All of creation suffers, young ones. Only in accepting our own mortality can we make a difference. Only in bearing the burden of our failures can we find the strength to go on. Only in detachment from glory, or honour, or jealousy... from life itself can we hope to spare others from grief.
We are Doom Eagles. And we are dead already.
Fanhereit 459 it's an odd book. I can't figure if I liked it or not. I enjoy reading a book about alternative history, dystopian and post-apocalpytic fiction and this one inserts alongside "1984", "We" or "Brave New World" but this one is a little difference. The author doesn't focus much on the politics and briefly we are told why the world change the way it change but even that is so scarce that it didn't quenched my thirst. In this point it was a let down. I really hope for more.
This edition have an introduction and afterwords by the author were he tells us a bit how he became a writer and how this book came to be. I always enjoy introductions by the authors specially the ones that try to explain something of the novel.
This novel was first published in a shorter form called The Fireman, later Ray tried to enlarge the story and by what I learn it was sold first to the playboy magazine. The title comes from the temperature need to paper to get burn which is at 450 degrees which gives around 850 Fanhereit degrees.
The main character is Guy Montag, a fireman (in this future he doesn't put out fires but instead is a book burner. We learn in the beginning of the (to-be)society full of hedonistic anti-intellectual. America is a lawless state where teenagers are violent and to other horrific grotesque pleasures like watching animals die. Reading is prohibit and anyone who is catch are put in a mental hospital and the books burnt (specially important authors).One day Montag meets a neighbour (Clarisse) with free-thinking ideals which makes him question his ideals and hapiness and life. Montag after arriving home and finding his wife full of pills and the "saving" by some technicians makes Montag question about society. In a following day they go to a house full of books where a old inflammes herself before the firemen do it. This also disturbed montag. In that "raid" he also snatch a book.
Montag calls for a sick leave and receives the captain of the fire team who explains the political and social causes that are tie in with their work.
We learn that the reason that there aren't so many books it's because society in search for hapiness and minimize cultural offences supress the literature through an act of self-censorship. He also says that all firemen passes what he is passing, even stealing a book out of curiosity. It's also implied that he knows montag had stolen a book. We learn eventually that Montag had been stealing books for a while having dozen books in the house. The reason is that he is trying to memorize the books but is failing the quest because the words escape him. He then remembers Faber, professor who helps him understand books but also with a ear-piece. He travels back to his work and after a card game they are called to a house.. Montag house. Here Beatty confronts him and tells him to burn his house because he knows of he's doing. Montag instead burns Beatty and runs away.
There is chase broadcast in TV as a spectacle (to distract people from on the oncoming threat of war). He goes to Faber house who tells him of vagabonds who roam the land and they are also book-lovers who preserv books orally. He escapes afterwards toward the river and the mechanical hound chasing losses his scent. He arrives at an encampent of these book lovers who make him watch in a TV that even if he escape another "montag" was capturerd and we watch the hound capture another person, probably scapegoat.
The book ends with Montag seeing bombers flying overhead and a nuclear explosion of the city he lived. Mildred died but Faber supposedly moves to another city. We are left with a optimistic ending that as a phoenix society must also rise from his ashes with the help of the book-lovers.
As I said, this book is a odd book. I liked reading and read it rapidly. But at the same time I hoped that more information about the society would have been given. But in overall I
understand it's value and why it seats along 1984 or Brave New World.