The Original “Dime Novel”


Fahrenheit 451

In the late 1940s, Ray Bradbury became fascinated with the history of book burning in different civilizations. Gradually, the seed of an idea began to form about firemen who burned books, but with a vocal newborn daughter at home, Bradbury had trouble focusing on the text. He didn’t have enough money to rent an office, but one day, while wandering around the UCLA campus, he found a basement room full of typewriters that could be rented for 10 cents per half hour. He promptly rounded up a bag of dimes and holed up in that room for nine days, tapping out a novella called The Fireman that he later expanded into Fahrenheit 451. Total cost for writing the story? $9.80.


3 thoughts on “The Original “Dime Novel””

  1. Funny story, I just read this one for the FIRST TIME last week. It’s so amazing. A love letter to the humanities, & writing, & thought.

    I had no idea it was written so quickly. Man, that makes me feel like a lazy bum.


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