I somehow managed to get out of high school without having to read Fahrenheit 451 though I have no idea how. It is a classic book however, and I thought that I should read it, so I added it to my list of 10 books that I am determined to read this year.
I will say that the premise of the book is interesting. What happens when the world no longer reads? Or thinks for themselves? Or questions what they hear or what they are told? What happens to empathy then? Our humanity? Our compassion? What happens to the world?
It’s a powerful premise, and a powerful thought. And that’s what I loved about this book. That original gem of a premise.
What I couldn’t stand about this book is the main character Guy. He is so damn irritating and frustrating. I spent the majority of the book wanting to smack him across the back of the head. I do understand that he’s suppose to come across as overwhelmed and questioning everything, but I just couldn’t get past how irritating he was. I almost didn’t finish the book because of it. I am so eternally glad that I didn’t read this book in high school because while the premise is amazing, the delivery of it is enough to put anyone off reading for awhile. I cannot imagine many students ever finishing it.
The only other thing I liked about this book other than the premise is this quote:
“Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”
While it’s true that books are simply words consisting of a variance of 26 letters, paper, ink and glue, it is also true that their essence is magic. There is something about them that allows us to relate to the world. And I for one would be completely lost without them.