In honor of Ray Bradbury, who passed away yesterday at the great age of 91, I bring you one of his books. I read this about 2 years ago, with Ryan, when it was assigned summer reading before he started his freshman year of high school.
by Ray Bradbury
Some time in the future, books are banned. Televisions are everywhere, telling people exactly what "officials" want them to know. No one needs to deal with messy things like religion, psychology, sociology, or anything that might make them unhappy.
In this world lives Guy Montag, married with no children. He is a fireman; like all firemen, his job is to burn books. They are not permitted to keep any of the books which are confiscated; that's an imprisonable offense. But one day, Guy did just that. His wife had been bothering him to work harder and make more money, so she could have a fourth TV wall in their house, because she spends all of her time with her TV family. Then Clarisse moves in next door, and she's a scholar, reading books and holding lively discussions with Guy. This is what inspired him to secrete the first book, and to do it over and again. One day, Clarisse simply disappeared. Then Guy's wife discovered his cache of books and turned him in, forcing Guy to flee.
451 degrees Fahreheit is the temperature at which paper burns, thus the title of the book. I truly enjoyed this book; it made me happy that we live in a time and place where we are free to read and do as we please, think what we like, and disagree with anyone, including the government. It should not have taken Ray Bradbury's passing to make me write a review of this book, and everyone should read it and think carefully about the implications of a society where the government dictates more and more of what people can do and think.
Thor read this book with me and Ryan, smart guy that he was, and he would also implore you to read it!
Edited to add: Janet at Mystery Fanfare wrote about Ray Bradbury yesterday, and I learned this from her:
"He (Ray Bradbury) wrote “Fahrenheit 451” at the UCLA library, on typewriters that
rented for 10 cents a half hour. He said he carried a sack full of dimes
to the library and completed the book in nine days, at a cost of $9.80."