13 Jun 2016

FAHRENHEIT 451.


FAHRENHEIT 451 by RAY BRADBURY.

BACK COVER BLURB: 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. 

Ray Bradbury's powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a prophetic account of Western civilization's enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity that stands alongside Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World.

FIRST SENTENCE {Part One: The Hearth and the Salamander}: It was a pleasure to burn.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 58}: 'You weren't there, you didn't see,' he said. 'There must be something in books, things we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing.'

SOURCE:  A special edition that celebrates fifty years since its first publication, this is one of Mr T's books off our shelves.

MY THOUGHTS: A book perhaps made notorious (and arguably the reason for its huge popularity) by it being included on the list of books to have been banned at one point or another. 

A 'science fiction'/'dystopian' novel, all about censorship and what it is to control/be controlled and, if I'm not very much mistaken, the 'dumbing down of society'.

Not what I considered a particularly well penned read. Not wishing to insult any school boys, but alas I found the writing, well, school boyish in its execution. The Mechanical Hound from whose snout there projects a lethal syringe unimaginative and, quite frankly, I felt laughable.

With neither a plot nor characters (probably the most important aspect of a story as far as I'm concerned) that I could immerse myself in, let alone believe in, I'm afraid I struggled. 

Then there was the whole futuristic aspect. OK, so there are those that see the author as quite the visionary and, yes, it could be said that with the increase in 'reality tv' (the opium of the masses?) he was right and I suppose in this respect the book is marginally interesting but not nearly so interesting as to grip my interest let alone hold my attention.

Whilst I shouldn't really compare the two, give me George Orwell any time.

Fahrenheit 451 was read for the 2016 Reading Challenge: 'A book that was banned at some point' category.


12 comments:

frayedattheedge said...

I haven't read this, and after your review, I don't think I'll bother!

Kelly said...

I think I read this years ago (or maybe I just saw a film version?), but I remember thinking it was an interesting plot. It's one of those I can't imagine being a banned book. Then again, I can't imagine banning any books!

The Bookworm said...

I read this one so long ago I can't remember the Mechanical Hound you are talking about lol.
Enjoy your week!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I know this inspired Joe Hill's latest, but I've never read it. You have given me a powerful reason to read it... it was banned. :) One day, perhaps. :)

Literary Feline said...

I read this one nine years ago and found it quite relevant to our time period. I gave it a "good" rating, and so I liked it, but didn't love it. Unfortunately, I wasn't very specific in my review of it to explain why. :-(

Brian Joseph said...

This is one of my favorites. With that Bradbury is an odd writer in many ways and I can see how this might not me to your taste. It is interesting that you mentioned Orwell as I was thinking of writing a blog where I compared this to Nineteen Eighty Four, I agree that this is the lessor work.

carol said...

I've never had any desire to read this one.

Melliane said...

sorry it didn't catch your attention, I heard a lot about this one but haven't read it I confess

Nikki-ann said...

I don't think I could read a book about burning books!

Suko said...

Tracy, I always admire your honest reviews. I read this a long time ago, in school. I think the theme of censorship taken to an extreme in this way, through the burning of books, was quite dramatic and revolutionary at the time.

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

Oh I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this, Tracy. Fahrenheit 451 has always been on my list. Hope to get to it soon.

Gina R said...

I've always heard mixed reviews on the classic but I'm still itching to read it myself one day. Better luck next read!