Sithara's Reviews > Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
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's review
Dec 22, 2007

it was amazing

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury has created a world that chillingly seems to reflect our present and near future. In this upside down dystopia, firemen burn books, women congregate with their fake wall (television) families, youth engage in high speed car chases, killing themselves and others, and products are promoted on 200 ft billboards, and hawked by Jesus Christ. In this world where supposedly everyone has everything one wants, no one is truly happy, no one loves anyone, and unhappy people overdose on drugs. No one slows down to smell the flowers, taste the rain, sit by a fire, talk with friends, or just sit and think. No one cares that that the world seems to have been at war for as long as anyone can remember, with fighter jets streaking above their homes everyday. After all, no one has to sacrifice anything; its always someone else's spouse or child that dies.

Guy Montag was a faithful citizen of this world, satisfied with his job of burning books, until he has a chance encounter with his new neighbor, a strange, precocious 16 year old who is wise beyond her years. Clarisse McClellan changes his views of the world dramatically with her strange habits of tasting the rain, gazing at the moon, and asking pointed questions as to why he became a fireman, whether he loves anyone or whether he is happy. An awakened, transformed Montag, after failing to impress and change his shallow and depressed wife and others around him with his new-found wisdom, is discovered, hunted, and is forced to flee the city. He joins a vagabond group of outlaw-professors, who plan to restore the world by imparting the wisdom they have gained by memorizing books.

This is the best novel depicting our future world that I have read. Other books, like Brave New World present a frightening, realistic future, but have poor plot and characterization. On the other hand, books such as 1984 and Animal Farm are thrilling and well told, but really do not reflect our future very well. FAHRENHEIT 451 does both, and does so brilliantly. Apart from depicting a realistic and scary future, Bradbury writes a tight, exciting plot packed with suspense, including fires, chases, murder, suicides, and nuclear war. I could scarcely put the book down, wondering what Montag was going to do next. Although it is but a short story, the characters, including Montag, his shallow but deeply depressed wife Millie, the youthful but insightful Clarisse, the cowardly but wise Faber, and the disillusioned arrogant bully Beatty are engaging and fully realized.
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Kate Thank you - what a wonderful review you seem to have got the same from this book as I did. Cheers

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