Saturday, October 1, 2011
Summary: The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden.
Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnights runs or the joy of watching pages consumed by flames, never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do...
***Reposting from Last Year because I think this is a very important book to read***
I read this book in High School and apparently I didn't retain any of it, because as I made my way through the audiobook, I didn't remember much of it at all. I listened to the audio read by Scott Brick and as usual he did a fantastic job.
If you do read this book, make sure you read the afterword and the coda. They were very enlightening. Particularly the coda and it's extremely relevant today. In it, he talks about how the book burning and book banning started not with the government but with the people and with what he calls minorities. However he doesn't mean racial minorities necessarily but anything that you identify yourself with that separates you from other people, cat-lover, tea drinker, tree hugger, Republican, Catholic, etc. The phrase he didn't have then was Political Correctness. He was right, you can see it happening all the time. One person gets offended by one little thing and it's a major deal.
He also touched on another issue that we don't ever see or know much about. How much "censorship" or book burning goes before the book is even published? Or in later editions. He talked about editors and publishers changing things around to make them more suitable to the target audience, not considering what the author had intended or wanted. Is that right? Where does it stop? You take out one "damn" or "hell" and then a sentence or two, then maybe a paragraph, then what's the point of the book if you've started to change the whole flavor?
He brought up some things in the book that are happening now. That it started with the newspapers dying. That's evident now. Subscription rates are down, they're laying off workers, they're going out of business. He talked about how kids would be going to school at younger and younger ages so their parents wouldn't have to deal with them. Our parents (for the most part) didn't have public school Kindergarten, now our kids have public school Pre-K.
I thought this was a very timely book to read considering the Koran burning going on this weekend. So go read this book, go read another book, hoard the ones you have and don't let anyone burn them!