Do You Ever Read the Books You Burn?: Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

So today ends Banned Book Week. As this is the first time in forever that it runs into October, I thought what better time than now to review this movie.

Guy Montag: Do you remember what you asked me the other day: if I ever read the books I burn? Remember?

Clarisse: Uh-huh.

Guy Montag: Last night I read one.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is one of my absolute favorite books. I was first was introduced to it at the age of 10, when I came across my parents watching the film, this movie. I didn’t quite understand it, so my mom gave me the book to read. Since then I read it at least once a year.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th…

So I don’t always love when they turn a book into a film as usually the film greatly disappoints, but in this case I love this film. Although I do dislike one thing. I can’t stand Julie Christie in the dual roles of Montag’s wife Linda and Clarisse, the woman who makes him start questioning what he believes. I know why the director chose it-to highlight the differences, contrast the personalities, etc.-but I think it makes it seem like he falls for her because she looks like his wife instead of who she is. It turned out to be a last minute decision as they couldn’t get who they wanted (Alfred Hitchcock wouldn’t let Tippi Hedrun go as he was obsessed and controlling her). The studio wanted Julie Christie and François Truffaut decided to have her as both characters.

François Truffaut was known to say he disliked SciFi films, and a friend suggested that he try Fahrenheit 451. He did and was hooked, feeling he needed to make a film of it.

But all was not happy on the set. Terrence Stamp was supposed to be Montag, but dropped out and was recast with Oskar Werner. Werner is the only one in the whole production to have a different accent, German to everyone’s English. I don’t mind as it is another thing that sets him apart from the others. He and Truffaut did not get along, and Truffaut said that if he hadn’t wanted to make film so bad and spent so much time raising money for it, he would have walked. Even though the two had their differences and fights, the end result of the film looked good to me and remains a favorite dystopian future film.

So we start the film off with seeing how every house has antennae. Everyone watches TV, are they also being watched?

Hmm…

The credits are read out to you instead of you reading-to go with the no reading anything in the future. This adds to the creepiness. of the film.

Creepy…

They start the film off immediately with them going in the firetruck all dressed in black suits similar to Nazi uniforms. The firetruck is an old fashioned one that just holds the men-there is no fire hose.

The music playing makes me think of Psycho-the way the music lifts and falls increasing your anxiety. I looked it up and it is by the same composer, Bernard Herrmann.

I can’t believe I got that right!

So back to the film-a man is calmly eating an apple in his home receives a phone call-warning him to get out. He leaves with nothing, running. The fireman come in and start searching for books, finding Don Quixote  in the light-I read somewhere that a lot of the books used are the directors favorites.

They have nasty looking tools they use to search everywhere-the TV is full of books, it being completely fake. You couldn’t do that today with these skinny ones. After they collect all the items they take them outside and burn them all.

I’d be freaking out if those were my books.

A little boy picks up a book off the ground and looks at it, curious. A fireman looks at him-and dad, scared, throws it on the fire.

So in the book all the firemen look alike, one of the reasons why you are given that vocation. They are all dark haired and tall, same build. In here, most of them are all a shade of blonde, ah Nazi ambience again. It makes sense as Truffaut was a preteen during WWII, I’m sure the experiences really affected him, espechially seeing the Nazis taking over French cities. He probably used some of those experiences when directing this.

It is really unsettling to see these men in black and they all look so much alike-a faceless horde in a way.

SUPER creeped

Captain Beatty, Montag’s boss refers to Montag in a kind of the third person-just by his last name. No I You, etc. No individuality at all. 

Montag rides the train home, and runs into Clarisse. In the book she was a teen and a representation of innocence. In here she is a woman, which is not a bad change as they decided to go the route of a romantic relationship.

Clarisse talks to him, and she loves to talk. It seems a bit odd has she comes up and talks to him, I feel it made more sense as a teenager, as being young you wouldn’t always know or recognize social cues like an adult would.

Hmm…

They get off at the same stop because they are neighbors and Clarisse talks to him and asks him if it was true that firemen used to put out fires instead of starting them. Montag laughs at her, and says houses have always been fireproof-firemen have always destroyed books.

Clarisse asks about why Montag does it, and Montag gives the spiel of what they told him, books are rubbish. Clarisse continues to press him on it and Montag continues giving the spiel. I like this because it shows that Montag isn’t thinking about it or believes in the books being an evil to society, but that he has been taught that and never gave it another though-but now, those questions have started a seed in his head.

Clarisse asks him, “Do you ever read the books you burn?” and he repeats the spiel again…but something has him thinking….

Hmmm…

Montag gets home and the TV is on, the TV is always on. His wife is obsessed with the TV calling them “her family”, the announcers being referred to as “cousins”. he TV tlks to people nd calls them  cousins, evryone is one hapy family. His wife, Linda, is so checked out, she only cares about watching TV.

That night she has a special part in the episode. At times the show will pause as they will ask a question and wait for Linda to reply. Montag is checked out of this as he is bored-his upcoming promotion is blah, life is blah, wife is blah. This makes me think of The Truman Show when Truman starts thinking, why did I choose this life and then realizing he didn’t really choose it.

I love all the little touches Truffaut has with the newspaper being just has pictures. I never noticed it before but it looks like the Ku Klux Klan on the back.

While Montag “reads” the paper, Linda watches a mini TV by her bed, I told you that’s her life. She has to watch 24/7.

She’s glued to it. (Picture from Ringu)

Next day at work everyone congratulates him on the promotion, but he’s not as thrilled as he should be. One thing I really like about this is seeing the Montag teach the new recruits. I think it adds to the film. Montag is currently teaching them about concealment-must learn to where you would hide them. Hide in every day objects like toasters, use cylindrical objects like thermos to trick the firemen, using empty TVs, even hiding them in the house construction, etc. All the things he talks about will be shown again in the film as hiding places.

Montag gets called to come see the Captain. When they greet their higher ups they do a saute across the body, again reminiscent of Hitler and the Nazis. I definitely think some aspects of this were influenced by the Occupation of France and WWII

The boss looks though the file, as he wants to talk to him about the promotion. In his file are only pictures-ones from every angle, in fact they look like prison photos. Their whole interaction is strange but we learn a lot about the world they live in. You see Montag is married, childless, says little, and agrees with everything that his boss says. The perfect man to be risen up in power. That’s their ideal person.

That night, Montag gets home and finds the TV off-strange. Something is wrong as Linda always has the TV on.

Something isn’t right…

Linda has overdosed on drugs. Earlier Montag asked her about how many pills she took and she laughed shrugged it off. He calls 911 and no doctor or nurse come. Instead two guys come to pump her stomach and give her a transfusion. I liked in the book how Bradbury described it as a snake going into her, in my mind I aways saw them as like plumbers snaking a drain. The guys are jolly and joking, just another day this happens all the time. The guys joke and laugh as they go out that “tomorrow she’ll be hungry for all types of things”.

The next day Linda is normal, nothing is remembered. Montag is upset and tries to talk to her but she doesn’t care she just has an appetite for everything and all is forgotten as all seems fine, in fact more than fine.

That’s just how I am.

The next day Montag takes the train home and sees Clarisse, thinking about what she said.

One thing that is interesting seeing people on the train, people are all in love with themselves. When he’s on the train he sees the girls looking at themselves and admiring their beauty and the boys doing the same. No one interacts with each other, or talks to each other, etc. They are too busy focused on themselves. It’s like that Billy Idol song, Dancing With Myself. All they care about id their reflection.

The next day Montag comes home with something in his pack. He stuffs it in the bathroom. What is it?

Hmm…

A book?

It is a book!

He’s reading David Copperfield! I really like how they show him reading with his finger under each word. I know they probably did for the camera-but it is how a lot of people read when they first learn.

The next day Clarisse is walking with an older lady and they see Montag, watching him on the train as well. Clarisse goes alone and plans running into him. I don’t like that as much as in the book Clarisse, looked for him at first but then they continued to run into each other organically as Clarisse’s innocence and her total opposite of what was normal to him-intrigued him.

So Clarisse is upset and runs into Montag, the two go into a coffee shop and shares what is going on. She’s upset as she was dismissed from work (she was on probation as a teacher). Montag tells her to go and talk to them, but she doesn’t want to go lone. Clarisse calls Montag’s boss as Linda and says he is sick. I can’t believe Montag would go along with that as he is such a yes man, but I guess that is why he agrees with Clarisse.

So watching this film, I don’t really like Julie Christie in the dual role. I know money was tight and that’s why they ended up doing it that way but I really wish they had another actress in this. Julie Christie as Linda is perfect-she’s froth, light, no substance-only focused on the shallow things in life and checked out-but Christie as Clarisse is where I feel she struggles. It’s not wholly her fault, she trying to be do completely different people, which is extremely tough. Clarisse is light, carefree, innocent, naive, and endearing-Christie tries to do it but instead of being young she comes off as if she is trying too hard to be carefree. It doesn’t work for me.

When they get inside the school the kids all dress the same and are doing their multiplication in perfect unison. It’s really creepy and reminds me of the scene in A Wrinkle in Time when all the kids on the planet do everything in perfect unison.

SUPER creeped

At the school the children all run from Clarisse in fear. They loved her a few days ago, and now they hate her. Someone tosses her belongings tied up in a scarf and slide them down the hall-very clear their message: get out and stay out.

I really like the set of this film-the hallway is long and foreboding. The predominant clothes are red, orange, black, and gray-like fire and firefighters.

Montag admits to Clarisse that he read a book-wow the whole David Copperfield in one night?

Now that he started, he can’t stop. He has more and more book every night, he’s reading and thinking, even reading the dictionary.

Mildred wakes up one evening and starts investigating  finding a ton of them. She’s upset and wants them gone, but Montag is too protective.

Guy Montag: [to Linda] You’ve spent your whole life in front of that family wall. These books are my family.

Montag starts asking Linda questions about their relationship. When did they meet? Why did we get married? How did we fall in love? Linda cannot remember, neither can Montag. It makes me think of The Truman Show, when he starts thinking about his life and how it all happened.

How did this all happen!

The next day Montag tries to use the fireman pole but it’s not working. He has to take the gorgeous spiral staircase. If I ever built a house I would want a spiral staircase as it is just lovely. Anyways, the bell rings, and the men get dressed and go out, instead of the pole, Montag has to take the stairs.

They go to the house and find it unlocked, strange. It’s a beautiful Victorian and the lady comes out-it was the one that Clarisse had been talking to, the teacher who was fired and she took their place. She laughs at the men when she sees them and quotes:

Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.

This lady is awesome-the way she stands up to them. They try to push her around and she laughs in their faces. I hope that if I ever stand up for my beliefs I’m as cool as she is.

Her house is full of books.

There are books everywhere and in everything-every place they could be hidden. They toss them downstairs to burn them.

The hous has a secret room-a secret library.

That’s soooooo cool!!!!!!!!!

Captain Beatty takes Montag upstairs and tells him that every fireman once in their career wants to read one, a book-but he cautions Montag that there is noting.

The Captain: Listen to me, Montag. Once to each fireman, at least once in his career, he just itches to know what these books are all about. He just aches to know. Isn’t that so?…These are all novels, all about people that never existed, the people that read them it makes them unhappy with their own lives. Makes them want to live in other ways they can never really be…Look, all stories of the dead, biography that’s called, and autobiography. My life, my diary, my memoirs, my – intimate memoirs…Robinson Crusoe, the Negroes didn’t like that because of his man, Friday. And Nietzsche, Nietzsche, the Jews didn’t like Nietzsche. Here’s a book about lung cancer. You see, all the cigarette smokers got into a panic, so for everybody’s peace of mind, we burn it….You see, it’s… it’s no good, Montag. We’ve all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal.

As Captain Beatty rants, he goes through the different books in the library. Here are a few I caught the names of: Othello, Vanity Fair, Alice in Wonderland, Edicts of Aristotle, Robinson Crusoe, Madame Bovary, The World of Salvador Dali, Holy Deadlock, Confessions of an Irish Rebel-etc.

Montag steals a book, but another fireman spots him.

Beatty’s philosophizing is interrupted when they find out the lady won’t leave the house. Montag wants her to be forced to leave, but Beatty doesn’t care and says if she wants to die she can die.

They spray the house with kerosine, but instead of them lighting it up, she has matches in her pocket.

Yep, she’s going to decide when the fire will come. The men run while she burns with her “family”. Montag is the last one out, shaken by the scene. Uncertain of how to feel, what this means, what is right, what is wrong, etc.

Linda and her friends are all gathered watching TV, their talk is meaningless and shallow. Montag is mad and and upset about what happened and shares about how he saw the lady being burned. He’s angry and lashing out at these empty husks-not living but just killing time. Mntag brings out a book and reads it to them, a passage from David Copperfield. One lady, Doris, starts crying as the words evoke emotion in her.

“There can be no disparity in marriage like unsuitability of mind and purpose.”

All the ladies leave. Montag is like an addict, a book addict.

He is compelled to read, he wants to read everything-he feels the need to catch up-as there is just so much and so little time.

That night Montag has a nightmare. He’s i the schoolhouse, on the train, at the lady’s house who burned up, instead of the lady it is Clarisse and he sees her burning.

You know I realized watching the film this time that Clarisse and Montag actually haven’t spent a lot of time together in the film. I feel like they had more meaningful conversations in the book.

Hmm…

That night Clariss hears the siren and sees the firemen coming to her house. She grabs her go bag and escapes through the roof. The next day Montag goes to work but feels sick. Linda can’t stand the books and begs him to get rd of them threatening to leave him as she can’t live with the fear and anxiety, but Montag ignores her

Montag goes to talk toClarisse and finds the house boarded up and that they were arrested last night. Montag has to know if they are alright and hurries to work. Outside, Montag spots Captain Beatty yelling at a recruit. Montag uses that time to sneak into the captain’s office to find out what happened to Clarisse. He uses a stud in his glove to unscrew the window in the door and reach in and unlock it. Very Macgyver. But unbknowst to him, downstaies the captain has just been given the file.

Will Montag get out in time!!?

Oh no! The music emphasizing every step of the Captain.

Montag gets caught, and the Captain shows him the pictures of those that were imprisoned and those that escaped. The captain thinks he wants he house, but questions how he got into his locked office. Before Montag can reply he faints from relief and is sent home.

Mildred decides she can’t do this anymore and reports Montag.

Meanwhile, Montag searches for Clarisse and finds her getting off the train. Clarisse stayed away all night but needs to sneak into her house to get something. She is searching for a list of names and addresses of people hiding, Montag offers to help as it is something he knows how to do and is really good at. Remember he taught all the recruits.

He discovers it in a vase-cylindrical objects, and burns it for Clarisse.

Clarisse admits that she picked hjm out-she thought he would help them. Montag tells her he knows as he realized it when the woman burned herself. Clarisse shares she did it as she was afraid that when they tortured her she would spill everything.

Clarisse shares with him that there is a place where the book people live. People who have escaped from society-they live far away in the hills and country-all have  a book committed to memory. No longer themselves, they are a book.

Or years.

Clarisse asks him to come with him, but Montag has unfinished business. Things he wants to do here, to try and destroy the power of the fireman. They part ways both believing they will never see each other again.

Linda packs up at the house, taking her clothes and a picture of herself (wow, that’s telling), while Montag goes to the station to try to give his resignation-but Beatty refuses it and convinces him to take a final call. When they stop at the house, Montag realizes it is his house!

Montag helps pull all the books out, although he does stuff one in his uniform. They give Montag the flame thrower to destroy it and he burns his bed-the betrayal of his wife.

Then the tv he always hated, the family. He then burns the books-Moby Dick,  Don Juan, The Mystery of Jack the Ripper, Plexus, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, MAD, Lolita, The Brothers Karamoz, etc.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Not the books.

Everytime I watch the books burn my heart breaks a little and it makes me want to cry. This would be me:

Montag won’t let them burn his special book, and when Captain Beatty tries to pull it from him and threatens to arrest him-he turns the flame thrower on Captain Beatty, and the house.

Montag runs away and the authorities call out to all citizens to look out their doors for Montag, a man running and report if they find him. They use all those pictures in his file to splatter across TV.

So in the film, Clarisse told him where to go to find the book people, while in the book he just runs to the country. In both, all people live in the city and no one ever goes out to the country which makes it the perfect place to hide out.

Montag is hidog as they search for him. In the book they sent a mechanical hound that searches for him by his DNA with a needle full of toxic substance that will find him and prick him, killing him. I don’t think they had the technology a the time to make a creepy and realistic looking one. I don’t really want to watch the remake with Michael B. Jordan as you know how I feel about remakes:

I espechially do not like HBO ruining books I like (I did not like The Big Little Lies adaption)-but I would be interested to see how they have they do the hound.

As Montag walks he comes upon a group of people. One man greets him and shows him to a TV where they watch Montag’s capture.

What??

In the future, people have short attention spans and cannot keep the viewers waiting. They must have a climax and they find a guy just walking down the street and shoot him down.

We see different people walking around-hey there is the guy from the very beginning! So remember how the film didn’t have a lot of money? The Book People at the end were mostly played by members of the film crew.

Some of the book people are Plato’s Republic, Wuthering Heights, Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pilgrim’s Progress, Waiting for Godot, The Jewish Question, The Martian Chronicles, The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, The Prince, Pride and Prejudice (spilt between two people as it was originally two volumes), etc.

One day society will want them again and books will be printed again.

Montag’s “special book” is Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe. He will be memorizing it and runs into Clarisse,

I love at the end how everyone is walking and reciting their books, Montag reading and trying to memorize his. The lovely words from all different books running over each other as the snow falls.

Everytime I watch this I always winder, which book would I want to memorize? Which would be the one I think is the important enough to carry on to the next generation? I feel like it would be too hard to pick one.

 

For more on Fahrenheit 451, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Book Club Picks: The Illustrated Man

Catherine Morland’s Reading List: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

So the idea of Catherine Morland’s Reading List came mostly from the fact that I am a huge Gothic fiction/mystery fan. Before I met Jane Austen I devoured all these books that I know, if Catherine was alive, she would have been reading.

It started with reading one, and then before I knew it I had a list of 30 I was planning on eventually reviewing. What can I say…

Of course, if you are into Gothic fiction, you have to be into Edgar Allan Poe

I LOVE Edgar Allan Poe. I grew up reading his short stories over and over and over again. It’s funny, but I actually got interested because of the Ray Bradbury short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” from The Martian Chronicles. The story references all these Edgar Allan Poe stories, so I had to read them-and after one I was hooked!

So with his stories, I’m going to review them one by one as there are sooooo many. It would be an incredibly looooooooooooooong post to do them all in one.

Today we are going to start with the first Edgar Allan Poe story I have ever read, AND one of my favorites!

This story and detective, C. Auguste Dupin, are also believed to be the first detective mystery story ever written (not first mystery-first detective mystery.) Dupin is thought to being the forerunner to Sherlock Holmes in his ways of observation and sleuthing, Many believe that Doyle copied Poe, even though Doyle insists that Holmes is based on a professor he had while attaining his medical degree.

Hmm…

Whether it is a copy or not, I don’t care. I love both-you know me:

Mystery, you say?

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue (C. Auguste Dupin Mysteries #1)” from The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allen Poe

C. Auguste Dupin is from an old, established, wealthy family, but has lost all his money and is now poor. He still has a little bit of money, enough to let him live and afford his greatest vice, books.

Dupin lives with his friend, the nameless narrator, and astounds him with his deductive reasoning, being able to tell what he is thinking!

Wow!

One morning they look in the paper and see the headline EXTRAORDINARY MURDERS.

The night before Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, residents of Rue Morgue, were heard screaming in the middle of the night. People heard and tried to get in, but every door and window was locked on the ground floor. They eventually gained access by using a crowbar.

When they came in the room they found it in incredible discord and destruction.

It gets pretty dark here, just a ***SPOILER ALERT***

The women were found with a razor caked with blood and the Madame’s gray tresses also dripping in blood, looking as if ripped from the head. Both women’s necks were cut so badly they were practically separated from their necks.

Horrifying!

Both women were also shoved up the chimney.

Everyone was questioned but no one knows why it was committed, who did it, or how. Everyone who came in heard the voice of whoever committed the act but could not understand the language. Some think it was Spanish, others Italian, etc.

Hmmm…

Dupin becomes interested in the case and follows it in all the papers. The only thing that was open was a window on one of the high stories. But how could anyone get in?

Hmmm

Dupin believes he has the case solved and places an ad in the newspaper to catch the killer. Has he figured it out? Who could have done such a horrible act?

Hmm…

I love this story and the ending is fantastic. I personally think this is the best of the Dupin mysteries, even though everyone always goes on about The Purloined Letter.

For more on Catherine Morland’s Reading List, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: The Inn at Half Moon Bay

For more gothic tales, go to Book Club Picks: Wuthering Heights

Book Club Picks: The Illustrated Man

Thirteen weeks after a Friday the 13th, we have another

Don’t worry I got you covered with my new post.

So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I am now right on track!

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop. I’ve talked about this book before, but here we go again:

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

Since I have posted on this before, I am only going to discuss the stories we went over in our book club.

The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

No one else really enjoyed this story as they felt it was too sad. I like it as it is a great blend of creepy and thrilling. It shows you why you should not spoil your children-and a big wake up to having your kid just sit in front of a tablet, phone, or TV. I love it, and think you should check it out.

Illustration III: The Other Foot

HateTwilightZone

Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

We all loved this story. It has such a great message and a fantastic ending!

Illustration V: The Man

Bethphage-Jesus-enter-Jerusalem

A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

The member who chose the book, this is her favorite story. She loves how it plays out and how the character’s testimony was so strong it helped the one man believe and have faith. She compared it to Christianity and Jesus. We all enjoyed this story as well. 

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

We all enjoyed this story as well. One member posed a very interesting question: Does the sundome exist or is it just a mirage?

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

finishtherace

A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

One member just loved this story. He felt that it was a perfect illustration for missionary work and just loved how the one priest had such a fire and desire to be there for the fire balloons and try and show them God’s love.

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

TheEnd_Title_2

A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

One member just loved this story. She felt that if it was her last night on Earth she would spend it the exact same way.

Illustration X: The Exiles

fahrenheit451firemontagguy

On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

I love this one. Books fighting back, trying to survive in a world that feels they aren’t needed, a great story.

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

All agreed super creepy, but a very good read.

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

We all loved this story. Just the love this family has and how much they care about each other. A fantastic read!

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: The Masterpiece

For more books by Ray Bradbury, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For more on The Illustrated Man, go toEach Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

I Want to Give You What You Love: Age of Adaline (2015)

Most Romantic Moment #2

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The Age of Adaline (2015)

So I was recommended this film by a friend, but I didn’t like it.

I don't like it 11

It wasn’t horrible, but this sort of thing has been done before and I felt this film didn’t really do anything new or different. I also didn’t like how she was with both the father and son.

ew! Gross Yuck

But there was one thing I found extremely romantic, so I wanted to include it in my countdown.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

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Adaline Bowman was born on New Year’s Day on 1908. She married and had daughter, only to sadly become a widow a few years later.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

In 1937 she was driving in a snowstorm and fell into a freezing pond. She died, but was brought to life when lightening struck the water.

What?!

What?!

Since that day, Adaline doesn’t age, remaining 29 and being forced to constantly be on the move.

We need to get out of here

I need to get out of here

This New Year’s Eve, she meets Ellis Jones at a party, introducing herself as Jennifer. He’s interested, but Adaline knows it isn’t the best idea to be romantically involved, as she has had things go wrong 40 years ago.

what-not-to-say-to-broken-hearted-girl-3what went wrong holiday

However, Ellis won’t give up  and the two begin to seriously date. He invites her to come with him for his parents 40th anniversary. When they get there Adaline realizes that Ellis’ father is one of her past boyfriends, William, the one from 40 years ago.

OMG gasp

At first William seems to buy that the women he met all those years ago is not Adaline/Jennifer, but “her mother”. But then William spots something that confirms that she is the woman from years past. Will Adaline be able to live in peace or have to take off again?

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Most Romantic Moment: I Brought You the Type of Flowers You Want

So you guys know what I think of being given flowers.

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I would prefer something that will last a long time.

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So Ellis has tried a few things to woo Adalind, but nothing has worked.

Hmmm....

Hmmm….

But then he realizes what Adalind really loves:

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And instead of bringing flowers, he brings books with flower names.

bookflowers

How sweet!

How sweet!

This is so romantic! He took the time to think and see what would make her happy and give her that, instead of something clichéd or easy.

swoon dreamy

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

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For more Moreland quotes, go to Sleep is Not Important

For more on books being the best gift, go to Post Approved

Each Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

Day 19) S is for Short Stories: Choose a collection of Short Stories

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The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop.

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The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

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Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

keanu Whoa

However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

OMG gasp

The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

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Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

Illustration II: Kaleidoscope

Space Mountain

The crew of a space ship has been torn apart, and this records their last thoughts as they hurl toward Earth.

“It was so very odd. Space, thousands of miles of space, and these voices vibrating in the center of it.”

Illustration III: The Other Foot

HateTwilightZone

Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

Illustration IV: The Highway

supernatural impala

A husband and wife live by a highway in rural Mexico, where people stop all the time. Something seems to be more pressing than usual, but what?

“Oh, please hurry!’ one of the girls cried. She sounded very high and afraid.”

Illustration V: The Man

Bethphage-Jesus-enter-Jerusalem

A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

rainbreakfastattiffaneyscat

We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

Illustration VII: The Rocket Man

startrek

Astronauts are hard to come by and a hard life, so those that are astronauts are paid a lot, but gone for months. This story is the relationship of the mother and son as they deal with the father/husband’s absence.

“Doug…I want you to promise me something.’

‘What?’

‘Don’t ever be a Rocket Man.”

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

finishtherace

A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

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A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

Illustration X: The Exiles

fahrenheit451firemontagguy

On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

Illustration XI: No Particular Night or Morning

nightmare before christmas nothing turn out like it should

Two friends are traveling in a spaceship, as one determines that nothing exists that he cannot touch. Is he right and there is nothing in space but emptiness?

“So I began to find gaps between everything. I doubted I was married or had a child or ever had a job in my life…I couldn’t prove anything.”

Illustration XII: The Fox and the Forest

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

In the future, the world is an ugly one full of war and life in a factory creating more weapons of war. The one bright spot is the ability to travel back in time. A couple, William and Susan Travis, decide to run for their lives by remaining in 1930s Mexico. But will their plan work, or will they be captured and sent back?

“Save me, hide me, help me! Color my hair, my eyes; clothe me in strange clothes. I need your help. I’m from the year 2155!”

Illustration XIII: The Visitor

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

Mars is a place where those with deadly diseases go and live out the remainders of their days. One day a young boy comes with the ability to create any image or bring back any memory. He plans to use it and rule over the others; but will they be willing to share or will they take him for what they want?

“Come on. Don’t you realize what’ll happen once they discover your talent? They’ll fight over you. They’ll kill each other–kill you–for the right to own you.”

Illustration XIV: The Concrete Mixer

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Mars goes to invade Earth, but instead finds the people welcoming them. One Martin, Ettil, never wanted to travel to Earth. He finds that although the Earthlings hope to exploit Martians, the Earth ways will also mark death for the Martians.

“Don’t you feel it?’ he whispered…Something’s going to happen to us. They have some plan. Something subtle and horrible. They’re going to do something to us-I know.”

Illustration XV: Marionettes, Inc.

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A man is tired of his clingy wife and pays for a cyborg double to take his place so he can go off and have fun. But what if the puppet is no longer satisfied at being controlled and wants to control the strings?

“Your wife is rather nice,’ said Braling Two. ‘I’ve grown rather fond of her.”

Illustration XVI: The City

Metropolis city

A group of astronauts land on an uncharted planet and find an empty city. But they soon realize this city is not as empty as it looks, as it has been waiting to unleash what it was made for.

“I am no longer your captain,’ he said. ‘Nor am I a man.’

The men moved back.

‘I am the city,’ he said, and smiled.”

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

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In the end the last image is shown, our narrator’s death by the illustrated man. He runs for town, but will he make it?

Along came a spider morgan freeman running

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But the good kind of trauma.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to She Struck Him as a Fixer-Upper, a Block of Clay Ready for Pygmalion’s Chisel: The Overnight Socialite

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For more on Ray Bradbury, go to It’s A Fan World After All

For more on aliens, go to I Can Make You all Go Away! Any Time I Want To!: Charlie X, Star Trek (1966)

For more bible verses, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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In The Exiles, they mention how no one believes in Santa Claus and he has become a shadow of the man he was, a skeleton in red. No more Christmas, no more.

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This reminds me of the song I Believe in Santa Claus. This was written by Maury Laws and Jules Bass and used for the Christmas Special, The Year Without a Santa Claus.

Yeah without a Santa Clause

I never believed in Santa Claus, but I like this song as it reminds you that no matter what happens you must hold on to the spirit of Christmas.

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No matter what, always believe in its goodness and love.

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This song was performed by Mickey Rooney and Ron Marshall

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For more on The Year Without a Santa Claus, go to A Baker’s Four Dozen

For more Christmas Carols, go to A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

Day 1) A is for Apocalyptical: Choose a book with an apocalyptic theme

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my absolute favorite books. I first was introduced to it at the age of 10, when I came across my parents watching the German film. I didn’t quite understand it, so my mom gave me the book to read. Since then I read it at least once a year.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

Every time I read this book it shocks me with how accurate it is in portraying the culture of today. I was amazed at that age, but this most recent time when I read the book, it really struck me with exactly how spot on it is.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

The book was published in 1953, and is set in a Dystopian future. No year is given, although it is done after 1960. In this future reading is outlawed

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

Books are an illegal substance,

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

and the firemen’s job is to burn the offensive material.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t know about you all, but a world without books sounds like a catastrophic end of the world to me. After all:

4083834-young-indian-stressed-businessman-yuppie-type-standing-with-a-terrified-expression-or-dramatic-grimaican'tcannotllivewithoutit

Guy Montag has always lived life the way culture dictates; has a good paying job, married, no kids as they are bothersome and their are already too many, multiple wall screens to stream TV, etc.

Sound familiar?

Sound familiar?

But then one night everything changes. He meets the daughter of his new next door neighbor, Clarisse, who doesn’t like firemen.

“And you must be-…the fireman.’ Her voice trailed off.

‘How oddly you say that.’

‘I’d- I’d have known it with my eyes shut,’ she said, slowly.

‘What- the smell of kerosene? My wife always complains,’ he laughed. ‘You never wash it off completely.’

No you don’t,’ she said, in awe.” [pg. 4]

She starts talking about all kinds of things, like how firemen at one time didn’t burn things but helped stop fires. She even questions whether he ever reads the books he burns.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

Clarisse is completely counter to the culture of the day and a throwback to the past.

OldFashioned

 For instance, she doesn’t like this obsession with everything has to be in a hurry, driving all is blur with no one taking the time to look, examine, or have have patience. In fact her uncle was jailed for driving 40 mi/hrs, as it was far too “slow”.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Clarisse also likes to go out for walks and and look at the sky, stars, or moon. Something else everyone finds as weird or odd.

weirdtwilightzone

This reminds me so much of our culture today. Everything needs to be instant-instant news, fast food, all TV shows, etc. No patience, no waiting. My niece and I were watching a show on Netflix, and she asked me why they would have these moments where they pause, go to black, and then do a review of what we already seen. I actually had to explain that they used to show these episodes on TV, and there would be commercials in-between. Because you might get people who just tuned in and didn’t see the beginning, and were unable to see the beginning (unless they purchased it on VHS or DVD, they would repeat it for them. And then I had to explain that streaming is something new, prior to it you had to  wait a week for the next episode; and when the season ended you had to wait 6 months to a year for the next season.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Now here is a child who has grown up on the world of streaming and the internet and never, ever experienced having to wait for something.

keanu Whoa

Just like in this.

Anyways, when Montag returns home he finds his wife, Mildred, almost dead, having sucked down a lot of pills. He calls the hospital and they don’t even bother sending an ambulance. So many people these days are trying to kill themselves and end their life with pills, they have a machine like a black snake to pump the stomach.

The next day, Mildred doesn’t remember anything about what happened that night, and all she cares about is her “family” a TV show she follows.

Ringu Watch TV

There are all kinds of people suffering in the world or “real issues” that need to be talked about, but are all glossed over by entertainment. All people care about is the TV screens, wanting this giant Wall to Wall circuit. And the shows they watch have no real themes or content to them. Just mindless chatter.

When I reread this, it made me think of the reality shows we have that are just the same thing again and again, no real changes or real content. Keeping Up with the Kardashians for example. Or the endless dating shows looking for love like Flav O FlavMy Fair Brady, etc. Or The X Factor, The Voice, American Idol, etc, And people care more about these shows then real things.

We are strange people.

We are strange people.

Then Montag runs into Clarisse.  She talks to him, really talks just about anything and everything. Because she isn’t “normal” they force her to o to a psychiatrist.

“They want to know what I do with all my time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit and think.” [pg. 20]

In fact that is something she and her family like to do, just sit around and talk no devices, go out and walk just talking. In this world conversation is dead, no one really talks anymore. Sound familiar?

“He laughed.

She glanced quickly over. ‘Why are you laughing?’

‘I don’t know.’ He started to laugh again and stopped. ‘Why?’

‘You laugh when I haven’t been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what I’ve asked you.” [pg. 6]

It gets him thinking, and thinking is dangerous in a dystopian world.

“He felt his body divide itself into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding upon the other.” [pg. 21]

Clarrise is a great character because she represents a type of person that is fading out. The one who is still holding on to the values of the past. A type of person who wants to think for herself instead of being spoonfeed an idea from the Internet, government, or teachers.

“I’m antisocial, they say. I don’t mix. It’s so strange. I’m very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn’t it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this…But I don’t think it is social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you?…We never ask questions…they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing…It’s a lot of funnels and a lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it’s wine when it’s not.” [pg. 27]

The other thing I love about Clarrise os that she is so easily relatable, at least to me she is. She is disconnected to her generation because she doesn’t have the same values as they do she is more old fashioned, and because of that she is an 80 year old in a 17 year old’s body. I know exactly how that feels. I love reading, creating things by hand, having things until they wear out, not getting the newest stuff. That’s how I been my whole life which makes it hard to find others who value the same thing. I mean I read Emily Post.

“You sound so old.’

‘Sometimes I’m ancient.” [pg. 27]

ancientsoulinyoungbody

Clarrise hates this world of blandness and nothingness.

“People don’t talk about anything.’

‘Oh, they must!’

‘No, not anything. They name a lot of cars or clothes or swimming pools mostly and say how swell! But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different from anyone else.” [pg. 28]

Clarisse opens Montag’s mind up to the way the world is and how it should be, and before he knows it, she and her whole family are gone.

You question in a dystopian world and you are gone.

You question in a dystopian world and you are gone.

He asks Captain Beatty if it is true that fireman used to stop fires instead of creating them.

Not good

Not good

The rest if the firemen are uneasy, but Captain Beatty knows it is natural for at one pint a fireman to question things. He shows him the history of the firemen and when they were first established.

“Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin.

Rules

  1. Answer the alarm quickly.
  2. Start the fire swiftly.
  3. Burn everything.
  4. Report back to the firehouse immediately.
  5. Stand alert for other Alarms.

Before anything else can be done, an alarm sounds and the group heads out. They reach the place and apprehend a women, demanding to know where her contraband is. She won’t tell them but quotes Hugh Latimer.

“Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.”

The fireman don’t understand this, but Hugh Latimer was executed for his protestantism, under the ruling of catholic Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth’s older sister. He was burned alive for his beliefs, which is foreshadowing as to what is to come.

Not good

They find the books and are going to burn them like they always do, except this night is different. This woman, Mrs. Blake, stands their silently judging them.

Mehsleepyhollownotimportant

Montag begins burning everything, but instead of just being things, they feel more alive, like killing animals.

I don't like it 11

They burn everything, ready to decimate the building, but Mrs. Blake won’t leave. She refuses to give up her books. The fireman leave, ready to let her die; but Montag tries to help her. She refuses as she holds in her hand a match.

Not good

Not good

Willing to die for her beliefs.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

I think that is why I love this book so much, the fact that it truly explains a connection people have not just to the book but to the author’s thoughts and ideas. Destroying a book is more than destroying a physical object, it is trying to kill the person who created it.

“It’s not just the woman that died…Last night I thought about all that kerosene I’ve used in the past ten years. And I thought about books. And for the first time I realized that a man was behind each one of the books. A man had to think them up. A man had to take a long time to put them down on paper. And I’d never even thought that thought before…It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life and then I come along in two minutes and boom! it’s all over.” [pg. 49]

Montag returns home after the horror with a secret:

“His hands had been infected, and soon it would be his arms. He could feel the poison working up his wrists and into the elbows and his shoulders, and then the jump-over from shoulder blade to shoulder blade like a spark leaping a gap. His hands were ravenous. And his eyes were beginning to feel hunger, as if they must look at something, anything, everything…He balanced in space with the book in his sweating cold fingers.” [pg. 38]

Wordsdrug

Montag realizes how empty his life is, he married his wife ten years ago, but can’t fathom why. He doesn’t love her and she doesn’t love him. They don’t talk, they spend no time together, and all she does is watch TV or listen to her device with her little seashell headphones that go in her ears practically disappearing from view. Both people are empty, full of nothingness. There is countless walls between them through the TV shows she watches and she is more connected to those fake creations on the screen than her own husband.

All Mildred does is watch TV, yet even that is so empty that you if ask questions what is it even about Mildred doesn’t know. Mildred doesn’t know anything. It’s like she is on drugs, the way her memory and mind is so foggy.

She is like a zombie.

She is like a zombie.

The next day Montag is sick, not physically but mentally, and philosophically. The death of the woman has troubled him dearly and he can’t understand it.

“You weren’t there, you didn’t see,’ he said. There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.” [pg. 48]

booksWordsChangetheWorld

Mildred doesn’t understand it and think that Montag is crazy for taking the death of a stupid radical this way. He should focus on work, on making more money, so they can get more things and TVs and such.

“Let me alone,’ said Mildred. ‘I didn’t do anything.’

‘Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long has it been since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” [pg. 49]

Then Beatty shows up as Montag has been missing from work. He figured it out that Montag has been questioning the world they live in. So he gives them the spiel he gives out to bring those on the edge back to reality.

“Once, books appealed to a few people, here, there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was roomy. But then the world got full of eyes and elbows and mouths…Films and radios, magazines, books leveled down to a sort of paste pudding norm…in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids…Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve line dictionary resume…

Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom!…Whirl a man’s mind around so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought.

…philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?” [pgs 51-53]

Life today. Now this part here really gets me with how PC you have to be 24/7, the littlest infraction and you are out.

“Now let’s take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don’t step on the toes of the dog-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico…The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean.

Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca…But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive, And the dimensional sex magazines of course.

There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick…Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time…

With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word ‘intellectual’, of course became the swear word it deserved to be…

We must all be alike. Not everyone was born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man in the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, judge themselves against…”

Horrifying, yet that is the world we live in. You don’ like it, they destroy it; and that is happening now. A book about George Washington’s slave, who liked him because she saved his life from an assassination plot, making him a birthday cake was pulled because it isn’t p.c. Uncle Tom’s Cabin? No longer read because it is portrays African Americans in a bed light when it didn’t, Uncle Tom was an extremely powerful character. People don’t even read the book, but destroy it because it might hurt someone’s feelings.

Captain Beatty lets them know they got rid of the girl as she was too crazy and out there.

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Life’s better bland, nothing to worry about, pleasant life, no problems, no nothing.

He tells Montag it is okay to check out a book, just one, as there is nothing in there. He’ll read it and burn it afterward.

After Beatty left, Montag is furious, but instead of taking something to make him happy, he has 20 books hidden in the house. He has decided to read them, sharing them with Mildred.

Montag goes to see Professor Faber, a man he ran into before. Faber used to work at a liberal arts college, but they closed it down as it was no longer important. He wants to know how to understand the books, to learn and Faber is the only one he has left.

Faber tells him we need three things in life:

“Number one: Do you know why books such as these are so important? Because they have quality…This book has pores…You’d find life under the glass, streaming past infinite profusion…The good writers touch life often.” [pg. 79]

And the second? Leisure. Now Montag brings up that we have plenty of leisure, but he means actual time set aside to read, not bombarded with all types of  things.

“You can’t argue with a four-wall televisor. Why? The televisor is ‘real.’ It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn’t time to protest, ‘What nonsense!’

‘…You can shut [books], say ‘Hold on a moment.’ You play God to it. But who has ever torn himself away from the claw that encloses you when you drop a seed in a TV parlor? It grows you any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth. Books can be beaten down with reason. But with all my knowledge and skepticism, I have never been able to argue with a one-hundred-piece-symphony orchestra, full color, three dimensions…” [pg. 80]

And thirdly the ability to carry out the actions learned from it.

Montag thinks they can change the world by planting books on all the firemen, to bring them down. But Faber knows it won’t help, it isn’t the fireman that created this rule but the public who wanted people to stop reading.

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That’s right, we did when we stopped reading.

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Montag is afraid to go out as Beatty might mix him up again. Faber gives him these devices so he can put it in his ear so that he can hear Faber. That night he goes home and sees that Mildred is having a party.

Montag is horrified by these women. One just marries, divorces, marries, divorces, no emotions whatsoever. The other has kids who are in school constantly, and never sees them as she doesn’t care. They discuss politics. voting for people based on how they look and their names, rather than what they actually say or want to do.

Montag reads to them but they don’t understand. They’ve been too distorted with TV and the culture with no substance.

Captain Beatty knows that Montag has been reading and plays with him, using the books he clings to to rebut his arguments. They leave as they have a call, and it turns out that it is Montag’s house

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Mildred put in the alarm and she is heartbroken. But what saddens her the most? Losing her TV family

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Yes, not her husband, home, etc.

Montag is forced to destroy his own home, and afterwards destroys the firemen. After all, his whole life he has been taught, you have a problem, burn it.

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He has now become a fugitive and runs. Not knowing where, but just continuing to run.

After running, he plants the books in other firemen’s houses. Montag stops to see Faber, finds out the Hound (the firemen’s robotic assassin) is after them, and continues to take off. Never knowing where he is to go next, but running.

He runs into the country until the end of the all known. He stops when he reaches an area with men siting near a campfire and TV set. They give him a potion to change his perspiration, but it is’t really necessary. The Hound needs to find someone, as after all this is TV, the people need the answer.

They find some poor sop who looks like Montag and kill him to save face.

These men are former professors , intellectuals, etc; who have been running from the law. Each one has taken in a new life, the life of a book. These books are locked away in an area they can never be taken from. The mind.

Eventually the hope is to one day reenter society and bring the books they have been passing orally to the world.

“Do you really think they will listen then?’

‘If not then we’ll just have to wait…you can’t make people listen. They have to come around in their own time…” [pg. 146]

And what book does Montag choose to be? Ecclesiastes.

Besides this fantastic story, we have the amazing language and the great way it was written. Take the beginning:

“It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmut numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.” [pgs. 1-2]

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This book is only 158 pages, barely any pages, but there is so much power is in that. Amazing amounts of power. I just love this book.

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Remember:

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Turn your TV, computer, cell phone, and any other device you have off for a while and pick up a book instead.

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To read more 30 Day challenges go to 30 Day Challenge: All About Me!

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For more on Fahrenheit 451, go to It’s A Fan World After All

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Dystopian futures, go to Remember, Remember The 5th of November

For more on being old-fashioned, go to Not a Hipster, But an O.F.

For more Cassandra Clare, go to Drug of Choice

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So last year I posted a Christmas Carol every day in December and I really enjoyed it. I had so much fun picking out the songs, I decided to bring it back.

So with everything going on in the world, and the way people have been acting: I think we need a little Christmas in our lives. So I choose that song.

We Need a Little Christmas is from the musical Mame based on the novel Aunt Mame. In the story Mame gains guardianship of her nephew and starts to raise him. At this point in the musical, Mame has lost everything in the stock market crash of 1929. With everything practically gone, she decides to have Christmas early as she doesn’t know what will happen.

Of course that isn’t the end of the play as Mame has many more interesting antics. However, this song is great and just the right thing to put us in the mood.

This version is sung by Angela Lansbury, from the first musical cast of Aunt Mame.

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For more Christmas Carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

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For more on Angela Lansbury, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

A Book Only a Reader Could Write

So I wanted to publish this post yesterday, but my computer and I weren’t on the best speaking terms. We have since resolved that issue.

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And the computer has since then come along to my way of thinking. So sorry if I’m a day behind, but better late than never!

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Some books you read and you just know that there was no way this book could ever exist unless the author grew up as a huge fan of reading.

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Such as Matilda by Roald Dahl. Only someone who grew up reading could create a character that gave a voice to all us bibliophiles out there.

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Or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Only someone who truly loved to read could create the most dismal future, a time when books are outlawed and destroyed. The book is full of glimpses into what might actually happen, unless we take the time to read and value the thoughts and creations found between the pages.

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Well The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, is definitely one of those books.

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The book was first published in 1979 and then translated into English in 1983. As this is it anniversary, thankfully pointed out by Google, I thought it deserved no less than a post by me.

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The story was such a big part of my childhood, with book and film.

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So the book begins with young Bastian Balthazar Bux; a shy, awkward, introvert:

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Who has been grieving over the loss of his mother and feels disconnected from his father.

Aw, man.

Aw.

He doesn’t really have any friends and is bullied at school. The one thing that Bastian does have is his books.

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With their help he is able to escape reality:

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And here is reason number one why this book is awesome and proof, author Ende must have been a reader; he just understands us so well. I mean even today I still like to escape my reality with a good book:

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Anyways, so Bastian is being chased by bullies when he runs into a bookstore owned by Carl Conrad Coreander. While hiding out, he spots the book The Neverending Story.

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Bastian just has to have the book, but the ornery shop owner doesn’t seem interested in the idea of selling, and such a book that would be far too expensive. So Bastian does something he has never done before, he steals it.

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He runs up to school, deciding to hide away in the attic, reading the story and being thrust into the world of Fantastica (Fantasia in the film).

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Fantastica is falling apart. The dark nothing is destroying it, piece by piece until it will fade away and there will be nothing left. Only one thing can save them; the childlike empress has chosen Atreyu, a native of the plains, to search throughout Fantastica to discover what can be done. As Bastian reads, he becomes more and more involved with the characters. So wrapped up in the book he stays throughout all his periods, in the cold, all the while starving.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

But that’s silly. They aren’t real people.

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But yet, the characters do seem real. And it almost seems as if they know he exists and is part of the journey with them.

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When Atreyu is traveling he hears what the salvation of Fantastica is:

Born of the Word, the children of man,

Or humans, as they’re sometimes called,

Have had the gift of giving names

Ever since the worlds began,

In every age it’s they who gave

The Childlike Empress life,

For wondrous new names have the power to save.

But now for many and many a day,

No human has visited Fantastica,

For they no longer know the way.

They have forgotten how real we are,

They don’t believe in us anymore.

Oh, if only one child of man would come,

Oh, then at last the thing would be done.”

But where to find such a human child?

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Atreyu continues on his journeys, getting help from Falkor, the luck dragon.

One of the best parts of the book, at least I think so, is when Atreyu faces Gmork, the werewolf. Gmork has become an agent of the Nothing, trying to destroy Fantastica and along with it the human world. Without Fantastica, the world is filled with lies instead of truth, despair instead of hope, destruction instead of creation; pretty much containing nothing.

I love this part as it shows why stories and books are so important. They help us create, they give us hope, dreams, ideas, etc. We need stories, we need hope, we need it as much as we need life.

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And we need to start reading at a young age; so we can have the foundations to fight against all the darkness we will face as we grew older.

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So Atreyu returns to the Empress, defeated. He has no way to stop the nothing. He has failed.

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But the empress is not upset at all. In fact, she says that Atreyu has fulfilled his mission. He has brought a human child here through all his adventures. And she is talking about Bastian!

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The reader has been called into the story? And not just called, but the hero! How cool is that! And how awesome if that could happen. Can you just imagine if the characters started talking to you in the middle of your favorite story?

So cool, I want it to be true.

So cool, I want it to be true.

This is my favorite part of the book, the second half isn’t as strong (in my opinion) as the first half. But still one great book.

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The movie was just as amazing. Now they did make changes, but I thought it kept the soul and heart of the book. I used to watch it over and over.

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Even now I cannot think or say the words “Neverending Story” without singing them like in the film’s song.

I recently showed the film to my niece and realized I am not only like Bastian, but Coreander. Yes, I have the soul of an old curmudgeon who doesn’t like the youth’s fascination with technology rather than books.

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The rest of the story is just as beautiful, fascinating, adventurous, and powerful. And don’t forget the end of the film when the childlike Empress is talking right to you.  Shivers run up and down my spine, it is so good.

Creepy!

I mean I feel like she is talking right to me!

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The other movies I didn’t really enjoy, but that first one was a true winner.

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So there you have it. One amazing book that I am glad existed to become a part of my childhood, in both print and on the screen.

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And you can bet your boots I will most definitely be checking out the film Sunday when they rerelease it in theaters. Don’t worry childlike Empress, Fantastic/Fantasia will always exist as long as I am alive!

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For more on The Neverending Story, go to The Neverending Story

For more anniversary posts, go to Here’s to Another Year

For more book-filled posts, go to A World of Teas

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For more Roald Dahl, go to We Shall Rule the World!

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Ernest Hemingway, go to Fiction or Reality? I Choose Fiction

For more Markus Zusak, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more Richard Marek, go to Crazy Book Lady

Baby Jane Austen

So I’m sure some of you might be thinking that I will be writing about Jane Austen’s life as a baby.

Hoe cute she probably was

She was probably a cute baby.

Well no, I’m not. Instead I am talking about Jane Austen novels for babies!

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I know, how cool is that? There is a company called BabyLit that takes classic novels and turns them into baby primer board books; that is learning books for babies.

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Now they can also read classic novels!

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So far they have Dracula on counting: Alice in Wonderland on colors; A Christmas Carol on colors; Wuthering Heights on the weather; Moby Dick on the ocean, Jane Eyre on counting; Romeo & Juliet on counting; The Jungle Book on animals; Sherlock Holmes and the Hounds of Baskerville on sounds; Anna Karenina on fashion; Jabberwocky on nonsense; Frankenstein on anatomy; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on colorsand Huckleberry Finn on camping.

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And of course they have covered Jane Austen with Emma, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense & Sensibility.

Double double yay

And of course me being a major fan, I just had to buy them and check them out.

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But as I have no children and didn’t have any extra book space to hold onto them for if that ever happened (my books are already in every spare spot I have) I bought them for my friend’s baby. So far I have only purchased two (Emma and Pride & Prejudice), one for Christmas and the other for her first birthday. When I buy Sense & Sensibility for this Christmas I’ll review it.

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Emma

Emma: A BabyLit Emotions Primer by Jennifer Adams

So we know the story of Emma right? The bare bones of it is a bored girl tries her hand at matchmaking:

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But in the ends her schemes don’t go anything like she planned.

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However, that is too advanced for a baby; so this one is all about emotions with cute illustrations. Emma is excited! Mrs. Bates is scared! Mr. Knightley is Loved.

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You got that right!

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Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams

So Pride & Prejudice, the most famous of the Jane Austen novels. In it a mother is trying to marry off her offspring, but her meddling can cause some issues.

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Plus some manipulations, misunderstanding, and perseverance see that four couples find their happy match (once again bare bones).

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So once again too much for a baby, so this one is all about counting: nine fashionable dresses, five sisters, two gentlemen, etc.

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Sense & Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer by Jennifer Adams

So this is the story of two sisters who go from being wealthy, to having nothing.

Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, you must change. You will catch a cold. Marianne: What care I for colds when there is such a man. Elinor Dashwood: You will care very much when your nose swells up.

They get caught up in others manipulations, in their own striving for happiness, and discovering that being all sense or all sensibility isn’t the right way to be; their should be a balance of both. Plus sisters will always be there for the other.

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There are also manipulations, secret affairs, meddling matchmakers and more. But of course, that isn’t something babies can grasp so instead we have opposites: big, small, happy, sad, etc.

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So What Did I Think Of It?

So while it doesn’t tell the whole story of these novels (which I didn’t expect it to) I thought these were a wonderful idea and I want to purchase them all.

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In a world where less and less people are reading, especially the classics: it is important to bring these memorable works back into the mainstream. I mean there is a reason why they were chosen as classics and they need to be read by everyone.

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And while this book focus on it’s theme (colors, counting, feelings) more than the plot of the novel; two very imoprtant things come out of here.

First, the child is being given a classic novel and grows up hearing that name and the characters; making them much more open to reading the real book when they are old enough.

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And second, you reading to your child teaches them the importance of family time and the importance of reading. Thus making them book fans too.

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So I highly recommend buying these and adding them to your child’s bookshelf. After all:

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Save Our Youth! Read Classics Today!

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For more on Emma, go to When You Shockingly Relate to Mr. Woodhouse

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more Emma variations, go to The Austen Series: Amanda

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

For more Sense & Sensibility variations, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary 

Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?: The Twilight Zone (1961)

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She’s just like a science fiction, that’s what she is! A reg’lar Ray Bradbury! Six humans and one monster from outer space. You wouldn’t happen to have an eye in the back of your head, would you?

So yes, yes yes. I have finally gotten around to review a Twilight Zone episode. This has to be one of my favorite TV shows of all time, one of the biggest part of my childhood.

So for those of you who have never seen it, The Twilight Zone was a TV series that ran from 1959-1964. Every episode was its unique story and they all had to do with the supernatural unusual, strange, alien, etc. It was a great show.

At the beginning of every episode, Rod Serling would do an introduction, and at the end wrap it up with a concluding thoughts or moral.

To be perfectly honest, I love him so much I wouldn't care if he did pop up like that.

It was a fantastic show, and Rod Serling actually wrote most of seasons 1-3, leveling off on seasons 4-5.

So while this isn’t the spookiest, creepiest, or most traumatizing episode in the series, it is my absolute favorite, so I decided to review it.

We open on two state troopers. They are out in the snow looking for a UFO.

Say What

Yes, they were called by a woman who said she heard, something overhead. When they went out to look, they find that something crashed into the nearby pond.

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And footprints coming out of the ice and ship, leading to a nearby diner. A diner that has a bus parked in front of it.

Enter Rod Serling:

Wintry February night, the present. Order of events: a phone call from a frightened woman notating the arrival of an unidentified flying object, then the checkout you’ve just witnessed, with two state troopers verifying the event – but with nothing more enlightening to add beyond evidence of some tracks leading across the highway to a diner. You’ve heard of trying to find a needle in a haystack?

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 So in the next scene we have the troopers heading into the cute little diner.

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When they get inside everyone looks normal.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Who is the Alien????

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The troopers tell everyone they have to remain in the cafe. The bridge to go on has been declared unfit for the time being, as the ice storm has weakened it. And they need to find an alien.

Say What

They ask Olmstead the bus driver about a passenger manifest, but he says he doesn’t have one. The bus is old, business is bad, and they don’t care about names they just want what little money they can eke out.

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The head trooper, Dan Padgett, asks Olmstead how many passengers were there on the bus? Olmstead tells him six.

But wait...

But wait…

There are seven people, not counting the bus driver and the cafe owner. SEVEN!

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Now Ross, one of the passengers on a hurry to reach Boston, thinks the bus driver is just mistaken. The troopers ask, but no. Olmstead is 100% sure, he counted before they left. There is an extra person in the cafe.

OMG

The troops want to be sure that they aren’t overacting, so they ask Haley if anyone was in here before. But Haley and Olmstead confirm there wasn’t anyone here until they came. Someone must have sneaked in with the group.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now the easy thing to do in order to figure out who the alien is, is pick out which of the seven the passengers and bus driver don’t recognize.

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The snow was coming down so hard, everyone bordered the bus as quickly as possible. The bus driver counted, and then they headed for Boston. They decided to stop at the diner, and with the snow still falling down like crazy, no one really remembers seeing anyone.

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So now we have a perfect setup for an amazing episode. Like Night of the Living Dead, tensions start rising and everyone begins turning on each other.

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So which one could it be? Which of the seven passengers is not human?

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1. Ethel McConnell

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Ethel McConnell is a dancer going to Boston. When asked for ID, she says she doesn’t have it. It was sent on ahead. Now the bus driver says she was the only one he noticed, as she is hot, but is he just saying that because he thinks speaking up for her might win her over?

New plan

She does point out one interesting fact. The best thing to do is cross off the couples.  As they were together most of the, they are less likely the alien.

Is it Her?

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2 & 3. George and Connie Price

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George and Connie are newlyweds heading to Boston. George says that they are in the clear as they are a couple, but it’s too late. Tensions are starting to rise and doubt is creeping in.

[Connie looking at George intently, studying his face]

George: What are you doing.

Connie: I…I thought you had a mole on your chin.

George: I’ve never had a mole.

Is it One of Them?

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4 & 5. Rose and Peter Kramer

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They are a married couple, and also believe they should be exonerated. But they too are suffering from doubt and fear.

Peter Kramer: We’re all going to get so panicky that everyone and his brother will start picking up invisible clues from everybody else. 

Rose Kramer: It’s completely ridiculous for a husband and wife to question whether the husband is really the husband and the wife is really…[starts staring intently at her husband Peter]

Peter Kramer: I think twenty-three years is long enough for a wife to know who her husband is.

Is it One of Them?

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6. Avery

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Now Avery just looks crazy and inhuman. Every time he speaks he either is joking or pointing fingers as to who could be the alien.  In fact the troopers suspect him more than anyone else. They interrogate him, asking about baseball, of which he knows everything.

Avery: Didn’t figure us Martians would know nothin’ about the great American pastime, did ya?

Is it Him?

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7. Ross

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Ross is in a hurry to get to Boston for business. He is grumpy, rude, and trying to get the show on the road. The whole time he has been pushing and pushing to get out of the cafe and away from the area, saying that the hunt for an alien is stupid.

Is it Him?

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While they are questioning the passangers, all of a sudden the jukebox starts playing, even though no one is over there.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

And then the lights start flickering.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

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They are all freaked out when the phone rings.

LOL Cotton and Cotton

The trooper listens, and when it is over he tells everyone that it was the county engineer, the bridge has been cleared. They don’t want to release the group without figuring which was the alien, but have no real way of being able to keep them.

Olmstead doesn’t want to go, as he feels the bridge is unsafe, but what the heck. Let’s go. So they all settle their accounts and everyone leaves with us not knowing who the alien is.

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Not too long after, someone comes back into the cafe.

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It is the passenger, Ross.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

What is he doing back here? Haley starts questioning what happened, when Ross tells him everyone died. The bridge wasn’t safe at all. It was all an illusion; like the jukebox, lights, and phone.

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Ross is the alien!

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Yes Ross is a Martian and he has been sent ahead to check out the area. In fact, his friends should be there soon to start the colony. Haley is surprised, to say the least.

But wait...

But wait…

That’s not all,

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What a twist, what an ending!

Narrator: Incident on a small island, to be believed or disbelieved. However, if a sour-faced dandy named Ross or a big, good-natured counterman who handles a spatula as if he’d been born with one in his mouth, – if either of these two entities walk onto your premises, you’d better hold their hands – all three of them – or check the color of their eyes – all three of them. The gentlemen in question might try to pull you into – The Twilight Zone.

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to Monster Mash

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For more on The Twilight Zone, go to A Trip to the Mall Turns Into the Twilight Zone

For more on aliens, go to Its Mrs. Archer. She’s on a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

It’s A Fan World After All

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Yes the fangirl posts have returned!!!

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We had to take a break with the 30 Day Challenge of August, but now that it has ended, every Sunday with be a fangirl countdown post. At least for September, when October comes it is all about the Horror films, so we will have to take a break once again.

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Dr. Seuss

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Ah Dr. Seuss. There is so much to say, but no words exist to describe how much I love you Dr. Seuss and all your works. You were such an amazing writer and such a HUGE part of my childhood.

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I’m not going to write about every book, as that would be too much, but instead going to talk about my three favorite books.

The Cat in the Hat– Too iconic to pass by. Such a cute book about the consequences of our actions, and who can’t love that adorable Cat?

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Bartholomew and the Oobleck– In this book, the sequel to Bartholomew and His 500 Hats, Barthlomew is living in the castle and life is doing good. That is until the King wants something different from the sky. He’s tired of rain, snow, sunshine, etc. He gets his magic men to create something new, Oobleck. It is kind of a Frankenstein of the sky, a story on how you should never try to be “bigger than your britches”, and absolutely adorable.

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The Sneetches & Other Tales-Some of the Sneetches have stars on their bellies and some do not. Those with Stars think they are better than all the others. When a man comes to town who promises that for a great deal, he can give the starless Sneetches stars; they pay up. Now the orginals are upset and pay to get their’s removed. This becomes an endless cycle until all the Sneetches’ money is gone and no one knows who was orginally born first stars and who wasn’t. A great tale about being happy being you, and that no one is better than others because of their looks.

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And my all time favorite!!!! The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I used to read this story over and over and over again, as I just loved that grumpy grinch. One year I ate a ton of a certain type of cereal just to send away for a special Grinch keychain. Sadly, I lost it though in one of my moves. The Grinch hates Christmas and decides to destroy and end the holiday, ruining the holiday for all the Whos. However, the Grinch finds out what the true spirit of christmas is, whether he wants to or not.

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For more Dr. Seuss, go to Speed Racer

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James Bond

What can I say? I’m a Bond girl (fan not film star). Aw James Bond. Where to start?

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Whenever I think of Bond the first thing that comes to mind is my brother. He was a HUGE James Bond fan and we used to watch the movies together when I was younger. Of course I could only watch them on TV and had to leave at certain points, (when he began to get it on with a lady). I remain a fan today and have seen every single film with Bond, James Bond.

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My favorite Bonds are without a doubt Sean Connery (the first and the all-time best), Timothy Dalton (the handsomest of them all), and Pierce Brosnan (cool and elegant).

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Jimmy Stewart

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Aw James “Jimmy” Stewart. One of my all-time favorite actors. It started with a few movies, then I read a biography, and before you knew it: I WAS Obsessed.

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Let’s start with the fact that he is tall, dark, and handsome.

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The kindest and most adorable man ever!

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Not to mention being the first actor to sign up for WWII, choosing to fight for his country rather than live in privilege as other suffered.

He’s perfect!

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I love all his work, but if I talked about them all it would take way, way, way too long. Now which one should I pick? I mean he was in Westerns, Comedies, Drama, Alfred Hitchcock films, Mysteries: his screenography is a little bit of everything. How can I pick a favorite out of so many, many cinematic masterpieces? I can’t it’s too hard. So I’m going to pick a few, and I promise just a few.

After the Thin Man

This sequel to The Thin Man is the only film Jimmy Stewart was in that was radically different from any role he has ever played. After the Thin Man has Detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora, back in her home town of San Francisco. There they stumble onto a murder and try to save their friend from going to jail, believing in her innocence. Jimmy Stewart plays a secondary character, but steals the scene in one of his earliest roles

Mr Smith Goes to Washington
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This film was supposed to be a sequel to Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, but when Gary Cooper was unable to reprise his role; it became a film about an ordinary, sweet, guy being chosen as a senator and going to capital hill to shake up the greed and corruption. This film is the essence of Stewart’s own beliefs and one incredibly powerful film.

It’s A Wonderful Life

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I’ve already written on this film three times- twice for my Valentine’s Day posts and for one of my Christmas countdowns. This film is just amazing as it shows the complete stretch of Stewart’s talent. A man who has only ever wanted to leave his town, but finds himself constantly being stuck there. He goes through incredible obstacles, with one ultimately bad day causing him to wish he had never been born. When his wish is granted, he discovers that everyone’s life would be way worse without him. Let me tell you, there is a reason why this film has been parodied, remade, and referenced in film and television.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Probably one of the best Westerns of all time, it stars John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Jimmy Stewart is Ransom, a lawyer from the East intent on bringing justice and civility to the West. He encounters Liberty Valence, a horrible outlaw, and has to contend with his own morals on whether he should continue the lawful way, or follow the way of the territories, taking justice into his own hands. He is just amazing in it!

Those are all I’m going to pick as it was hard enough choosing those four, and I don’t want to be writing for the next year on why he is so amazing.

For more Jimmy Stewart, go to Hunk-a-Thon

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Psych

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I love, love love Psych, I am so sad it ended.

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

It was soooooo amazing!!! Why is it over?

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

I remember the very first promo for this show.

I was watching Monk at the time and dabbled in a few The Dead Zone episodes, but this new show Psych? I just wasn’t sure. Then one day it was re-airing that week’s episode Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead (season 2 episode 16). In this a supposed Mummy comes back to life. I found the show absolutely hilarious and started watching it all the time. That is until they mentioned the last season. I stopped watching as I didn’t want it to end right away.

Last year, I decided it was time and completely went on a spree watching every episode ever, through my computer and Netflix.

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I just love this show so much. Why did it have to end? I mean it just gets me. From the love of ’80s, film references, music, comedy: ah I just adore it so, so, so darn much. *sigh* WHY, WHY, WHY did it have to go?

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

So the show is about Shawn Spencer (James Roday) who is just your average guy, except for one thing. He has a photographic memory. His father was a cop and honed a thousand such skills, like psychology of body language, how to detect liars, etc in him. He rebelled from his father and left his home of Santa Barbara, CA to travel all over. When he returns, he is able to solve tons of crimes just from watching the news reports. When the cops get suspicious on how he is doing it, thinking he is actually committing some of these crimes, he lies and says he is a psychic. Soon he has roped his best friend since childhood, Burton “Gus” Guster into being a part of his crime solving crew, and the duo become consultants for the SBPD (Santa Barbara Police Department). Now a lot of my favorite characters I have actually posted about in my 2014 Saint Patrick’s Day post, At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroesbut I’m still going over my favorite characters anyway.

Shawn Spencer

Shawn Spencer

Shawn can be a jerk, childish, selfish, and a bit whiney at times; but all in all he is one pretty cool guy. He may be a goofball, but he is also highly intelligent, passing the detective test 100% at age 15, often feeling that things are too easy for him. He has great taste in films and music, making all these references that I absolutely adore. While he often uses Gus; his money, car, etc; he cares for his friend and would do anything for him. As the series progresses, Shawn matures; refraining from his previous extreme narcissistic tendencies. He and Juliet start dating in the last few seasons, this relationship really changing his childish ways, but not too much, as Juliet’s level-head and stable life works really well with Shawn.

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Burton “Gus” Guster

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Gus and Shawn have been best friends forever. He is smart, intelligent, and typically the saneer one of the two. After high school he went to college and became a pharmaceuticals rep, doing quite well for himself. When Shawn returned from his adventures, Gus was quickly swept up into his quirky ways. Out of the two, Gus is the researcher, planner, bill payer: i.e. responsible. While Shawn solves the crimes, Gus is the one who typically comes up with the information that is key to solving it. He is hilarious and adorable, the perfect balance in all that is Shawn and Gus.

Juliet “Jules” O’Hara

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Jules is the young police officer who moves from Miami to Santa Barbara when Carlton Lassitar’s old partner is transferred. Jules may be a very pretty, bubbly, sweet, rainbow-sunshine kind of girl; but she is not just bubbles and fizz, but also a very deep and intelligent person.

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She has scored the highest on the detective test (second to photographic memory Shawn), beating Carlton Lassitar. She also is fluent in Spanish, due to her time in Miami. While she is gentle and sweet, she can be gruff and unmoving when she needs to be; holding her own and not allowing anyone to walk over her. She and Shawn Spencer end up getting together and her stability and his goofiness work well together.

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Carlton Lassiter

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Now I have a huge TV crush on Carlton Lassiter, its a little hard not to. He is pretty awesome and handsome (played by Timothy Omundson). Carlton is a strictly by the book kind of guy; SB law, the Constitution, NRA, etc. He is a great cop, a bit old fashioned, but stubborn, persistent, etc. He is a huge Clint Eastwood fan, wishing he could be Dirty Harry or Tom Highway. He also loves Westerns and wants to be a modern day cowboy. He is a huge Civil War history buff and takes part in reenactments. He knows how to shoot like every type of gun and has built up a immunity to chloroform.

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However, the best thing about him is how strongly he throws himself into relationships. He does everything he can to try and work things out with his ex-wife (really not wanting to get a divorce). True he did cheat on her with his old partner, but they had been separated for quite some time and she was porking around with someone else. (Doesn’t make it right but it is understandable). However, the best thing was when his girlfriend was arrested and imprisoned (she stole blood from a blood bank for her sick brother), he went and visited her every time he was allowed to. Nothing kept him from being there or true to her. He also did everything he could to free her from the jail. So sweet! 🙂

And who can forget the amazing singing done on this program?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

One absolutely awesome show.

For more on Psych, go to Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

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Ray Bradbury

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I love Ray Bradbury. He is one of my all-time favorite writers. He is just so amazing and his work unbelievable.

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So I first was introduced to him through the film Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian future film.

It’s a powerful film and when my mother told me it was based on a book, I was like I HAVE to read that. I did, and I loved it!

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The story is set in the future. All people are really concentrated are on reality shows, entertainment that mean nothing, and no one reads (sound familiar?). In fact the firemen jobs are not to put out fires, but to burn books and libraries. Guy Montag is a fireman that has started to wonder about the books. He picks one and starts reading it.

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And before you know it he is hooked. Stealing books and hiding them all over his house.

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His neighbor also gets him interested in thinking outside the box and about real things. However, it’s not long before he is found out and has to go on the run, hoping to find the place where people become books. That is they have memorized one book completely and recite it, so that it may never be lost. Oh I love this book so much and read it over and over and over.

Or 10th, 50th, 100th....

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

He wrote many other novels and short stories, some of which were turned into episodes for Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. Out of his other books, my favorites are The Illustrated Man, in which a man is covered in tattoos, each telling a story. They range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. Children talking to aliens and planning on taking over the world, a man getting a copy of himself so he “can have fun” only for the marionette to want to completely take over his life, and more. The Machineries of Joy, mushrooms really being alien spores trying to take over you, priests going to space, etc. And The Martian Chronicles, a collection about the colonization of Mars. They are just amazing.

And these are just a few, there are a ton more of his stories and novels, I haven’t been able to even read them all yet.

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For more on Ray Bradbury, go to Heaven on Earth

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Fandom

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For the previous post, go to Fans and the Furious

And Stay tuned for part 17

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For more bookish posts, go to To Win a Part of My Heart