Classics Challenge February 2017

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Apologies for posting this late, but it completely slipped my mind! And to think that for a change the book was actually finished on the last day of the month. *shakes head at self* February’s task was to read a 20th century classic.

Serenity has been swallowed by real life, so I’m on my own for this month and maybe for a while longer. Here is what I thought of February’s classic:

This month, I chose to read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, a book published in 1953. Interestingly, I learned that this book was first published in three parts in no other magazine than Playboy when it was in its early stages. I usually don’t read forewords but for some reason, I decided to read this one and thoroughly enjoyed it, too.

The book is divided in three parts, and the first two parts had me scratching my head regularly, wondering at Montag’s motivations and his stance on life. It also made me curious about how exactly the world in this book functioned. Scary thoughts, let me tell you (especially for me as a book lover and someone who enjoys chatting).

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The world depicted in Fahrenheit 451 is anything but a glorious one, and the worst part is that we’re sort of headed in that direction. Not necessarily the book banishment and the notion

of firemen being anything but what we consider firemen to be. But definitely the part concerning the “family” and how television and everything we are told in its various shows are the values and ideas society should live by. A world void of actual communication and interaction apart from the absolute necessities. Oh, they have social lives, sort of, but the creativity and beauty in having a proper conversation with people you actually like having in your life? Completely absent.

The third part was a little different from the first two. Of course, there had to be some kind of resolution to the main character’s crisis but I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting. I found the last part of the book to be odd and I don’t think what I got was what I expected. Nonetheless, at the very end, I stopped reading with a contemplative “Huh…”. The ending could be considered, somewhat, cathartic, with the option of a real new beginning buried somewhere in there. Or it could lead to the complete opposite. I guess that is up to the reader.

I ended up rating the book 3 1/2 – 4 charms as, all weirdness and confusing frowning aside, I enjoyed this quite a lot, especially the whole burning concept. And, let’s face it, I am a sucker for a good dystopia.

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