Monday, 11 May 2015

Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They're Caeser's praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, "Remember, Caeser, thou art mortal." Most of us can't rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven't time, money or that many friends. The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.

What the book is about...
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television 'family'. But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn't live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. 

My initial expectations...
Like every other book assigned to me in English class, I was 90% sure that this would suck. I just don't like the way most older books are written. I usually find them very bland and monotone with references and dialect that no longer make sense. 

What I liked about the book...

Never have I come across a classic novel with better detail than this. I've always had a bit of trouble understanding the metaphors of classic authors. Thankfully, Bradbury managed to paint a flawless picture. It felt as if I was experiencing the story through Guy Montag's eyes, and not just watching from afar.

What I didn't like about the book...

I perfectly understand that this book is supposed to set in a dystopian world. However, that doesn't excuse the lack of logic that appears sporadically throughout the plot. The background to the setting was what annoyed me the most. While on one page it is stated that book burning has being going on centuries, other claims make it seem like its only been going on for a few decades at most. None of it made sense.

Additionally, you can't just duck and cover to escape the force of an atomic bomb only a few kilometers away. That's just common sense.

My overall thoughts...

Have you ever read a book which, once finished, left you with a profound new view of yourself and your place in society? For me, this was one of those books. The last time I felt so moved by a book was when I read Perks of Being a Wallflower in 9th grade (about 4 years ago).

Sure, the books in between have been enjoyable to say the least. However, no matter how good the books were, no matter how much they made me cry or laugh, they never changed the way I saw the world, myself or others.

To be honest, I haven't yet figured out how exactly this book has changed me. That's okay though because revelations don't come instantly.

In conclusion, while the characters and plot weren't fantastic, the message they carried sure was. 

I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads!
Would I recommend it to anyone? Yes. Go read this if you haven't already.
Would I read it again? Yes, I think I would. (I've already read this 3 times since February).

What did you guys think? We're you as annoyed with the lack of logic as I was? What did you think of the ending?

Check it out on Goodreads!

2 comments:

  1. Great review. This was assigned reading for me in high school, and I remember loving it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Thank you! This was probably the only book assigned to me in high school that I understood/enjoyed. It's upsetting that this book is still banned in some places. (which is hilariously ironic).

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