World Book Night: Spotlight on Fahrenheit 451

On April 23, BHS will participate in World Book Night, an annual event where people give away special editions of great books for free. BHS has been awarded with 20 copies of 4 different books. Between now and the 23rd, we will highlight each of these four titles. In this post, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, introduced by Mr. Lally.

Fahrenheit 451

The Borders Book store in Burlington is gone. Within ten years, projections say that Barnes & Noble will follow. An internet research poll found that in 2011, nearly one in five Americans did not read a single book in the entire year. As of 2009, nearly half of Americans had stopped reading literature entirely. Sound the alarms.

Ray Bradbury’s 1950 dystopian novel about a fireman whose job it is to search out and burn the few remaining books in existence was, according to Bradbury, inspired by the book burnings he saw in the news during Nazi Germany. He was repulsed at a government’s willingness in destroying its own literary past. If Bradbury were alive to see the state of literacy in America today, what would he think?

This book is an eye-opening, startlingly relevant look at a society that willingly forsakes reading in favor of digitized entertainment. If you enjoy anti-utopian novels such as 1984, Brave New World, The Hunger Games or The Giver, you will probably enjoy Fahrenheit 451.

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