A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{July 8, 2012}   Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Plot: Guy Montag is a fireman. He burns down houses harbouring forbidden books. He enjoys his work, knowing that he is helping to keep society happy and safe. But when one of his jobs goes tragically wrong, he starts to question his purpose. He starts to wonder why firemen are necessary and what the books he burns might contain. He soon finds that his questions are very dangerous.

I was standing in line for an author signing at BEA2012 when I heard that Ray Bradbury had died. And something struck me: despite an adolescence spent reading nothing but sci-fi and fantasy, despite a degree in English literature, despite being a rabid bibliophile, I have never read anything by Ray Bradbury. Until now. I know, Gen, you’re judging me. šŸ˜‰

You don’t need me to tell you Fahrenheit 451 is good. We all know it’s good. Bradbury is a one of the greats of science fiction for a reason. His writing is clear and evocative. His narrative is both exciting and thought-provoking. It is a short novel but every scene, every sentence is infused with such meaning.

There is so much I could talk about. The horror of book burning aside, Bradbury has a lot to say about new medias, censorship (or rather self-censorship), the disconnection between peopleĀ  the value of literature and contemplation… I could go on.

Bradbury’s classic was written almost 60 years ago but it still resonates today.

Another good reason to read Fahrenheit 451 this summer? It is the book John and Hank Green are video blogging this year. You can join thousands of nerdfighters in reading and discussing this sci-fi classic.

2012 (#70)

Title: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Year: 1995 (first published in 1951)

ISBN: 978-1-4391-4267-7


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