Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Publisher: Random House
I can’t remember what, precisely, compelled me to purchase this book. But I’m glad I did. It’s fantastic. Really.
Guy Montag is a firefighter. Well, more accurately, he’s a firestarter. In future America, books have been deemed dangerous. The “firefighters” use kerosene in their hoses to light books on fire. Guy, at the beginning, does not question his role as a firefighter or the banning of books. Until his life begins to change. First, he meets his neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, whose straightforward view of the current society causes Guy to reevaluate. Second, his wife tries to commit suicide. Third, during the burning of an old woman’s stash of books, Guy inadvertently reads a line and then steals the book. His odd behavior from here on, leads him to become a fugitive – one that believes in saving books.
Here are a few memorable quotes:
“There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”
“Let you alone! That’s all very well, but how can I leave myself alone? We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”
“What traitors books can be! You think they’re backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives.”
This is just a fantastic book. It makes me feel good, as a reader, to think that a world without books would, in fact, be as horrific as it sounds. I love the idea of people memorizing, “becoming,” books, in order to preserve them. I love that people decide that books are worth fighting for. Because they are. And this book, in particular, is a keeper.
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury [rating:5]
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