He is best known for his classic dystopian novel, "Fahrenheit 451." His protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman of the future, but instead of saving structures, his job is to burn books. Books of any kind are considered too dangerous to be allowed by the totalitarian government. For his entire life, Bradbury was passionate about the right to read. "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture," he once said. "Just get people to stop reading them."
In addition to writing his prolific and lyrical fiction, Bradbury loved libraries. He wrote an essay called "How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries.” A few years ago he sent a library this love letter, explaining why libraries were so important to him: "All of My Friends Were On the Shelves Above."
Many famous authors have eulogized Ray Bradbury and the impact he had on the science fiction and fantasy genres. Neil Gaiman wrote about his friend in this article in "The Guardian": "A Man Who Won't Forget Ray Bradbury." "The New York Times" also has a lengthy obituary detailing Bradbury's work, influence and awards. "In His Words" is a brief autobiographical article, and there are many fan websites like Ray Bradbury Online.
The Literature Resource Center on the Library's Books and Authors research page has extensive information about Bradbury and his works.
Here are some of his classic titles in the Library's collection:
Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales
In this landmark volume, America's preeminent storyteller offers us 100 treasures from a lifetime of words and ideas. The stories within these pages were chosen by Bradbury himself, and span a career that blossomed in the pulp magazines of the early 1940s and continues to flourish in the new millennium.
As young Douglas is about to discover, summer can be more than the repetition of established rituals whose mystical power holds time at bay. It can be a best friend moving away, a human time machine who can transport you back to the Civil War, or a sideshow automaton able to glimpse the bittersweet future.
A sequel to "Dandelion Wine". Celebrating the final days of summer, 13-year-old Douglas Spaulding and his friends declare war on the stuffy older set of their community, an effort for which the boys plot to stop the courthouse building clock as a means of staying young forever.
Listen to the Echoes: the Ray Bradbury Interviews by Sam Weller
Collects the author's interviews with Ray Bradbury, as Bradbury reveals his opinions, musings, and personal stories, also includes a script of an unpublished interview done by the "Paris Review."
The Martian Chronicles
The first Earth people to attempt the colonization of Mars try to build their new world in the image of the civilization they left behind.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Terrible things happen when Mr. Dark and his Pandemonium Carnival come to town.
Fahrenheit 451 directed by Francois Truffaut
Ray Bradbury Theater
Based on his original stories
Speaking about space exploration in 1995, Bradbury said, “We were put here as witnesses to the miracle of life. We see the stars, and we want them. We are beholden to give back to the universe... If we make landfall on another star system, we become immortal.” Here also is a "Conversation With Ray Bradbury" sponsored by The Big Read. Somehow it seems fitting that Bradbury left this life during the Transit of Venus.
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