Nut Ink. Mini reviews of texts old and new. No fuss. No plot spoilers. No adverts. Occasional competency.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Author: Ray Bradbury | Page Count: 172

"Go home and think of your first husband divorced and your second husband killed in a jet and your third husband blowing his brains out, go home and think of the dozen abortions you’ve had, go home and think of that and your damn Caesarian sections, too, and your children who hate your guts! Go home and think how it all happened and what did you ever do to stop it?"

Fahrenheit 451 tells of a time when the written word is anathema, books are burned for their heretic meanings and too much knowledge is forbidden. If one man is smarter than another it makes the other man feel shame and inadequacy. The state doesn't want that; they want everyone to be happy; everyone to be the same; no one to question the equilibrium or to protest.

Television is the dominant information medium, delivering sound and fury but saying nothing and meaning even less.

Life slithers along under a coloured blanket; the colour is grey and occasionally the colour of flame, but only if you try to think for yourself.

If you dare to own a book the firemen will come and burn it (and your home) because that’s what firemen do. It’s what they've always did, isn't it? Montag asks that question and the consequences of such an independent, suffering thought turn his life into an inferno of frightened indecision and instinctual abrupt actions.

It's a dystopian novel but that doesn't mean it’s depressing. Bradbury doesn't do depressing. He does heartfelt and cordial emotion, tinged with a beautiful sadness that touches your heart in a very special way. You can read an entire page effortlessly because his prose flows like water over glass, but stop and take the time to examine the words and you’ll be amazed at their strength and subtle power. I'm in awe of the great man’s ability to mould such a crude language into something so beautifully understated. It's a short book but has enduring ideas that have the potential to remain with the reader forever.

If I was to be burned for owning a book it would be for owning F451.

5 families in the TV out of 5

1 comment:

Impudent Urinal said...

Now I want to watch Equilibrium.