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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Megan Dunn was in a hole. Her attempt to write a fictional tribute to Fahrenheit 451 wasn't going well. Borders, the bookseller she worked, for was going bust. Her marriage was failing. Her prospects were narrowing. The world wasn’t quite against her – but it wasn’t exactly helping either.

Riffing on Ray Bradbury's classic novel about the end of reading, Tinderbox is one
Paperback, 151 pages
Published November 9th 2017 by Galley Beggar Press
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Elyse  Walters
Many thanks to *Cecily*...I had never heard of this book until she recommended it.

Every November is National Novel Writing Month - “NaNoWriMo”.
Participants are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
Author Megan Dunn took the challenge.
Her inspiration was Ray Bradbury’s
“Fahrenheit 451”.

I felt like I was sitting side by side with Megan Dunn during her 30- days of writing.
She’s absolutely adorable. This book is charming - funny- warms your heart - yet the fear & sadness that lives
People often say I think I’ve got a book in me. Well, I thought I had a book in me too. But it turned out that I actually had Ray Bradbury’s book in me.

Megan Dunn's first book is a charmingly rambling narrative of her attempt to rewrite Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (see my review HERE) for NaNoWriMo, but from the perspective of the female characters. A book she’s loved since her youth.
The kind of book that chases you into adulthood, still burning.

She moves from New Zealand to England, works
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit, read-2018
A charming, funny, often self-deprecating but thought-provoking autobiographical tale.

In November 2013 Dunn joined the National Novel Writing Month project, for which her idea was to write a feminist update of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. That project foundered, but this book describes that project, interspersed with the story of her life working for Borders bookshops and the demise of the chain. The Truffaut film of Fahrenheit 451 adds a fourth theme.

I enjoyed reading this but must admit that
Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Galley Beggar Press is a small Norfolk based publisher responsible which aims to “produce and support beautiful books and a vibrant, eclectic, risk-taking range of literature” and which declares an aim to publish books that are “hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose’. This description has been taken as the criteria for the Republic Of Consciousness prize for small presses ( for which fittingly it has been shortlisted in 2016 (with Forbidden Line) a ...more
Paul Fulcher
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
My homage to Fahrenheit 451 was going to be a searing feminist rewrite of Bradbury’s classic, like Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, only blonder
.Megan Dunn’s first book, Tinderbox, is another excellent publication from Galley Beggar Press, one of the UK's most exciting small independent presses, best known for publishing A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, but also responsible in 2017 for perhaps the most original book I read this year, Forbidden Line and the wonderful King Lear take We That Are Young,
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In 2013, Megan Dunn joined National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Its members were "working towards the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel by 11:59pm on November 30th.". This was to be Dunn’s first novel: a re-working of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 from the point of view of Clarisse McClellan.

Tinderbox is the (non-fiction) account of her failure.

It is wonderful.

Immediately prior to reading this, I re-read Fahrenheit 451. Whilst a lot of the book is about Dunn, about the writing process, ab
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was essentially a book about trying and failing to write a book based on Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. The descriptions of writers block and procrastination were incredibly relatable, with regular flashes of the author's wit and sense of humour. There was no real story - in a way, this was more like a journal, or a glimpse inside someone's head. However, I think anyone who has ever tried to write a book - especially if they've ever tried completing NaNoWriMo - would enjoy this.

My one regre
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, aotearoa
This makes me really, really want to read Fahrenheit 451 again.

Also I know this is non-fiction, but my brain refused to take that into account the entire time of reading - the dry, humourous tone and constant shifts between realities sends the whole thing into a very surreal space.
Alan Teder
There are not many things that will make me angry about a book but several dozen typos is certainly one of them. This is especially in a book that is intended as an homage to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 where that author's name is misspelled as "Brabury" more than once (pages 126 & 144 if you want to check)!

I might have let things slide without comment as #ThereIsAlwaysOne these days, but at the three quarter mark in the text i.e. from pg. 120 of 160, it actually seemed as if the copy editor h
Feb 27, 2022 rated it really liked it
Tinderbox is a bit special to me as it’s the first book from Galley Beggar’s Press, that I bought (the first I read would be Toby Litt’s Patience) Now I have all the books this wonderful publisher has released and I’m slowly going through them.

Tinderbox is the kind of memoir, I like the best – a bookish/film based one: During Nanowrimo Megan Dunn tried to rewrite Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 from a female perspective. While this was happening, Megan Dunn’s relationship was going
Rudy Lopez
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like Megan Dunn I used to work for a huge, shopping mall bookseller chain when I was at university. I’m also a writer, a novelist, like her and her hero, Ray Bradbury. Maybe because I came to writing at the ripe old age of forty and have never expected my work to be anything more than literary drivel I’ve, fortunately, never experienced the angst of writer’s block either for what to write about or the actual content itself. I let it spew out of my head and hands every day, good or bad, and don’t ...more
Simon Sweetman
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book - a bit close to home for me in some ways (general Border experience), probably a big part of what I loved about it. Really great approach to storytelling and a really great yarn too. Brilliant writing. Well worth it.
Robert Lukins
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very funny, insightful, interesting, tender; all the veries.
Bart Van Overmeire
"Truffaut was French and even though the film was dated it was arty." Wish I could say the same (French, dated or arty, all would be fine for me) about this book. Too much counting words, though. Maybe it works better if you have any affinity with 'Fahrenheit 451'.

"One sentence added to another. I paused. The house hummed around me, like silence, but more than silence." Never try to be more than silence, if you want to convince me.

The best thing about this book was Drugstore playing in the bac
Alastair Crawford
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly entertaining sprawling entanglement across a variety of topics, but the main conceit compares Bradbury's imagined future dystopia of a California that has banned books with the slow implosion of the Borders bookstore chain. Although the linking of disappearing books sounds more plausible the way she writes it, and there's a lot about her own experience as a Borders employee. Honest, funny, sincere, clever, there's a lot to love in this book. It doesn't take you away into a fictional p ...more
Jackie Law
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tinderbox, by Megan Dunn, is a book about the author’s failure to write a book, and how this led to her writing this one. It provides a window into the creative process and much else besides.

In November 2013 Dunn set out to participate in NaNoWriMo. The premise for her novel was a rewrite of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 from the perspective of Clarisse McClellan, the teenager who befriends the fireman in Bradbury’s work. Dunn intended to produce a homage to the book, which she had studied in Hi
I read this slim book this afternoon. I enjoyed Megan Dunn's humor and share her fear that Bradbury's dystopian future for books might be playing out now with the demise of bookstores and the popularity of eReaders. Although the argument could be made that it's stories we want to protect far more than how they are delivered. We don't mourn the loss of monks toiling away for months to copy out books by hand and fear the printing press has demeaned literature. I am not one who buys that argument t ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nz
This book made me nostalgic for a time when I was working as a bookseller in London, was virtually broke, trying to write. I have always thought I'd write about that time one day... I might have to wait a while now. This book is quite mad, in a good way. Personally I love books about books. Recommended. ...more
Karen Mace
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this charming and insightful book about the author and her experience and struggle of trying to write a book about a book, while dealing with all that life was throwing at her! It was funny, heartfelt and just made me want to pick up Fahrenheit 451 and re-read it to add to the experience of noticing the little things you often forget about a book when you've not read it for so long!

It's a book about the impact a book can have a person - the experience of reading and the relation
Dan Organ
Dec 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a really good read. Kiwi author on her OE working in a bookstore in the U.K wants to be a writer and so attempts to rewrite Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 from the viewpoint of the female character (I read F451 earlier this year so I get all of the references and anyone who wants to read Tinderbox should really read F451 beforehand as well) and she fails at it miserably, so she writes the book about failing at it while also discussing her life, marriage, experiences, and thoughts. A wond ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A review for this book? quite simple: It's perfect! ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: uk, nonfiction
I think this work shows a lot of promise for a good essay, but it read like a rough draft that needs more polishing.

I liked the juxtaposition of the writer's life working for Border's Books with Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451 and the Francios Truffaut 1966 film by the same name. However, I felt there was more discussion between the similarities of the film and her life and not enough of the book used as comparison. I understand there was an issue with the Bradbury estate, but if the author
Marcus Hobson
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-zealand
There are so many things to like about this book that it is hard to know where to start.
There were so many little details that made it a happy place for me. Talk of the Number 73 bus brought back fond memories of Church Street Stoke Newington where friends once lived. The history of the Borders book chain, where I spent so much time (and money) when I worked on Queen Street in Auckland. Those vouchers they used to send by email would have me rushing down to the Ancient History section and buying
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I know what temperature books burn at. Half price.

In this droll, witty style Dunn walks us through her attempt to write an homage to Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and more to boot. Unapologetically contemporary it is lively and reflective offering a mash-up of fiction and non-fiction mirroring the cultural flux she is writing about and we currently live in.

It's a book snatched from the jaws of defeat (perhaps the jaws of a mechanical hound?) with failures and struggles being the fuel behind it.
Surprisingly it’s a relatable book. NaNoWriMo brought into the game quickly, and I was like heeyyy, I’m kind of doing that, I know what that is, it motivated me to put down the first word of a novel. Brave to publish a book which is talking about the bookstore franchise Borders, I am pretty much the youngest possible reader who ever set foot in a Borders, and the book would probably have been hard to get through if you don’t know what Borders is. And most people younger Han me would’ve forgotten ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
She writes about not writing a book about not reading. but Farenheit 451 is a book about reading really and her book is about writing really. She also writes about working for Borders books and how irritating life can be in a very amusing way and she clearly loves her dad. also to be commended for the correct use of the adjective 'blonder' and the term 'book porn'. ...more
georgia bookblast
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Megan Dunn’s well-crafted first novel is observant, shrewd, and funny. A polished cri de coeur about a culture in flux, Tinderbox left me in a reflective mood.

Reviewed on The BookBlast® Diary 2017
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
interesting read, really enjoyed it
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible and beautiful and hilarious and insightful. I might have never connected to a book in a such a personal way before. Hurry out now and get yourself a copy!
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this - but more so Megan's reminisces about working at Border's during it's demise than about her attempts to rewrite Fahrenheit 451. ...more
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Megan Dunn studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, graduating in 2006. She won an Escalator award from the New Writing Partnership (now The Writers’ Centre Norwich) and her short story 'The Mermaid and the Music Box' was included in Roads Ahead, a 2009 anthology of new writers published by Tindal St Press. Her first book, Tinderbox, was published by Galley Beggar Press in Novemb ...more

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