My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So, I've realized something.
I don't think I can ever read bland YA dystopian ever again, of course there are some really good gems out there, but after reading 1984, A Clockwork Orange, and this novel, my expectations are just too high.
Fahrenheit 451 takes place in the future when firemen start fires to burn books instead of putting fires out. This is a world where people are addicted to pure sensory stimulation via electronics and nothing else, people seek out to satisfy hedonistic pleasures instead of facing reality. 'Happiness' is prized over enlightenment.
If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war. If government is inefficient, top-heavy, and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it.
The pace of the book was fast, and the writing felt kind of everywhere, but apparently Bradbury intentionally wrote the book with emotion instead of thinking over it, so I guess I can forgive this. This novel isn't really a story with a proper plot, it's more like a message or Bradbury's personal thoughts. You can tell that unlike Orwell, or in A Clockwork Orange, Bradbury really didn't care too much about making the plot itself very deep, he just wanted to get his point across.
The whole message of the novel can be summed up in this quote:
It's not books you need, it's some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the 'parlor families' today. The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not. [...] There is nothing magical in [books], at all. The magic is only in what books say
Bradbury was afraid of the hypnotic effects that the newly emerging radios and televisions were having on the people around him, this novel is his fear of us sacrificing the harsh truths and awareness for happy lies.
As a side note: I liked that he explained that the medium for information delivery doesn't matter, just as long as it's delivered.
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