar? Okay well moving on!” Am I the only one upset by that???
Or how the girl who lived next door and had an uncle who kept books and taught her about them left the chapter after she was introduced. Which I believe she was introduced in chapter two and exited the novel in chapter three. Instead we were stuck with a main character spends 90% of the book finding out what firefighters used to do, then spends the last two chapters running from the firefighters and acquiring some “rare” books.
I feel like more details could’ve been added to the story, just to flush out the background characters which would better the interactions with the main character and the effects that the government's rules has on society as a whole. (I.e In 1984 when the Thought Police were explained in detail it helped the readers understand why thinking for yourself in the novel was so dangerous.)
I originally was also going to write about Something Wicked This Way Comes, but I really can’t remember the book all that much with exception to one chapter; chapter 31 “And nothing else happened that night”. So instead I’ll just say overall what my disagreements to Bradbury's writings are.
He uses the same formula of writing in all of his works (Yes this is coming from the girl who writes somewhat predictable psychological horrors) and that formula can be considered somewhat outdated. It’s an All-American male finding something disturbing about his suburban life and either fighting it- than winning, or rebelling- than winning. And maybe that’s my issues with Bradbury's writing, not that it’s bad or an “acquired taste”, but that for today’s society it’s a tad bit outdated.
Wow, I just worked through my four year distaste for his writing and finally found an reasonable reason. Rad.
So yeah, in conclusion to this rant- thanks by the way if you read this far- Ray Bradbury's writing is outdated. To me at least, and that’s okay! Different strokes for different folks as my Mom would say.
So to move forward leave some book recommendations in the comments! I promise I will give it an unbiased shot- even if it’s by Ray Bradbury, promise!
A 18-year old who spends most of my time reading and taking photos. Most of what I write here is just things that I personally hope is interesting, important, or at the very least funny.
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