Casual reader and reviewer of fantasy, science fiction, comics, and graphic novels.
You can also find me at ignoranimus.tumblr.com
[This is a copy of my review on Goodreads, just to fill some space on my page]
I actually read this a couple of weeks ago, but forgot to add it on Goodreads, so here we are. Being the lazy hack I am, I'm gonna write my thoughts in dot points. Even though I genuinely want to express my thoughts on this book, I can't be arsed to write a properly edited, good review, so this'll probably be rife with mistakes and waffling sentence structure.
-Three pages into this book, you're already hammered over the head with the societal parallels a little. Okay, I get it, the Firemen are society, and the girl is you, Ray Bradbury. Firemen = stupid, sheep-like, unquestioning. Clarisse = free spirited, avid reader, questioner of facts, all knowing goddess*.
-What I found most interesting about this book was how little has changed in regard to our attitude towards "high-brow" and "low-brow" culture. Even in 1950, when Bradbury wrote this book, he was dissatisfied with the state of intellectualism in popular media, wishing he could go to back to a time of betterculture, and more intelligent people in general. Yeah, the guy really had a thing against the arrival of TV.
-The prose was well-written enough to not be distracting, but nothing special. The constant exclamation marks in the narration were a little annoying, though.
-The book came off a little preachy, in general. Also, comics and sports are stupid, worthless endeavors? I'd have to disagree with that.
-The change in Montag's personality was a little abrupt. One second, he's a bumbling sheep, content in his existence of following instructions and not asking too many questions, the next, he's quoting Shakespeare and the Holy Bible. It's just not believable.
-Removed from the ultimate message, the plot was a little boring. Not many things happened, yet it managed to fill over 150 pages. There weren't that many locations visited in the book, either, which added to the dullness. Montag went to work. Then he came home to his wife. Then he talked to Clarisse on the way to work. Then he came home. Then he went to what's-his-name's place. Then he went home. Etcetera.
-I disagree that television is an inherently toxic media. His arguments were that with the combination of the realistic visuals and surround audio, it's almost an impossible medium to critically analyse, since the experience is so vivid. I love analysing TV, and I think, just like books, everyone is capable of turning off the TV and thinking about the themes, messages, implications, and whether you agree or disagree with them.
So yeah, those were a few of my thoughts on the famous Fahrenheit 451. All in all, it was okay. The satire fell a little flat, but it was a good time sink when I was stuck in the library with nothing to do for a few hours.
*You know, if you think about it, Clarisse is almost the exact definition of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype. Yeah yeah, you're probably tired of hearing everyone slap on the MPDG label to any quirky female character, but this is the most classic example I've seen in a while. Think about it: after meeting our main character, she spends immeasurable hours with him, teaching him the real way to experience life, apparently putting just as much effort in making his life enjoyable as she does for her own, if not more. She exists solely for the benefit of our broody lead, with no actual depth to her character. As soon as she isn't needed any more, she's killed off, spurring narrative rationale for our hero to move into his fragile, emotional stage.