Aside from a sadly short excerpt from his Martian Chronicles in one of my high school literature textbooks, the only work of Ray Bradbury’s that I’ve read is Fahrenheit 451. I loved that book in many ways, not least because of the love for good literature that pours through its pages. And by “good literature,” I do not mean literature that is merely technically good. Bradbury’s novel reveals a desire to share literature that matters. Not the emotional scrawlings of some disturbed person who wants to “express himself.” Not the “high literature” that alienates normal people. Dissenting literature, yes–but literature that dissents because it is makes people think about truth, goodness, and beauty. Montag gives up everything for literature that points to realities beyond the thoughtless existence that so many people around him live. Perhaps one of the biggest themes of the book is that what you read matters. It isn’t enough to read anything, so long as you are reading something. There is a vast difference between a mind formed by books and one formed by magazines.
“The World of Ray Bradbury” offers a longer and better discussion of that aspect of Bradbury’s writing than I can (yet). But it definitely makes me want to read more of his work.