Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: A Book review

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: A Book review

Though Fahrenheit 451 has been on my TBR list for a while and it took a push from both the Banned book club and Classics N Christie book club to make me pick it up in March. And guess what? Like the other books the club has picked so far, it was great and I have no idea why I was hesitating to pick it up at all. Let us get with it shall we?

About Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Book Name: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Genre: FictionDystopia, Science Fiction, Classics

Characters: Guy Montag, Norman Corwin, Clarisse McClellan, Mildred Montag, Captain Beatty, Professor Faber

Setting: The USA

Plot summary of Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is set in dystopian world where books are banned and if found in person or house firemen were set upon to burn them. This is just strategy by the government to control the minds of the masses. The people too have lost interest in reading and television screens have taken their lives. 

The protoganist Montag is a fireman who takes his job seriously and follows the rules to the T without any remorse until he meets his young neighbour Clarisse. Clarisse questions everything in life and doesn’t hide her enthusiasm from Montag. Her suspicious disappearance sparks something in Montag and he starts reading bits of books that he had stolen whilst on his job. 

The little knowledge he gains from the books changes not only his idea of life and to know how it does read Fahrenheit 451 right now!

Book review of Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 talks about censorship but it was more about the technological growth and how people can get dependent on them. It is also about political autocracy and the controlling the masses. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which the paper burns but it is also about what makes the human mind tick and engaged. Reading does it. Period.

The first thing that happened when I finished the book was talk to everyone else who has read the book about its relevancy even today. The book is full of metaphor and I can’t believe how foresighted the author was, given the book was written in the early 1950s.

Of course the book was banned, and I would not be surprised if it were banned today had it been released now. I cannot emphasis on how powerful the book is, especially for the current global political scenario.

Things that worked for me

  • The book is full of metaphors and you can’t stop reading if you started matching it with real world.
  • The story and the plot are simple and direct, which helps it becoming the powerful book he is.
  • The book is filled with quotes and if you hoard quotes, you are in for a treat.
  • Fahrenheit 451 is still (or more) relevant to the current scenario.

Things that didn’t work for me

It was really hard to get into initially, like most other classics.

Bottom-line

Fahrenheit 451 is for all the bookworms out there. If you are look for a book, any book, PICK THIS.  If you want to read just one book in a year Fahrenheit 451 is the one for you. It will change your world and thoughts about books and reading. 

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: A Book review

Picture of Dorian Gray, The: Book review

Do you believe when people say that a book finds you at the right time? Well that has happened to me again. Well I finally go the courage to pick up The Picture of Dorian Gray and it did have its effect on me. Shall we get on with it?

I know I made tall orders for the year and I vowed to read more classics, loosely following the Penguin Classic Challenge and the Children’s Classic challenge. And it is February and am trying to keep up my promise by reading The Picture of Dorian Gray for January. I might have broken the suspense on how it was already, haven’t I?

About The Picture of Dorian Gray

picture of dorian gray

Book Name: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Author:  Oscar Wilde

Genre: Fiction – Classics, Literary, Paranormal

Characters: Dorian Gray, Basil Hallward, Lord Henry Wotton, Sibyl Vane, James Vane, Lady Wotton

Setting: England, The UK

Plot Summary of The Picture of Dorian Gray

Basil Hayward, an artist, is smitten by his muse Dorian Gray, who is young, innocent and beautiful and he introduces him to his best friend and worldly Lord Henry Wotton, somewhat reluctantly. Lord Henry’s worldly, hedonistic approach to life fascinates young Dorian and strikes a Faustian deal that he would stay young forever, instead his picture would. 

With some help from Lord Henry’s ideology Dorian goes on to being his reckless, vain and sadistic self with his eternal youth while the picture pays the price for all of them. You should definitely read The Picture of Dorian Gray to know what happened next in this crazy Victorian story.

Book review of The Picture of Dorian Gray

I LOVED this one and I cannot recommend it enough to people who love to read lyrical, smooth prose and/or want to have deep philosophical discussion about men and their psychology. The book is full of interesting characters who are so larger than life, especially Lord Henry. I loved every sentence uttered by Lord Henry and I kept highlighting the quotes like crazy

There were times when it became a bit slow, especially when talking about the materialistic obsessions of Dorian. But it gains its pace soon enough.

There are several layers and themes discussed like morality, selfishness, identity, greed, mortality and of course hedonism. And The Picture of Dorian Gray does come with a moral that materialistic life is not all and our sins do come back to haunt us. 

I went on a hunt to find all the vague innuendos for homosexuality and boy, I was not disappointed at all. I can understand how scandalous this book must have been for Oscar Wilde was incarcerated for writing this one. 

Things that worked for me

  • Wilde’s witty and funny writing kept me hooked throughout.
  • I loved Lord Henry’s hedonistic philosophy to life. 

Things that didn’t work for me

There were a few places when the writing became a bit dragging.

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Bottom-line

If you are looking for something more substantial than your regular run of the mill love story, with a lot of allegorical and witty writing The Picture of Dorian Gray should be your pick. If this is what all (or most.. or a few) classics like, keep them coming and I might as well make this – a year of classic.

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Have you read of The Picture of Dorian Gray? If so who is your favorite character of all? What classics should I read next? What was the last classic you read? Let us talk.