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Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 presents a vision of a future dystopia where books are banned and it is firemen’s jobs to start fires, (yes, start) at the homes where books have been found. In Bradbury’s world, firemen have become the policemen of a regime which outlaws literature.

I had heard about Fahrenheit 451 a while ago and it has been on my to-read list ever since as the concept is intriguing to a literature student, or indeed anyone interested in literature and the influence knowledge can play on society.

The protagonist, Montag, is a fireman who is having troubles at home and is becoming disillusioned with the way his world works. Montag is an unusual protagonist because he’s not particularly captivating or heroic but because of the situation he’s in, you’ll find yourself reading on anyway. The main draw of this book is Bradbury’s prose and the way he tells his story. In Bradbury’s vision, television is ruling society and nobody is allowed to stop and think. People who do are considered crazy or dangerous and are ‘dealt with’, shall we say…

Considering this book was written over 50 years ago, Bradbury’s insight into what technology could become is staggering. In a similar vein to Orwell’s 1984, he has managed to write a novel which, it could be argued, isn’t too far off becoming a reality.

Rating - **** 4 stars.

Filed under books review 4 stars fahrenheit 451 ray bradbury dystopia