Monday, December 17, 2012

Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury
Published: Balentine Books, 1953
Pages: 179

It's an "Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge" book!

In a world where firemen create fires and books are banned, Guy Montag is a fireman.  He never questions his orders or the destruction and ruin his actions cause others.  But when he meets a young, eccentric neighbor, his whole way of thinking and opens his eyes to the past.  When everyone in his life starts to disappear, Montag begins to question everything he knows.

This book has been a long time coming.  I have been hearing about this since, well probably since middle school.  I really can't believe I have made it this long without reading this book.  I am absolutely intrigued by dystopian novels and Ray Bradbury is one of first authors to attempt this type of story.

I thought this book was very well written; it is beautiful and descriptive writing.  The dystopian world created by Ray Bradbury is incredibly bleak, but believable.  At one point in the story, we get an explanation about why the world is as it is, and it's somewhat plausible.  I imagine this world in the future and I shutter.  Bradbury was prolific in this novel with the message of censorship.  Knowledge is a powerful things, as is censorship in the wrong/right hands it can be extraordinarily destructive.

The characters in this book are so interesting.  Each complex in their own right, Mildred and her seeming vapidness, Clarisse and her carefree spirit, Beatty and his exploration of technology and willingness to defy the government.  All of these characters make this story intriguing and compelling.

I wanted to know more.  The open-ending is fine way to end it, but they always drive me crazy.  I always want to know what happens next.  Ray Bradbury has created a dystopian novel that kept me entranced by it's intense and frightening tale.

Stars: 3/5


"Frightening in its implications... Mr. Bradbury's account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating."
              -- The New York Times

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