Fahrenheit 451

Reviewer: Kat Allen

Author: Ray Bradbury

Published: 1953

Reviewed: 2006-02-17

Publisher: Ballantine Books

This has been on my "should have read long ago" list for some time, so
I checked it out of MITSFS before a recent trip. I think I finished
it in two sittings, of no more than an hour each, but I did really
enjoy it. (And it's nice sometimes to have a book that's nice and

The characters seemed a little flat, but many of them were supposed
to, I think. Mildred was clearly intended to be no more real than her
"Family", Faber too afraid to really define himself, and the other
firemen, neighbors, and friends just setting. Only Captain Beatty and
Montag are real characters, as far as I can tell. (I think Clarisse
only looks real for her brief moments "onscreen" because she's a
mirror to show Montag what he can be)

I'm still trying to figure out whether Beatty was really a bad guy, or
whether if Montag had given him a better way out, been less impetuous,
he'd have shown that he was really a book-lover too. There were times
I really wanted to beat up Montag and spin him so he'd really look
around him and see his world, but he's supposed to be naive.

I can't decide whether it's because the book is (compared to my
worldview) so old, or because I'm missing something that I feel like
the ideas in it are not as revolutionary as I'd have expected. It
didn't seem as strange or terrifying to me as the world in Catch 22,
or 1984... just sad.