A book I ought to have read many years ago but somehow I never did.

I am no fan of science fiction but over the years I have read and enjoyed a few science fiction books eg.  1984, Brave New World, Enders Game, Under the Skin, The Year of the Flood, The Handmaid’s Tale, etc. My husband enjoys science fiction and occasionally I will read one of the books he has read but I don’t deliberately go out to buy a science fiction book or borrow one from the library.

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I can’t remember what prompted me to borrow this book from the library but I think I must have been reading something about the Pulitzer Prize and this book was mentioned as having won the 2007 Special Citation Pulitzer Prize. The book was first published in 1954.

I loved this book and if you have already read it, it is probably worth going back and reading it again. And for those of you like me, who haven’t read the book, I suggest you find a copy.

Sometimes I think I have lived under a log as I had no idea that Fahrenheit 451 was the temperature at which book paper burns.
From the book cover:

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy: there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
The classic novel of a post-literate future. Fahrenheit 451 stand alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilisation’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.

Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a classic of twentieth century literature which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.

What amazed me is how well the ideas expressed in this book have withstood the test of time. Our society is even more lost in television, blogs, social networks, and all other manners of distraction, not to mention the cult of celebrities. This is a science fiction book that I would certainly recommend, particularly to those of you who are non-science fiction readers.

8 thoughts on “A book I ought to have read many years ago but somehow I never did.

  1. Think I will definitely have to read this book after your review as I quite like (some) science fiction. Also have heard of this classic but never knew what it was about so many thanks. :)

    • It is only a short book so it doesn’t take long to read. If possible get a post 2003 edition as there is both an introduction and an afterward by the author.

  2. Well, perhaps you should read more SF now! There’s an entire subgenre of Social SF (perfectly exemplified by one of the novels you listed, A Handmaid’s Tale) — SF heavy on the social commentary and low on the hard sciences which we often assume all SF concerns…

    Some of my favs.

    Left Hand of Darkness — Ursula Le Guin
    We Who Are About To… — Joanna Russ
    The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe – -D. G. Compton
    The Sparrow — Maria Doria Russell

    etc.

  3. We had to read this at school,also Day of the Triffids.Not a big SF either but john always was. One I really enjoyed in the past few years was Spook Country by William Gibson it’s part of a trilogy but I only read that one.Some feasable thinking in there, not so far fetched. We are the future!

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