In no particular order over the next week or so, I will be sharing details of my five favorite books.
In no particular order, this is the first:
Written in the early years of the Cold War and on its a face a treatise regarding the repercussions of state-sponsored censorship, the author has since advised that this interpretation in incorrect in being the only interpretation:
Bradbury still has a lot to say, especially about how people do not understand his most famous literary work, Fahrenheit 451, published in 1953. … Bradbury, a man living in the creative and industrial center of reality TV and one-hour dramas, says it is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature. *
There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority … feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse … Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by the minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the library closed forever. *
In this alternative American future, the “Firemen” the book centers on are actually the government employees tasked with burning “illegal” books after their possessors are, at the very least, incarcerated in mental hospitals. The anti-intellectual, hedonistic, lawless, and reality-tv obsessed culture that Bradbury envisioned in this 1953 book isn’t far off of what we see today.