Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is considered to be one of the all-time science-fiction classics. It was written in the middle of the 20th century but unlike many of its contemporaries; it’s not feeling its age. It takes very little time to realize that there are parallels with the modern era here and that the world it describes is much closer to ours than might be comfortable for you.
The “hero” of the tale is Guy Montag. He’s a fireman. That’s not the kind of fireman who rescues cats from trees or puts out the blaze in your apartment. His job is to start fires – not to put them out. In the future Guy lives in – everything is forbidden: TV, books, and the homes of the people who harbor them.
It’s his job and he’s fine with it. He never asks, “is this OK?” He returns home to his wife every night and sleeps without problems. That is, until he meats Clarisse. When she moves in next door – she starts to get Guy to think about what the world could be and might once have been. She encourages him to start reading.
He resists until his wife tries to commit suicide and Clarisse disappears. Then he begins to bring books home and loses himself in them. Until, the day that the fireman is discovered and now he has to run for his life. This is a dystopian future that’s all too real.
“A masterpiece . . . A glorious American classic everyone should read: It’s life-changing if you read it as a teen, and still stunning when you reread it as an adult.” Says Alice Hoffman of The Boston Globe.
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