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Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is a powerful warning about the dangers of both intellectual lethargy and censorship. In a dystopian future that’s eerily familiar, Americans have replaced philosophical and critical thought with mindless entertainment, and the government burns books to keep the populace peacefully unenlightened. The novel made me more appreciative of books, and more disgusted with the current culture that’s obsessed with worthless, “fun” entertainment.

As the plot unfolds, we learn that Americans have stopped reading, turning to radio and TV for entertainment. In the past, minorities of every race, religion, and political party began ripping offending pages out of books. To restore order, the government began burning books and suppressing the intellectuals and philosophers whose ideas were disturbing the peace.

One of the characters, Faber, explains that their oppressed, bookless culture lacks 3 things: quality of information, leisure to digest it, and the right to act on it. He regrets not speaking up when the book burnings begin. One of his major points, however, is that the books themselves aren’t magical; it’s the ideas they contain, any medium could carry the ideas.

I’ve known about this book for years, but finally decided to read it after seeing it on NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books (book #7).

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Would you miss this blog if I discontinued it? Please leave a comment.