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.
The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.
Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.
Bizarre is the best word I have for this book. Guy Montag is a fireman who burns houses, not puts out fires. He has secretly been collecting books from the houses he burns and hiding them in his vents. When his young new neighbor won’t leave him in peace and starts to tell him about things her uncle has told her about how things were before firemen burnt houses his unhappiness with life surfaces. Because of one week of annoying conversation with his neighbor he finds himself questioning everything he knew.
Yes the author implies that his unhappiness has been surfacing for a long time as he doesn’t enjoy playing the games the firemen play with the mechanical hound, and he’s spooked when the hound starts sniffing him out like prey. The story ends up with him murdering 3 people, running from the authorities and being welcomed into a society where books are stored in peoples heads for the future when books aren’t a banned item.
This book was okay. I remember from high school that I didn’t really like it, and as an adult I still don’t like it. I understand the author’s premise was to have you question what you know, but his delivery was lacking. It’s a jumble of nonsense and word vomit trying to masquerade as intelligence. I’d recommend Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged if you want a book that makes you question what you know and don’t want the bizarre jingles and nonsense from this book.
I give this book 3 stars.