fahrenheit 451

title: Fahrenheit 451

author: Ray Bradbury

genre: Fiction, dystopian, book burning

dates read: April 2nd – April 3rd

review: 5  out of 5 stars

summary: Guy Montag is a fireman living sometime in the future.  In this future “firemen” do not put out fires, they set them.  Namely, they set fire to books that have been forbidden by the powers that be, pretty much all books are on this list.  Society is now expected to not experience fear or sorrow and if any books make people feel these emotions, they are to be destroyed.  Montag discovers the beauty of books and sets out to change society, even at the risk of losing his life.

personal thoughts: I wasn’t sure about this at first, but I ended up loving the story.  I often have a difficult time with science fiction because it’s got elements of un-reality that I sometimes have difficulty picturing.  But I eventually got the world that they were living in and saw the profound things that Bradbury is saying.  What if the world operated this way?  What if books were seen as tyrannical and were set ablaze because of the way they made people feel?  I thought this story was kind of similar to “Book of Eli,” one of my top five, all time favorite movies.  The difference is that this is not post apocalyptic, but set in a dystopian-esque world.  It’s a short story, only 150 pages and I highly recommend you read it.

favorite quotes:
“He saw himself in her eyes, suspended in two shining drops of bright water, himself dark and tiny, in fine detail, the lines about his mouth, everything there, as if her eyes were two miraculous bits of violet amber that might capture and hold him intact.” p. 22

“Only and hour, but the word had melted down and sprung up in a new and colorless form.” p. 30

“He could feel the firehouse full of glitter and shine and silence, of brass colors, the colors of coins, of gold, of silver.” p. 43

“it would be the dying of an unknown, a street face, a newspaper image, and it was suddenly so very wrong that he had begun to cry, not at death but at the thought of not crying at death. . .” p. 53

“‘Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year.   Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of “facts” they feel stuffed, but absolutely “brilliant” with information.'” p. 67

“Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget.  There is nothing magical in them, at all.  The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.” p. 83

“‘The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.'” p. 142

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