Oh wow, I loved this book. Unbelievable that it was published in 1953, it felt like it could have been written last year. It’s also written in beautiful poetic prose.
Guy Montag is a fireman. Firemen set fires in this dystopian future where books are banned. If books are discovered, the firemen are sent in to find them and burn them.
The population are kept busy with frivolous soaps and constant meaningless, shallow entertainment. To think deeply is not ok. When recounting their society’s history, it is said:
‘the word “intellectual”, of course, became the swear word it deserved to be’
There was a race to make everyone feel like no one was their intellectual superior, and books were banned before they knew it.
Guy begins to realise he is unhappy with his life. He is utterly disconnected from his wife. A war is going on for reasons he can’t recall. He remembers dimly knowing that firemen used to put out fires, not start them…
It’s scary how current this all feels. Attacks on facts and science and intellectualism seem to be rife in politics, especially in America. I know I’ve been shocked by political events this last year (Brexit, Trump, ffs! ) and perhaps I’m realising how much of an echo chamber I exist in.
This book read like a warning that we could all do with. I urge you to read it if you haven’t already.