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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden.

Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs or the joy of watching pages consumed by flames, never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do...

I had heard of this book but had never realised what it was actually about or I am sure I would have tried to read it a long time ago.  So when I happened to read the synopsis of it I was quite excited to find this classic.  
Any story about book burning and censorship gets me quite riled up.  I adore reading books and would hate a world where they are not allowed.  Even in today's world of 24 hour TV, ereaders and all the other technology, there is nothing quite as relaxing and entertaining to me than reading a book.    I started this book with high expectations and a real desire to love it.

The concept of the story is great.  Given that it was written in 1950 as a short story in Galaxy Science Fiction and then transformed into a book in 1953, the author was very forward thinking and he got a lot of things spot on.  The dependence of people on large screen TVs and the rise of reality and interactive TV along with the dumbing down of society that it seems to cause.  Luckily, the whole book banning and burning has not happened!

It was in the execution of the writing that I felt let down.  It was just all a bit too poetical and pretentious for me.  If he had stuck to the telling of the story idea it would probably have been one of my all time favourite books but he somehow tried to be too smart - perhaps I am just too dumb - but the style just did not work for me.  It was supposed to be allegorical but  I was just missing what the underlying meaning was!

That being said, I am still going to look out the movie and give it a watch, even just to see Julie Christie in one of her classic roles. 

I gave the book 3 out of 5 for the concept of the story but I didn't rate the writing style very high.

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