Fahrenheit 451 Review: The Most Influential Book of Its Time


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The cover art of Fahrenheit 451, a sci-fi novel written by Ray Bradbury.

Fahrenheit 451 Review: The book that defined a decade.
The infinite depth and complexity of this book is never lost on the reader.
Written by: Ray Bradbury
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Date: 10/19/1953
Page Count: 256

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian science fiction novel set in America, written in the 1950s by Ray Bradbury. The story follows Guy Montag, a fireman tasked with burning books, including the homes of people that own them. In the dystopian society, technology has consumed people’s lives, replacing books. The books contain radical ideas that threaten people’s happiness, so they must be burned to protect society. Bradbury writes a masterclass in creating a dystopia, one that hits eerily close to home in the modern day.

Inspired by Nazi book burning, Bradbury called his local fire department and asked them what temperature paper burned at. They told him 451 degrees Fahrenheit, which is where the book received its title. Bradbury lived in the 1950s, when technology was just starting to become prevalent in people’s lives. People started choosing television radio over books, and this concerned Bradbury. In this book, Bradbury warns of what happens when people ignore books, or rather the ideas in the books.

Bradbury is a master world builder, and that is clearly seen in his work. Not only is his version of America incredibly detailed, it is shockingly accurate to what it will become. The protagonist, Montag, and the supporting cast of characters are all incredibly well written and thought provoking. Bradbury created a world that is as entertaining as it is educational, giving people a warning of what happens when the ideas and the infinite complexity of books are erased.

Fahrenheit 451is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of science fiction of all time, winning the Hugo Award for best novel in 1954. The book is included in English curriculums around the world. Bradbury’s work has been immortalized in a way that few other works of art will ever achieve.

Fahrenheit 451 is an incredibly complex story, full of depth and thought. This complexity is rarely lost when readers follow the story—there is a reason why it is as referenced as it is. Not only is it a compelling novel, it imprints itself in readers minds. It makes them question technology, and question the direction society is going. For these reasons, it is fair to say that Fahrenheit 451 is one of the most significant books in history.