Saturday, April 19, 2008
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is one of those books that was required reading for everyone in high school... everyone but me. I'm actually a little shocked that it took me so long to read. The Numbers Challenge gave me the motivation I needed.
The novel is a futuristic look at censorship. In the future firemen no longer quell the flames. Instead they use their massive kerosene hoses to ignite fires in the homes of those who hoard books. While the firemen are busy starting fires and the book hoarders are busy hiding, the rest of the people are busy living their lives in front of their television screens (which now take up all four walls in living rooms).
When a rogue fireman, Guy Montag, becomes entranced by books his life quickly becomes a whirlwind of confusion.
The scenario presented by Bradbury is an interesting look at the dangers of censoring intellectual freedom. To be honest, I'm still digesting all the implications of this novel.
In the afterward Bradbury talks further about his characters. In Beatty's words: "I ate them like salad, books were my sandwich for lunch, my tiffin and dinner and midnight munch."
Recommendation: Give this book the time it requires. Read it with a friend or when you have time for proper digestion.