Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury | Spoiler-free Review

You can find Fahrenheit 451 on Goodreads here, and buy the edition I read from here. (Here’s the cover of the edition I read from)

Actual rating is between a 3.5 or a four. I couldn’t decide because my rating standards are different for this books since it is a classic.

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian classic novel set in a world where books are illegal. Being talkative, smiling, laughing, and all of the things we do today can make you an outcast. The protagonist of this book, Guy Montag, is a fireman. Except a different type of fireman–a fireman, who, instead of taking out fires, creates fires.

Montag’s job is to burn books wherever the fire department finds them. As I said before, books are illegal and if you are found storing, reading, or quoting them, first your books are burned and then you are arrested. Montag, at first, doesn’t question anything. He does as he is told, and he enjoys destroying books–he enjoys burning them and seeing the fire consume the words and the pages.

However, he begins to question his world and his standards when he meets a teenager named Clarisse. Clarisse, unlike everyone else he knows, is “normal”, by our standards. Of course, in this dystopian world, she is not viewed as normal and people think she is weird because she is different. Clarisse thinks. Clarisse talks. Clarisse laughs and smiles and actually enjoys her life by socializing instead of watching TV.

After speaking with her after work, Montag begins to realize that almost all of the things he is doing, all of the things he’s known to do, are pointless. “Why burn books?” he thinks. “Why watch TV all day and interact with the digital ‘families’ on TV?

“Why, why, why, why?” Montag wonders, and so the story starts off from there.

Now, as to my thoughts on this book, at the moment I don’t know how to rate it. I can’t just rate this book because of how I enjoyed it, because that would be unfair since it is a classic, but I don’t want to only rate it for the meaning I took out from this book.

Enjoyment-wise, I actually liked it compared to other classics. For one thing, it was short and easy to get into (although the terms of the future technology were sometimes confusing) and I loved how it had to with books. I also really liked the writing style, and for some reason it reminded me of Laini Taylor‘s writing style.

Another part of the book I enjoyed was the technology. Reading it now, if it wasn’t a classic book, I wouldn’t be impressed at all with the story, because there’s nothing new to the tech. But knowing that it was written over 60 years ago, Bradbury literally predicted the future. In this book, huge TVs cover entire walls where people spend their whole days listening and talking.

Now think about the technology now. Is it much different from the story’s technology? No. We have huge plasma TVs that take up most of our walls. We do interact with electronics (not in the same way as in this book, but we still do) with YouTube, social medias, Internet, etc. So when you think about it deeply, Bradbury’s vision of the future isn’t much different from now, which in my opinion, is pretty impressive.

If I had to rate my enjoyment of the story, I would give it 3.5 stars. (Which is good when you think about it because I normally don’t enjoy reading classics)

As for the message of the story, I really loved it. Of course, this had more than one message, but I loved how the overall theme of the book had to do with books, and how the technology took over and brainwashed everyone and everything. Its actually scary and depressing, but I liked how the author actually created a dystopia that was bleak but seemed very much real and very much possible.

So message-wise, I would rate this 4.5ish stars.

Overall rating is, as I said, somewhere around 3.5 and 4 stars, but I’m not sure. Also, note that I might reread this in the future when I am older and my opinion might change on it then, but as of now this is how I feel about this book.

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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some recent posts:

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check out some of my other reviews, on my review archives.

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