We’re more than a year into a resurgence in dystopian literature. Readers are dusting off classic works, writers are working on new ones, and filmmakers are working on adaptations.

Hulu won viewers and a number of Emmy Awards with its serialized version of The Handmaid’s Tale. And now HBO has made a movie out of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

In The New York Times, Ramin Bahrani says the original text is the perfect book for our current times:

Bradbury believed that we wanted the world to become this way. That we asked for the firemen to burn books. That we wanted entertainment to replace reading and thinking. That we voted for political and economic systems to keep us happy rather than thoughtfully informed. He would say that we chose to give up our privacy and freedom to tech companies. That we decided to entrust our cultural heritage and knowledge to digital archives. The greatest army of firemen will be irrelevant in the digital world. They will be as powerless as spitting babies next to whoever controls a consolidated internet. How could they stop one person, hiding in his parents’ basement with a laptop, from hacking into thousands of years of humanity’s collective history, literature and culture, and then rewriting all of it … or just hitting delete?

For this meeting of The 1A Movie Club, we’ll assess the adaptation and discuss how the book’s themes translate to the big screen and the current era.


  • John Horn Host, KPCC's "The Frame"; @jghorn
  • Susan Jacoby Author, "The Age of American Unreason In A Culture of Lies"
  • Sophie Gilbert Staff writer, The Atlantic covering TV, books, theater; @sophieGG

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