About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dystopian World

Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (September 23, 2003)
Rated 4 stars of 5 possible

Farenheit 451 is a dystopian novel depicting a world in which firemen don't put out fires, they start them... to burn books.

Written over 50 years ago, some claim that this science fiction classic doesn't hold up well today... but I have to disagree with statements like that. In fact, I can't help but think that the readers who say this classic isn't as good today as it was when written must somehow have held unrealistic views of how good the book really is. As for myself, I held no unrealistic expectations that it would be anything more than the slightly better than average I always thought it was.

So, what still resonates for me in this book? Not just the general apathy of the citizens to politics and the distant war, but also their fear of the idea that people can disagree with each other and yet still hold valid opinions makes Farenheit 451 a favorite for me.  The people in Farenheit 451 seem to think that having an idea that's different than everyone else's is evil - as evil as reading and possibly believing what the books say; yet in the real world, it's the differences of opinion that make life interesting.

Unfortunately Bradbury was dead on with that prophetic vision of the future. The real world does look much like the world of Farenheit 451 in the apathy of the people toward politics and the distant war, also in the people's willingness to ban certain books because they disagree with or are afraid of the ideas contained within...

As for his women... well, those he depicted in the novel were not (I think) meant to represent EVERY woman... Unfortunately, I've known one or two like Montag's wife, and more than a few like Clarisse, so who's to say that he got it entirely wrong.  I like Clarisse a bit better than Mrs. Montag... quite a bit better... even though she comes across to me as somewhat of an airhead. These two aren't the only women in the book, but they are the most prominent ones... Unfortunately, Mrs. Montag's friends are much like her; shrewish and nasty, not someone with whom I would want to associate. I'm glad that not everyone is like those women. Even the dreamers like Clarisse get tiresome after awhile.

Still, more than 50 years after first publication, Farenheit 451 is worth reading and retains it's place in my personal library and in my heart. Recommended to science fiction readers age 15 and up.

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