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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
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Fahrenheit 451 (original 1953; edition 2001)

by Ray Bradbury, Joseph Mugnaini (dj) (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
33,73465620 (4.04)1 / 1130
Member:karmabodhi
Title:Fahrenheit 451
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Other authors:Joseph Mugnaini (dj) (Illustrator)
Info:Ballantine (2001), Edition: BoMC, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:classic, satire, futuristic

Work details

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)

  1. 902
    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. 672
    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. 304
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (thekoolaidmom)
  4. 231
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Smiler69)
  5. 222
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (jpers36, moietmoi)
  6. 233
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (ateolf)
  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. 62
    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. 1411
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (SandSing7)
  13. 63
    The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan (bertilak)
  14. 96
    Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (allenmichie)
  15. 53
    A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-day Iraq by Fernando Báez (bertilak)
  16. 53
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (jlynno84)
  17. 75
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (andja)
  18. 20
    The Acolyte by Craig Davidson (ShelfMonkey)
  19. 10
    Shadowlife by Martin Grzimek (spiphany)
  20. 21
    Too loud a solitude by Bohumil Hrabal (edwinbcn)

(see all 27 recommendations)

1950s (1)
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Showing 1-5 of 604 (next | show all)
So finally I read this. A book written when I was five! Why did it take so long? Such a wonderful read. Drenched in metaphors (there's one of my own). Portentious in the best futurist sense. And yet, fascinating to see how much of the world of 1953 persists in the novel. One can hardly blame Bradbury for not predicting smartphones, LCD screens, or the Internet. Reading such a novel from the perspective of 2016 offers retrospect as well as legitimate concern that 2016 might still not be too far from the terrors of Fahrenheit 451. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Jul 25, 2016 |
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books in a futuristic American city. In Montag’s world, firemen start fires rather than putting them out. The people in this society do not read books, enjoy nature, spend time by themselves, think independently, or have meaningful conversations. Instead, they drive very fast, watch excessive amounts of television on wall-size sets, and listen to the radio on “Seashell Radio” sets attached to their ears.

Montag encounters a gentle seventeen-year-old girl named Clarisse McClellan, who opens his eyes to the emptiness of his life with her innocently penetrating questions and her unusual love of people and nature. Over the next few days, Montag experiences a series of disturbing events. First, his wife, Mildred, attempts suicide by swallowing a bottle of sleeping pills. Then, when he responds to an alarm that an old woman has a stash of hidden literature, the woman shocks him by choosing to be burned alive along with her books. A few days later, he hears that Clarisse has been killed by a speeding car. Montag’s dissatisfaction with his life increases, and he begins to search for a solution in a stash of books that he has stolen from his own fires and hidden inside an air-conditioning vent.

When Montag fails to show up for work, his fire chief, Beatty, pays a visit to his house. Beatty explains that it’s normal for a fireman to go through a phase of wondering what books have to offer, and he delivers a dizzying monologue explaining how books came to be banned in the first place. According to Beatty, special-interest groups and other “minorities” objected to books that offended them. Soon, books all began to look the same, as writers tried to avoid offending anybody. This was not enough, however, and society as a whole decided to simply burn books rather than permit conflicting opinions. Beatty tells Montag to take twenty-four hours or so to see if his stolen books contain anything worthwhile and then turn them in for incineration. Montag begins a long and frenzied night of reading.

Overwhelmed by the task of reading, Montag looks to his wife for help and support, but she prefers television to her husband’s company and cannot understand why he would want to take the terrible risk of reading books. He remembers that he once met a retired English professor named Faber sitting in a park, and he decides that this man might be able to help him understand what he reads. He visits Faber, who tells him that the value of books lies in the detailed awareness of life that they contain. Faber says that Montag needs not only books but also the leisure to read them and the freedom to act upon their ideas.

Faber agrees to help Montag with his reading, and they concoct a risky scheme to overthrow the status quo. Faber will contact a printer and begin reproducing books, and Montag will plant books in the homes of firemen to discredit the profession and to destroy the machinery of censorship. Faber gives him a two-way radio earpiece (the “green bullet”) so that he can hear what Montag hears and talk to him secretly.

Montag goes home, and soon two of his wife’s friends arrive to watch television. The women discuss their families and the war that is about to be declared in an extremely frivolous manner. Their superficiality angers him, and he takes out a book of poetry and reads “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold. Faber buzzes in his ear for him to be quiet, and Mildred tries to explain that the poetry reading is a standard way for firemen to demonstrate the uselessness of literature. The women are extremely disturbed by the poem and leave to file a complaint against Montag.

Montag goes to the fire station and hands over one of his books to Beatty. Beatty confuses Montag by barraging him with contradictory quotations from great books. Beatty exploits these contradictions to show that literature is morbid and dangerously complex, and that it deserves incineration. Suddenly, the alarm sounds, and they rush off to answer the call, only to find that the alarm is at Montag’s own house. Mildred gets into a cab with her suitcase, and Montag realizes that his own wife has betrayed him.

Beatty forces Montag to burn the house himself; when he is done, Beatty places him under arrest. When Beatty continues to berate Montag, Montag turns the flamethrower on his superior and proceeds to burn him to ashes. Montag knocks the other firemen unconscious and runs. The Mechanical Hound, a monstrous machine that Beatty has set to attack Montag, pounces and injects Montag’s leg with a large dose of anesthetic. Montag manages to destroy it with his flamethrower; then he walks off the numbness in his leg and escapes with some books that were hidden in his backyard. He hides these in another fireman’s house and calls in an alarm from a pay phone.

Montag goes to Faber’s house, where he learns that a new Hound has been put on his trail, along with several helicopters and a television crew. Faber tells Montag that he is leaving for St. Louis to see a retired printer who may be able to help them. Montag gives Faber some money and tells him how to remove Montag’s scent from his house so the Hound will not enter it. Montag then takes some of Faber’s old clothes and runs off toward the river. The whole city watches as the chase unfolds on TV, but Montag manages to escape in the river and change into Faber’s clothes to disguise his scent. He drifts downstream into the country and follows a set of abandoned railroad tracks until he finds a group of renegade intellectuals (“the Book People”), led by a man named Granger, who welcome him. They are a part of a nationwide network of book lovers who have memorized many great works of literature and philosophy. They hope that they may be of some help to mankind in the aftermath of the war that has just been declared. Montag’s role is to memorize the Book of Ecclesiastes. Enemy jets appear in the sky and completely obliterate the city with bombs. Montag and his new friends move on to search for survivors and rebuild civilization. ( )
  bostonwendym | Jul 17, 2016 |
Read 1984 instead!
By sally tarbox on 21 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
Having read '1984' and 'Brave New World', I was expecting this novel to be of the same quality, especially as it features on umpteen Books You Should Read lists.
It's moderately interesting, but lack of character development means you don't really care what happens to Guy Montag as he breaks away from authority. Will the Mechanical Hound get him? Or not? Whatever...
And as the far-fetched ending occurs - a bomb that flattens the city but appears to leave the free-thinking hobos, just a few miles away, untouched, I found myself curiously unmoved.
Despite its feeling at times like a book written for a teen audience, Bradbury DOES give us something to think about. Although inspired by the 1950s world of McCarthyism and restriction of books, it has become relevant in a new way to 21st century readers: our society too is in danger of 'dumbing down' with endless entertainment and meaningless chat (witness everyone texting or tuned in to an IPod as they walk along, paying no attention to the world around them); angry young people kill for kicks just like Mildred Montag:
'I always like to drive fast when I feel that way...It's fun out in the country. You hit rabbits, sometimes you hit dogs.'
Interesting message but not a great book. ( )
2 vote starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451

Del Rey, Paperback [2003?]

12mo. 192 pp. Afterword (1982), Coda (1979), and A Conversation with Ray Bradbury (2003) [167-190].

First published, 1953.
This edition (presumably) first published, 2003.

Contents

Part One: The Hearth and the Salamander
Part Two: The Sieve and the Sand
Part Three: Burning Bright

Afterword
Coda
A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

=============================================

It is unfair to compare this book with Brave New World (1932) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). This is not so much like comparing apples with oranges as bicycles with motorcycles. It is plain stupid to lump the three novels together in a sort of Holy Trinity of dystopian fiction (or the Four Apostles, if you wish to include Zamyatin’s We).

Bradbury has neither the superb style of Orwell, nor the brilliantly prescient mind of Huxley. Guy Montag is the usual young man dissatisfied with the system, but he is far less substantial than Winston Smith or even Bernard Marx. Never does he come alive for a single paragraph. The other characters are no more characters than Primrose Hill is Everest. Strictly speaking, Fahrenheit 451 is not even a dystopian novel, for this type of fiction includes a relatively detailed description of a future society. This is not Bradbury’s way. You won’t find anything more than a few vague hints what kind of world stands behind his characters. This is a chamber piece, not a symphonic one. Most surprising of all, the writing is rather poor. Consider these two passages which, to me, sound like a schoolboy after his first Creative Writing Workshop:

The bombers crossed the sky and crossed the sky over the house, gasping, murmuring, whistling like an immense, invisible fan, circling in emptiness.

Beatty smiled his smile which showed the candy pinkness of his gums and tiny candy whiteness of his teeth.


As a prose stylist, Bradbury gives me the impression of somebody trying to write poetically without having any talent for it. Awkward similes abound in his descriptions, for example helicopters like “butterflies puzzled by autumn” or eyes that are “two miraculous bits of violet amber”. In my book, such writing is called affected and pretentious. It’s a chore to read page after page of it. Nor is Bradbury any better when it comes to a general narrative. As a rule, pace a very occasional exception, his writing is rambling, confused, and repetitious, sometimes culminating in ridiculous sentences like “He put out his legs as far as they would go and down and then far out again and down and back and out and down and back.” Only in the dialogue does one sense a writer who actually knows his craft. This is why the play based on the novel, and quoted extensively in the Afterword, may be a better work.

The best I can say about this unusually overhyped classic is that its main message is still relevant, probably more so than it was in 1953. I don’t mean the use of firemen for burning books or brainwashing devices like the “parlor families”; these ideas may be original, but if you’re looking for state-induced terror or bliss, Orwell’s Big Brother and Huxley’s soma, respectively, are more powerful concepts, not to mention much better developed. No, Bradbury’s true originality is the frightening idea that books may be rejected by the people on their own accord, without any pressure from the State. In other words, books can be “burned” by moronic TV and radio shows that intoxicate and suffocate the stupid brains of the people. The firemen burning books came later: they merely ratified the status quo. As Captain Beatty beautifully explains:

There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals.

In these times of – that phrase! – political correctness, the reference to the minorities is horrendously modern. This issue is discussed further in the novel and in the wonderful interview at the end of this edition (Bradbury speaks much better than he writes). “The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that!” The Captain is right. Just about every book can be accused by the bigots of this or that minority that it “offends” them, “misrepresents” them, etc. If the minority is powerful enough, or if it happens to be the majority in certain parts of the world, the book’s burned, or at least banned. Captain Beatty is a wise man. He does have a point, too, when he enlightens Montag that books tell nothing (original emphasis), although one can argue, as did Huxley with his Shakespeare-obsessed Savage, that it’s the quality of the reader, not the quality of the book, that matters. Still, the Captain is fun:

Well, Montag, take my word for it, I’ve had to read a few in my time, to know what I was about, and the books say nothing! Nothing you can teach or believe. They’re about non-existent people, figments of imagination, if they’re fiction. And if they’re non-fiction, it’s worse, one professor calling another an idiot, one philosopher screaming down another’s gullet. All of them running about, putting out the stars and extinguishing the sun. You come away lost.

Passages like these could be developed into a nice speculative essay. That’s what Bradbury should have written in the first place – instead of wasting them in a poor novel.

That said, there are five other really good things about this book. Here they are:

1) The title.
2) The first sentence.
3) The short length.
4) The excerpt from Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach” (1867).
5) A quote from Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism (1711):

Words are like leaves; and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.


Fahrenheit 451 has aged better than Nineteen Eighty-Four, but nowhere near as well as Brave New World (which is 21 years older to begin with). As a novel, meaning plot and characters, it is vastly inferior to either of them. As an exercise in dystopian world-building, even more so. By all means read it, at least to see what all the hype is about. I’m glad I read it. I’ll be gladder never to re-read it. The most important thing it made me think about is one eternal question. What makes a classic, timeless value or hereditary hype? ( )
1 vote Waldstein | Jun 18, 2016 |
When I hear people at work talking more about the newest house fix-up or the latest couple on a bachelor program, I begin to wonder where we are in this world of books burning. When there is one bookstore chain deciding what will be displayed, and one large book distributor deciding what even gets published, it's almost like we've bypassed this future world that Bradbury so vividly describes and we've gone straight into books not even being printed, so how can they be memorized?

And people wonder why I buy books, even if I haven't read them. ( )
3 vote threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 604 (next | show all)
Ray Bradbury, escritor americano (1920), alcançou sucesso basicamente em 1950, com suas Crônicas Marcianas. Embora não seja um bestseller, Bradbury tem um alto conceito nos meios literário, educacional e de entretenimento dos Estados Unidos como "consultor de idéias", dramaturgo, poeta e ensaísta. Atua também como roteirista de cinema desde 1953, tendo recebido um Oscar pelo roteiro de Moby Dick, filme dirigido por John Huston (? - 1987).

Fahrenheit 451 (1953), que se chamaria The Fire Man, nos fala de um mundo onde os livros foram abolidos, sendo proibido até possuí-los. As pessoas se contentam em passar os dias vendo programas de televisão - cujos aparelhos ocupam as quatro paredes dos cômodos da sala de estar - e seu único interesse é comentar os programas, novelas ou comerciais, cantando seus jingles e seus bordões em todos os lugares, metrô, praças e onde quer que vão [não sei, mas ultimamente tenho ouvido exatamente isso sobre o BBB]. Esses jingles são daquele tipo de música que se fixam em nossas cabeças e não conseguimos desligar – alguma semelhança com nossa cultura atual?

Em 1966, François Truffaut colocou nas telas a história de Bradbury, que segundo o próprio, foi bastante modificada para sanar alguns mistérios que o livro deixou pendentes. Porém, na re-edição, ele mesmo se explica no posfácio, decidiu deixar o texto original, mesmo que isso inquietasse alguns de seus leitores mais antigos, inconformados com as lacunas na história ou mesmo com o destino final de alguns personagens.

O livro passa a sensação de que o autor, já em 1953, visualizava os desdobramentos de uma cultura massificada, na qual idéias originais, a observação crítica do mundo, dos costumes e o questionamento do status quo, têm cada vez menos espaço.

O mais lamentável é que os habitantes desse mundo se autoalienaram. Não houve sequer a necessidade das autoridades convencê-los ou mesmo forçá-los a deixar os livros de lado. Porém, uma vez que eles abandonaram o hábito da leitura de livre e espontânea vontade, começou um movimento repressivo e de caça aos resistentes, teimosos em achar a leitura algo importante para a vida. A repressão era executada pelos bombeiros através de incêndios de pilhas de livros. A razão dos moradores da cidade (ela não tem nome) deixarem de ler foi a verificação de que ficavam mais felizes sem as idéias que os livros traziam. Os livros faziam pensar, pensar fazia sofrer, enxergar o mundo de muitas formas e pontos de vista. O indivíduo se dava conta, então, da dor do outro no mundo. E afinal por que alguém gostaria de ser infeliz?

O paradoxo é que os bombeiros já não apagavam mais incêndios, pois todas as edificações eram cobertas com uma camada de material não inflamável. Sua tarefa agora era queimar o maior número de livros, todo e qualquer remanescente de bibliotecas públicas ou particulares.

Bradbury (2003, p.79) nos mostra o vazio de um mundo imagético, midiático e hedonista. Através do diálogo do personagem Beatty, chefe dos bombeiros, com Montag, o bombeiro que começa a questionar o mundo em que vive, o autor explica que o mundo passou a ser todo resumido, pois as pessoas não têm mais paciência de ler:

“Clássicos reduzidos para se adaptarem a programas de rádio de quinze minutos, depois reduzidos novamente para uma coluna de livro de dois minutos de leitura, e, por fim, encerrando-se num dicionário, num verbete de dez a doze linhas [...] o Hamlet não passava de um resumo de uma página num livro que proclamava: Agora você finalmente pode ler todos os clássicos; faça como seus vizinhos.”

E vai mais longe em algumas reflexões, que a mim parecem muito com o tipo de educação média que temos hoje – pelo menos no Brasil:

“A escolaridade é abreviada, a disciplina relaxada, as filosofias, as histórias e as línguas são abolidas, gramática e ortografia pouco a pouco negligenciadas, e, por fim, quase totalmente ignoradas. A vida é imediata, o emprego é o que conta, o prazer está por toda parte depois do trabalho. Por que aprender alguma coisa além de apertar botões, acionar interruptores, ajustar parafusos e porcas?” (Bradbury, 2003, p.80).

Sobre a questão de maiorias x minorias, demonstra a complexidade da questão. Existe um ditado que diz “que toda maioria é burra”, mas já refletimos sobre as minorias? Falo aqui de minorias que querem impor seus pontos de vista, modos de vida e idéias à maioria, sem deixar que outras minorias dentro da maioria tenham sua própria voz. Diz Bradbury (2003, p.82):

“Agora tomemos as minorias de nossa civilização, certo? Quanto maior a população, mais minorias. Não pise no pé dos amigos dos cães, dos amigos dos gatos, dos médicos, advogados, comerciantes, patrões, mórmons, batistas, unitaristas, chineses de segunda geração, suecos, italianos, alemães, texanos, gente do Brooklyn, irlandeses, imigrantes do Oregon ou do México. [Eu acrescentaria, para atualizar, os muçulmanos]. Os personagens desse livro, dessa peça, desse seriado de tevê não pretendem representar pintores, cartógrafos, engenheiros reais. [...] quanto maior seu mercado, menos você controla a controvérsia! Todas as menores das menores minorias querem ver seus próprios umbigos, bem limpos. Autores cheios de maus pensamentos, tranquem suas máquinas de escrever! [para atualizar, seus PCs e notebooks].

E assim, não se pode escrever (ou falar) sobre quase mais nada, pois se tem sobre a cabeça uma espada de um processo de calúnia e difamação, ou ser taxado de preconceituoso – lembrando que preconceitos sempre têm dois lados. Essa é a democracia atual no Ocidente e que no livro já se entrevê. Um amigo disse um dia, que qualquer pessoa pode dizer o que quiser, o problema é quando o atingido se ressente e age de uma forma rancorosa. Eis o problema. Se eu disser que você é gordo, feio, negro, homossexual, prostituta, de esquerda, de direita, etc. posso ser presa ou processada. Mas como evitar? Somos humanos, nada mais que humanos. Existe solução para as diferenças individuais? Ou nos tornaremos todos iguais, como no livro Henfil na China (1984, desculpem, mas sou dessa geração), vestindo as mesmas roupas, recitando os mesmos mestres (Mao, Lênin, Stalin) e pensando, fazendo, lendo e assistindo só o quê e indo só aonde é permitido pelo partido, ou pela ditadura do politicamente correto e do eufemismo? Será que algum tipo de transgressão na mesmice não é nem um pouco salutar?

Mas sempre existem sim alguns transgressores. Não existe unanimidade na espécie humana, a divergência é algo esperado porque renova e inova. É o motor da mudança social. Na página 100, Montag conversa com Faber, um professor de inglês aposentado, que há quarenta anos fora descartado, “quando a última faculdade de ciências humanas foi fechada por falta de alunos e patrocínio” [não sei porque, mas tenho uma sensação de déjà vu]. Como ele, outros intelectuais foram dispensados, pois eram o veículo para a infelicidade humana, afinal questionavam as coisas e não deixavam que as pessoas esquecessem que nem elas, nem o mundo eram perfeitos. E isso é muito perigoso.

Mas em um mundo em que ler também é muito perigoso, talvez a atitude mais prudente seja a dada por Beatty, o Chefe dos Bombeiros, no fim fictício que Bradbury colocou no posfácio do livro. Depois de tantos anos incendiando livros, ele revela a Montag uma grande biblioteca escondida em sua casa. Montag pergunta: - Mas o senhor é o Queimador-Chefe! Não pode ter livros em sua casa! Beatty responde: - O crime não é ter livros, Montag, o crime é lê-los! Sim, é isso mesmo. Eu tenho livros, mas não os leio.

Bem, mesmo que nós adquiramos livros com maior velocidade do os lemos, só nos resta esperar ter tempo de vida suficiente para ler a maior quantidade possível e não transformar nossa sociedade no mundo de Montag.
added by mcrbarreto | editPessoal, Cristina Barreto (Feb 2, 2010)
 
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.
 
Ray Bradbury has more than ideas, and that is what sets him apart from most writers who try to be original. He is fantastic, and human. He never looks at anything with a jaded eye; he is a storyteller every minute of the time, and he is definitely his own kind of storyteller.
added by Shortride | editLos Angeles Times, Don Guzman (pay site) (Oct 25, 1953)
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradbury, Rayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
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

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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.
Last words
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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
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345342968, Mass Market Paperback)

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's classic, frightening vision of the future, firemen don't put out fires--they start them in order to burn books. Bradbury's vividly painted society holds up the appearance of happiness as the highest goal--a place where trivial information is good, and knowledge and ideas are bad. Fire Captain Beatty explains it this way, "Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs.... Don't give them slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy."

Guy Montag is a book-burning fireman undergoing a crisis of faith. His wife spends all day with her television "family," imploring Montag to work harder so that they can afford a fourth TV wall. Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbor Clarisse, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books, and more interested in what she can see in the world around her than in the mindless chatter of the tube. When Clarisse disappears mysteriously, Montag is moved to make some changes, and starts hiding books in his home. Eventually, his wife turns him in, and he must answer the call to burn his secret cache of books. After fleeing to avoid arrest, Montag winds up joining an outlaw band of scholars who keep the contents of books in their heads, waiting for the time society will once again need the wisdom of literature.

Bradbury--the author of more than 500 short stories, novels, plays, and poems, including The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man--is the winner of many awards, including the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. Readers ages 13 to 93 will be swept up in the harrowing suspense of Fahrenheit 451, and no doubt will join the hordes of Bradbury fans worldwide. --Neil Roseman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:59 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Fireman Guy Montag is a fireman whose job it is to start fires. And he loves to rush to a fire and watch books burn, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Then he meets a seventeen-year old girl who tells him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who tells him of a future where people can think. And Guy Montag knows what he has to do ...… (more)

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