27 October 2008

Fahrenheit 451 BY Ray Bradbury

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I guess I can now officially say I have read this book. I have heard a lot of hype about this book for years and finally decided to give a try. I am glad that I read it, but don't necessarily see what all the hype has been about. The title, for one thing, always confused me, but now in just the introduction I understand that this is the temperature at which book paper burns. Ok, I guess that makes sense for this title to a book where the main topic is books.

The futuristic world that Ray Bradbury has created is one where books are bad and, in fact, if caught with books your house is burned to nothingness. The firefighters start these fired instead of putting fires out. I guess in the end we all have to decide if we are like Montag, Beatty, Clarisse, Faber, Mildred or even the Hound, how do books fit into our life and the lives of those around us?! I think everyone should read this book, once, unless you really really like, then be my guest to read it over and over. My challenge, in any case, is to keep books alive in whatever way we can. That, in my opinion, should be everyone's desire!

Now for the quotes, with a few thoughts, too:
pg 90: "If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none." hmmm....sound like something that COULD be applied today?! Yes, I'm glad it isn't, but it COULD be!

pg 158: "You'd better head for the river if you can, follow along it, and if you can hit the old railroad lines going out into the country, follow them." Sounds like good advice to me, on so many levels!

pg 180: "Don't judge a book by its cover," someone said. And they all laughed quietly, moving downstream." This could make sense to all of us, but in the context of this book, it is an amusing statement.

pg 181: "...when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn't crying for him at all, but for all the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again...He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them just the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I've never gotten over his death." see below

pg 182: "Everyone must leave something behind when he dies...It doesn't matter what you do...so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away." see below

I had a really hard time getting into this book, but as I said before I am glad that I read it. Not only does it challenge me to continue my love for reading and soaking up all the information I can, it left me thinking about what kind of legacy I hope to leave behind. Not just in the monetary or famous way, if even that, but in the basic personal one on one connections in my life. Yes, it reminds of the whole message of my all time favorite movie, It's A Wonderful Life, we do touch the lives of others, hopefully for good, even if we can't see it now. At least, that is my hope!
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