Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Pub 1951.
A classic of the dystopia genre, I was familiar with the essence of the story but had never read this one, nor anything else by Bradbury. There is much more going on in the story than the burning of books, and a fantastical future world is described. However, I found the writing to be less than engaging, and the story both too short – giving no background or expansion on some of the interesting segments of the society – and too long – with the characters’ dialogue getting into diatribe. I’ve heard many Bradbury stories in the form of radio programs, and I think they do much better in that format than the novel format, if only because they are better edited and more focused. (Good examples are “…and the moon be still as bright” and “Mars is Heaven”, two of my favourites and more science fiction than dystopia.) There are of course parallels in any dystopic fiction to modern times, with alternative facts, junk science, social engineering, political correctness, and fear mongering. But these were so peripheral in the story as to be more distracting than contributing.
7. A book written by a male author.
9. A book set somewhere you’ve never been. (although the location is not specified, research tells me it is likely Los Angeles or Allentown, CA, neither of which I’ve been to.)
15. A book with a number in the title.
26. A book by an author whom you’ve never read.