The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie

The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side

Information

Goodreads: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
Series: Miss Marple #9
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Publication Date: 1962

Summary

Heather Badcock is meeting her idol, the film star Marina Gregg, when suddenly she seems overcome by an illness. In a few minutes, she is dead. Poison is the cause, but was it meant for Heather or for Marina? Miss Marple matches wits once again with a killer as she tries to uncover the real motive behind the murder.

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Review

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side takes on a more somber tone than previous installments in the series, as Miss Marple finds herself aging and treated as a child by her disrespectful caregiver. Even though her mental faculties are as keen as ever, Miss Marple has to face the fact that her physical health is not quite what it once was. And that times are changing. Many of her old friends are gone, the village has grown with the addition of a new Development, and family-owned shops are being replaced by supermarkets. Miss Marple’s personal struggles receive almost equal weight to the murder mystery, adding a personal touch that is sometimes missing in other books, when her musings about the old days are treated a bit more like a joke. Indeed, I would say that Miss Marple’s aging gives the story more interest than the murder mystery, which lacks enough clues to make it truly engaging.

Miss Marple has always been a grand protagonist because she challenges stereotypes about the elderly. Ageism is rampant in many societies–despite the fact that everyone faces the possibility of growing old one day–and Christie’s Miss Marple books have always subtly challenged it by presenting readers with an old woman who whose wits are sharper than anyone else’s around her. But The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side is not subtle. In this story, Miss Marple is even older than previously–the book is full of wistful mentions of her former cases, her former friends. And she is, while not bedridden, practically forbidden to leave her house, and at the mercy of a caregiver who treats her like she no longer has the ability to think clearly or make decisions for herself. The worst of it is that, the more she is treated with contempt, the more Miss Marple seems to start to wonder if perhaps she is not a bit too old, if perhaps she ought to give in. Readers, of course, know that Miss Marple can still vie intellectually with the best of them. But Miss Marple, as an old woman, is not allowed to speak for herself; there is no one to listen. The others always know better.

All of this gives The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side a bit of a melancholy air, as if Miss Marple is ready to say goodbye not only to solving mysteries but also to life. I admit I was more concerned about her emotional wellbeing than I was about the mystery, which lacked enough clues to make it really intriguing. The police turn up plenty of possible suspects, but I knew who the culprit was from the first. I just could not figure out the motive–and I do not know that there were really enough clues that I could have figured it out. Readers need Miss Marple to explain it all at the end. But my favorite mysteries do not rely on the detectives pulling out some obscure knowledge at the end, to cause wonder and surprise.

Still, I think The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side will be one of my favorite Miss Marple stories for the sensitivity and empathy with which it depicts aging. Christie, at the time of publication, would have been 72, and perhaps feeling herself the doubts of those around her. How long could she keep going? Would her writing still be up to par? Not often do the concerns of the aging get so much attention in literature. It is refreshing to see Christie remind readers that Miss Marple, even if seemingly funny with her old-fashioned ways, is still human and still worthy of respect.

4 stars

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

All Creatures Great and Small Book Cover

Information

Goodreads: All Creatures Great and Small
Series: All Creatures Great and Small #1
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1972

Summary

Fresh out of college, James Herriot arrives in Yorkshire, England to act as assistant to the local veterinarian.  He quickly finds practicing medicine vastly different from what he had expected.  The job requires him to labor at all hours of the night and day, often in bad weather, and healing animals proves difficult, dirty, and sometimes dangerous.  Even so, Herriot grows to love the countryside, its inhabitants, and his work. In All Creatures Great and Small, he gives vignettes of life as a country vet, chronicling his defeats, his triumphs, and his never-ending wonder at the miracle of life.

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Review

After enjoying the first two seasons of PBS’ TV series All Creatures Great and Small, I knew I had to return to James Herriot’s original book–which I had first read over ten years ago! Herriot brings such warmth and humor to his memories of vet practice in the 1930s, that even the difficulties of his profession seem minor when compared to the joy it brings both him and the people (and animals) he helps. Reading his stories feels like tucking into bed with a warm cup of cocoa on a fall evening–cozy, comforting, and altogether perfect!

Part of the delight of the stories stems from how the past and the present intertwine. Herriot gives many fascinating glimpses into a way of life that was fading even at the time of his writing–farms were changing, veterinary medicine was making advances that would make his old medicines and techniques seem charmingly quaint. But much of what Herriot experienced still feels relevant today–the eccentricities of a boss who would give conflicting instructions and make his employee out to be wrong either way, the struggle for a young professional (and outsider) to find acceptance in the community, the chance at finding love. Times may have changed, but Herriot’s struggles and triumphs are still relatable.

And he relates all of it with a gentle humor that shows just how much he loved his life, the Dales, and the people he met. Even when he has stories of dishonest, rude, and overbearing customers, Herriot always makes himself the target of the joke, the hapless young vet at the mercy of the public. He relates his stories with such fondness, it seems impossible for readers not to fall in love with the Dales and its way of life, too.

Fortunately, this is only one book of many stories that Herriot write based on his life as a country vet. So readers who enjoy this volume have many more heartwarming stories to look forward to!

5 stars

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile

Information

GoodreadsDeath on the Nile
Series: Hercule Poirot #16
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1937

Summary

Famed detective Hercule Poiret is approached by the young and beautiful socialite Linnet Doyle while on vacation in Aswan.  She wishes Poirot to stop her old friend Jacqueline de Bellefort from following her and her new husband Simon–previously Jacqueline’s fiance.  Poirot decides he can do nothing to stop Miss de Bellefort from appearing in the same public places as Linnet.  But then Linnet dies.

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Review

Death on the Nile is one of of Agatha Christie’s finest works, a masterpiece of characterization as well as a truly clever mystery.  Fans of the genre will delight in the plot’s intricacies and red herrings, its myriad of suspects and potential solutions.  Even though I had already seen the movie directed by Kenneth Branagh before reading the book, Christie’s incisive prose and compelling narration kept me engrossed to the very end.  A must read for every Christie fan!

Much of the fun of this book comes from the glamor and the atmosphere.  The setting seems practically dripping in diamonds, and I am not one to turn down a mystery set among the scandalously wealthy.  There is just something especially compelling about secrets kept by the upper classes, try as they might to maintain that they are superior to the rest of humankind.  And there is something especially poignant, of course, about a young life cut suddenly short–a life that seemed to everything before it.  Branagh’s luscious setting and slick production features are really the perfect fit for this story, if you are interested in watching the film (which does differ slightly from its source material).

The setting is spellbinding, but the characters are gripping, too.  Christie is a master at describing human nature, and she spares no one from her perceptive wit.  I was initially drawn in by the gorgeous and wealthy heiress, Linnet Doyle, but was eventually  absorbed by all the supporting cast, from the overbearing and haughty invalid woman to her downtrodden niece to the grumpy doctor.  Most of the people on board the ship have a secret, and it is always great fun disentangling them all when the investigation begins.  Who is guilty and who is guilty of…something else?

Altogether, I was delighted by this offering from Christie.  The prose, the characterization, the setting, and the puzzle all combine to make a thrilling mystery.  I have not read many Poirot stories, but this one assuredly has made me keen to read the rest!    

4 stars

They Do It With Mirrors by Agatha Christie

Information

GoodreadsThey Do it with Mirrors
Series: Miss Marple #6
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1952

Summary

Miss Marple’s old school friend Ruth confesses that she feels uneasy for her sister Carrie Louise, and enlists Miss Marple to investigate.  Carrie Louise, it turns out, has married a philanthropist whose dream was to set up a reform school for delinquent boys.  Now she lives with her husband, a servant, and an assortment of family members who may or may not resent having to share their home with a number of troubled youth.  Initially Miss Marple cannot quite seem to find anything wrong, however.  Until someone dies.

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Review

They Do It with Mirrors seems to break new ground with its unique–for Miss Marple–setting, a reform school for troubled boys.  Though the list of possible suspects might seem to be immense, however, Miss Marple and the detectives quickly narrow down the list of possible suspects to the immediate friends and family, thereby making the setting apparently superfluous; the same incidents could have taken place in just about any wealthy home.  Once readers realize that the boys are not particularly relevant, the steam in the engine runs down a bit, though readers will be eager to see how Miss Marple solves this particularly puzzling crime.

For me, the title of the book proved perhaps the most interesting part about it.  Miss Marple has, by now, solved her fair share of perplexing crimes, most of them involving her well-to-do acquaintances.  The formula risks growing stale.  However, the title promises some sort of sleight of hand, some unusual trickiness that the other stories perhaps do not reach for.  I am not sure that the book fulfills that promise, however.  Though Christie provides her customary surprise ending, I admit I was not dazzled.  Readers know from the start that some sort of distraction was put in place to enable the criminal to confuse the witnesses and I rather wanted something more.  It is a fine ending.  It is a Christie ending. I just wonder if Christie needs to start doing something that feels new?

Even so, however, I can help but enjoy each of the Miss Marple stories.  Christie has a real gift for characters, and her descriptions of the key players always prove a highlight of her stories.  She is both perceptive and wittiy, and gives readers a real sense that she is about to plumb the depths of human nature.  Her observations make for fine reading, even if no mystery were involved at all.

Though perhaps not a standout in the Miss Marple series, They Do It with Mirrors is still worth a read, especially for those who are avid fans of Christie or for those who have not yet many of her works and may find this one more surprising than a veteran reader.    I will certainly be carrying on with my goal to read all the Miss Marple stories!

3 Stars

4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie

450 from Paddington

Information

Goodreads4:50 from Paddington
Series: Miss Marple #8
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1957

Summary

Elspeth McGillicuddy is sitting in her train when another train runs parallel to hers. For a brief moment, she sees a man strangling a woman to death. Then then the train is gone. But, with no body to discover, the police do not believe her story. It is up to Jane Marple to bring the murderer to justice.

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Review

4:50 from Paddington proves a delight, largely from the addition of the capable Lucy Eyelesbarrow as a protagonist. Realizing that she may be too old to go running about the countryside looking for bodies, Miss Marple enlists the help of Lucy–a young woman who made her fame (and money) from being the perfect domestic help. The team-up of two strong, intelligent women is one I wish had been repeated in future works, even if the ending of this one seems a bit abrupt.

The capable Lucy really does prove the highlight of the story, as the rest takes on features familiar to avid readers of Christie. The basic premise is that Luther Crackenthorpe, a wealthy invalid and widower, has a will stipulating that his estate will be divided among his children upon his death. But, of course, the share due to each will increase should one or more of the children die, giving each of the potential heirs a clear motive to dispose of their siblings. The first murder begets more and more, as if the perpetrator of the crime simply cannot stop themselves–until the sensational climax. It is a formula that Christie uses with variations in several of her works, so she really does need to rely on characters like Lucy freshening things up.

The climax, one must admit, might be a little too sensational, even for a thriller like this. Miss Marple, as some of her fans might be sad to learn, sits rather quietly by in this novel, until the end. Lucy goes to her with clues and the two consult, but Miss Marple only takes action to reveal the murderer in the final pages, in a scene not entirely believable. And not only because the clues leading to the perpetrator prove lacking in this mystery, but also because the means of discovery is just so odd. I am not sure it would actually work.

On the whole, however, Christie always spins an engrossing mystery. Even her novels that are not her best always engage and perplex me. She can turn a phrase as well as she can craft a puzzle, and I look forward to continue reading more of Miss Marple’s cases.

4 stars

TV Series Review: All Creatures Great and Small (Seasons 1 & 2)

All Creatures Great and Small TV Series Review

Summary

Fresh out of college, James Herriot arrives in Yorkshire, England to act as assistant to the local veterinarian.  He quickly finds practicing medicine vastly different from what he had expected.  The job requires him to labor at all hours of the night and day, often in bad weather, and healing animals proves difficult, dirty, and sometimes dangerous.  Even so, Herriot grows to love the countryside, its inhabitants, and his work.

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Review

The newest TV adaptation of James Herriot’s classic account of his work as vet set in the 1930s Yorkshire Dales brings all the book’s heart and humor to the screen. Nicholas Ralph stars a young Herriot who arrives at his first job straight out of vet school, only to discover that his new employer Siegfried is rather eccentric and that Siegfried’s younger brother Tristan is home and ready to cause mischief. The job, meanwhile, is more physically demanding than Herriot expected, and the farmers are somewhat suspicious of outsiders and slow to accept both change and the word of a young vet over their own experience. Fortunately, however, the Dales might just offer Herriot a chance at love! It is hard but rewarding to eke out a living in the countryside, and Herriot and viewers will soon find that the Yorkshire Dales has a homey charm all its own.

All Creatures Great and Small is simply the coziest of TV shows, one I look forward to watching after a hard day or when I need a bit of cheer. The episodes are quiet, each focusing on a new veterinary dilemma, as well as the stories of the ensemble cast–Tristan’s efforts to pass his veterinary exams, Mrs. Hall’s relationship with her son, Herriot’s blooming romance, and more. Though some stories end in sadness, the overall tone is that life goes on, always with the support of our loved ones. The show makes it seem as if the Yorkshire Dales is the best place to be–a place of kindness and caring at all times. Truly, I wish sometimes that I lived in Skeldale House!

The title emphasizes the animals, but the characters are what make the show. Their distinct personalities play off each other to create often humorous scenarios, but ones where viewers understand that all the characters have a mutual respect and fondness for each other. Samuel West shines as the eccentric Siegfried Farnon, whose pride in his business and unwillingness to admit that he can be wrong contrasts with the happy-go-lucky nature of his younger brother Tristan, who may be goofy but also yearns to prove himself. Anna Madeley as housekeeper Mrs. Hall works as the glue that binds Skeldale House together, as she skillfully navigates all the strong personalities under her care, and quietly guides everyone to where they need to be. Other recurring characters prove just as integral to the show, from the hilariously excessive Mrs. Pumphrey, who coddles her dog Tricki Woo like her firstborn child, to Helen’s taciturn father. The community is what makes the show–and the Dales–special.

I have loved every episode of All Creatures Great and Small, loved watching the characters grow, loved seeing how they each are branching out and finding their way. I worry about the looming war as season three approaches, but cannot wait to see how the community continues to pull together in times of adversity. This is truly a show not to be missed if you want a heartwarming, feel-good story that will make your day seem a little brighter.

5 stars

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

The Moving Finger

Information

GoodreadsThe Moving Finger
Series: Miss Marple #4
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1942

Summary

After an accident, Jerry Burton retires to the village of Lymstock along with his sister Joanna to recover. The doctor’s orders, after all, say that he should go somewhere boring where nothing ever happens. But something does happen. Villagers are receiving anonymous letters, each one accusing the recipient of the most scandalous deeds. Then one recipient dies in an apparent suicide. Neighbor is set against neighbor as all wonder who the poisonous letter writer could be.

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Review

After reading The Body in the Library, I was pleased to find that Agatha Christie returns to the first person narration in The Moving Finger. This time, however, the story is told by one Jerry Burton, a young man who retires to the countryside in order to heal in a quiet place away from excitement. Jerry should prove a witty and keen narrator, being an outsider in a small town, but, somehow, his account lacks charm. Though he may look at the locals as oddities, he never really seems to get them. So, while the mystery proves enticing, the flavor of the narration ends up lacking.

It is strange to me that Jerry Burton, as the narrator, should feel so lifeless. He is a carefree young man with money and independence, who can simply choose to move to a new place for a few months and observe the local going-ons. He should be interesting! Instead, he is the least interesting character in the book. For awhile, I could not even remember his name.

Jerry’s accounts of the other characters add a bit of color to his story, though he does not seem particularly perceptive. He draws some amusing character sketches, and readers know which locals he dislikes and which he finds entertaining, and which he actually enjoys. On the whole, however, Jerry really has no idea how life in Lymstock works, and gets very little chance to learn since he is partly an invalid. But the charm of the Miss Marple stories is really all the people who make village life fascinating! I wanted more local color than Jerry was able to provide.

Miss Marple, one should note, cannot really save the story by adding her own keen observations because she only appears towards the very end. As usual, an acquaintance of hers enlists her to solve the mystery and save the day before the village can devour itself in an agony of venom and suspicion. Miss Marple comes through, of course, but it would be more fun to see more of her detective work.

The Moving Finger is a worthy addition to the Miss Marple stories, and a mystery that will no doubt puzzle many a reader. I enjoyed trying to solve the case, and found I could not. Still, I am not sure this one will be one of my favorites. I think a Miss Marple story ought to have a bit more Miss Marple!

4 stars

The Tuesday Club Murders by Agatha Christie

Information

GoodreadsTuesday Club Murders
Series: Miss Marple #1
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1932

Summary

This book of thirteen short stories contains the first appearances of Miss Marple, the old maid who uses her life experiences in the small village of St. Mary Mead to draw parallels to tricky crimes that no one else can solve.  The first six stories have as a framing device a game in which each member of a small gathering must tell an unsolved mystery for the other guests to solve.  The next six employ a similar device at a small party, while the last story has Miss Marple ask for the help of her friend Sir Henry Clithering in saving the wrong man from being convicted of murder.

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Review

The Tuesday Club Murders is a short story collection in which Agatha Christie’s famous amateur sleuth Miss Marple first appeared. The device of having various guests at a party tell stories of unsolved crimes makes for satisfying and varied reading; readers can feel like they accomplished quite a lot in solving thirteen mysteries in such a short time! For my part, I enjoyed the variety of mysteries. Some I was able to solve and feel clever about. Some I wasn’t and I loved being shocked! Certainly The Tuesday Club Murders is a must-read for fans of Miss Marple and Agatha Christie!

Stories with framing devices always challenge me a bit because I tend to get immersed in the story-within-a-story and I resent being pulled back into the framing device–which is often more boring than the story being told. In this case, for instance, there are six people sitting around chatting in the framing device whereas the stories are being told are all about murder and crime! You see the dilemma in making one as interesting as the other. Christie, however, I must say, manages to pull this one off admirably.

Christie puts the bare minimum of writing into the framing device, basically just using it to set up the stories and then letting it go. I approve! However, she uses the small space she gives herself very effectively. Within a few sentences here and there in each short story, at the start and at the end, she not only manages to give very effective character portraits, but also manages to add in mini dramas such as an engagement and break up. The framing device thus proves interesting, but it never overwhelms the mystery-solving aspect. I even understood enough from it to get a good picture of all the characters for later Miss Marple mysteries!

The stories themselves have a good variety, so that even mysteries that seem similar to the others end up having unexpected or at least different solutions. Christie is clearly aware that readers may be catching on to her methods, and she tries to subvert expectations. A character in the framing device, for instance, will ask a question about motives that readers will probably be asking themselves once they have seen similar scenarios play out in a few stories. But the ending will not be the same in the future. Christie wants to keep readers guessing.

Altogether, The Tuesday Club Murders is a satisfying read. The only thing I really did not like was that Miss Marple has to expound on her famous village parallels in every story. But, we get it! She uses her observations of village life to extrapolate and make guesses because human nature is the same everywhere. Saying it once or twice would have been sufficient. Aside from that, however, I really enjoyed this one and intend to keep reading more Miss Marple!

4 stars

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Murder at the Vicarage

Information

GoodreadsMurder at the Vicarage
Series: Miss Marple #2
Age Category: Adult
Source: Library
Published: 1930

Summary

It’s no secret that the whole village seems to hate Colonel Protheroe. Still, no one expected him to turn up dead–and certainly not in the vicar’s study! The police start to work on solving the murder, but neighborhood busybody Miss Marple seems to have a keener understanding of human nature, and just might be the first to crack the case.

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Review

The first full-length novel in which Agatha Christie’s famous Miss Marple appears is a real treat.  The vicar proves a delightful narrator, half astute observer of his own foibles and those of the people around him, and half hapless victim of a crime he cannot comprehend.  Though later Miss Marple mysteries arguably possess more twists and turns, I love Murder at the Vicarage for the way it is told.  The vicar–and everyone else–want to play at amateur sleuths.  But it turns out that nosy Miss Marple is the real detective!

There is something uniquely satisfying in watching an overlooked character triumph over not only the professionals, but also over every character who underestimates them. The villagers of St. Mary Mead dismiss Miss Marple as both an old maid and as an unworldly woman who can have neither the knowledge nor the experience to understand crime.  Miss Marple proves time and again, however, that she understands human nature–and not just of the people she has been able to observe for most of her life.  Her trademark is being able to draw parallels between village life and the rest of humanity–it turns out that people are much the same everywhere!  Outsiders might look down on St. Mary Mead, but Miss Marple understands that even a village has its passions, its loves, and betrayals, perhaps just on a smaller scale.

Murder at the Vicarage, however, feels fresh because it is told, not from Miss Marple’s perspective, but from that of the vicar. He seems a kind fellow, intellectual in his own way, but a bit bumbling when it comes to solving crime. He also seems half-afraid of women, as if he is not quite sure what to do with them, so he leaves them to be entertained by his charming young wife Griselda. Miss Marple, shrewd and keen, is quite out of his league! But one must give the vicar credit. He recognizes Miss Marple’s gifts and certainly would love to see her outwit the arrogant policeman assigned to the case. His little witty observations about the people of St. Mary Mead are quite the gift to the read, if perhaps not entirely holy.

Murder at the Vicarage is a wonderful foray into the world of Miss Marple! And just the first of many Miss Marple mysteries I intend to enjoy!

4 stars

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Information

Goodreads: Fahrenheit 451
Series: None
Age Category: Adult
Source: Purchased
Published: 1953

Official Summary

Guy Montag is a fireman. 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 when 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, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

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Review

I first read Fahrenheit 452 about 10-15 years ago (I can’t remember), and according to Goodreads, I gave the book 5 stars. Upon rereading the classic this year, however, I was slightly less impressed. While I appreciate a story that highlights the importance of books and the damage that can happen when people reject and then become afraid, the book isn’t quite as developed and logical as I would hope — and I actually think it’s less about not censoring books than people tend to claim.

Fahrenheit 451 is, of course, held up as the quintessential book against book banning. After all, the story is literally about how every book in existence is being burned and why that’s bad. Now that I’ve reread it, however, I can’t help but notice that in many ways the book is actually again how it’s bad to ban ideas and intelligent discussion in general. To start, the teenage girl who first gets protagonist Montag thinking about the flaws of his book burning society says basically nothing to him about books; she tells him things like how she likes to observe people and enjoy nature. She asks him if he’s ever tasted the rain. The “problem” with her isn’t that she reads (though the reader suggests she might read); it’s that she likes silence and thinking and, well, thinking for herself.

Later in the book, the professor Montag wants to team up with to promote books essentially literally says the issue is not the lack of books; it’s the lack of ideas. He posits that the TVs everyone is obsessed with could air shows of some substance and intelligence, and these would be decent substitutes for the ideas that society is no longer getting from books. The problem is that the TV shows aren’t of any quality; they’re basically sound and noise and pretty explosions that amount to nothing.

Which all leads me to the idea that the society in Fahrenheit 451 isn’t fully developed. Everyone talks about the book burning, of course, but there are a lot of other things that are mentioned in passing that seem equally as wild that are never explored, and I have questions. For instance, it’s reference a couple times that kids and teenagers kill each other for fun. This idea is never followed up on. Clarisse also mentions the kinds of entertainment one can pursue when not watching TV, which includes going somewhere where you just smash windows. There seems to be an incredible amount of violence in this book which (besides the very vague War) is never actually explored.

Finally, I was struck this time around by the fact that the women characters, besides Clarisse, are all vapid housewives. I get the book is a product of its time, that other sci fi from around the same period has the same issue, etc. I don’t think this makes a “bad” book. But it does create a weird vibe where the technology is futuristic, with fireproof houses and jet cars, etc., but the book still feels very old and dated because apparently women can’t be intelligent and have careers. There’s just a feeling of dissonance about the book.

Did I still enjoy Fahrenheit 451? Yes. It was interesting, and it still made me think about things. They just weren’t necessarily the things I was expecting to be thinking about, based on this book’s reputation of being all about not censoring books. (And if you want to be really disillusioned on this point, read Bradbury’s thoughts in the coda about his inspiration, which basically comes down to being annoyed that minorities, by which he means anything from Unitarians to women to Italians and not necessarily BIPOC, had some issues with his writing and he wanted to respond to that).

Briana