Last week was banned books week, so I chose banned books for this month’s category. I also got to choose the book for September’s meeting for the large book club I’m in. Everyone reads the same book for that club. I chose Fahrenheit 451 for everyone to read. Since three out of the four other people participating in the Reading Challenge are in the same book club, most of us read the same book.
Here is the book synopsis on Amazon: “Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.
“Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.
“When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.”
I read this book for the second time for this category. In some ways, the book reflects the time it was written: almost everyone smokes cigarettes, women stay home while men work, the popularity of the beetle, etc. However, I think Bradbury’s warning about technology replacing meaningful relationships remains relevant to today’s culture. Bradbury also purposefully made most of his shallow and lacking in dimension. They are meant to represent ideas and things rather than real people. Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it.