Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Summary from Goodreads:
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…
Upon starting the review of this book, I should give a couple disclaimers. The first disclaimer is that I listened to this book via audio book. The second disclaimer is that when I listen to audio books, I sometimes find my mind drifting. Now on to the actual review.
This audio version was read by author, Ray Bradbury. While he might be a good author, his voice is rather monotone. I wish that I had had an actual paper copy of this book so that I could sort of follow along from time to time when I let my mind drift. Sometimes I had to go and look at the sparknotes summary so that I could follow along better.
Now to the actual review of the story… As an avid reader, I cannot imagine what it would be like to have all books be illegal. I mean, I do love watching my tv shows, but to never be able to pick up a book and read? To never have known the joys of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. To have never met Katniss, Rue, or Peeta. To have never read Harry Potter, the Private series, or Lord help us, Twilight. The very thought of it is horrible. I love books. I love reading. I cannot imagine a world with none of it and with firemen who actually burn books.
And yet, when Bradbury discribed why books ceased to be, it made sense. Many times I find that our world is becoming entirely too P.C. to be safe. I could see how the world ended up where books ceased to be because minorities and special groups couldn’t allow books without equal representation of their group, or a good representation of their group. There are so many opposing groups that it is impossible to please everyone. I mean, imagine if we lived in a world without the Bible. Whether you are religious or not, you are talking about a book that has been around for around 2000 years. No Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, or any other book ever. That is crazy. I can’t even really wrap my head around that idea.
Now, I love to read dystopian novels. I find reading about other peoples views of what the world would be like in a Utopia gone wrong is fascinating. And I thought that this one held so much potential. However, it was the main characters actions that led me to not like this book that much. I understand about wanting to read books, but I don’t think their is ever an excuse for murder, whether it is freedom or anger or whatever, the taking of another’s life is inexcusable.
My second feeling about this novel is that the ending sort of felt incomplete. I thought that there was more and I was missing a disk or two, but alas, it really was over.
Overall, I felt that the characters were a little two-dimensional and I could not be persuaded to care for them or their outcome. The ending felt incomplete and lacking. The concept was interesting, but it did not pan out as properly as it could have. I am glad to have read it, and I will probably re-read it some day (in paper form) but it is not high on my priority list.