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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
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Fahrenheit 451 (original 1953; edition 1996)

by Ray Bradbury

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34,40366619 (4.04)1 / 1144
Member:Art25
Title:Fahrenheit 451
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:New York : Ballantine Books, 1996.
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:None

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. 294
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (thekoolaidmom)
  4. 231
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Smiler69)
  5. 233
    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. 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. 62
    The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan (bertilak)
  13. 96
    Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (allenmichie)
  14. 1411
    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (SandSing7)
  15. 20
    The Acolyte by Craig Davidson (ShelfMonkey)
  16. 20
    The Fireman by Joe Hill (sturlington)
  17. 53
    A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-day Iraq by Fernando Báez (bertilak)
  18. 20
    Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal (edwinbcn)
  19. 53
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (jlynno84)
  20. 75
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (andja)

(see all 28 recommendations)

1950s (1)
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English (614)  Spanish (18)  Italian (10)  Finnish (5)  French (4)  German (4)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  Vietnamese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (1)  Greek (1)  All (664)
Showing 1-5 of 614 (next | show all)
In the nebulous dystopian future the masses are entertained with mindless drivel and books are banned, hunted and burned when found. One man discovers how empty everything is and goes on the run from the authorities and finds others like himself. Ends with the US being nuked and the premise that these book rememberers" will help rebuild civilization.

I can't say I really enjoyed this book. The writing style was annoying, too dramatic, over the top, when describing the internal struggle felt by the protagonist. And a culture that allows the youth to grow up to be cattle, it couldn't survive very long. The kind of people needed to make a culture survive that was described couldn't grow up in the culture described. It doesn't fit." ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Incredibly prescient. A brilliant, disturbing book. ( )
  marinamurray | Dec 5, 2016 |
Even though this book was written 60 years ago it's amazing how much it still applies to today. In Montag's world books were not only banned but destroyed, burned to ashes along with the house they were held in and in many cases the people who hid them. The government says that books are silly and the words meaningless yet destroys them all proving that someone in authority firmly believes that a book is a dangerous thing. Which is actually what happens. Montag meets a girl who society deems 'crazy' and she puts a little thought in his head. Next thing he knows he is questioning why. Why he is a fireman. Why the books are so dangerous. Why Why Why. Questions that to maintain peace and balance should not be asked.

Overall I found that I enjoyed this book despite it being totally different from what I am used to reading even though many times I had to read a paragraph over again because I missed some thing that ended up being important. I found Montag's discovery of himself and nature a bit hard to follow. His journey to discovery read a lot like descent into madness which I thought was hard at times to follow. I did like that this book was thought provoking and I plan to follow up with searching for some discussion web pages to see other people's interpretations. ( )
  ChristinaT. | Dec 3, 2016 |
The classic of a genre sometimes let you down. But with Fahrenheit 451 the reasons are many. Where to begin?

Ray Bradbury was a great writer, one of the best in any genre, and he's a master of short fiction. I'd recommend his short stories to anyone. With the novels you have to tread more carefully. There are the great (The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes) and then there are the ones that come close but fall short. Fahrenheit 451 is such a book.

It's not that it's badly written, far from it. Bradbury's prose, especially in the last third of the book is a thing of beauty. But the book is weighted down with a "big idea". It's an important idea, to be sure, but the setting of the story has become badly dated, even if certain aspects of it have crept into our popular culture (huge TV screens, mindless entertainment, a glorification of violence and a mistrust of intellect). What really dates the story is the assumption that a nuclear war would be survivable, that you could watch the bombs drop and then walk away.

The big idea at play here is that Censorship and a hatred for thinking will become more prevalent to the extent where Firemen are now responsible for burning books. Echoes of Nazi Germany here. Guy Montag, our protagonist, is a Fireman who goes on the long journey from unthinking obedience to thinking for himself through the power of the knowledge held on the printed page.

In a world where books are being burned, how do we retain those books? By memorising them. That's what the intellectuals of the world do, the ex-professors and teachers who wander the world like some highly educated band of tramps.

Montag's journey is an important story and drips with meaning. Think for yourself, don't accept what you are told at face value, question everything. I can see why this book is held up as a classic, but for me Bradbury has written far better books and stories.

I wouldn't avoid reading it, since it is an important book and the ideas behind it need restating from time to time. It's far from a bad book, but it isn't Bradbury's best. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
One of the classics you should probably read. ( )
  oswallt | Nov 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 614 (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
D'Achille, GinoCover 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

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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
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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"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)

(summary from another edition)

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