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

by Ray Bradbury

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32,86363122 (4.03)1 / 1101
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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Showing 1-25 of 582 (next | show all)
An interesting premise with so-so execution but it falls apart at the ending. ( )
  dewbertb | Feb 6, 2016 |
Thought provoking and chilling ( )
  tashlyn88 | Feb 5, 2016 |
  MisaBookworm | Feb 2, 2016 |
Pretty good story, listened on audio with Ron. Wouldn't read it again. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
Classic chilling futuristic tale about censorship, society and a "world without books"...not surprisingly it tends to get "banded" and censored by the people it warns society about ( )
  WonderlandGrrl | Jan 29, 2016 |
Helps remind us all that we need to constantly be questioning authority. Also, makes a case for throwing out your TV...(and reading more). ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
It starts out slowly, It's hard to like Montag and his wife. But once the story gets going it is moving, and a must read. ( )
  AngelaGustafson | Jan 25, 2016 |
His books were big when I was in college. Having met the man and not liking him I was astonished that his writing is so thorough and tight. This book is my favorite of his. The burning of books hits deep in the soul. ( )
  Greymowser | Jan 22, 2016 |
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury is one of the most classic examples of dystopian fiction that our world has to offer. The book's setting centers around a civilization in which books are outlawed as they are assumed to be the root cause of all unhappiness. In fact, the main character of the story, Guy Montag, burns books for a living for the government. Ironically, however, Guy Montag is still unhappy with his life even though his job is to supposedly purge the world of its unhappiness. Overall, the novel itself carries immense emotional weight as it predicts a world in which humankind's desire to discredit and destroy what it doesn't understand takes over. The commentary throughout the book is both insightful and humorous as Bradbury plays off society's absurd obsession with television and media in general. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who love the English language and one's ability to manipulate it at will as Bradbury expertly portrays a number of complex characters and scenarios, effectually creating one of the most interactive reads for generations to come. ( )
  ConnorLynnCSH | Jan 21, 2016 |
Guy Montag is a firefighter - the kind who starts fires. Fires to burn the books.

Fahrenheit 451 is scary relevant today. It was written in 1950 but it feels too close to reality at times.

Here's the setting: people don’t think - the don’t even want to. People have lots of free time, but they never have time to just be quiet, to sit and think or talk - they fill their hours with a constant bombardment of “entertainment” that purposely does not challenge or engage, but pacifies and numbs. There’s a war going on somewhere in the background, but nobody really knows or cares or understands. Suicides are more and more frequent and people can’t even get their heads around why.

”He was not happy. He said the words to himself. He recognized this as the true state of affairs. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back.” (p.12)

I have seen some reviews of this book that act like Bradbury is attacking all non-book related media and that’s not true at all. In the book, the problem isn’t JUST that people have stopped reading and are spending all their time listening to iPod-like seashell things and giant multi-wall TVs, but that the CONTENT they are constantly getting from these things is vapid, meaningless and brainwashing. The problem is that people are no longer engaged, no longer thinking, no longer even want to be thinking, and burning the books was a consequence of that.

”It’s not books you need, it’s some of the things that once were in books. The same things could be in the ‘parlour families’ today. 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. … The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together for us.” (p.89-90)

Books are seen as snobby, elite, offensive. They “lie” to you. They can “betray” you. Honestly, this sounds like a lot of current rhetoric, doesn’t it?

”So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless.” (p.90)

Honestly, there’s not too much I can say about this book. I think everyone should read it. It’s a dystopia that seems so awfully close to our own reality that it’s hardly a leap of the imagination at all to believe it could happen.

”Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore. (p. 93) ( )
1 vote catfantastic | Jan 19, 2016 |
Interesting tale on what oppression might be like in the future. It took a while for this to get anywhere, but not a waste of time either. ( )
  biggs1399 | Jan 19, 2016 |
Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper burns...so the name of the title.

Guy Montag is a fireman, he doesn't put out fires, he starts them...he burns books and the houses they are stored in...he has done so for 10 years.

Then Montag meets a young girl, Clarisse McClellan, who has a family that keeps the memories of the past alive. The past where people once had gardens, front porches, took time to relax & talk and think.

Montag's wife, Millie is a drone, she lives for her full screen interactive HD t.v. walls, which speak to her & include her in their soap operas...at night she plugs her ears tight to shut out all outside noises & sleeps a deep dreamless sleep with Prince Valium.

All is well in their ordered lives until Montag begins to question his existence ....and begins to read a stash of books he has confiscated.....and then Montage begins to think...

Enter Professor Faber, whom Montag seeks out to question (glean information) about books & reading & knowledge.....causing Montag to eventually having to flee his well ordered life..... This is just the beginning....

( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
A beautiful book that makes you question reality and how the world is run. it makes you ask if you would ever let this happen today ( )
  Jessicaslater | Jan 17, 2016 |
I always love reading the dystopian society books as I find the concept so intriguing and much to be expanded on. I especially like the back story to how everything came to be the way it is. F451 was a great book even though I struggled getting into it at first. The whole concepts of orgies everywhere and the character of guy Montag I enjoyed a great amount. The title of the book itself was extremely clever. Even though the story line is a bit predictable, I loved montag's escape out of the corrupt dystopian world.
  dickards | Jan 17, 2016 |
Scary vision of the future ( )
  Belles007 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Written in 1953 Farenheit 451, which gets its title from the degree at which paper burns, is a slim text depicting a dystopian hedonistic society whch values nothing more than mindless happiness and in which books are burned by "firemen" whose hoses are connected to "Salamanders" and douse everything with kerosene rather than water. Guy Montag, the central character, is one such fireman.

The principal concept of Bradbury's book is quite simple: In this future society, books are banned; those caught with them lose their homes to the burning, kerosene-fueled fire of the firemen; books aren't simply burned, so are the homes that contained the books and their owners are jailed, for owning books is against the law. Guy Montag enjoys his work enforcing these laws and societal norms, moving through his life never really questioning. Montag's rote living also soon takes a turn when he meets his new neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, a free-spirited and free-thinking girl who disturbs Montag's world with all her questions about why people don't talk to one another and don't think. Then one day a book seems to magically make its way into Montag's hand, then his coat, then his home, and then more books follow.

While the concept of Bradbury's book is very simple, the underlying themes are quite complex, and despite being written over 50 years ago, it's a bit scary how Farenheit 451 so closely touches on many aspects of our society today, even if we don't burn books. In the society of this text, the government did not simply decide that banning books was the way to best suppress reading and, thus, thinking. Instead, the government simply responded to society's desires to suppress any literature that could be considered pejorative or disturbing to anyone. Additionally, people became increasingly infatuated with television whose "characters" soon came to represent their "families". This, coupled with the need for instant gratification and the idea that everyone should be happy every second of everyday, simply fueled the loss free-thinking society and, thus, of literature.

For such a slim book, it's quite a powerful text, that really makes you stop and think "What if"? And after finishing the book, I found myself wondering why it had taken me so long to actually pick up a copy and read it, which is something that I rarely think with any book, despite all the talk that many receive. (Frankly, as someone who was an English major in college and graduate school, I found myself a bit perplexed that I had never had to read the book for a class.)

In addition to the book itself, I found myself drawn back to not only the original introduction to the text, but also the forward written in 1993 and the new introduction written in 2003, which was included in the particular edition I read--the 50th anniversary edition. I must say that it's rare that an introduction to a book moves or provokes me, but the introductions and the forward to this book did just that. I found myself not only laughing at times but also nearly moved to tears. The description of how Fahrenheit 451 actually came to be a short novel is well worth reading on it's own and only adds to the depth of the book itself.

Fahrenheit 451 is definitely well worth the read. ( )
  slpwhitehead | Jan 17, 2016 |
Written in 1953 Farenheit 451, which gets its title from the degree at which paper burns, is a slim text depicting a dystopian hedonistic society whch values nothing more than mindless happiness and in which books are burned by "firemen" whose hoses are connected to "Salamanders" and douse everything with kerosene rather than water. Guy Montag, the central character, is one such fireman.

The principal concept of Bradbury's book is quite simple: In this future society, books are banned; those caught with them lose their homes to the burning, kerosene-fueled fire of the firemen; books aren't simply burned, so are the homes that contained the books and their owners are jailed, for owning books is against the law. Guy Montag enjoys his work enforcing these laws and societal norms, moving through his life never really questioning. Montag's rote living also soon takes a turn when he meets his new neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, a free-spirited and free-thinking girl who disturbs Montag's world with all her questions about why people don't talk to one another and don't think. Then one day a book seems to magically make its way into Montag's hand, then his coat, then his home, and then more books follow.

While the concept of Bradbury's book is very simple, the underlying themes are quite complex, and despite being written over 50 years ago, it's a bit scary how Farenheit 451 so closely touches on many aspects of our society today, even if we don't burn books. In the society of this text, the government did not simply decide that banning books was the way to best suppress reading and, thus, thinking. Instead, the government simply responded to society's desires to suppress any literature that could be considered pejorative or disturbing to anyone. Additionally, people became increasingly infatuated with television whose "characters" soon came to represent their "families". This, coupled with the need for instant gratification and the idea that everyone should be happy every second of everyday, simply fueled the loss free-thinking society and, thus, of literature.

For such a slim book, it's quite a powerful text, that really makes you stop and think "What if"? And after finishing the book, I found myself wondering why it had taken me so long to actually pick up a copy and read it, which is something that I rarely think with any book, despite all the talk that many receive. (Frankly, as someone who was an English major in college and graduate school, I found myself a bit perplexed that I had never had to read the book for a class.)

In addition to the book itself, I found myself drawn back to not only the original introduction to the text, but also the forward written in 1993 and the new introduction written in 2003, which was included in the particular edition I read--the 50th anniversary edition. I must say that it's rare that an introduction to a book moves or provokes me, but the introductions and the forward to this book did just that. I found myself not only laughing at times but also nearly moved to tears. The description of how Fahrenheit 451 actually came to be a short novel is well worth reading on it's own and only adds to the depth of the book itself.

Fahrenheit 451 is definitely well worth the read. ( )
  slpwhitehead | Jan 16, 2016 |
In a world where buildings are completely fireproof it would seem that a fireman's job would no longer be necessary. Guy Montag is a fireman and his job is to light fires in which books and the homes of those who hide their books are consumed in flames. The government has declared that books are illegal but it is actually the thoughts and ideas that books inspire in readers that is the main concern. Guy lives with his wife Mildred in a typical suburban home where the walls are giant televisions and every day Mildred becomes a participant with her tv 'families' while never having to leave her own living room. When Guy meets a young neighbor named Clarisse she tells him of stories she has read that put modern society to shame and that at one time, many years ago, fireman acutally put extinguished fires. Clarisse disappears soon after this encounter and Mildred attempts suicide causing Guy to rethink his job and his destruction of the written word. He has actually been secreting books in his home for many years but someone is about to blow the whistle on Montag and his hidden stash.

This was an intriguing look at censorship and the 'dumbing-down' of society to keep the people under control. Montag is certainly an earnest character if not always heroic. It is nearly heartbreaking when he begins to realize the horrific consequences that would follow complete destruction of literature and sometimes the destruction of those who refused to give up their books. I enjoyed the story (somehow I missed this one in high school) but found it a bit wordy at times. Bradbury certainly wrote a terrifying tale.
( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
Ray Bradbury has imagined a disturbing future in which firemen are no longer needed to put out fires as all homes have been made fireproof. Instead, they start fires when anyone is caught with a book. Reading and owning books has become a crime and every home is equipped with wall-sized interactive televisions on each wall. So Ray Bradbury asks, what if. What if someone, a fireman perhaps, decides to break the cycle and try to turn the world on it's head?

I found this to be an utterly fascinating read. I loved the way in which Guy Montag's mindset shifted from that of a fireman who loved his job, to someone who hated everything it stood for and would do whatever it took to tear the whole structure apart. Unfortunately, it read more as a short story and less as a full-length novel. I would have liked if the novel had delved a little more into Guy and his transition. It just needed more detail, otherwise a fantastic novel and one that I keep finding my mind going back to. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
Yeah, ya know... I had never read this before, strange, since it is a classic and I'm a fantasy/sci-fi fan... but I just couldn't make this happen. It was just too dated... plus, I am really not a fan of the whole 'hip-jazzy-beat' kind of writing with the short staccato riffs and all the trying to be artsy, etc... not my cup of tea. Almost disappointed in myself for not liking it more. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Jan 15, 2016 |
In this future America the life of ordinary people is filled with noise and senseless activity to the point where there is no time for thinking and talking about anything meaningful. The reading of books has progressively been abandoned and then banned for stirring unwelcome confusing thought. Now that all the buildings have become fireproof, the firemen are engaged in burning books and the homes of people who are denounced for reading them. In this world fireman Guy Montag encounters the daughter of a neighbor on the streets and as they start talking, she does something entirely out of his experience: she ponders the question before answering and poses her own question in such a way as getting Montag to start thinking as well, starting him on a path that will change his life. For the first time in a very long time he actually starts to feel alive.

Reading this book and thinking about it being written in the 1950s is pretty astonishing. In the way Guy's wife Mildred surrounds herself with the 'family' - online people that interact with her on the TV walls in their apartment - reminds me very much of the online friendships in our world. And the way information is broadcast, picking up a topic and condensing it to the max until it becomes nearly meaningless, then repeating it over and over again sounds familiar in this information age. At first glance this dystopia seems to be pretty comfortable if rather boring - until one looks closer and sees the lack of connection in the protagonists. Fascinating read.
( )
  sushicat | Jan 14, 2016 |
(Mild Spoilers)

I find it slightly hard to review this book because, although I really enjoyed it, I found it slightly confusing. I thought the idea behind it was good and it really made me think. Although I have always understood that banned books is a very bad thing, I never truly thought about the implications. What happens to freedom of religion if no one can read their holy book? What happens to free thought and the ability to make a decision that is different to what others tell you to think if you can't look at the thoughts of different individuals? I had never thought about these things before. I also was aware of the fact that these people were trying to make a utopia, but is happiness truly happiness if you have never experienced sadness or pain?

There were things that confused me though that made my reading experience slightly less enjoyable: Why was there "451" on their helmets? I think this was supposed to be symbolic of something but I missed it completely. I felt like the book being stolen was written as a huge act of defiance from a previously innocent person, but then later we found out that he had stolen books before and so the way that scene was written also confused me. Why was killing someone almost a hobby? I didn't quite get that.

I feel like maybe I will need to read this again in a few years time. I am not sure if maybe it requires some life experience, that I do not have at 18, in order to understand this book more fully. However, I still think it was a good book to read and it made me stop and think about things. I would still recommend this to young adults though as I feel it contains important themes that we need to consider as we continue to advance technologically. ( )
  Stella-T | Jan 14, 2016 |
I read it *solely* to help my high schooler with her homework - she did well on her work and on the tests, and while I can see why it is assigned reading, it wasn't for my taste and I would not have chosen it for pleasure. ( )
  ER1116 | Jan 13, 2016 |
Doesn't hold up over time. Dull. ( )
  killerX | Jan 8, 2016 |
Whenever new readers of science fiction ask for book recommendations they often include one proviso that the books recommended should not be older than 20 years. This constraint is a crying shame, while there are many great scifi books that written since the 80s, in my estimation the very best scifi of all time were written prior to the 70s, and these books generally stand the test of time. Some readers are put off by old sf books because the science or technology portrayed in these books did not come to pass or just turned out to be plain wrong. I do not think it is the job of science fiction to predict the future, I think the whole point is to speculate about possible futures. For me the "thought experiments" are the real joy of reading science fiction.

Fahrenheit 451 was first published in 1953, how is that for old? Yet the themes it tackles remain relevant today. Even though Bradbury never set out to "predict" future technology, this book is surprisingly prescient in the tech department: portable audio players, enormous flat screen TVs, electronic surveillance, and ATM machines are all mentioned here. That said Bradbury was always been more interested in how technology affect people. It is often said that Fahrenheit 451 is about censorship but the author refuted this when he talked about this book (see Wikipedia entry). He was more interested in how technology, particularly television and radio, can turn people into mindless, self centered individuals.
“I plunk the children in school nine days out of ten. I put up with them when they come home three days a month; it's not bad at all. You heave them into the 'parlour' and turn the switch. It's like washing clothes; stuff laundry in and slam the lid.” Mrs. Bowles tittered. “They'd just as soon kick as kiss me. Thank God, I can kick back! “ The women showed their tongues, laughing.
That little quote sums the theme up nicely. I doubt Bradbury in his 90s was at all happy about the prevalence of reality TV shows and Facebook. As for censorship I would say it is one of the themes but not the overriding one by any means.

As is the norm for Bradbury the prose style of this book is lyrical without ever being inaccessible, with that wonderfully unique Bradbury rhythm, it seems to be more metaphor-laden than his other works that I have read though. The characters do not seem to be as vivid as those found in [b:Something Wicked This Way Comes|248596|Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2)|Ray Bradbury|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1409596011s/248596.jpg|1183550] and [b:The Martian Chronicles|76778|The Martian Chronicles|Ray Bradbury|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1374049948s/76778.jpg|4636013]. The protagonist Guy Montag is sympathetic but he seems to be somewhat aloof to me. More interesting is Captain Beatty, the main antagonist (if I can call him that), considering his anti-books stance he is very well read, intelligent, and enigmatic. He reminds me of the smooth talking villains of the other well known dystopian books, O'Brien from [b:1984|5470|1984|George Orwell|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348990566s/5470.jpg|153313] and Mustapha Mond from [b:Brave New World|5129|Brave New World|Aldous Huxley|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327865608s/5129.jpg|3204877]. The major difference is Beatty is not really a bad guy.

An important and highly readable book, I do not love it as much as [b:Something Wicked This Way Comes|248596|Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2)|Ray Bradbury|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1409596011s/248596.jpg|1183550] and [b:The Martian Chronicles|76778|The Martian Chronicles|Ray Bradbury|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1374049948s/76778.jpg|4636013], but rating it below five stars would seem a bit ridiculous to me. ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
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