BOOK REVIEW: Fahrenheit 451


Editors Note: Tuesday 6th September is ‘National Read A Book Day’, so we thought it an appropriate time for a few Book Reviews. Being big book lovers at Feeling Fab, you can read Angie’s thoughts on ‘James and the Giant Peach’ by clicking here and below Tarah reviews ‘Fahrenheit 451’ which we are all reading in the Feeling Fab Book Club throughout September. Join us and send in your comments below or on social media.

fahrenheit-451__2_BOOK REVIEW

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian book written by Ray Bradbury vaguely set in the future any time after 1960. The title comes from the temperature Bradbury thought was the auto ignition temperature of paper. In this world books are prohibited and firemen have been given the role of burning any books they find. The main protagonist is Guy Montag who is a fireman but as the story unfolds it becomes clear that he is battling an internal conflict with the oppressive controlling environment in which he lives.

Although I had previously heard about this book it is not one I would have ordinarily have chosen. It had been selected for my book club and I am really glad I got the opportunity to read it. As an avid reader myself the concept of books being prohibited instantly piqued my interest particularly because I cannot imagine a world where I wasn’t allowed to read. I have always been drawn to the dystopian genre which often explores social and political themes with a dark and disturbing alternative world and an unlikely hero. Quite often dystopian themes closely resonate with modern day problems and in Fahrenheit 451 the main themes are censorship, conformity, conflict between knowledge and ignorance and Life/Death.

At only 211 pages it is not a long book and is a relatively easy read. However this does not distract from the clever way in which Bradbury depicts the story. He has a very distinctive style of writing that draws you in from the first page and his use of a number of literary devices are very effective. His language is very descriptive but not overly so. For me what makes this book stand out as one of the most enjoyable I have read this year is the atmosphere he creates that runs throughout the entire narrative. His inventive use of symbolism and unique style gives an eerily surreal and dreamlike quality and atmosphere. I believe that Bradbury purposefully employs this technique to highlight the way in which society has been suffocated by a dictatorship and to imitate Montags own fears and the dilemma he is faced with.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to all kinds of people regardless of the type of books they normally read. It is very thought provoking and although it tackles some deep themes it is not too heavy going. If you have enjoyed other dystopian books such as The Hunger Games and Noughts & Crosses you will probably enjoy this book too. However for me it is most reminiscent of 1984 by George Orwell which is another favourite book of mine and it is definitely a classic in its own right.

I would give this book 9/10.