Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

fahrenheit 451

I have been meaning to read this book for a long time.  I knew I would like it.  I love a dystopian futuristic novel and I especially love the ones written before I was born.  Bradbury writes and interesting introduction in my copy, telling how he wrote this novel.  It’s more of a novella in my opinion – 190 small pages.  He gets his point across well, though.

Bradbury does not tell us when in the future this book is set (he wrote it in 1951) but the world his characters live in is an awful place.  Books must be burnt because “intellectualism” must be stamped out.  The belief is that classic stories should be condensed into TV shows and movies.  I would say this is disturbingly accurate, since Bradbury predicted this in 1951.

Our protagonist is a “fireman” whose job it is to do this.  But he has his doubts, and tries to save a book or two.  His wife is obsessed with awful TV shows, and, though she has three walls in the living room devoted to displaying TV shows, she wants the fourth wall converted, too.  Again, I would say that is pretty close to our current society.

He meets a woman who likes to do odd things, like walk for the pleasure of it, and discuss ideas and thoughts with her family.  She is what makes our hero start thinking about life.  What a sad world Bradbury paints for us, but what is sadder is that it does not seem so very far away from where we are sixty-two years later.  Nobody is burning the books, but there is really no need to do so when so many people do not even know that the movie they are watching is based on a book with far better-developed characters and a richer storyline.

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