Bradbury reminds us of the joy of thinking

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By Kelly LeVan

The next book up in Mesa Public Library's books-to-movies series couldn't be more apropos for a library to host: the 1966 film adapted from Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451."

Most recognize the basic plot; numerous films, books and even video games allude to the story of a future where firemen burn books.

The government has outlawed the printed word, deeming it anti-social and the cause of human misery. Instead of reading to relax, people watch TV. Instead of flipping through a newspaper, they skim wordless comic strips.

Although banning books should, by law, encourage less isolating, more friendly behavior, society members appear desperate and incapable of connecting with one another. They touch their own faces like they would a lover's. They rub their cheeks lasciviously against the fur collars of their coats.

They seem shameless in public, yet at home, Guy Montag (Oskar Werner) and his wife Linda (Julie Christie) share only the merest, pajama-clad hint of intimacy. Emotionally, they know each other as well as their world's empty shelves know the smell of a garage-sale paperback.

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