I forgot how much I love this book! I first read it in… freshman year of high school… I think, and it was the book that sparked everything. This is the book that opened my eyes to science fiction, and asking the “what if” question that fuels so many of my stories now that I’m older.
I think, as the little thirteen year old me, I couldn’t understand or appreciate the little nuances and metaphors used by Bradbury. I loved the plot, and the concept of burning books (a horrifying, blasphemous idea) scared me stupid. No books or thinking or debate or questions? This poor heart would shrivel up.
Reading it again, four years later, and since then having graduated from college and read a much larger collection of literature, I understand the book on a deeper level than before. While Guy Montag was the character through which we experienced change, and Mildred Montag was the character that exemplified the dangers of conforming to the dystopian society that Bradbury created, there was one character that stood out the most to me.
Honestly, my favorite character was Chief Beatty. Yes, he was the “villain.” Yes, he was a manipulative little bastard at times. But he was so well written, and nearly every word in the second third was a quotation from books – books that are supposed to be banned in their society! See, I never noticed this before, because I hadn’t read those works, but he makes so many allusions and direct quotes that show you that there is so much more to this man than meets the eye. As I was reading, I just kept smiling because he is condoning Montag for the very thing he can easily quote.
I give this book a solid 10/10. Plot – well paced and gripping. Concept – stunning, and still is pertinent to current society. Characters – see above! Writing Style – very descriptive, using a plethora of metaphors. I would definitely recommend this to everyone – it’s earned a place on the shelf of glory!
Two quotes, in particular, really struck me:
She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why.
This one I can identify with so easily – “why” is always my first question.
The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and and leave her for the flies.
A great reminder for writing: oftentimes I focus on the plot and theme, but forget to slow down a bit and show reality and people. I don’t want to rape my stories and leave them for the buzzards!
Anyway, back to the point. Read this book. That is all.