Book Beat’s Reading Group Selection for August is Ray Bradbury‘s dystopian masterpiece Fahrenheit 451. The Reading Group will meet on Wednesday, August 29th at 7pm in the Goldfish Teahouse (117 West 4th St #101, in downtown Royal Oak, MI). Reading Group Titles are discounted 15% at the Book Beat. All are welcome!
Fahrenheit 451 presents a future American society in which books are outlawed and firemen burn down any houses containing them. A prescient commentary about the effect of television on the literary mind and a foretelling of the digital age, Fahrenheit 451 stands among the greatest works of English Literature in the 20th century.
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.
Ray Bradbury–the author of more than 500 short stories, novels, plays, and poems, including The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man–is the winner of many awards, including the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. He died in June 2012.