May 19, 2008

Fahrenheit 451: Review

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A grim future is predicted in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. People watch nonsense on their giant TV's while an unpopular war is waged in another part of the world. People drive too fast and children play violent games. People are told they are happy but suicide rates climb. Any of this sound familiar? I was startled by how much of this 1953 novel had come true and how society seems to be heading in the direction predicted: the loss of intellectual thought.

This loss is symbolized in the story by the burning of books by 'The Firemen'. They arrive in the night to burn the few books left, then arrest their owners. One of these firemen, Montag, start to question this process after he meets a thoughtful young girl named Clarisse. She encourages Montag to slow down and see the world around him. To think. Just the act of thinking crashes Montag's world around him. He goes mad at the thought of burning books and puts his life in danger.

Although it's a dark book, there is hope in the end. I won't say how. Read it for yourself.

This is definitely a reader's book. There are quotes thrown in here and there that made me stop and think. The imagery is scary: the burning, the televisions, the EMT's casual attitude, the lack of compassion. There is too much of our world in this book.

Not surprisingly, this book has been challenged mostly because of the language ("If they can't find a book that uses clean words, they shouldn't have a book at all." Yikes!) and because of the Biblical references. This is exactly what is predicted in Fahrenheit 451. Books were considered offensive because of their ideas and society self-regulated them out of existence. However, I think that we aren't quite there yet. Athena posted this link to '10 books that screwed up the world'. No matter what you think of the books on the list, people talked about it (384 comments!). That's the point of this book.

Highly, highly recommended.

Read for the Novella Challenge.

Also Reviewed By: Teddy @ So Many Precious Books,...
3M @ 1morechapter
Susan @ You Can Never Have Too Many Books
Rhinoa
Joanna @ Lost in a Good Story
Nymeth @ Things Mean a Lot


If you've reviewed this book, please leave a link in the comments.

16 comments :

  1. It is exciting to find someone else who loves books. I really need to add more posts to my blog about books. I will be back to read some more later, when my dh does not need the office.

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  2. Thanks for dropping in Laura! Come back any time.

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  3. This was such an eye-opening book. Scary how relevant it is to today!

    My review is here.

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  4. Wheee! Another person who loves this book. I LOVE this book. Have read it two or three times already, and it's one I'll always come back to.

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  5. I've never been able to finish this book. The idea of burning books! Bad enough the banning but burning?

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  6. Great review Chris! Thanks for adding a link to my review as well! I just added your link to my review.

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  7. I read Fahrenheit 451 quite a long time ago, so I have no review to link to but I'll tell you I've been shocked to see how much many of its concepts have come into existence, just in the past 10 years. Sims, for example. It's so easy for someone to immerse themselves in a totally fake world, as the wife did with her simulated TV family.

    As to whether the language is offensive -- I don't recall being offended (and I dislike nasty language). I handed it to my eldest when he was about 16 or so. It immediately became his favorite book and he's now the proud owner of an autographed copy.

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  8. Susan at You Can Never Have Too Many Books just finished this book as well.

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  9. 3m- I'll link to you.

    Andi- I'll be re-reading this too.

    Carrie- Yeah, I cringed but there are only a few burning scenes.

    Teddy- Thanks.

    Bookfool- I didn't think it was that bad either, a few damns and hells and a GD maybe. I guess that's enough to get some people offended. How lucky to have an autographed copy!

    Bybee- Thanks for the heads up.

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  10. I read this at the end of last year and really enjoyed it. I hope to read more of his writing in the future. I hate the idea of burning books!

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  11. Sorry I forgot, the link to my review is here

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  12. I was also shocked to see how much of this already came true. So much to think about!

    My review is here

    I'm adding yours to my post as well!

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  13. Thanks, Chris! I came here to read your review after you came and gave me your link. I like your review too. It is frightening how much Bradbury saw into the future - or else how little mankind or our society has changed, isn't it? and it's great to see how many people commented to you on it....I'll add their links to my post too, so readers can find their way to all of us. I've seen you around, Chris, its nice to meet you at last!!

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  14. I loved this book too--I heard something about a movie with Tom Hanks, but I think maybe it got put on the backburner with that silly writer's strike??

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  15. Very well done review, I think! I can't really recall any offensive language but I'm moderately tolerant.

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  16. I enjoyed reading this years ago. I'll have to revisit it.

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