Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction
Rating: 4.5 of 5
This is the second time I’ve read this book (the first time was 9 or 10 years ago), and I noticed a lot more relevance this time around. The ideas of banal/violent interactive media turning people into inane loners and of government-imposed destruction of independent thought naturally growing out of popular-level boycott/censorship of anything deemed offensive by anyone seem eerily prophetic of the direction our society could be headed.
Bradbury’s dreamy-repetitiveness, synesthesia-filled descriptions, half-mad metaphors, and other poetic touches definitely add to the reading experience. However, to be honest, I can only enjoy his style for so long before I need to read something a little more straightforward.
One thing that makes this stand out from other classic dystopian novels is that there is at least a hint that the age of lonely ignorance does not have to last forever if people are willing to stand together against it in their own small way. It’s not a light, happy book by any means, but it’s not quite as grimdark as the likes of 1984, Brave New World, or A Clockwork Orange.
If you are a lover of books this is a must read. Ray Bradbury’s love of literature shines through the whole work as he provides a moving reminder of the dangers of technology-obsession and the suppression of potentially-offensive and/or contradictory ideas.