I read this book as part of the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2016 – #21 Read a book about politics, in your country or another (fiction or non-fiction).
Fahrenheit 451 is about a dystopian future where books have been banned by the state. People are controlled through a combination of drugs and the mass media. The zombiefied state of the general populace gives the government ultimate control, as without written accounts they can literally make up their own history and present any message that they wish to convey as fact. As such, “firemen” are employed to start fires in homes where books have been found, regardless of the cost to human life. This terrifying world is home to the main character, a fireman who suddenly starts to view the world differently as he realises the extent to which he is being manipulated.
I thought that this was such an interesting book. It touches on so many themes and gives a really important message about the role of the state and the importance of freedom of speech. I would put it up there with 1984 and Brave New World as a modern day classic.
Despite the chilling tone I actually found this book very easy to read. It’s a relatively short story (especially for science fiction) at 227 pages and keeps up the suspense throughout. Ultimately the book is uplifting and is a brilliant tale of people power and the tenacity of the human spirit. Highly recommended.
Overall rating: 8/10