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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 (original 1953; edition 2001)

by Ray Bradbury

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32,26960323 (4.03)1 / 1083
In Bradbury leggiamo la denuncia sulla possibile negativa evoluzione della nostra società e purtroppo va detto che a distanza di cinquant’anni molto si è avverato. Nel mondo di Fahrenheit 451 non è stato un atto deliberato dello Stato, atto al controllo delle masse, che ha proibito l’uso del mezzo culturale. La società stessa si è posta quel tabù, cercando la semplificazione, la massificazione, nel tentativo di non creare individui infelici che si sentissero diversi, ha gradualmente abbandonato ogni forma di cultura. Lo Stato in questo scenario ha soltanto legittimato un dato di fatto, istituendo i corpi di vigili del fuoco, qui impegnati ad ardere e non a estinguere il fuoco. Si viene così a creare una dottrina dell’anti-cultura, esemplificata nella figura del capitano di Montag: i libri non vengono bruciati in quanto tali, ma per quello che contengono, riflessioni di uomini morti, storie di evasione, tutto l’universo che i libri rappresentano. Chi si avvicina alla lettura, dice il capitano in un delirio di semplificazione, si sente superiore a coloro che non leggono. Perciò la società di Fahrenheit 451 ha deciso di eliminare ogni fonte possibile di diversità, per lasciare i cittadini in una beata incoscienza, che non li rende informati neanche sull’apocalittica guerra che si svolge nelle pagine finali del romanzo.
Dall’altra parte, gli uomini-libro, coloro che hanno mandato a memoria i libri in una società che non permetteva loro di possederli, non si sentono affatto degli eletti. “Tu non sei importante” dice Granger, un uomo-libro, a Montag nelle pagine finali. Anche quando i libri esistevano, aggiunge, la gente li ha rifuggiti creando il sistema attuale. Però è importante che in qualche modo il messaggio che essi contengono venga preservato, lasciando la possibilità di essere scoperto. Quindi Fahreinheit 451 non è un mero inno all’importanza della lettura, ma un inno alla possibilità di scelta, alla libertà. ( )
  Zeruhur | May 26, 2012 |
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I like books, but I don't think I worship them like Bradbury. A good story ( )
  JaredChristopherson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Fahrenheit 451 seemed reminiscent of [b:1984|5470|1984|George Orwell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348990566s/5470.jpg|153313] in many ways. Individual thought and expression is suppressed, intellect frowned upon, and a war is waging on for an indeterminate amount of time. However, I did not like the story nor the characters of Fahrenheit 451 nearly as much. Montag came across as weak and pathetic, even when he was rebelling and supposedly thinking for himself for a change. And the minor characters all irritated me to no end. Each time I thought the book showed insight or progress (toward a better narration), something happened which squelched it. The premise itself is fascinating and all to scary (and possible!). Yet, the story fell short for me in the end. ( )
  Kristymk18 | Nov 12, 2015 |
AUTHOR: Bradbury, Ray
TITLE: Fahrenheit 451
DATE READ: 09/03/15
RATING: 4.5/B+
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Fiction/1951/ Simon & Schuster / 158 pgs
CHARACTERS AUTHOR: Guy Montag/fireman
TIME/PLACE: Future, somewhere in the US
FIRST LINES: It was a pleasure to burn. It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed.
COMMENTS: This book was chosen by my F2F bookclub and at first I wasn't going to read it. I've read it years ago and really time doesn't allow for re-reads, not that I remember too much from so long ago… What egged me on was that I had always thought the book burning was only for censorship and it is but a new facet was mentioned. That the method of communication was to be via TV not books. Now the TV in this book was all very controlled and not like what we know it -- more of a brainwashing, even tho' we may think some of the TV is mindless this is different. Books would allow one to use ones own creativity, imagination and interpretations -- this is not allowed, ergo the censorship. W/ this in mind I found the book and our discussion very worthwhile. ( )
  pammykn | Nov 11, 2015 |
The book is a little simplistic in its premise and I'm not a huge fan of the writing style, but Bradbury's futuristic world where books are illegal still creates an interesting premise for some fun ideas and discussions. The story is mostly bleak and dark and while at first it may seem outlandish, as you think about it more, you realize that it's not actually all that far from reality. The characters are pretty interesting, especially the fire chief, and you wish the story was a little longer to develop their stories more. ( )
  brikis98 | Nov 11, 2015 |
Exploring an interesting play on words and frighteningly accurate predictions, this book forces us to see that we are moving away from nature and society and further into uninspiring technology. This is not your cliché dystopian warning us of human downfalls, but instead intriguing and powerful. The fire men turn from helping to destroying, just as similarly as we turn away from personal interactions to buzzing technology. The reader is left desperately hoping that anything could be fixed before our civilization is subjected to the same bland and robotic nature as that of Fahrenheit 451. ( )
  Brianna_Weinstein | Nov 6, 2015 |
Sometimes it is crazy to think of how accurate past predictions of the future are. For example, how accurate is the dystopian world in Fahrenheit 451 to our world today?
The answer: somewhat accurate. However, day by day, humans seem to be inching towards full wall TVs and lack of personal thought. Instead of imagining and creating anything while watching the scenery through a car window, children today are playing on tablets. In Fahrenheit 451, parents spend the day watching the televisions that cover all four walls. These televisions have "scripts" for an interactive process between watcher and the television. it seems kids spend their days now with their minds in electronics.
It is scary how seemingly realistic a fictional dystopia seems.
Books are being replaced by iPads, computers, and other devices. How long will it take present day humans to begin to burn the books? When will current day humans lack original thought? When will neighbors be killed intentionally by the government with almost no one questioning it? When will the word fireman have a different meaning?
Learn of this frightening yet realistic dystopia in the world known novel, Fahrenheit 451.
  TommyGodric | Nov 5, 2015 |
A classic dystopian society tale in which we are thrust into a realization of what truly makes our lives significant. More than just cheesy, mass-produced, heavily censored garbage that we find ourselves so commonly digesting, real knowledge represents true satisfaction in life. We follow Guy Montag: a stereotypical laborer of society whose job ironically is to burn the books which would eventually deliver his salvation. Relatable is his realization of a truth, hesitance to join it out of fear of being unaccompanied in this blind faith, and then unwavering confidence in its justifiability. By the end of the book, the reader is left feeling guilty for being exposed to, and buying into fake mass-media that has pervaded our society. the reader is left wondering how he/she, like Montag, can fix this toxic issue. ( )
  Justantolin | Nov 4, 2015 |
Guy Montag is a fireman who burns books in an ordered society where to be different in any way is to put your life at risk. Ray Bradbury creates the terrifying mechanical hound, that will hunt you down and the walls of TV, each wall costing a quarter of a fireman's salary. We read as Guy Montag - depending on your perspective - falls apart or has his eyes opened to what is important. ( )
  Tifi | Nov 2, 2015 |
A little late to the party in reading this classic. The basic outline is well known - dystopian future in which we've become addicted to a shallow happiness that decries anything that makes us think. To this end, 'firemen' are deputized to search out and burn books and the homes where they are found. One such fireman, Guy Montag, becomes drawn to the outlawed tomes, to his own peril. Bradbury's prose is unconventional at times, mimicking the frenetic and disorienting bombardment of messages from multiple sources. This cautionary tale seems fairly prescient some 60 years on, which likely accounts for its continued inclusion on high school reading lists. Yes, the 'noise' of our age -- headphones, 24/7 news cycles, social media, hundreds of cable TV stations -- can be pervasive, sometimes at the expense of everyday interaction. A certain scene towards the end elicited memories of a certain white Bronco making it's way down an LA freeway. However, despite the decreasing number of book readers and the consolidation of publishing houses, I would suggest the Internet has served to act as a democratizing force. We have many thoughtful self published authors, bloggers and commentators. All is not lost yet! ( )
  michigantrumpet | Nov 1, 2015 |
Still a classic even after all these years. I admit that the style's not as entrancing as when I first read it, but Bradbury's vision packs even more of a punch given the rise of selfies, VR devices, etc. And I automatically have a soft spot for any book that argues for the importance of reading, but especially one that does it so vividly and passionately. ( )
  bostonian71 | Oct 28, 2015 |
I know Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a classic, but sadly I just didn't enjoy it, in fact, I considered calling this review: Fahrenheit 45none.

I really wanted to fall in love with it, besides, it's set in a world where books are forbidden and firemen burn houses down instead of saving them.

Written in the 1950s but set in the future, I just found the world-setting too abstract. It's a warning to readers about the dangers of censorship and frightens us with an alternative world where people are obsessed with their TV walls and distracted by listening to the radio with their ear pieces.

Bradbury wasn't too far off the mark. You just have to sit on public transport for 5 minutes to see that everyone is 'jacked in' either wearing earphones, or staring into the screens of their smart phone or tablet. They seem completely disengaged with the world outside or even the people next to them.

Even though I didn't enjoy it, I'm glad I've read Fahrenheit 451 now, and at least can offer an opinion. The strongest opinion I have is that I don't think it should be a part of a high school syllabus. I just think that it's too abstract and removed for the youth of today.

Do you disagree? Do you think I missed something? Let me know http://www.carpelibrum.net/2015/10/review-fahrenheit-451-by-ray-bradbury.html. ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Oct 15, 2015 |
I've put off reading this book for many years because of my perceptions of the book. I'm glad that the American Author Challenge finally pushed me to read it. The setting is futuristic, in an America where houses have been fireproof as long as anyone remembers and where reading and owning books is banned. Firemen set fires, primarily to books, rather than extinguishing them. Guy Montag is a fireman, but in his line of duty, he meets a young woman who talks about a time in the past where houses burned. Then he meets a woman so taken with her books that she wants to die with them rather than face the criminal charges she will face. He takes several books from her home. One of the books is a Bible. I don't want to give away any more of the plot. I found it to be an interesting read even though it's a little outside my usual genres. It's one that book lovers will probably appreciate once they get past the initial acts of book burning. ( )
  thornton37814 | Oct 11, 2015 |
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 |
I enjoyed the story and the themes it brings to light, but I really don't enjoy his style of writing. I have to read and re-read repeatedly to get what he's trying to say for some reason. This is one case where I actually would have preferred to see the movie! ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Knowing that this book is a classic still did not prepare me for how beautiful the writing is. Bradbury creates a fascinating, complex character and an intriguing world. I found myself savoring the language as well as being caught up in the adventure. Definitely worth checking out. ( )
  louis.arata | Jul 31, 2015 |
Great novel about a futuristic world full of technology but books are forbidden! A young man who is in the profession of burning books, comes to know their power and gifts. He seeks out truth. This is a fantastic book for high school kids to discuss politics, society, technology, and culture. Advanced middle school students could enjoy this book as well. The novel won the Hugo Award in 1953 and 2004 and the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award in 1984. It is on the Library of Congress' list of books that shaped America and the ALA's Most Challenged List 2000-2009.
  PikeH | Jul 26, 2015 |
This book makes you think. A dystopian novel set in a future America, citizens are not allowed to read books. Special units called firemen are sent to destroy books and sometimes the people that own them. This story revolves around the awakening of one fireman and his struggle to accept the truth of his world. What if history was destroyed and forgotten? ( )
  Melina_Hiatt_Easter | Jul 16, 2015 |
Fahrenheit 451 is one of ray Bradbury's classic story taken place in the future about a fireman, Guy Montag, who is struggling within himself of whether or not he is doing the right thing when it comes to his job. As a fireman, Montag must find book inside people's residence and burn them destroying ideas and manuscripts that at one time had enriched people's lives. It is a story that explores censorship. To me, the story started off slow, but it picks up as you continue to look inside the moral dilemma that is plaguing Montag. A good read. ( )
  JustJohn.DeYoung | Jul 13, 2015 |
This book ages so well. Just as relevant as it ever was ... which is concerning ... ( )
  beebowallace | Jul 10, 2015 |
I am so glad that I decided to read this book! I absolutely loved it. I would even say that it is one of my all time favourites.

[a:Ray Bradbury|1630|Ray Bradbury|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1361491094p2/1630.jpg] was an amazing writer. He captured relearning how to think perfectly. It makes the book so much more authentic for the dystopia he has created. It is fascinating to watch Guy Montag's thoughts progress throughout the course of the novel. Although, to me, it was fairly obvious that Clarisse was the trigger for thinking, I didn't envision her dying. I thought she was going to be involved in Montag's journey--more than the spark, but even though she dies, Montag brings her along for his journey any ways. At the turning points in the novel, where Montag could have just given up he thinks of her. Mildred's fate is definitely a sad one, however from what we know of her she has pretty much already died. Her role in the novel (I think) is to show the way that the society has mind washed the people. She blindly follows orders, she doesn't think, she spends her days glued to the massive TV's that she calls her 'family'. Her overdose at the beginning of the novel, to me, signified that she, as a unique person, had died. She had to have her blood pumped out or she would have died. So she, from that point on, became completely dependant on the government. The concepts introduced in [b:Fahrenheit 451|4381|Fahrenheit 451|Ray Bradbury|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1351643740s/4381.jpg|1272463] are quite elaborate ideas, but then again The internet would have been science-fiction 200 years ago. I do love that the TV's interact with the viewer personally. I think in order to brainwash the masses, as is done in the novel, that would most definitely play a crucial part. The idea of the 'Hounds' is an extremely scary one, if that technology was to actually exist, anyone could kill someone while sitting at home. All it takes is the persons unique scent. Faber is a great representation of the previous generation. His character gives insight into the transition age. He grew up in a time that still had books and free thinking. At first I though the men that Montag meets on the other side of the river were just fugitives, but when they introduce their 'book-selves' their role in the correction of the dystopian society is made much clearer. I love that they are just planning on waiting the war out and passing their knowledge down. Granger is probably my favourite of the 'Travelling Books', his comparison of our history to the Phoenix is beautiful. It's not often that a dystopian society is sent on the correct path again in such a philosophical manner.
There was a silly damn bird called a Phoenix back before Christ, every few hundred years he built a pyre and burned himself up...And it looks like we're doing the same thing, over and over.

( )
  momma182 | Jun 23, 2015 |
Fahrenheit 451 is a great book that I didn't appreciate when I had to read it for school when I was younger. I am so glad I decided to read it again and actually finish it this time. A society that only wants the good and action pack, no time for thoughts or things that don't affect them right this second. It's an extreme version of where we are at today. I don't think we'll ever have a group of people to burn books, but a lot about the masses in Fahrenheit 451 mirror what people are like today. Kind of scary. Some parts were confusing and jumpy, like there were hints of war coming up but at the end it just seemed so sudden and the "outlaws" already had a plan in tact and Guy got there in the nick of time after realizing he needs things to change. ( )
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | May 14, 2015 |
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