I recently finished this wonderful book. At only 227 pages long, it was an absolute joy to read, and planted a lot of things to think about in my mind.
The temperature at which book-paper catches fire and burns
Guy Montage is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is not happy; 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.
The Cover: I have the cover of the book at the top of this post. It's the 5th Anniversary of the book edition. While it's not my favourite out of all the covers I've seen of Fahrenheit 451 (My favourite being an expensive limited edition one where the book is styled like a matchbox with a matchstick being the 1), it's not my least favourite either. It's simple flames on the book cover, that symbolise the burning of it. It's simple, it's thought provoking and symbolic. The spine of the book is also very clear and precise with who is the writer and what the name of the book is.
The Length: It's a short read for me, as I read at above average speed, so it was less than a day's read. But contained in the short 227 pages was a story that took me on a thought-provoking journey of what it means to be 'ignorantly blissful' and what predictions Ray Bradbury had about future generations that have actually come to pass when it was written in 1953.
The Plot: I absolutely enjoyed and was smitten with the plot. When I first read the blurb as I came across it in my Older Brother's library, it struck me because I am always drawn to apocalyptic worlds, dystopian or utopian futures, or where something normally accepted today is banned later down the line. A lot of the time during the book, I was trying to imagine what I'd be like if I lived in a world such as that. I'm an avid reader, and majority of my room is books, whether they are seen or not depends on where they are hidden. I have books behind books. Books under my bed and in my closet. I have books in boxes and books openly in my shelves. I have books littered on my bed, my side table, and on my desk. There isn't many areas in my room that aren't covered with at least one book...and to think that if I were living in a world like Guy Montag's, I'd be either on the run and all my books burnt, or dead from being burnt alive. It was a sobering thought that made connect deeply with the different types of people that Montag comes across during his journey in the book. There were people who openly despised reading (Who I have met), and there were people who were drawn to books no matter what they thought or did. One of the things that really struck me where the inventions that the book's future had. Things like "Parlour Families" and "Seashell Radios" are basically TVs, Ipods, Iphones, and virtual reality games. Luckily, our society hasn't reached the point that they feel that books are obsolete and want to burn them.
There were times I really wanted to smack Montag in the face because of things he did, and certain ways he reacted that led to other events in the book, but it was so easy to want to coddle him and reassure him. His wife made me want to throw a couple of books at her head, and it reminded me so much of people I know like her that just zone out from everything with their own type of "Seashell Radios" and their own forms of "Sleeping Pills" to numb out everything.
What I Didn't Like: There were many metaphors, similes, and especially long ways of describing something. While I do appreciate them, and absolutely love symbolism and metaphors in books, there is a very thin line of how much is too much. There were many that I enjoyed in the book, and I found myself thinking - "I should write that down somewhere as a favourite quote or something"- and then there were times where the descriptions of something very simple went on for 2 pages and I found my eyes skimming to a part where something happened. The length is also something I could have done with a change :P I wished it would have gone on longer, so that I could really deepen that relationship and connection to Montag and also to get a little more closure on what happened at the end and what happens with Montag.
What I Really Liked: I really loved Clarisse. She could honestly be said to be my favourite character. I loved her so much, and found myself at times wishing how I could be a bit more like her.
My Recommendation: I'd definitely recommend it! There only a certain Classic books that I cannot read, and have struggled and tried and really just couldn't do it, but Fahrenheit 451 is not that book. It's filled with many ideas and suggestions that will hit you in your core like a punch to your soul and ask you questions you may not realise that you've asked at certain points in your life. It's take on Society is spot on, and future predictions are scarily coming true. I'd rate it a 7.5 :)
Definitely give it a read!
And don't forget, or be fooled, by books.