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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 (original 1953; edition 2001)

by Ray Bradbury

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30,87055526 (4.03)1 / 968
Zeruhur's review
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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Another one of those books that I should have read a long time ago but I'm glad that I finally did.
Wow...talk about a man ahead of his time. This was amazing...I was completely hooked after the first 20 pages and it just kept getting better. Do kids you think that kids today might understand the concepts in here better than we did when we were in school? So much is so close to what was imagined here...makes you truly think about where we are and where we are going. ( )
  gopfolk | Dec 18, 2014 |
This chapter book involves a society in which all books are prohibited. The main character, Ray, rejects the government ban on books. His rejection of the government lands him in serious danger.

Students wil learn of the value of books and their powerful nature. I loved reading this interesting perspective.
  mollybeaver | Dec 18, 2014 |
I think what got to me the most about this novel was how certain similarities could be drawn to our own time. I think I could actually write an English lit class-worthy paper on the topic, but I will not. Just trust me on this thought -- there is still much to be learned from the lessons in this book. ( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
Fahrenheit 451 was my favorite novel to teach back when I was still a teacher. It was before I turned full-time writer, and I enjoyed 6 years of teaching this novel. Mostly I loved teaching it because it forced students to think and to question, to really analyze what freedom is and what our government really does for us. Fahrenheit 451 does a great job of kicking at people’s cognitive dissonance.

While the book’s main focus is the dangers of reading (which leads to having actual thoughts and possibly protesting against wrongs), there are warnings woven into the pages. Important warnings I think everyone should take note of.

Definitely one of the best in SF/F.

Read the rest of the review here: www.ravenoak.net. ( )
  kaonevar | Nov 12, 2014 |
Fahrenheit 451 is a science-fiction novel containing an invigorating plot and a chillingly accurate depiction of the future from when the novel was written. Author Ray Bradbury characterizes protagonist Guy Montag as a mindless drone who is content with his job as a book burner in the dystopian setting he lives in. Guy is changed however, after meeting an open-minded 17 year old girl named Clarisse McClellan who recognized all of the flaws in society and appreciated nature. This gives Guy an epiphony and serves as the catalyst that speeds up Guy's realization that books are to be preserved, as they contain useful knowledge and allow people to escape from the mindless chasm that they are so deeply stuck in. This gives Guy an incentive to take a stand against the oppressive authority, leading to the internal and external conflicts of society vs. what is right. This conflict is the basis behind Guy's emotionally backed "radical" actions that proceed to happen in the rest of the novel. This book is good for anyone who loves a good science fiction novel, and for those interested in other dystopian society books such as "The Giver." ( )
  Gus_Kasper | Nov 2, 2014 |
Is the human race evolving or devolving? Ray Bradbury tackles this issue in the novel Fahrenheit 451. In a society taking place in the not-too-distant future, Bradbury imagines a world in which humans have lost their imagination. In this society, all of the characters have been striped of free will and thinking. One of the aspects of this book that make it so appealing to readers is the accurate depiction of today's society when it was written. Unbelievably, Mr. Bradbury's nightmare of the downfall of society is beginning today. Books are swiftly loosing value, as electronic books are gaining popularity. Television viewers are spending too much time becoming obsessed with a show, and lose time to do more productive things in life. One facet of this book that makes it worth reading is that it addresses the fault in our society that is constantly overlooked.
Another reason why Fahrenheit 451 is worth reading is that it challenges us to think outside the box. Many of the worlds best inventions have come from people who differed from the normal point of view. What makes Montag a great protagonist is that he breaks the rules. Many protagonists in major novlels are praised for being altruistic and noble. Montag is a brilliant protagonist because he isn't rule bound and isn't sure how to accomplish his plan. It is his rebellion that makes him a hero.
An awful aspect of this book is the relationship between Guy Montag and his wife Mildred. The two don't talk to each other much, will not have children, and truly don't love each other. Though I loved most of the remixes of this novel, this is an idea that I hope will never come to fruition. As long as society exists, I hope love will never die.
For the most part, Fahrenheit 451 is a terrific tale of a curious fire starter who questions authority. If you feel as though you are bored of reading, you must try Fahrenheit 451. ( )
  AidanCoffey | Nov 2, 2014 |
An orgy of words. And proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 19, 2014 |
No doubt this is a classic and epic story that has made a massive impact on literature in general and science fiction specifically. But it is also a simple and a bit naïve and predictable story. I am amazed by the visionary writing - a good number of predictions made in 1950 has come true in 2014 - but I found the first half somewhat dreary and the second half a bit preachy. Still, I was moved by the story, the ingenuity of the book burning idea in particular, and the ending definitely made me think. I am glad I have read it, but while George Orwell's 1984 was life changing, Fahrenheit 451 is merely fascinating. ( )
  petterw | Oct 19, 2014 |
An incredibly solid book, that encapsulates the society that we live in, even though it was written over 60 years ago. We've become so absorbed with the technology world around us, our attention spans are getting shorter, we only ever want the most briefest of informations. To be able to have 'knowledge' without effort, and to talk without discrimination. This book discusses, and raises many points along these lines. Can we truly understand the totalitarian nature of the media? Newspapers are dying. Why? People want a faster, easier solution. Technology is drowning our world, and this book shows the eventuality of this fact. That if we allow books to die, what will happen. This book is a perfect example, and tool to understand the worlds of the people that live in places like North Korea and China. Places where having a bible is a crime, and you'll be arrested without trial. We see throughout this extraordinary book, a writing style that is very rare within this modern society. One that grips the imagination, and draws you in. Where everything is talked about in descriptive language, metaphors, and similes, and words that aren't associated to anything within the book, but are left for us to hold, and associate to what we believe it might be, through our own understanding of the world around us, in our context. One of the things that I loved throughout the entire book, was the concept of a 'spark'. We it through the burning of the books, through a child, Clarisse, that Guy Montag meets, being the spark to his thoughts. The concepts of different fires, but with the overarching theme that fire, is cleansing. I would recommend this book to anyone, because even though it is a 'classic', and a very different writing style, it is an easy read, that doesn't require much thought. ( )
  Adurna101 | Oct 1, 2014 |
Good book. Writing was great, perhaps a little self indulgent at times. The only problem I had was with the conflicting philosophies, a little shallow at times to be so concerned with the individual and his ability to think critically then at the end sort of delve into the wicked notion of self sacrifice. I know the story called for it, to some extent it may have been necessary, the story is the master after all.

But over all a very well written and instructive, if not frightening, book. ( )
  DanielAlgara | Sep 26, 2014 |

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 25, 2014 |
Goodreads Synopsis: The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.

Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.

My Review: I read this book for my English class, I'd heard good things, but I wasn't expecting to fall in love with it like I did. I read this book in almost one sitting. I didn't realize how much I really loved Ray Bradbury's work until I started reading it for school, and I'm definitely going to have to read more. I definitely recommend reading it for anyone who hasn't yet, and that's surprising if you haven't, it's over 60 years old! Which is crazy! His work in this book predicted the future, quite literally, even if he didn't mean to do that. TV's that take up whole walls? Bluetooth's? Everyone's addicted to Prozac? It's like he knew what was going to happen. The characters in this book are amazing, definitely seem like real people, and they're not forced to act, it's like they told him the story and he wrote it down. It flows together amazingly. I could totally imagine this book being real, only black and white and with people from the fifties, or at least that's how I imagine it to be. It seems amazingly futuristic, but not so much, if that makes sense. There's no flying cars, there's no robots taking over, there's no alien invasions. The world is the same world as it is now, only technology has advanced. I don't know what else to say. This book is amazing and I couldn't put it down for a second while I was reading it. I loved it. It's actually one of the few books that I would read again and again, which doesn't happen very often. Thanks for reading.

(Radioactivebookreviews.wordpress.com) ( )
  aurora.schnarr | Sep 24, 2014 |
In the distant future somewhere in a "normal" city, firemen burn books because books might bring new ideas. This isn't a government edict, but the culture of the time. Everyone needs to be alike, progress is all important, everything is objectively examined from relationships to politics. Guy Montag is a fireman who never questions his assignment of burning whatever books that can be found even searching houses looking for them. A chance encounter with a young woman Clarisse, causes him to take a new look eventually rejecting his position. ( )
  maryreinert | Sep 22, 2014 |
Well-written but disturbing book. As a book-lover, it was very hard for me to stomach the whole 'burn the books' concept, but the reasons behind it were actually well thought out, although completely crazy (to me, anyway). The giant wall-TVs reminded me very much of the telescreens in 1984, and the idea of the Mechanical Hound made me squirm. The ending, while being slightly abrupt, was like seeing that first ray of sunshine after a thunderstorm. Definitely a book I will be re-reading in the future. ( )
  DarkDagon | Sep 21, 2014 |
O carte cu mesaj, o carte despre... cărţi. Tot timpul lecturii m-am gândit la 1984 al lui Orwell si la Zona Crepusculară. ( )
  mariusgm | Sep 12, 2014 |
a great classic... should be a MUST read for all ( )
1 vote SpiritedTruthSeeker | Aug 5, 2014 |
This is long overdue. It is a great book to read. The whole premise of thinking of thoughts that have meaning, that could linger, that could continue into dialogue and conversations, is link to the availability of books, the interest we put into books, and how books help and train us into thinking longer than "Like".

The age of Facebook, and WhatApp have made me worry a bit about how to carry a conversation with something deeper than model wearing golden bikinis.

(spoiler show)
How could that happen?

Well, it is happening? It is worrying when people stop reading. People start commenting that "Inception", the movie, is too complicated. (It is a movie, for crying out loud.)

I don't know how to go on without books. They are my friends, my companions for rainy days, and quiet nights.

I hope we will not stop reading.

What is worst than a world of people that don't read? It would be worst if people only read bullshit books, like religious bullshit, anti-science bullshit, the like.

As for burning books, I hope there would not be the day we, the books lovers, have to protect shitty books, like the really bad movie "The day after tomorrow". I would really hate that, to be obligation to protect really shitty books, like the Christian bible or Twilight. Yuck. ( )
  XOX | Jul 30, 2014 |
I had read this book years and years ago in a hotel in Salt Lake City, where the idea of burning all books, except one, of course, seemed unnervingly apt. Not long ago, I kind and generous LT member of the Folio Society Devotees got a defective version from the FS and offered her damaged copy to anyone, just for the asking, since the Society wasn't interested in getting it back. Well you're listening to the lucky winner. And what a wonderful edition! The problem with the copy is that, somehow, the pages had gotten wet and were somewhat stuck together; although with careful handling, they could be separated without consequence to the text or illustrations, other than a little unavoidable crinkling of the paper. How fitting is that? ( )
  jburlinson | Jul 26, 2014 |
In a future world where all homes are fireproof, what is left for firemen to do? Start fires and burn books. Books might lead to individualism. The state desires conformity and uses mass media to that end. A constant stream of mass media makes it difficult to cultivate an inner life. When fireman Guy Montag's unusual neighbor, 17-year-old Clarisse, opens his eyes to the world outside the influence of mass media, he begins to question his way of life. His questioning leads to a growing estrangement with his wife and ultimately endangers his life.

Some of the future that Ray Bradbury imagined in the 1950s has come to pass, like the wall-to-wall home entertainment system and electronic tracking mechanisms. However, in some ways technology has moved beyond what Bradbury imagined. The pendulum has swung back toward individualism with the proliferation of cable channels, the seemingly endless choices of streaming media on the Internet, and Google's personalized ads and search results. However, with giant corporations controlling large segments of data and the ability of governments to capture, manipulate, or block data, the pendulum may be swinging the other way again.

The audio version I listened to included an afterword by the author with his reflections on the differences between the book and his stage adaptation. He also points out the irony that a book about censorship has been edited to make it more acceptable for classroom use. ( )
  cbl_tn | Jul 17, 2014 |
In this dystopian society, set some time in the future, firemen burn books -- a contraband -- because they provoke thought and conversation of substance. Anyone, who has been reported to be in possession of books in their homes, will have their habitations razed to the ground. Read the story of one fireman who stumbles upon books, and how his views and world are subsequently changed. ( )
  MomsterBookworm | Jul 14, 2014 |
A classic worth reading again. Most of us have read this as an assignment in high school. Depending upon the quality of the teacher, we were either mildly entertained or strongly turned-off. Read it again. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
This is a classic, but reading it now put an extra layer of fear in my heart. It seems so plausible now, with our obsession with reality tv and tv in general ( )
  saradiann | Jun 29, 2014 |
I remember reading this and liking it because of the ultimate take-away, and not so much the story itself. I need to put it on the re-read list to see if my feelings change at all. ( )
  Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
I'm not sure what to make of this book, despite its well established reputation. No doubt the basic story line is compelling- a totalitarian government that has essentially eliminated all independent thinking from its populace by book burning, mind numbing activities (particularly interesting was the interactive television concept), etc.

However, I found Bradbury's writing style at times obtuse, and personally thought the ending was simplistic. ( )
  la2bkk | Jun 14, 2014 |
I will never forget Bradbury's description of that mechanical dog. Ever. ( )
  marthaearly | Jun 6, 2014 |
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