Publisher: Simon & Schuster.
Year of Publication: 1953
Year of Publication: 1953
Genre: SciFi, Classic, Dystopian, Fantasy.
The genre: dystopia is not uncommon these days. You see them everywhere. Personally speaking, I like reading about a futuristic world where things are drastically different. Anyhow, I was curious as to what the Legends of Literature thought about Dystopia or a futuristic world. That's when I began digging and found a quite a number of books written a whole lotta years back! It didn't take long for this book to catch my attention.
Fahrenheit 451 - The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns..
That pretty much gives the readers an idea. Fahrenheit 451 is about a time in future where books are meant to be burned. The job of a fireman is not to extinguish fire but to burn books and buildings which host them. Its a time in future where people are obsessed with television, all they talk about are television shows. People drive at alarming speeds, too busy to slow down and notice the world around them. Houses don't have front porches, because people just don't have the time to sit around, interact and relax. People are impatient and always in a hurry. Advertisements are shown on a constant loop so that people don't think. Nobody thinks on their own anymore. Everybody is sort of desensitized.
"It was a pleasure to burn."
The protagonist, Guy Montag is a fireman who loves his job & has been doing it for a decade. He lives with his heavily medicated wife (Mildred Montag) who spends her time watching television shows(refers to them as family) or has seashell thimble radios plugged in her ears . He has a perfect life until he meets a charismatic young girl Clarisse McClellan who tells him how different the world was a while back. She leaves him in a state of unrest and a bunch of unanswered questions. Suddenly he feels his life to be empty and shallow without any meaning.
Even though the story is set in the future, Bradbury doesn't dwell in elaborating it. He concentrates on the characters. Fahrenheit 451 is about a fireman who goes rogue. He gets curious as to what secrets does books hold, that its illegal to posses them and the sole responsibility of firemen is to burn them. He keeps one of the books. Soon he is hoarding them!
And just like that, his life changes. The hunter becomes hunted. He realizes he is not alone. From there, its a slow road. The ending is just the beginning. The book ends with a sense of hope. I felt the book ended too quickly. Even though I didn't quite like the ending, I feel that it was in a way appropriate with regard to the plot. The writing had a beautiful flow to it. Descriptive, had a feel of poetry in some places. The plot was slow in the beginning, but the pace picked up in the second half.
"Remember, the firemen are rarely necessary. The public itself stopped reading of its own accord."
It is a disturbing book to all book lovers. To think of a world without books is scary! I am amazed at the author's insights and imagiantion. This book was published in 1953 and it says volumes about the culture today. He speaks of a world where people glue themselves to TV shows, plug their ears with headphones, so wrapped up in their own world. Hardly anybody interacts face to face, they are more willing to connect via technology. Who has the time to stop and enjoy nature? Who has the time to open a book and read?