Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fahrenheit 451

Monkey Girl started 5th grade this year, and last week we learned from her teacher that she's reading at an 8th grade level. This prompted obvious parental pride and a discussion of books The Wife and I read in high school. The Wife mentioned she'd read Stranger in a Strange Land as assigned high school reading, and I just about choked, what with all of Heinlein's sexuality and free love themes running throughout. I answered that the most scandalous thing we got in Columbus was Fahrenheit 451. Monkey Girl entered the conversation at that point, and her interest was piqued.

"What's that about?" she asked.

I explained that it was about censorship and the control of knowledge. Books are illegal, and "firemen" go around with flame throwers, burning books when people are caught with them.

"Cool! I want to read that!" was her response. Yes, my heart went aflutter.

Except that I couldn't find my copy. I know I have it in paperback, but after searching my bookshelves several times, and the book cabinets and boxes as well, I gave up. It's vanished. So I broke down and picked up a 50th anniversary paperback from Half Price Books--the one with the tattered cover art made to look like an abused hardback originally published in 1953. Monkey Girl was pleased, and we had a conversation about different cover designs and editions of books. She was particularly impressed to learn about the legendary asbestos edition.

She's got it now, mixed in amongst the three or so other novels she's reading simultaneously. I've let her know that I've got more Bradbury if she wants it.

Now Playing: Clandestine Music from Home

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