Synopsis: Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Publisher: Harper Voyager
I have decided that the Pulitzer Prize winning Fahrenheit 451 is a Marmite book; you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I loved it. I can’t ask for much more than a book that debates the totalitarian control over the media; the defamation of books; and the breakdown of society – all of which I feel passionately about.
Normally, I’d rattle on about the author’s writing style (which I instantly connected to); ability to create an atmosphere (which I was completely immersed in); and the pace of the plot (which was never slow or clunky).
This time, I feel my words simply won’t do it justice. So I’ll quote a few of my favourite passages from the book instead:
‘Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.’
‘If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such a thing as war… Cram them full of non combustible data, chock them so damned full of “facts” they fill stuffed but absolutely “brilliant”…’
‘Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You’d find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion.’
‘There must have been a billion leaves on the land; he waded in them, a dry river smelling of hot cloves and warm dust.’
In my opinion, that’s more than enough reason for anyone to try the book. If that’s not enough to convince you, then maybe my random fact will:
Did you know… this book was written in a library basement in 9 days at a cost of $9.80.
Convinced yet? Yes? No? Well, then you’re one of those strange people that like Marmite and hate this book and I don’t think we can ever be friends…