“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this classic. Brave New World has been one of my favorite dystopian classics of all time, as is 1984. Now I have a third one to add to this list: Fahrenheit 451! I absolutely loved reading this novel by Ray Bradbury, up to the point that I’m lost for words describing my feelings towards Fahrenheit 451. The prose Bradbury used to describe this dystopian world is absolutely brilliant and I devoured every single page of this classic. Ignoring and burning books is a very scary thought and unfortunately the first has been happening on an increasingly larger scale over the years. Of course things haven’t evolved to the extreme of Guy Montag’s world, but it is true that in general people have an increasing tendency towards the fast and easy and books are being pushed towards the background. Fahrenheit 451 sure makes you wonder how things would be in the future, and if in our world we ever would reach such an extreme. I sure hope it doesn’t, because that would mean the end for classics as good as this one!
Guy Montag lives in a world where literature isn’t appreciated anymore and it is all about being happy. Montag is a not an ordinary fireman; his job is to burn books. The new authority believes books are the source of all unhappiness and cause nothing but problems. They have forbidden almost all books, and with the help of the Mechanical Hound and the Fire Department they care to track down everybody that tries to preserve and read the books that are left in this world. Montag isn’t happy with his current life though, and after talking to the young girl that lives next door, he starts to wonder if there is more to life than the government wants him to believe. Are books really that dangerous?
Montag then does the unthinkable and starts stealing books from the book burning sites. Soon he has a small collection of books me makes sure are hidden even from his wife… When one day a book owner prefers to die over giving up her books, Montag is suddenly not so sure the government is doing the right thing anymore and he makes the mistake of showing his wife and some of her friends one of the books. Soon the Fire Department is stopping by at his place, but this time it is not a friendly visit from collegues… And soon Montag is running for his life.
Ray Bradbury used some very beautiful and strong prose to describe this dystopian world! I absolutely loved reading every page and Fahrenheit 451 will definitely be high on the list of my favorite reads this year. Somehow this combination of an intriguing story and strong prose just works, and it is absolutely worth the full five stars!