Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
You would think a book like this would be dated, but it holds up astoundingly well. Now the story of a world without physical books is alarmingly prophetic, if a little misdirected in its alarmism.
The dystopian portrait Ray Bradbury paints is chilling, if a little perfunctory. The cliches it established have been copied to the point that they play like white noise. Bradbury leans away from his weaknesses in descriptive storytelling, delving more into philosophical debates that stem from dueling monologues of its conflicted characters.
Bradbury ultimately arrives at the point that it's not the medium that matters, but the thirst for knowledge and exploration of thought that keeps the human mind vital. Oral tradition, public discussion and the expansive reach that digital distribution delivers in the form of audio and e-books makes physical volumes all but obsolete.
Even more poignant is the book's "Handmaid's Tale"-like message that fascism doesn't always come by violent revolution, but by a methodical chipping away of civil liberties and public curiosity.
In the Audible version, Tim Robbins provides brainy, insightful narration that shades Bradbury's thoughts with depth and nuance, infusing the book's polemics with fevered angst.
The slippery slope grows steeper the longer it remains unchallenged. It's important for thought-provoking works like this to spark people into checking the temperature before things get out of control.
Publisher provided review code.
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