Classic Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

February 13, 2018 Book Reviews 10

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Classic Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Published by Harper Voyager on October 1953
Pages: 227
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Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television 'family'. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

Reading Challenges: Back to the Classics

 

 

I really enjoyed how this turns the idea of what a fireman is today, on its head. Instead of putting out fires, houses are made of a material that doesn’t burn, so firemen are no longer needed. What they are needed to do, instead, is to burn all books. ALL. THE. BOOKS.

Insert sad face here!

I know everyone here would agree with me that this is a horrible idea, but with all the banned books that are out there, that are very good for society to read, it’s not wonder Ray Bradbury thought of this.

What’s even more interesting is that the character, Guy Montag, doesn’t question or wonder why they burn books until an incident with a book burning goes badly. There’s a lot more to the story than just this simple premise, but it’s this small question that creates a problem in Montag’s world.

The rest of the book is about Montag’s questioning. People around him start to understand his questioning, even if they do not fully agree. As he continues questioning, those around him either respond in a harsh matter, or are also questioning.

Downside to this is that I wanted more of the characters. They felt a bit more two dimensional instead of a fully fleshed out story. As the story progresses, the characterization doesn’t really progress, with the exception of Montag. It may have been done on purpose, but sadly it didn’t work as well for me.

I did listen to this and was fascinated by a wonderful interview with Ray Bradbury at the end! I was more excited about his story of how it came about than I was about reading the story. I’m glad I finally read it though.

Rating Report
Plot
3.5 / 5
Character Development
3 / 5
Writing Style
3 / 5
Personal enjoyment
3 / 5
Cover
3 / 5
Overall: 3.1 / 5

 

 

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

10 Responses to “Classic Book Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury”

  1. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I’ve never read this book and I’m not a big classic reader. I think the concept of burning all the books is so so sad. Aren’t they making a movie of this or did I dream it?

    • Christina

      It’s harder reading the classics! I’m glad I’m working on it, slowly, but many of them are just not up my alley! I think they are making a movie… now I need to look this up!

  2. chucklesthescot

    I don’t read the so called classics. I’ve never had much interest in reading this one I’m afraid to say. I prefer my apocalypses and zombies!

    • Christina

      Apocalypses and zombies! Right up my alley! I was telling Barb that one reason I think classics are so difficult is because the time just isn’t the same. What RayBradbury was writing them doesn’t resonate the same today. Although book burning might! Or at least the banning of.

    • Christina

      And your feelings. Why are these people burning all the books? I was so frustrated with the way they all just went along with it. It’s short though, so it was easy to get through for the most part.

  3. Lilyn G

    Noooooooo… I love this book. So much better than 1984. To me, though, I think what won me over was Bradbury’s prose. I felt like the novel had a very smooth flow to reading it that I just basked in.

    • Christina

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! You’re right though, I didn’t think of it as prose, and it was harder for me but I listened to it through Overdrive, which may be why it didn’t completely mesh for me. I may have to re-read it later and see if actually reading it helps. Love that you love it though!

  4. Karen

    I know this is a classic but I didn’t even know it was about burning books. I’m trying to get in more of the classics and this one is obviously relevant for today’s world. I also live in an area that is big on banning books 🙁

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • Christina

      I didn’t know either! It was a nice spin on the every day thinking of our firefighters, which I thought was very interesting. It’s short, so if you’re looking into which classic to read next, I definitely recommend!