Books are a huge part of my life. Since I was a young child, I loved books and I always associated reading them with the smell of old books. Imagine a world where reading is a crime. Where the smell of books, old or new, doesn’t exist. Where the mere possession of a book can lead you in jail or in a psychiatric hospital. This is the terrifying plot of “Fahrenheit 451”, written by American author Ray Bradbury.
The story takes place in a future America, where the firemen start fires instead of stopping them. The main character of the book is Guy Montag, a fireman who one night, befriends his neighbor, a little girl named Clarisse. She challenges him to understand the world around him, and the decrepit of the society they live in.
The meeting with Clarisse and the suicide of a woman who refused to leave her books behind and prefers to be burnt alive with them shakes Guy’s believes to the core, and he starts to ask questions.
“Fahrenheit 451” gives us a bleak look into a very possible future. The book is as actual now as it was at the time of its release. The degradation of society in the absence of books and the presence of a strong censorship is a sure thing.
This book is perfect to be read while you’re young. It has that feeling of rebellion against a totalitarian society and a lot of angst. I read the book a little bit later in life, and though it is not one of my favorites, it maintained its impact on my views on liberty and freedom for all.