*Written in 2014.
Ray Bradbury is one of the greatest writers that ever lived. If you disagree, it’s probably because you have never read anything deeper than The Poky Little Puppy.
Fahrenheit 451 is an iconic piece of work that has gone on to inspire dozens of similar stories throughout pop culture since this book was first published in 1953.
It tells the story of a man named Guy Montag. He works for the oppressive fascist government that rules our potential dystopian future. He is a “Fireman”. His job is to burn books wherever he finds them, as they have been outlawed. I’m sure that the story was inspired by the Nazis and how they had mass book burnings. Regardless, Bradbury brings a deeper level of understanding to that vile practice.
Throughout the story, Montag realizes the error of his ways and goes on to challenge himself and the system whose tyranny he helped administer. It is a thoroughly thought provoking journey of self discovery, as well as one of conquering evil.
It is such a successful formula and strong story that Hollywood has been “borrowing” from Fahrenheit 451 for years. Other than the book’s 1966 film adaptation starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie, it has gone on to inspire the premise for the Christian Bale and Sean Bean starring Equilibrium, as well as several other films.
Fahrenheit 451 is one of the best books I have ever read. It isn’t that long and it reads very well, which should be no surprise if one is familiar with the name Ray Bradbury. It is a short and pleasant read but one that tugs at your soul. I can only imagine the effect it had being released in a world where the fall of the Nazis was only a decade old.
Pairs well with: George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.