Review: Fahrenheit 451

fahrenheit451Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

Classic/Science Fiction/Dystopian

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

With only myself to blame it took me three months to finish this book. It had nothing to do with it being boring or me not being interested, I just get going with life and don’t find time to sit down and read. Or I fall asleep a half a page in.

Anyways, I liked this book a lot. There is a reason why it is a classic. I think the story can apply to all generations and I think everybody should read it at least once. It’s one of those books that make you think. I am glad that I chose to read it on my own though and didn’t read it for a class. Reading books for high school kinda ruins them for me as you are forced to analyze and dissect every single aspect of it.

I for some reason never really knew what the book was about until I read it. I knew that it something to do with fire and… that’s it. To be honest, I thought it was going to be more like 1984, though I haven’t read that yet either. It was just the impression I was given.

I’m getting way off track. Fahrenheit 451 is about a fireman by the name of Guy Montag. In this society firemen do not put out fires but instead light them. They burn books. Books lead to thinking and thinking leads to unhappiness. ‘Cause God forbid someone is a little unhappy. Their solution? Don’t let people think for themselves. Give them distractions. Burn books. Make all of the decision for them. Don’t let them think and they will be happy. Montag lived by this and burned books for 10 years. Then then he met a girl and a professor that told him of the past and what the future should be.

Well that sounds interesting enough.

Let’s get into what I liked:

What I really liked was story. It is such and interesting subject and Bradbury does a really good job with it. I like how he portrays technology. That it can be just mindless entertainment that leaves us brain-dead. I know I am guilty of this, watching too much TV and such. Thinking about it, I remember scene where Montag was on a train and the loud speakers were constantly blaring ads and sounds to keep people’s brains occupied and unthinking. Then I walk outside and see everybody with ear phones in keeping their brains occupied and unthinking. We are constantly surrounded by noise and movement that we never get a chance to just sit in silence and think. I love those moments.

I generally also liked the characters. It was really interesting to watch Montag develop as a character and grow to find fault in their system. The girl, Clarisse, was also a very good character, I really liked seeing a quirky character among all of the cookie-cutter ones the society in the book shaped. She reminded me of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. While Mildred irritated me, I think she was necessary for the book and can appreciate her role in the story.

And now, things I disliked:

I really liked the Mechanical Hound, I think it is a cool idea. I had troubles picturing it the way Bradbury described it. I started out picturing it like a metal dog, then it kinda developed into whatever those things in the Maze Runner were. Which I don’t think is what Bradbury was going for.

I also kinda struggled with the ending. It seemed a little rushed and not as well put together as the rest. Without going into details to spoil it, I wished whatever happened “after” was told to us. If I remember right, this was originally a short story that was added onto. I think if a little more time was spent fleshing everything out into an actual novel it would’ve solved this problem. It has the feel of a short story but the length of an almost novel. It didn’t bother me to much, but that’s just something I noticed.

This isn’t so much as a dislike as more of a heads up. This is a dark story, and kinda of a gritty read. It can also be quite depressing. So if you don’t feel in the mood for that kind of novel, I wouldn’t read this one.

I’m kinda struggling on things that I didn’t like. I thought it was a really good book in all honesty. It’s one that I would recommend to anybody.

DFTBA and feel free to add your two cents in the comments.

4 Stars



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