Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

If more classics were as engaging as this book was, I would not find reading them boring. Mr. Bradbury had a great balance of intense navel-gazing and action/dialogue. At only 158 pages, this book was completely satisfying the theme and characters.

 

I find Bradbury's future America (or as it was the future when the book was published in the early 1960s) in full-swing in today's world. For example, "the family" - reality shows based on some family that become the viewers family because the viewer and the family spend so much time together in the viewer's living room. *cough* Kardashains, Duggars, Jon&Kate+8, etc *cough* It wasn't so much science fiction when the reader looks up from the book and sees their reality.

 

My favorite character was Mr. Faber, but Granger came in a close second. For me, the secondary characters were interesting (sometimes more than the main character); however, I intensely disliked Mildred (irrationally, I hated with a fire of a thousand burning suns when Montag would call her Mille). I see so much of Mildred in people nowadays that turn me off from joining conversations on social media (for example, those that are defending Josh Duggar re: sexual abuse of minors - don't dare say anything bad about "the family").

 

One surprise is when Montag grew a spine and fought back against his colleagues/bullies. I kind of wanted him to do what he did to Captain Beatty, but didn't think he would think of it, much less do it - and he did it. Needless to say, my planned stopping point in last night's reading session got much further into the next chapter :D I love how Bradbury pretty much distills the essence of 24 hour news channels in the 21st century; juxtapositioning the start of the war with the manhunt for Montag. Again, hard to keep in mind this was science fiction from the 1960s when it is the modern reader's reality.

 

The ending was very uplifting, which I didn't think would happen as so much of the book was Montag living in this very ugly place externally while waking up his mind and soul. I want to read more from Bradbury - like all of his works. He seems like an underrated story teller. 4 great, burning stars.