Bradbury, Ray—Fahrenheit 451

“Fahrenheit 451—the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns . . . ”

I heard of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 a few years ago when I saw five minutes of the 1966 film adaptation. I don’t know why, but I never saw the rest of the film. The idea stuck with me though: firemen in the future being responsible for burning books, rather than saving lives.

Finally having read Bradbury’s novel, I can say that he gave the world a real gem in this award-winning story.

The book, which follows book-burning fireman Guy Montag as he transforms from an unquestioning performer of his duty to a criminal reader of books, is frightening and thought-provoking. Perhaps most eerie are the reasons why books eventually become illegal, reasons that hit startlingly close to home in today’s world.

While less well-known than George Orwell’s somewhat-similar story of an insane future, 1984, Fahrenheit 451 comes across as more believable and closer to today’s reality. In fact, that may be why it is less popular.

Bradbury’s style of writing is generally clear and makes sense. The story moves forward quickly and easily holds the reader’s interest. But the real strong point of Fahrenheit 451 is the story, one which will twist your brain around and jolt it full of new ideas.

It is most definitely worth your read.

4 out of 5 stars.

Scott Bradford has been putting his opinions on his website since 1995—before most people knew what a website was. He has been a professional web developer in the public- and private-sector for over twenty years. He is an independent constitutional conservative who believes in human rights and limited government, and a Catholic Christian whose beliefs are summarized in the Nicene Creed. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. He loves Pink Floyd and can play the bass guitar . . . sort-of. He’s a husband, pet lover, amateur radio operator, and classic AMC/Jeep enthusiast.