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Fahrenheit 451

November 6, 2012

This one is not related with Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. This book is a classic, by Ray Bradbury.

Well, I consider myself really late in joining the wagon of Fahrenheit 451, considering it is written in 1953. Maybe it is because it is out-shined by the other more well-known dystopia: 1984 and Brave New World. But again, better late than never.

The book tells a story from a world without books, when you have a Gestapo-like-secret-police (which is played by fire fighters! believe it or not), which will burn all of your books if you are stashing them.

The idea itself quite surprised me, especially since it was written before the era of TV and Internet like nowadays. Only a genius can write something like this, predicting the future decades ahead. The writer concerned about the decline of reading culture, taken over by audio-visual culture, such as TV and now, the Internet. When everything is about entertainment, politics, news, even crime scene and the advance of REALITY SHOW!. How close can it be to nowadays reality.

His premise is quite believable. Even some publisher in my country are afraid to print books which are sensitive, afraid that it might offend certain group. Just months ago, the publisher burn the book because of the pressure of religious group, a book writer which are beaten because her ideas are blasphemous. If this continues, the days when publishers stop publishing books about ideas, because it might offend people, are closer than we think.

This books are inline with Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium is The Message
and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. They are the prophets who shout in the middle of the desert, “Beware you commoners, thy world is bleak as long as you are stuck in front of your TV! Read books! Think for yourself.”

This book remind me why I love sci-fi books. Because of its prophetic nature. The only cause I do not give a five star is because its rambling dialogue. I still prefer Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, even though it is a non-fiction, because it is more entertaining.

Verdict: 4/5

One comment

  1. classic book, bradbury always had an uncanny abilities to foretell the future in a darker and believable ways. this is when sci-fi stories shine bright.



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