“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

Page from Fahrenheit 451The most remarkable fact about this book is that it was first published sixty years ago, in 1953.  It was written as science fiction describing a post-literate future but some of the things described in the book are now part of present-day life.

In the future that Ray Bradbury imagined, books are regarded as dangerous and have to be burned, and people are so bombarded by electronic media that they no longer have conversations with each other.  The interactive screens described by Bradbury take up whole walls of the living room so they’re on a totally different scale to the ones I see all around me as I walk along the street or sit on a bus. But the effect they have on people seems to be the same; I see so many people who are staring at screens rather than having a conversation with the person next to them.  I’m tempted to approach them and tell them to talk to each other and to read books, and that they should start by reading Fahrenheit 451.