The sun burnt every day. It burnt Time . . . Time was busy burning the years and the people anyway, without any help from him. So if burnt things with the firemen and the sun burnt Time, that meant that burnt!
Author: Ray Bradbury
What if fireman fused fires rather then quelled them? What if thinking independently was considered dangerous? Ray Bradbury explores these ideas and others in his novella “Fahrenheit 451”.
I am glad I read this book. In fact I would recommend it to anyone with a high school reading level. He presents some interesting arguments and food for thought. His foresight into t.v. culture and government dominance may be a little extreme, but pertinent. As a girl with an old fashioned view on technology and life in the fast lane: I enjoyed his slippery slope analysis of a society where everyone moves so fast they never smell the flowers. Time is spent getting places and completing mundane tasks, never wasting a second to think. This is a book advocating a slow-down in society. A total re-thinking of what the best way is. This is a book advocating for books. This is a book I can relate to and agree with.
The story is nothing extraordinary. The main character does things, he moves along. The style seems to play with the utter monotony of a perfectly efficient life. Crazy events, deep insights, philosophical statements – all with the tone of a bee buzzing in your ear. HumDrum. It is not the most engaging book; the characters can be intriguing, not necessarily compelling. He is not writing in a style sustainable for an epic novel. I would not be able to manage more then a few chapters of this semi-dryness. His characters oscillate between unimaginable and semi-relateble, yet they never quite attain to any level of likable. But this is not an epic novel. This is not a Dickens, Tolstoy, or Hugo – this is a book better classified as novella then novel. Thus I did not mind abiding with it’s dryness for an afternoon. There were no tears in my eyes, there was no heart-ache in my soul, nor laughter, nor joy: but I enjoyed it.
My recommendation would be to read this book on a lazy afternoon, under a sunny window with a cup of tea and some snicker doodles on hand. Read it fast, so as not to become disinterested. One or two sittings should be sufficient. Although it will not thrill you, it will stay with you. You will remember it and maybe even consider your own ways. What makes life worth living? Is the most efficient way a synonym for the best way?
I cannot place upon it my seal of absolute delight and adoration, but I can commend everyone to read it. It is not long – and you will be smarter for the experience.