Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (5 stars of 5)

I just finished Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  I thought this was an outstanding book.  It was both very entertaining to read and thought provoking.  I rate this 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Fahrenheit 451 is about an alternate future where firemen create fires to burn books (instead of putting fires out).  In this alternate future, people are addicted to mindless television and most books, such as the Bible or books of poetry, are banned.  If one owns an illegal book, the firemen are called to pour kerosine onto the books and light them on fire.  One fireman, Guy Montag, meets a teenage girl who is different than anyone that Montag has ever met.  He finds the girl irritating because of her questions and because of her incredible power of identification (Montag feels like she can read the heart of a person).  He is both repulsed and attracted to her.  Meeting this girl begins to open Montags eyes about the world, everything is not as it should be.  He starts to feel like his life is meaningless and he suspects that the answers to his questions are found in books, the very books that he is burning.

I'm really glad that I read this after Something Wicked This Way Comes.  Because if I read it before, I don't think that I would have enjoyed Something Wicked as much.  The two books are written similarly but I feel like Bradbury's emotive writing style really worked for Fahrenheit but didn't work as well for Something Wicked.

I was really affected by this book.  Bradbury's writing was very good.  I don't want to give anything away but at one point Montag finds himself alone and I very much sympathized with him, resonated with him, imported feelings from my own life into his situation and vice versa.  Outstanding Bradbury, outstanding.  And in this book, I felt like Bradbury's emotive writing was effective.

The pacing of the book was slightly slow in the beginning but when it picks up, it's a non-stop rollercoaster until the end.

There are robot dogs in this book.  Robot dogs!  Awesome!

Even though she is only in part of the book, I really really really liked the character of Clarisse.  I wanted her more in the story but I guess this is evidence of Bradbury's success.  He created a character that I wanted to get to know more.  :)

Overall, I thought this book was a masterpiece.  I give it 5 stars out of 5 stars.  Great book!

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