Guy Montag is a fireman. His job: erase the collective past by burning the books that record it. His wife Mildred is numbed to the world by the TV she spends all day watching. They could have continued like this forever. On an ordinary day at work, Guy is enjoying burning a house when the woman who lives there refuses to leave. She would rather die with her books than live without them. Her resistance changes how Guy sees the world and his place in it.
I assigned Bradbury’s classic to my high school students this spring. The language is accessible, the ideas startling and powerful, and the imagery raw. Don’t be deterred by the label “classic.” Three pages in, and you’ll be hooked.