In a previous post I mentioned that I might use the books in LOST (the TV show) as a guide to my pre-1970 reading. So far I’ve read two from the list, The Chosen, by Chaim Potok (reported on here) and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The Chosen seems to be on the show mostly for the title. It appears in the sixth season as people are debating why they were “brought” to the island by the mysterious Jacob. Somehow they are all “chosen.” The book itself is about father and son relationships, and there are lots of father/child relationships that unravel in LOST, so I can also see it fitting in with the show based on the content, not just the title.
I’m not sure why Fahrenheit 451 is on Ben’s shelf and seen in the fifth season. That is not obvious to me. Possibly it isn’t an obvious reference. Who knows. I’m not sure what I actually think of the book. Bradbury is a bit of a misogynist. This assessment is based on an epilogue to the book written years after it was published. In this epilogue he lumps women as a unit with other minorities and special interest groups. Not impressive. This means the default setting for all humanity is white men with all others being fringe groups. The numbers do not bear this out. Setting this aside, I’m not sure the book was actually that interesting. Some of the ideas are interesting, and telling in an internet-connected world unimagined by Bradbury. But I’m not sure the telling of this particular story is all that interesting. I tried reading it before and quit. I think I made it to the end this time because I listened to an audio book. I was carried along by someone else’s actual voice, not the story itself. I realize that this is heresy to many SciFi fans, but there it is. I don’t think Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is that great. Have you read it? What do you think?