• Everett Collection / Rex Feature
  • Oskar Werner as Guy Montag

Since learning Ray Bradbury has passed away, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what made him great. My thoughts quickly led me to my first exposure to his work, which was, like most people, in a high school English class. I believe it was sophomore year when my class was assigned Fahrenheit 451. Most of my classmates claimed to loathe it, so, in an effort to appear “cool,” I followed suit. In secret, however, I found it fascinating. This was usually the case for me back then—during my freshman year, I very clearly remember telling a friend that I had yet to read a single page of Lord of the Flies because it seemed so boring, even though I’d devoured the entire thing the weekend before.