Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (1951)
Written in 1951, this book is set in a dystopian future. Here, the general population lost interest in books, and instead spends the majority of their time watching tv. To avoid conflict, books are now banned. “Firemen” are no longer needed to extinguish fires, as houses are now 100% fireproof, so this industry has been re-purposed as book-burners. Although often considered to be about banned books, the novel is also about a society that fails to value books.
Guy Montag is a fireman who spends his days burning books, and his nights being ignored by his wife, who spends all her time with electronic seashells (headphones – amazing that Mr. Bradbury predicted these!) in her ears. Its not until he meets one of his neighbors, a girl named Clarisse, that he begins to question his profession and realize how unhappy he is.
Posted in Fiction
Never Let Me Go, by Kazou Ishiguro (2005)
This story opens in a strange sort of boarding school for children, where even at first glance there is something unusual. In particular, the relationship between the teachers (guardians) and the students is more then a little off, and life after-school / off-campus appears to be a black book. Soon it is revealed that the children are not children after all, but rather clones, and when the seek the help of the head-mistress, they learn she is not as powerful as they once believed her to be.
This book is an interesting mix of dystopian future, as well as mystery-page turner that keeps the reader unsure of what exactly is going on, but certain there is more to the story. A sort of 1984 meets Before I go to Sleep. Although this book was highly regarded and won many awards, I found it just alright, but not really my cup of tea.