Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Cover ImageFinished audio 5-22-08, rating 3.5/5, fiction, originally published 1953

 I listened to the book read by the author as I always try to do if possible, but this time I think it was a distraction.  Bradbury’s voice did not fit the way I was picturing in my mind.  The one saving grace was the last disc that was an interview with Bradbury.

The book is set in a cold, distant future where fireman start fires instead of putting them out.  The people are controlled by a government that wants its citizens to live blindly and do do as they are told.  Guy Montag, a fireman, meets his neighbor, Clarisse, and she begins his enlightenment with one question.  “Are you really happy?”  Clarisse opens his eyes to the past when books and ideas meant something and how awful Montag’s current job of burning books was.  Montag was shocked, but intrigued and begins his journey by stealing and reading the Bible.

I loved the idea of the book.  The theme of government slowly stripping of rights until there is no free thought is a timely one.  The melancholy future without books made me look at my overflowing bookcases with extra love 🙂

If you have read the book, I still recommend going to the library & checking out the cd’s read by Bradbury and listening to the last disc.  He gives much insight to the book and characters, but it’s much more than that.  His thoughts on writing were interesting.  ”

“You don’t want to know what you’re doing.  You must never know what you’re doing.” 

Maybe my favorite story was about his not being able to afford college.  From the ages 18-28, Bradbury spent 2 or 3 days every week in the library educating himself.  He said at 28 he graduated himself from the library.  His lenghthy interview was charming and candid.

Other reviews-

Heather @ Book Addiction

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