From the publisher:
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy. Something’s missing.
I’m not sure how I’ve made it this far without having read Ray Bradbury, but I am so glad that I have finally remedied this. I picked up Fahrenheit 451 without thinking about Banned Books Week, but the timing could not have been better. I mean, wow! A world in which books are not allowed- horror at its best for bibliophiles.
Fahrenheit 451 was written by Bradbury in 1953, and what a life it has lived since then. Having finally read this, I can see it’s influence in nearly every dystopian / post-apocalyptic book that I have read. Joe Hill’s The Fireman was clearly influenced by this book, I found elements in Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, and the silencing of Clarise due to her hunger for knowledge brought to mind Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it.
I cannot add anything of value to the legacy of this book, I can only say that I really enjoyed it. Bradbury has keen insights into humanity, and I found myself highlighting many quotes as I read:
We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
When I was a boy my grandfather died, and he was a sculptor…he made toys for us and did a million tings in his lifetime; he was always busy with his hands. And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again.
What are your favourite Ray Bradbury books? The Halloween Tree and The Illustrated Man will be up shortly for me!