Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: Review

Saturday, April 6, 2013
Oh my. This book.

Summary via goodreads:

Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

And the review:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Rating: **** stars!

Initial Reaction After Finishing This Book:

I felt like this:
But at the same time...this:

This book was awesome, don't get me wrong, and I would have loved to give it a 41/2 to 5 star rating, but I couldn't. Why? Well... I guess let's mix it up and start with the bad today!
The Bad:

1. The confusingness: Through no fault of it's own, this book was utterly confusing. That's the one and only reasons I couldn't give this book an even higher rating. I didn't even understand what was going on for at least 25% of this book. It may also be because this book is meant for high-schoolers, and even then, is generally read in high school classrooms and is discussed so it can be understood. Either that, or I'm just stupid. Take your pick :).

The Good:

1. The writing. If I could, I would quote passages of this book to show you what I mean but I no longer have the book on hand. :(. But the point is that Ray Bradbury's writing wasn't just that. It was art. It was so masterfully weaved together, and I could not BELIEVE the depth of thought that was put in to his similes and metaphors. Comparing someone's face to a clock is like WHAT?? So not a dead metaphor.

2. The Plot. I am generally very attracted to dystopian books, and love almost all of them that I read, regardless of the fact that sometimes what's outlawed or how society is structured is utterly realistic. But the world this book crafted, it scarily enough could happen. In our society, many people have been edging away from literature and towards TV. Our society does seem to be getting dumbed down. Why won't it become further dumbed down in the future?

3. The Characters. I did love all the characters and how there were several characters on both sides of the battlefield: Those opposed to reading, and those who weren't. The one thing I would have liked to see about characters would be more closure on whatever happened to Clarisse. Was she really killed? Hmm...

So overall, this book was great, I just couldn't give it a 5 star rating because some of it was beyond my grasp. I think in the future I'll re-read it so I can understand it better.

To Read or Not To Read?

To Read! Just take a little extra time reading this book so you can understand it better. :)


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