Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fahrenheit 451 Book Review

Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was very interesting. The world created in the book is in the future where different ideas reign. Chief among them is that books are evil and all must be burned. So this book is about saving books and the value they have on us.

He presented two other ideas that made me think. The first was that his characters all talked about nothing of value and most of the time it was nonsense. Everyone was always talking but they weren't saying anything that mattered. It reminded me of Facebook and texting. Most of what people say is nonsense and means nothing to me personally. I don't need to know if someone earned a chick on Farmville. I don't need to know that someone had eggs for breakfast or that they are anxious or that they are so mad the repairman's late. Really that means nothing to me. Not because I don't care but because a lot of information as been left out, like punctuation for starters.

Continuing on with that thought is that all the books they burned they kept very short versions of them. They were abridged down to 1 page. Also all the TV shows were down to 5 minute episodes and music was edited down to sound bytes because the attention span was lost. Of course the TV shows and books had all lost their meaning and so more nonsense was occurring. Also in the process relationships were lost. People existed together in a state of no meaning.

From the book a character briefly describes an aspect of their world, "We've plenty of off-hours, yes. But time to think? If you're not driving a hundred miles an hour, at a clip where you can't think of anything else but the danger, then you're playing some game or sitting in some room where you can't argue with the four-wall television. Why? The televisor is 'real.' It is immediate, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and blasts it in. It must be right. It seems so right. It rushes you on so quickly to its own conclusions your mind hasn't time to protest, 'What nonsense!....It grows you into any shape it wishes! It is an environment as real as the world. It becomes and is the truth." (pg. 84)

There are other things the books discusses which are all very interesting. I need my own copy to mark it up. Perhaps I will get one?

The book contains swearing and some adult references, but not descriptions. I would say this is an upper young adult read.

The story is choppy, but the ideas are good. He described much in our current society and it hit home. I have mentioned facebook and texting. Also things like MP3 players, flat screen wall TV's, false media reporting, government cover ups, abortions, no need for children, no consequence for choices, and legalized drugs. What is even more interesting is that this book was first published in 1953.

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1 comment:

Christy said...

This is a very interesting review.
I have not read this book, perhaps I should. It sounds like the author predicted the future quite accurately. Or, at least, the effects of loosing our connection with great ideas.

I believe texting and facebook and such really have had an effect on our societies ability to communicate, as well as attention span and interest in "real" ideas. It can be hard to have a meaningful conversation with someone who really doesn't care to think about things other than the latest movie or how someone offended them.