Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review: Fahrenheit 451

I mentioned two weeks ago that I should give up on young adult fiction and read more serious books. I find that I am getting lazy in my reading and had preferred easy-reads - those that I can speed read and those that does not need much thinking. I felt I must stop reading those and get back to proper reading.

And I am glad I read Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. It was a very interesting and engaging read and as I read it, I noticed how prophetic the book was. It was written about 61 years ago but most of what I read are very reminiscent of today's world.

Here are several of his predictions that is true to us today:

• Seashells and thimble radios, which they wear in their ears --> our earbuds and Bluetooth headsets

• Viewing screens that take up the entire wall in their houses --> our large flat-screen televisions mounted on our walls

• Talking to their friends through the digital walls --> our Facebook

• People taking part in real life games as seen in the digital walls --> our reality shows

• The loneliness the husband felt as the wife was constantly on the thimble radio and with full attention on the digital walls --> our being glued to our devices that we've lost quality in our relationship with our close ones

• Automated banking machines --> our ATMs

• The banning of books and the dissemination of non-combustible data so that they will be chockfull of information but not give them slippery stuff like philosophy and sociology --> our dumbing down of information into broad, repetitive and simple

It's quite eerie reading it and seeing so much of our lives now had existed in that book written in 1953, it's just amazing.

My next serious read? George Orwell's Animal Farm!


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