Fahrenheit 451 Gave Me the Chills

fahrenheit 451.jpg

Every so often there’s a book that’s so profound it brings you to your knees. This is one such book.

In every sense, this book is a work of art. The writing is so incredible it made me shiver and shake. This was undoubtedly one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read. It’s not dense though- it’s perfectly balanced prose.

This book was centred on book burning and so the colour imagery of Nazi Germany that is put forward- the red, yellow and black- is so clever.. It’s so powerful, using writers that are so familiar like Faulkner to illustrate his point.

Above all, though, this is an indictment against collectivism. Not only is there imagery of literally plumbing people like machines, but the whole book is about loss of individualism and personality. No one has an identity of their own- they are merely entities obsessed with their own pleasure and so-called “happiness”. Everyone is allowed to think they’re smart, consider themselves individuals, believe they’re happy- but it’s all a lie- it is just a way to control people.

So ultimately this is one of the darkest books I’ve ever read- and yet it is so, so amazing. The main criticism I’ve heard of Fahrenheit 451 is that it’s so broad in its scope that it can be applied to almost anything. But I think that is one of the books greatest strengths. Because the broadness in its scope I feel allows you to apply it to totalitarianism across the board. It is not just about a single threat- but about the degradation of mankind in the face of collectivism in any form. And that is what makes it so universal.

I really recommend this for everyone- this gets 5/5 bananas from me:

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

Have you read this? Do you plan to? And what’s the most profound book you’ve read lately? Let me know in the comments!

Advertisements

48 thoughts on “Fahrenheit 451 Gave Me the Chills

  1. Love, Soph says:

    We studied a small passage of Fahrenheit 451 in English and even the passage gave me the chills. This is on my to be read list of this year, and this is the first review I’ve seen anyone do on it. I have so much to read and so little time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thoughts on Fantasy says:

    Great you liked it so much! I hope it doesn’t make me hugely unpopular to say this (because everyone I know including you adores this book!) but this is one I read and really expected to like but didn’t. Maybe I didn’t get it, or maybe I was expecting something like 1984 (which I found very chilling and tense) and it didn’t match up, I don’t know. I think to me the characters felt wooden and impossible to identify with and the plot felt unreal/strange… maybe that was the point though? I really wanted to feel moved by it in the way you describe, especially because I always found the title and the premise so compelling. I guess it will forever be one of those books where I wonder if I read the wrong version or was in the wrong mood when I read it. I might try watching the movie of it (which is supposed to be a classic) and maybe that’ll help me to understand/appreciate it more.

    As for the most profound book I read lately – probably The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. I swear it made me cry at least 4 or 5 times… but also really showed the utter pointlessness of racial division/hatred and all the unnecessary pain it causes (but without being a preachy, hit-you-over-the-head-with-a-message book).

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you! No problem- going into I’d heard people didn’t like it much, so I was surprised by how much it affected me! Usually I’m like you and prefer slightly more complex characters in dystopias like in 1984. Yeah I think it was the point- I got the feeling of a modern day parable, so the simplicity suited it. And I thought the writing style made up for that. Plus I actually related to the main character becoming more colourful and opening up to the world as the story went on. But you know, not every book works for everybody all the time- I’ve definitely read books where I’ve thought it was technically good but didn’t connect or just didn’t see what the big deal was. Like you said, it could have just been the time you read it or just simply taste. Yeah I’ve heard the movie’s amazing!
      Ah wow that sounds incredible- I will check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thoughts on Fantasy says:

        Interesting you’d heard people didn’t like it much – a few people I talked to listed it as their favourite book of all time (which I guess raised my expectations rather high!). You’re right that it’s more of a modern parable, and the character does open up more as the book continues (perhaps by that point I’d detached from the story too much to appreciate it). Anyway, as you said, not every book works for everyone all the time. I’m still keen for the movie – it was actually seeing a scene from it that first got me interested in the book.

        And I definitely recommend checking out The Power of One, I don’t often read or like autobiographies (though I think this one is more of a fictionalised autobiography) but it was amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

        • theorangutanlibrarian says:

          Ah yes, I always get a bit worried when I hear that. To be honest, it was another reason I went into it with low expectations- cos too often books like that let me down. Yes true. I hope you like it- and let me know what you think of it- I still haven’t seen it.
          Oh awesome- i will!! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    I’ve never read this book before, but it’s super high on my list. There’s something about Classic books which I tend to shy away from, however. I’ve never seen a review– and what a review this is! I love how you simply you describe the impact this book had on you. I should definitely bump it up the list.

    Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Donna says:

    Dark, terrifying and amazing book. It had been recommended to me several times but the comparison with 1984 had made me put it off. Then I read it and was pleased.. well no, shocked and fascinated by the story and all that’s behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LizScanlon says:

    Great-great review 🙂
    I read this one myself not so long ago (couple of months back, maybe) and had all the same emotions reading this as you did, however I was unable to put it into words. So glad there’s intelligence out there (read: you) who manages to just nail it! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lashaan and Trang (Bookidote) says:

    This was among the first books back when I rekindled my love for books and man did it not disappoint! Absolutely loved it and glad that you’ve mentioned every reason why anyone should give it a shot and every reason to love it! 😀 I think I need to re-read this though. Such a short story with SO much to tell!

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

  7. sophiethestark says:

    I feel this might not be my type of read, just because I use books as a form of escapism and this one seems to be the exact opposite of it. Still, it’s such an amazingly important book and I feel everyone (me included) should read it. We’ll see!
    Great review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s