Saturday, September 27, 2008

153 - Fahrenheit 451; Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 was first published in 1953. It is one of those books that for some reason I was never required to read in high school or college. For that reason, I am trying to read a few of these classics each year. I was not sure what to expect as I am really not into futuristic books, however this book blew me away with its accuracy of predictions some 55+ years after it was first published.

Fahrenheit 451 details the eternal war between censorship and freedom of thought and continues to be relevant today more than ever. In Bradbury's future, books are illegal and happily so--citizens are too busy watching their wall-sized televisions and listening to their in-ear "seashell" radios to care about the loss of good literature. Guy Montag begins the novel as a fireman who enforces the temperature of the title--that at which books burn--but then transforms and tries to show his society the mistake of censorship. It's a treat to hear Bradbury read his own work, almost as if a wise elder were sharing a cautionary tale. Sometimes the slower pace seems awkward for a novel of such action, but overall the reading does justice to the timeless classic.

RATING - 4/5 - COMPLETED - 9/27/06

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