Thursday, 14 May 2009

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - Too hot to handle

Advantages: A great story for those who like a story - a stimulant for those who like to question.

Disadvantages: None, a great read

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. 

The clever title refers to the temperature at which paper will burn. And why is this relevant...? 

This 'futuristic' book is set in an often cruel, hedonistic society, in which certain free-thought is not permitted through the reading of books. 

If anyone is found to be hoarding books, the book burners, or 'firemen' come round and make sure your hoard is well and truly incinerated "for the good of humanity". The hoarder is of course arrested and suitably dealt with. 

This text revolves around one such fireman, Guy Montag. 

Guy Montag, has some experiences, which include stealing a book from an old lady's house, which he is about to incinerate. The book leads him to begin thinking freely and he also begins to question this society that he lives in. Subsequently he becomes a hoarder of books. 

It would spoil the story to say anymore, but Montag flees, to where I won't say and as to why would spoil the story for you. 

This book will have you asking many questions about the value of books, but more important, all cultural texts in general. You will reconsider our current society, especially in light of the cultural climate, when the book was published (1953, a cold war and the ramp up to the counter culture revolution), in comparison to where we are now- how we now use and consume texts - how society has turned out. You will ask yourself if we are now at a stage where we are all hedonists and selfish to further degrees than decades before. Get yourself over to ebid and grab yourself a copy of this wonderful read.

Summary: Thought provoking!

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