“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.