Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Genre: Classic | Fiction | Sci Fi | Dystopian
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.
– Guy Montag, Fahrenheit 451
“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.”
I read Fahrenheit 451 as part of the Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge for the prompt “a book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie”. I was never really looking forward to reading this, but when I read the above description of the book it got me interested. A world where books are illegal?! What the heck?!
I thought that if this book didn’t appeal to me, 119 pages wasn’t a lot to get through and I’d be done with it pretty quickly. How wrong was I! This seemed to take me an age to read; despite how good the storyline sounded, it just did not hook me or keep me entertained. I’ve never been a fan of anything science fiction, so maybe this was a part of the reason why I disliked it so much.
The only character I had any liking for was the protagonist Guy Montag. Despite his job of burning books, he comes to realise just how special they are and what joy they can bring. The rest of the characters in parts 1 & 2 of the story (it is told in 3 parts) were just down right strange. The way they spoke, the way they behaved, even the relationship between Guy and Mildred who were husband and wife was just weird. There was no intimacy on any level. Other characters who had any kind of normalcy about them were Faber, Granger and the group of men that Guy meets in part 3.
I think it is largely the fact that this is a sci-fi/dystopian story. The concept was fantastic, but something in the way it was told could not keep me entertained, and makes me very reluctant to pick up any other books by Ray Bradbury. Two hearts to him!