Published in 1953 it was amazingly prescient about the future. Now 50 years on, people do have wall sized (or nearly) televisions, devices to fit in the ear and listen to music or converse with other people. Thankfully we are still allowed to read books! But in Bradbury’s tale of the future books are banned, they get people too riled up. Those caught harboring the written word are arrested and their books destroyed. Guy Montag is a fireman, his job to destroy books; houses are now sheathed in unburnable plastic so firemen start fires, with books, rather than put them out. He doesn’t’ think much about his role in the world or his personal happiness or lack thereof. Until one night he meets Clarissa, a young neighbor, who does think about these things, she challenges Guy’s complacency and a friendship forms. With Clarisse he talks, has real conversations that leave him unsettled. Mildred, Guy’s wife, spends her days staring at their walls of television, her moods adjusted by pharmaceuticals. A traumatic event on a call that gets out of hand tips Guy over the edge, he starts questioning his role and trying to find the answers in forbidden books.— Deon Stonehouse
- Critical essays reflecting a variety of schools of criticism - Notes on the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's life, and an index - An introductory essay by Harold Bloom.