Because this book is barely 150 pages, it almost could be said to be a refreshing read for me after some much longer books I have read recently. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is another dystopian novel that I’ve read this past year, it isn’t so much that I’ve been attracted to this genre as much as I’ve just been trying to read some of the “classics” I’ve collected over time. You see, I’m addicted to books. For a while there I was browsing the Border’s clearance isle weekly, which I do recommend checking out. I would also recommend this book. The book was short, but it didn’t lack much. Bradbury is a master of his words.
The title refers to the temperature in which books burn. The main character Guy Montag is a fireman trained to burn books which are illegal in this futurist society. This is the ultimate politically correct society in which the contents of books, which can be contradicting to other books or to society’s norms, are appalling to the happy-go-lucky TV addicted zombies. They want colorful TV shows and loud radio broadcasts. They want a happy life in the fast lane that is full of excitement. Philosophy and poetry are too depressing. It has only been about half a century since the book ban first took effect and many copies were still floating around. Those that had books were hunted and their homes were burned.
Guy Montag’s world turns upside down when he realizes what he had been missing by not having the powerful words in print. He meets several people that share his new found passion. The story is short, but fast-paced. Montag’s treason is discovered, he becomes hunted, and in the end he becomes not only a redeemer of books but for the future of his city itself.
Written word can pierce your heart. Could you imagine a world in which people give up the word (initially I didn’t mean this, but also the Word) for dumbed down television telling them what to think? Or has that horror already become reality? Is it in our future to be rid of books and dissenting ideas?
This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary’ you are. That’s my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies. So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores of life. The comfortable people only want wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless..(pg. 111)