“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

It’s a classic of American literature and I had the brilliant idea of reading it in French. And my French wasn’t even that good, mind you.

French or not, I loved it, although I did miss quite a few points.

Maybe that’s why I read it last week and found it again so incredibly fascinating and absolutely brilliant. Or maybe it’s just THAT kind of book.

This is a story about people burning books – 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper burns.

Put it like this, it would sound like a horror story to me, but fortunately that’s not all.

Guy Montag is different from most of the other people: he doesn’t like the people screaming from the three screens in his parlour; he doesn’t like driving at the speed of light in his beetle; he has a curious hand.

When we see Montag snatching a book from a pile destined to burn, it’s not the first time it happens. So, when Clarisse appears into his life, telling about the moon and the dandelions and the rain… the ground she finds is more than fertile.

Although, just telling Montag’s story is missing the point.

The point is: why do they burn books?

They say:

“Because they are useless. Everything a book says is contradicted by another book. Every author is either telling lies about things or trying to convince you that someone else has told lies. It’s easy to understand how books have caused all the wars. That’s why we need to burn them, to keep peace and for the sake of humanity.”

The Readers say:

“Books are dangerous. They stir your mind and teach you things nobody else would have told you. You can live in the same place for your entire life, while exploring the world through your books. Books make you aware. That’s why They want to destroy. Their Parlours tell you WHAT to think. Books tell you HOW.”

The alarm rings in the Firemen station. The Hound stirs its legs. The firemen run for the truck.

Will you be the one holding the book, or the one holding the fire-hose?

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If you want to know more about this book: Goodreads

If you want to buy this book: Amazon

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