Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

Year: 1951
190 pp.

Rating: 4.5




I cannot believe I haven't read this book before. It deserves its "classic" status and should be read by all. This book is scary. Really. Scary. It is similar to 1984--a picture of what society could become if we let it.

Montag is a fireman who doesn't put out fires, he starts them. He burns books and the houses that contain them. His wife Mildred watches and listens to "the wall" all day, basically a huge screen TV. Almost all of the city dwellers are TV zombies, and then when they're not watching "the wall", to make themselves feel better they go out and ride their cars at dangerously high speeds. Most are on any number of pills.

Montag doesn't notice anything is wrong with his life until he meets 17 year-old Clarisse, his next door neighbor. She is different. She notices things he doesn't notice. Her family actually talks to each other. She is happy and asks him if he is. He says he is, but later at home admits to himself he isn't. He starts to question himself why, and from there he changes his life completely.

A quote that stood out because of its resemblance to today:

"I'm afraid of children my own age. they kill each other. Did it always use to be that way? My uncle says no. Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone. Ten of them died in car wrecks. I'm afraid of them and they don't like me because I'm afraid. My uncle says his grandfather remembered when children didn't kill each other. But that was a long time ago when they had things different. They believed in responsibility, my uncle says. Do you know, I'm responsible. I was spanked when I needed it, years ago. And I do all the shopping and housecleaning by hand."



A world where all people do is watch TV and become progressively more violent. A world where books and ideas are "dangerous". A world where "happiness" is supreme, but no one is happy. A very scary world indeed.

4 comments:

Danielle B. said...

I haven't read this book since high school...along with Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies...and the Steinbeck classics...all books I hope to find time for this summer ;)

Lisa said...

This is on my TBR challenge list!

Daphne said...

I love your last paragraph - sounds a lot like today, doesn't it?? I'm planning on reading this next month for my Banned Books Challenge.

Grominou2 said...

A very good movie was made from this book by famous French director Fran├žois Truffaut.

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