Published by Flamingo Modern Classics on October 1953
Genres: Classics, Dystopia
The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; 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 Classic novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 is part of the Voyager Classic series. It stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.
Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, forty years on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
Scary and sad to live in a society where books are illegal. To think that you have to hide them even from your spouse is heart wrenching, I’m a goody two shoes – don’t drink*, don’t smoke, what do I do? I don’t jaywalk here in Vegas cause that’ll get you at best, heavily fined and at worst, killed. The extent of my thug life consists of misusing semicolons. Having said that I would have hidden books in every nook and cranny inside and outside of my house, and maybe even your house. I definitely would have been a leader in an underground cell tasked with procuring, protecting and preserving books.
I went into this not really knowing what it was about, even after I read the blurb and postponed picking this up several times, so I was pleasantly surprised when reading it. I enjoyed the story, but I was somewhat scared. Could this happen? Maybe not probable, but is it even remotely possible? In 50 years? It does have a Book of Eli feel to it and I was okay with it.
*One or two times a year I allow myself a couple of Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I once made the mistake of purchasing four at one time because they were on sale. Had two of them on Day One with a big dinner in between and started singing Come What May from Moulin Rouge – I sang both parts of the duet. Received some applause from a neighbor. Had the other two on Day Two and choreographed a 5-minute stepping routine. No applause this time 🙂
So funny you posted this review today as I just finished a book, The Temptation of Adam, that references Farhenheit 451 several times. I can’t imagine having to hide books and it’s so sad to think that while this is dystopian for us here in the U.S., there are people living in other places for whom this is a reality.
As for the Mike’s, I can only say that if 50% of your Mike’s-induced performances were well-received, that’s not too bad. 😉
I’d love to visit a bookstore in North Korea and see what’s on tap. I’d also like to let 100 North Koreans, from 6 to 96, loose in our bookstores to see their reactions. I can’t wrap my head around not being able to walk into a store and picking out a book based on reviews, favorite author status or because of a pretty cover.
😀 That’s a good way of looking at it. If this were baseball, I’d be batting .500 🙂
Great review, good book… I agree- and I would join you on the underground mission to hide books everywhere… !
Thank you, Liz. I liked this enough that I may pick up something else by Mr. Bradbury.
I could use all the help I can get, so thanks 🙂