Books We Should Be Talking About · Pulitzer Prize Winners · Reviews

“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury glowed quietly on my bedside table for about a year before I opened it for the first time. I recall fragments of the thought behind the decision of reaching out for it the moment I did, but I am afraid the mending pieces were instantly consumed by the spectacular wording of the novel.

“He stepped into the bedroom and fired twice and the twin beds went up in a great simmering whisper, with more heat and passion and light than he would have supposed them to contain.”

Before I dive right into the storyline, I must mention the writing because it’s absolutely extraordinary. Please don’t ask me to explain why, it merely is. There’s nothing particularly intricate about it. To be honest, I found the language to be rather simple, but the way it was used… Sigh. The repetitions, the texture of the chosen words, the descriptions… I can still hear the deafening bickering of Mildred’s family and friends, I can feel Montag’s anger boiling, his blood rushing through his veins as he stands on the edge, on the verge of exploding… and then silence. What a fascinating experience.

“If there was no solution, well then now there was no problem, either.”

I must say that I found the scenario to be exceptionally frightening. For a moment I felt the bitter taste of hopelessness on my tongue – it’s an incredibly poisonous one, if not truly lethal. With everything that has been happening around the world lately, this is the sort of book that asks to be read, perhaps even out loud, for everyone in proximity to hear. If we all took a glimpse of this future, a future where memories are a target being obliterated by the ones proudly wearing vests of victimhood, a future where memories are remembered by outcasts instead of created by the uniqueness of every soul… perhaps then we would choose not to go down this road, a road battered by the insane amount of times we already went through it, spilling blood all over and then attempting to wash it away with tears…

“And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering.”

There is as much heartbreak as there is hope in this book. There are no perfect beings here, just choices – and we all have one.

“That’s the good part of dying; when you’ve got nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.”

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