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Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

by Ray Bradbury

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
42,15083123 (4.03)1 / 1297
The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoys his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.… (more)
  1. 943
    1984 by George Orwell (readafew, Booksloth, rosylibrarian, moietmoi, haraldo, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    readafew: Both books are about keeping the people in control and ignorant.
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A man's romance-inspired defiance of menacing, repressive governments in bleak futures are the themes of these compelling novels. Control of language and monitors that both broadcast to and spy on people are key motifs. Both are dramatic, haunting, and thought-provoking.… (more)
  2. 702
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (phoenix7g, meggyweg, Babou_wk, haraldo)
    Babou_wk: Contre-utopie, société future où l'unique but de la vie est le bonheur. Toute pratique requérant de la réflexion est bannie.
  3. 284
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (thekoolaidmom)
  4. 231
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Smiler69)
  5. 243
    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (ateolf)
  6. 222
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (jpers36, moietmoi)
  7. 172
    Match to Flame: The Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: A great study of how Bradbury came to write Fahrenheit 451 as a progress through his own short stories, letters and drafts. A similar collection of stories but without some of the other material is also available as "A Pleasure To Burn"
  8. 153
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (goodiegoodie, kristenn)
  9. 72
    The October Country by Ray Bradbury (Booksloth)
  10. 72
    A Gift upon the Shore by M. K. Wren (lquilter)
    lquilter: "A Gift Upon the Shore" is a post-apocalyptic world; some people seek to preserve books and knowledge, but they are seen as a danger to others. Beautifully written.
  11. 40
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (Morteana)
  12. 95
    Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (allenmichie)
  13. 52
    The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects by Marshall McLuhan (bertilak)
  14. 30
    The Fireman by Joe Hill (sturlington)
  15. 20
    Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal (edwinbcn)
  16. 53
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (jlynno84)
  17. 53
    A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-day Iraq by Fernando Báez (bertilak)
  18. 75
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (andja)
  19. 10
    Shadowlife by Martin Grzimek (spiphany)
  20. 10
    The Acolyte by Nick Cutter (ShelfMonkey)

(see all 28 recommendations)

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English (765)  Spanish (21)  Italian (12)  French (6)  Finnish (5)  German (5)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Greek (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (825)
Showing 1-5 of 765 (next | show all)
Škoda, že ma od prečítania tejto knihy dlho odradzovalo to, že ide o sci-fi. A áno, je to síce sci-fi, ale to je len kulisou. Hlavnú úlohu hrá ľudská ľahostajnosť spôsobená nedostatkom ochoty premýšľať (čo je pre dnešnú dobu celkom príznačné). Kniha o tom, že čítať knihy je naozaj dôležité.
4,5/5 ( )
  Zuzika | Aug 3, 2020 |
Forces you to think among the elaborate dialogues about the things that you take for granted. Most of its references are lost to me, but even the remaining ones are powerful and just amazing. Definitely worth a re-read in a couple of years. ( )
  sami7 | Aug 3, 2020 |
While writing my fictional memoir I was led to a Ray Bradbury quote to support my writing.

“What are the best things and the worst things in your life, and when are you going to get around to whispering or shouting them?”
― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity

Ray captured what I desire -- to whisper some of my life stories and to shout, scream, cry, and release others.

I never read Fahrenheit 451 in school, I don't even remember if it was part of the curriculum. I am a little like Ray Bradbury in that my post high school education is mostly self-taught, or more accurately, taught by every day teachers in my life. My recollection of Fahrenheit 451 is similar to my Catholic upbringing that left me with a sense that Martin Luther was a dark angel. Fahrenheit 451 in my thoughts was a dark novel. I was ten years old when efforts began to ban the book, certainly the whispers landed in my memory. The publisher expurgation of the book appears to be due to the 'vulgar' language than the content of the story.

When I fell upon Ray Bradbury quotes, I decided I needed to understand how this man wrote. I am not a fan of science fiction but I felt the need to read Ray Bradbury's most famous book.

I read the first half of Fahrenheit 451 as an observer of how Ray weaved words to describe his dystopian future. Initially, I saw Montag and the other characters as a two-dimensional puppet show with simple backdrops to support the dialogue. The book was published 66 years ago and I was freaked out at how Ray described too much of the reality I see in my own life.

When Montag, the main protagonist, dares to open books and specifically when he goes to visit Professor Faber, everything changed for me. I became part of the story. I felt what Montag felt. I felt his fear, his impatience, and his disillusionment about life. I no longer was learning from Ray Bradbury's writing, I was part of the story.

I may be late in my exposure to this man's writing but I am so happy that he has become one of my teachers. I have come away with an admiration for Ray Bradbury and his love of books and the legacy he left to all of us. ( )
  Jolene.M | Jul 30, 2020 |
I first read this book in high school (early 70's). Now I listened to the audiobook version unabridged. I am completely blown away. This book, written in 1953, is powerful, insightful and prophetic. It will instill a love of books and libraries and a distaste for television. In fact, Bradbury seems to have foretold reality TV in all its insipidness and meaninglessness.

I hope high schools still have this as required reading. I can't think of anyone who shouldn't read this book. ( )
  JohnKaess | Jul 23, 2020 |
So, Fahrenheit 451, eh? Or Celsius 451 as it apparently should have been called. The book is a classic of twentieth century science fiction, if not twentieth century fiction in general. So it was with disappointment and trepidation that I sat down to explain in this review why I was going to give it two stars. But then I tried to figure out the final paragraph in my head, the punchline wherein, after detailing what I didn't like about the book, I would say "But the book isn't all bad! For example…" And then there was an awkward silence and some tumbleweed rolled on by. Which was surprising since I was sat in my flat in Bristol.

If I appreciated or agreed with the book's message, that would be a start. But I don't. The book's tenet is that television will rot everyone's brains and/or be used to control the masses to the point where everything imaginative or thought provoking, be it a good book or good conversation, has been wiped out. As if before John Logie Baird everyone sat around reading constantly and engaging in deep, meaningful activities. Which flagrantly wasn't the case. These days we have access to televisual material on our computers and mobile phones as well as the good old TV, and thousands of channels to choose from, yet more people are reading than ever before. Just look at the reading challenge on this very site: as I write this over 150 000 people are taking part in it, having read over four and a half million books between them. Purists and snobs can sniff and say that while more people may read these days, they're reading guff like Twilight or whatever their victim of the week is. But even Twilight is thought provoking, even if the thoughts it provokes are "Blimey, this is dross!", it's not utterly vacuous like the television of Bradbury's dystopian future.

And besides, in recent years Bradbury has switched his attacks from television to the internet, of which he opined "It's distracting. It's meaningless; it's not real. It's in the air somewhere." An argument uncannily like those used by the masses in Fahrenheit 451 against books: they distract from all the fun one could be having, they don't mean anything, and they deal with fictions, unreal contradictory worlds.

So yeah, the book's message left me cold. Bradbury's writing style, too, didn't impress me much (in the words of Booker Prize winner Shania Twain). Pile ups of metaphors, inconsistent pacing, a solitary likeable character who vanishes part way through the book, all these and more were proud recipients of my goat. The whole work, from the erroneous title on, just seemed rushed. Bradbury wrote the prototype for the story in nine days and frankly the final version doesn't seem like it took much longer. Additions and corrections are mooted by Bradbury in this, the 50th Anniversary Edition's introduction, but he disagrees on principle with retroactively editing the work, a fine sentiment for George Lucas, but I kind of wish it hadn't been applied here. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 765 (next | show all)
Classique parmi les classiques, Fahrenheit 451 est à la SF ce que le Dracula de Stocker est au fantastique. Cette œuvre est une contre-utopie à la mesure du Meilleur des mondes de Huxley ou à 1984 de Orwell. C’est dire…
 
This intriguing idea might well serve as a foundation on which to build a worst of all possible worlds. And to a certain extent it does not seem implausible. Unfortunately, Bradbury goes little further than his basic hypothesis. The rest of the equation is jerry-built.
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aguilar, Julia OsunaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Škvorecký, JosefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', CeesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chambon, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crespo, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Achille, GinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Diamond, DonnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emmerová, JarmilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güttinger, FritzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoye, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hurt, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kayalıoğlu, KorkutTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kayalıoğlu, ZerrinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keyser, GawieForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knipel, CidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monicelli, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moorcock, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, Joseph A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordin, SivTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepper, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robbins, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robillot, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stangl, KatrinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, SamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
أحمد خالد توفيقTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"If they give you ruled paper,
write the other way."
Juan Ramón Jiménez
FAHRENHEIT 451:
the temperature at which
book-paper catches fire and burns
Dedication
This one, with gratitude,
is for
Don Congdon
First words
It was a pleasure to burn.
Quotations
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.
But that's the wonderful things about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth the doing.
But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.
I'm afraid of children my own age. they kill each other. Did it always use to be that way? My uncle says no. Six of my firends have been shot in the last year alone. Ten of them died in car wrecks. I'm afraid of them and they don't like me because I'm afraid. My uncle says his grandfather remembered when children didn't kill each other. But that was a long time ago when they had things different. They believed in responsibility, my uncle says. Do you know, I'm responsible. I was spanked when I needed it, years ago. And I do all the shopping and housecleaning by hand.
The same infinite detail and awareness could be projected through the radios and televisors, but are not. No, no, it's not books at all you're looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course you couldn't know this, of course you still can't understand what I mean when I say all this.
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Disambiguation notice
This is the original novel by Ray Bradbury, not the 1966 film directed by François Truffaut or any other adaptation.
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Book description
"The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning... along with the houses in which they were hidden." Fahrenheit 451 is an enlightening story that is almost daunting. In a place where firemen build fires to burn books, this story is somewhat forboding because although it may seem extreme, it causes the reader to look at how much we take books and freedom for granted. Guy Montag goes outside the norm of a society where relationships are based on material things in order to try to discover how life would be if one were to actually think and live for themselves instead of being told what to do and how to behave.

AR level 5.2, 7 pts
Haiku summary
A fireman burns books
But then he dares to read one
And goes on the lam
(DarrylLundy)

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