Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Teen review: Classic dystopic novel

Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury
158 pages.
Dystopic fiction

8th grade and up

Reviewed by Michelle, grade 8

Fahrenheit 451 was a brilliantly crafted novel by the late Ray Bradbury, who also wrote many short stories before he died. This book is set in a twisted, dystopian future where the main character, Guy Montag, is employed as a fireman. However, the most bizarre disparity between the futuristic society and our current one is that firemen are paid to set fires rather than to put them out. In this bleak and peculiar future, books are considered taboo, being totally replaced by the "poison" of electronic devices. Guy Montag, in the beginning, seems to accept his culture, but when he meets an eccentric young girl named Clarisse who tells him about strange, unbelievable tales of a past where books were a marvel, Guy Montag’s morals and view of his society are sent totally haywire.

I read this book after reading one of Bradbury's 
short stories called “All Summer in a Day,” and it didn’t disappoint me at all. Ray Bradbury’s particular writing style and technique really gave the text that emphasized eerie feeling that never failed to send chills down my spine. Fahrenheit 451 easily became my favorite book, just because of the unique and engaging plot and the adventure and adrenaline it pumps into a reader. I really enjoyed seeing the dissonance of their society from ours, but also seeing the message the author might have been trying to convey. In some ways, it shows the importance of written texts and what our lethal over-usage of technology could lead to.

The book dealt with some content that could be complex and difficult to comprehend, although most of the book would not be considered ‘mature.’ This novel has some heavy content and would not appeal to a reader looking for a lighthearted and happy read. Although this is true, it is a truly outstanding book that everyone should read. (Other Ray Bradbury short stories are also highly recommended.) All this being said, I would rate this book as a 5 out of 5.

I feel that the hardcover art on this book, which displays a firefighter dressed in clothes made of sheets of paper from books and with a pile of burning books below his feet, really represents the whole concept of Fahrenheit 451.

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