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
Joanna @ Lost in a Good Story
Nymeth @ Things Mean a Lot
If you've reviewed this book, please leave a link in the comments.