Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

 

Rated: 5 Stars

Read: August 2nd, 2017

I have read many books in my almost twenty-three years of life and it should not have surprised me how a mere one hundred and ninety something page novel could contain such multitudes.

Fireman Guy Montag’s world is a bleak futuristic outlook up to its eyeballs in censorship, where ignorance is peddled by the powers that be as the height of bliss. Books are banned completely, they’re burned by the firemen, sanctioned domestic thugs that keep the sheep-like people in check.

Two pages in, he first encounters the odd young woman Clarisse McClellan who blew at the cobwebs in Guy’s head and turned some cogs he’d already begun to grease. He finally faces the truth of how unhappy he really is even though seemingly his life is pretty fine. He questions his role as a fireman. When did he even begin to burn books and why?

Increasingly the confines of little to no intelligent interactions with other people bother him, especially with his wife Mildred, whose obsession with the scripted television shows on “the walls”, “the family” in them and preoccupation with everything superficial is what pushed him over the edge.

Nobody listens anymore. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me, I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough it’ll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.

He sought out a man he once met, a man of words and poetry who Guy should have reported long ago. Together they hatch a ploy to shake up the status quo but things don’t go as planned. In fact, things went dreadfully; a discovery, a betrayal, murder, a little blackmail and an escape into the wilderness.

But as fate would have it, it happened for the best in the end. Guy worried me in the beginning but he became more human to me eventually as his curiosity and instinct to preserve his free will over rode his default programming.

I’ve had my copy for over two years I think, Fahrenheit 451 is one of those books that both fascinates and disgusts me. Not for the lack of writing, mind you, but the mere idea of censorship, most especially book burning that are by no means confined to fiction as history would have you know.

There are some points that remain vague to me, a situation I can remedy with a reread or three. Here’s what I do know:

  • the setting is a city in the USA, somewhere close to Los Angeles.
  • the US is a part of a war going on in another country but is approaching the homeland.
  • not only are people encouraged to be critically stunted, they appear to be emotionally vacant as well in the sense that relationships are one of those recyclable notions. Continue reading “Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury”
Advertisements

The Hunger Games by Suzane Collins

Cover via Goodreads.com.

My rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads blurb
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling The Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

My review

I can’t believe that I’ve waited so long to read this book! The time wasted seems absurd. When a book keeps me up ’til 2 in the morning, at the edge of my seat, well my bed, makes me ignore being yelled at to turn out the lights and commands my attention it definitely deserves 5 stars at least. The Hunger Games was no exception. I haven’t read a book so captivating since Harry Potter but it doesn’t beat Harry, mind you. This is a diehard Harry Potter fan talking here!

Panem had thirteen districts with the Capitol at the top of things and I emphasize on had. After the districts came together to overthrow the Capitol, District 13 was obliterated and the rest of them were in shambles, well most of them.

Long story short, the Capitol is full of a bunch of greedy power hungry, heartless loonies, with a few exceptions. Body alterations that you wouldn’t believe I mean they take surgeries to look perfect, a few dyes their skin colour, even guys wear make-up as a norm.

To remind everyone of their huge mistake the Capitol punishes everyone by forcing them to give up a boy and a girl from each district to participate in The Hunger Games, where they fight to the death until only one remains. So the people of Panem watch their children die before their eyes. Can you imagine being helpless, having no choice but to give up your kids for slaughter?

Katiness Everdeen ,from District 12, was in a fight for life from the moment she volunteered in her sister’s, Prim,place in the Hunger Games when she was chosen,which was a supprise because the odds were supposed to be in her favour! She leaves whatever comfort she had, her friends, especially Gale, her family and everything she’s known of home.

Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son, is the male tribute for District 12.Once in the only way out was to win. Katiness put her hunting skills to the test, unsure how to treat Peeta’s kindness towards her. I mean one of them will have to end up dead for the other to win. What if it turned out that one of them will die at the other’s hands? Why be so kind? He must be deceiving her, or is he?

In the end what Katiness did had ‘Rebellion’ (ahh!The sweet smell of rebellion!) all over it but she only meant to make the Gamemakers a laughing stock, when it actually made her an enemy of the Capitol. Not good news at all. But it’s not that they weren’t enemies from the start, but now the Capitol has their eyes trained on certain people from District 12.

At this point we know she lives or there wouldn’t be any Catching Fire and she made it to Mockingjay that makes it easier for me to breathe, but I know that the ride to come will leave me breathless!

Read more here