I am a late bloomer.
On the other hand, I wonder if the impact of the book would have been as great
(on me) had I read it in my 20s or 30s .
I truly felt panicky during sections of the book. Most especially the sections dealing with the lack of inter personal relationships. And how people were plugged in to the racket surrounding them to the end that they were distracted from what was truly going on.
The theme of necessary destruction of evil to re-propagate goodness and truth is a really old one and seems to recur in print, film, etc. pretty frequently. Sort of the Phoenix of societies or cultures.
Anyway, all that aside, I thought I would share my favorite quote from the book as did my daughter some months ago.
Granger stood looking back with Montag. "Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my Grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there. It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.
The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.