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Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Farenheit 451 (original 1953; edition 2004)

by Ray Bradbury

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32,00859124 (4.04)1 / 1064
Title:Farenheit 451
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:Del Rey (2004), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)

  1. 892
    Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (readafew, Booksloth, rosylibrarian, moietmoi, haraldo, BookshelfMonstrosity)
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    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)
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    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"
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Showing 1-5 of 544 (next | show all)
One of the best books I*ve ever read. ( )
  Blanca.Eri | Sep 14, 2015 |
Fahrenheit 451 (or 232,8 degrees Celsius) is said to be the temperature at which paper burns. And that's very important in this Dystopian novel, because books are for burning, right?

In this very grim Dystopian book, there is a profession of 'firemen' who are specialized in the burning of books and houses where books are hidden. The main character starts of thinking this is completely normal, but in the end he is willing to risk anything to avoid it. The inner struggle of the main character was very interesting, especially in this setting.

Burning books is obviously wrong on my levels, you're burning people's thoughts, which is something that should never happen. For me, as a book lover, it also hurts on the actual book level.

Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.

Heinrich Heine

Where people burn books, they will also burn people in the end. ( )
  Floratina | Sep 6, 2015 |
It was very good.. a lot of good stuff, and food for thought..
The predictions are just amazing.. people in today's society
will appreciate it more, since the predictions have come to pass and they've
witnessed it.. :) ( )
  smiley0905 | Sep 3, 2015 |
"It was a pleasure to burn.
It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history

Thus begins Fahrenheit 451, through this act of destruction which guides the life of fireman Guy Montag, in a future where the firemen profession is not about containing fire anymore. Instead, they are responsible for retaining knowledge from being spread through society. We are shown a degenerate society on which the mere fact of owning a book might lead directly to jail, or to your grave. The drastic change may be understood once we accept the new society presented by Bradbury: an industrialized cacophony driven by technology obsession; everyday life has been simplified to such an astounding degree that the majority of the population has completely lost their ability to judge situations critically. In this new world, human beings are encouraged to act without thinking too much, to set aside any emotion or judgment which might prove to require too much emotion or rational effort; the new way of life encourages people to be happy, even if they have to be totally self-indulgent to achieve that.
School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?
Moreover, against all hopes, such corruption of a healthy way of thinking didn’t come from some law imposed by social and political authorities; it comes from natural technological progress, as explained further on the book. The only thing the Estate did was give a little push to the masses of population who were already losing their moral values, soaked in so much entertainment options and technological knick-knackery. At this point, of course, I was already finding myself wondering about the infinite possibilities that might lead to this situation actually happen to our contemporary society, given that we reached the point where smartphones are closer our heart than friends and family. Oh well, that might as well be my dreamy mind talking too loud, though. Anyway, as the society gets more and more crammed into the same pattern of behavior and personality, books start to be considered a dangerous form of entertainment/information, given that they make people think differently from the rest of the herd.
We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.
Fortunately, Montag finds one of the few who are different from the herd. His neighbor, a young and weird girl gets closer to him and starts, little by little, intriguing his mind by asking him questions he has never asked himself before. Consequently, he starts to wonder about the meaning of life and, eventually, he realizes how completely alienated he has been during all his life. Such revelation awakens dormant emotions, like fear and insecurity; at the same time, however, Montag lets reason triumph over his instincts, which gives him a sense of free intellectual reign over his own decisions as he has never possessed before.

Over fifty years after the first edition, Fahrenheit 451 remains scarily relevant, presenting an intriguing question: is it necessary that we destroy ourselves to be able to change our path as a race? Do we possess the ability and intelligence necessary to atone for our mistakes? If not, do we have to perish so others can take control of our future? If on one hand the author allows a glimpse of hope in this dystopia, on the other, the price to pay for this fragile hypothesis has been quite high. Closer to the end the author compares human kind to the phoenix, being we able to reemerge after a downfall; according to Bradbury, we have an advantage over the phoenix, even: we can learn from our mistakes to not commit them again, so, hopefully, progress for the sake of progress won’t be further encouraged.

In a few pages, with a fluid and simple prose, overdone, maybe, for the overuse of metaphors, the author has created a book which message will echo through generations, in an eternal and powerful warning about the dangers of being ignorant, thus encouraging the reader to roam the path of knowledge: - That's the wonderful thing 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. Needless to say, I loved this book, it kept me guessing, at the same time opening my mind to the possible future we may yet face. In addition, it made my theoretical driving lessons way more bearable.

Interesting quotes that I didn't include in the review:
Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.
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.

We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.

The Last Passage
Montag began walking and after a moment found that the others had fallen in behind him, going north. He was surprised, and moved aside to let Granger pass, but Granger looked at him and nodded him on. Montag went ahead. He looked at the river and the sky and the rusting track going back down to where the farms lay, where the barns stood full of hay, where a lot of people had walked by in the night on their way from the city. Later, in a month or six months, and certainly not more than a year, he would walk along here again, alone, and keep right on going until he caught up with the people.
But now there was a long morning's walk until noon, and if the men were silent it was because there was everything to think about and much to remember. Perhaps later in the morning, when the sun was up and had warmed them, they would begin to talk, or just say the things they remembered, to be sure they were there, to be absolutely certain that things were safe in them.
Montag felt the slow stir of words, the slow simmer. And when it came to his turn, what could he say, what could he offer on a day like this, to make the trip a little easier? To everything there is a season. Yes. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence and a time to speak. Yes, all that. But what else. What else? Something, something...
And on either side of the river was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; And the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Yes, thought Montag, that's the one I'll save for noon. For noon... When we reach the city.
" ( )
  AdemilsonM | Sep 2, 2015 |
Great short book that shows a realistic type world that we could be heading to. This book is rich with warning signs that you could see in our present day. It's a very interesting read. Not a book that you are going to be sucked into the story, but more of a book that will make you think. ( )
  renbedell | Aug 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 544 (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 (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, Raymain 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
Robillot, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stangl, KatrinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, SamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"If they give you ruled paper,
write the other way."
Juan Ramón Jiménez
the temperature at which
book-paper catches fire and burns
This one, with gratitude,
is for
Don Congdon
First words
It was a pleasure to burn.
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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Wikipedia in English (3)

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.
Haiku summary

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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