REVIEW: Fahrenheit 451

This is my review for Fahrenheit 451. As always, unless otherwise stated, book reviews at Novellique are spoiler free. Check out other reviews at Novellique here!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future. 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.

TITLE/COVER.

I absolutely love the combination of title and cover – Fahrenheit 451 sets up the premise with the simple concept that Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books burn. What follows is

PLOT.

For a large portion of the book, it felt like nothing was happening: then, when the action does happen, it’s hidden behind long winded riddles and metaphors. It took me quite a long time to read such a short book because I had to keep rereading sections to understand what was happening. It’s one of those books I feel like I’m not clever enough to understand.

NARRATIVE.

As mentioned above, the narrative was complex with metaphors and riddles – especially when the characters go on long winded rants. This was the biggest issue for me.

CHARACTERS.

All the characters felt slightly… off. Clarisse felt like a perfect example of the manic pixie girl trope, and Mildred felt like her personality kept changing. I feel like the characters lacked consistency with keeping to the same motivations, convictions and speaking patterns. The only thing that I felt remained concrete was Beatty, who went on long philosophical rants.

OVERALL.

While I respect that Fahrenheit 451, much like 1984, is an important part of traditional dystopia – I found the prose bordering on too poetical. The whole thing felt disjointed in the narrative, like someone trying to write a political essay and then turning it into a novel – which I suppose is exactly what happened, but the political message slaps you in the face with a chair rather than existing in the background. Censorship is an important message to discuss, but in this case, the political message – for me – distorted the actual plot of the novel. Therefore, I’m rating it a 3.5* – good, but with some problems that created a barrier to reading it.

Have you guys read Fahrenheit 451? Considering it after this review? Something I missed, or you want to talk about? Let me know in the comments below!


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