Tuesday, June 26, 2012
In remembrance of Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451 Review
by Ray Bradbury
If you are not familiar at all with the story, it is about a time in the - perhaps even more so now - not-too-distant future in which you can insert yourself into your favorite TV shows from the comfort of your home, wars start and end (sometimes very badly) in just a couple of days, and a fireman's job is to ignite fires instead of put them out. The prevailing authority dictates that books, especially works of fiction and philosophy, turn people into unhappy malcontents who think and question too much. They don't fit society's norms and are, therefore, dangerous to their own and others' "peace". Enter Montag the "Fireman" who enjoys his book-burning job, Beatty, his "Captain" and nemesis, Millie, his self-medicating wife, Clarisse, the young woman who challenges him to reconsider why he does what he does and what makes him happy, and Faber, who facilitates his awakening. And then there are those mechanical hounds who relentlessly deliver sanitized, specific justice
If you've never read the novel, I suggest you give it a try - it's not all that lengthy and it was fairly accurate at predicting techno-social advances. If you've only seen the movie, or only read the book, read or watch the other version and see if you agree with the choices made by writer and filmmaker.
I'll finish with a couple of quotes from the book: near the end, when Montag falls in with men from the hobo camp outside The City, one of them describes himself and the others who have committed entire books to their memory to preserve them for the future as "…bums on the outside, libraries on the inside"; from Bradbury's 1982 Afterword, as he remembers roaming the UCLA library where he rented a typing room to create his manuscript, "There I strolled, lost in love, …pulling volumes out, touching pages…"
Thank you, Mr. Bradbury, for being bold and imaginative and indefatigable, and unashamed in your love of reading, writing, books, and libraries. -- review by Becky W.C. - Walt Branch Library
[Also available in multiple different print editions, book-on-cd and Large Print formats.]
[ Ray Bradbury entry on Wikipedia with numerous off-site links ] | [ official Ray Bradbury web site ] | [ Internet Movie Database entry for the 1966 film Fahrenheit 451 ]
Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?
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