Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Author Website: raybradbury.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
Well, I don't honestly know what more I can say about Farenheit 451 that hasn't already been said before. I recently read the book for the first time in quite awhile as I'm entering the contest Simon and Schuster has opened to design the cover for the 60th Anniversary Edition, and I wanted it fresh in my head while I was designing. That said, it has probably been since high school since I read the book last, so I don't think I truly understood the implications of the book, and how relevant so much in the book is, even today, 60 years after Bradbury wrote it.
The story follows the journey of Montag, a fireman, as he begins to grow a realization that perhaps his life's work may be wrong. As a fireman, Montag's job isn't to prevent fires, but cause them. The firemen in this dystopian world burn books, as they have been outlawed, and when we meet Montag, it seems he may already be questioning this practice. He may or may not already be seeing the importance of books in society, and what follows is his own discovery of what books mean to him. It's a fascinating story, and if you haven't ready it yet, I highly recommend it.
What also surprises me now, and as something that may have seemed more like science fiction than not even when I was in high school, is how accurate Bradbury was in predicting certain technological advances that we now almost take for granted. The earbuds (or seashells) that many of the people use in his book are very similar to current bluetooth devices and earbuds for our smart phones, as well as the wall-sized television screens. While we don't have television screens the full size of our walls, nor do they surround us on all four sides of the room, our current flat screen televisions are getting bigger and bigger, and how long until it takes up the space of an entire wall? Bradbury's prescient descriptions of so many things we take for granted now seems almost eery to me.
Needless to say, I find that Fahrenheit 451 is just as relevant now as it probably was 60 years ago, and if you haven't read it yet, you should. I think this is one of those books that everyone should read at least once in their lives.
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