The Guardian ran a poll for books of the centuryÂ which 1984 has won.
In some ways I can see why given the overt nature of CCTV, Internet censorship and media manipulation in recent years.
Fahrenheit 451Â has not made the list yet it defines what is happening so much more clearly. 1984 was a book of its time in that it dealt with the rise of extremism (on both sides )and the effect of a totalitarian regime controlling the country through permanent war and media manipulation. Okay that soundsÂ a little familiar but Bradbury’s book is so much more subtle.
Despite his recent comments about the book, it can be read as one where knowledge is being mutated like the definition of firemen. It talks about media manipulation and the way that some knowledge will become lost to all but a few. Tools like the Internet and (dare I write this?) libraries offer so much knowledge and wonder.
The book itself describes the beginning of the twenty first century and the end of the last so well in a way that 1984 does not. I feel sad the the Bradbury is not on there but it seems strangely appropriate.