Friday, March 06, 2009

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a near future dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury. It narrates the tale of Guy Montag, a fireman, whose job in a totalitarian state is not to put out fire but to burn books.

Honestly, I couldn’t get to the end of the book. It was a very tedious and boring read and I finally decided that I was better off reading something else. I picked up the book only because it is so critically acclaimed. I could see why it is critically acclaimed and yet the book failed to appeal to me. Not my type of literature, I guess.

The basic problem I had with the novel was style. It is self indulgent. The author is writing long explanatory paragraphs and long winded poetic imagery which slows down the pace of story telling. What happened to show and tell? Do you absolutely have to lay down every objection and argument you have against censorship in such neat and precise manner. A little thing will happen, then a cryptic abstract paragraph will follow, followed by a long explanatory one.

Second, the book is largely an angry rant about censorship. Censorship is bad and we should burn anyone who is doing it. There is very little analysis of why censorship happens and what the reasonable ways to prevent it can be.

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