Book Review (#6): Fahrenheit 451

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courtesy of Goodreads

5

I think we readers, as persistent fanatics of books, cannot find a book that discusses love and importance of books and not enjoy it. Unless it’s written really badly, of course, and hardly relays any truths regarding the tender sentiments of obsessed, sympathetic readers like ourselves. Thankfully, Fahrenheit 451 is written so beautifully and its pieces are put together so meticulously that I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t help but fall in love with it and Ray Bradbury.

What’s this book about? It’s a dystopia which takes place in 2022 where reading books is against the law. The job of firemen is not to put out fires and protect the people from turning into ashes but rather burning books and diminishing all the chronicled ideas and stories that could influence the current nation in anyway. And because of this, I find Fahrenheit 451 an important book. It doesn’t only tell a story about a fireman beautifully; no, it constructs a world that is so plausible, a world that you could see pieces of in our own, that it scares you and makes you wish you could do something to prevent the coming on of  so dreadful an existence.

The first thing I’ll talk about is the marvellous premise of the story. As you may know, in recently written dystopians, the author has to create this world, one that seems so different from ours, one that imprisons a bunch of teenagers, and then they have to create conflict between the characters and sci-fi or supernatural creatures. And I’m completely okay with that and totally enjoy some of these books. But what stunned me about Fahrenheit 451 was the simplicity of it all. The monsters are our own thoughts and belief system. The prison is a world of ignorance and blandness where we cannot tell one emotion from the other. And I personally found that entrancing! Technology also, of course, plays a part in the story but it isn’t as central as the other aforementioned aspects.

This book is quite complex and has so many layers to unravel and many other elements discuss. The first layers that you’ll need to get through in order to enjoy this book is Bradbury’s stylistic prose. You will need to be in a very good mood and a quiet place so you can savour the metaphors, comparisons, and the various stylistic techniques that the author uses to make his point . I found Bradbury’s comparisons so refreshing, unique, and vibrant. Not only does he make the book as a whole deliver a view that is so realistic but he also makes every thing that the characters go through, every “feeling” that rushes through them, jump out of the page at you. I feel that this feature has taught me a lot as an aspiring writer, and that really made me happy.

In the first half of the book, something about the characters bothered me. They all, save for one character, had this problem where they repeated things a lot while talking. It was something I’d intended to criticise the book for initially. But it wasn’t until other characters tagged along, especially those who used to be scholars and avid readers, that I realised it was technique the Bradbury used in order to show how annihilating books, literature, and emotions would detract people of their individuality. Monotony would take over every aspect of people’s life, allowing no room for variation. And I was very happy to process this fact because I really didn’t want to have anything against this book.

When I was nearing the ending of the book –in fact, when I only had 10 pages to go– I couldn’t see how it would, at all, be ending. And I was gravely worried that this marvellous read would not have a satisfying ending. This was greatly due to my expectations that are influenced by more recent dystopias like the Hunger Games and the Maze Runner. Nonetheless, like the rest of the book, the story was sealed so realistically! And though it was a bit open-ended, it gave the closure I needed.

This is definitely one of the best books I’ve gotten the chance to read this year. It was different and allowed me to formulate an opinion about so many different things and I adore it when books do that to me. This is a book that I believe that you can reference in a lot of conversations and the things it’ll make you think about will allow you to sound smart and decided should you be confronted with discussion regarding any of these matters. It’s absolutely a must-read for every book lover out there!

I wanna know if any of you have read this book and what you think of it? And if you haven’t read it, is it on your to-read list? Because if it isn’t, it really, really should  be!

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3 thoughts on “Book Review (#6): Fahrenheit 451

  1. This is such a great book! It’s scary how well Bradbury was able to predict the future, especially when it comes to technology and ambivalence toward knowledge. You make a great point about the repetitive language being a result of the characters’ restricted access to (and lack of interest in) books and other sources of information/expression. Without books, people have no way to learn new ideas and ways to express themselves, and so lose a lot of their individuality. Nice post! I really need to re-read Fahrenheit 451 soon.

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