Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Quotes from the book:
“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”
 “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door...Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”
“But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them." 
Fahrenheit 451 was my book club's reading selection this month. Even though one member said she found the language too "flowery" and that there were too many metaphors, and another said she kept thinking, "will you just get on with it!", I say: What a great book to start off the year!

I won't say a lot about it, except that it's about a future society in which books are seen as a threat and therefore must be destroyed. Books give rise to independent thinking and ideas and this is dangerous indeed. Guy Montag, a firefighter whose responsibility is to burn books, comes to realize that they are precious and it is worth risking your life to save them.

I did a search of my blog this morning, using the term 'Ray Bradbury', and was interested to see that I've written seven posts concerning the author. Feel free to check them out.

There's a reason this short science-fiction work has stood the test of time. Read it for yourself to know why.

4 comments:

mooderino said...

The language does seem a little flowery by modern standards but the ideas are so great it totally stands the test of time.

mood
Moody Writing

Mama Squirrel said...

One of my favourite books...the movie is not bad either. I am reading George Eliot's novel Romola right now (started it awhile ago but just got back to it), and I'm at the part where the conniving husband sends his wife out for the day so that he can sell off her late father's precious library. Admittedly he is in need of quick cash (it's complicated), but I think I would have gone with Schwarzenegger's response: consider that a divorce!

june said...

A fantastic book, and an equally fantastic and brilliant film. In this age of iPads and Kindles and e-books, not to mention things like 52 inch plasma screens, 'X Factor' and 'American Idol' and 'Big Brother,'Bradbury was not only an excellent science fiction author, but he was, in my humble opinion, a 'seer' into what isn't too far off from what is the norm in today's society. And speaking of 'Big Brother,' there's also the dystopian classics like Orwell's chilling '1984' and Huxley's equally chilling and
unnerving 'Brave New World.'

I suppose it's an arguable enough debate about his particular writing style being seemingly dimissed by someone in your book club as not being top of the class (although I personally think it's excellent - give me that over supposedly 'amazing' writing like 'Fifty Shades of Grey' any day of the week), but 'flowery' certainly wouldn't be one of the adjectives I'd have used to describe Bradbury's style of writing.

Glad your book club is getting into books like these. If I had my way in our book club, we'd be next reading 'East of Eden' by John Steinbeck...or '1984' or 'Brave New World.'

Susan Barclay said...

Mooderinio - so happy you popped by with your affirmation of the book's lasting value

Mama Squirrel - thanks for the suggestion of Romola - I'd never heard of it! (Admit only George Eliot read to date is 'The Mill on the Floss')

June - I haven't seen the film yet, but it would be interesting to see how the book translates. And definitely agree with your comparisons to 1984 and Brave New World. Never cracked the covers of Fifty Shades of Grey or books of that ilk. Would much rather spend my time reading the classics or well-written books that have stories that matter.