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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 (original 1953; edition 2001)

by Ray Bradbury

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32,00259124 (4.04)1 / 1062
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 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 |
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 |
I wonder whether or not Ray Bradbury was able to see into the future. We certainly don't burn books en masse as in the case of Guy Montag, but ever-present television has come to invade all elements of Western life.

My favorite part of this book is the discussion of the two political candidates, Hoag and Noble. Hoag is short, fat, and unattractive, while Noble plays the part of a good looking and well dressed young politician. No discussion of anything resembling goals, policies, or visions, just amazement among several of the characters that anyone would ever consider voting for somebody that looked like Hoag.

In other words, ignorance is bad, folks. If there's anything to be taken away from Bradbury's work, it's that books help people escape ignorance and live a more fulfilled life. Most of the characters in this book have never read anything other than headlines from the evening news, and their lives are incredibly empty and confused for it. A few examples - the regularity and blase nature that people go out for 100 mph car rides in the middle of the night to escape sadness, an incredibly high suicide rate, total detachment from actual emotional connections with other people, the list goes on.

The book has holes, but it's value overcomes all of that. A must read.

4/5 for a strong message, well rounded characters, and a unique storyline ( )
1 vote bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
This book would be good to look at when talking about how the future might be different. I think students would like this book because of how different the world could be. ( )
  Kate_Schulte078 | May 4, 2015 |
Prophetic book about the dangers of PC police, written in the fifties. ( )
  brone | May 1, 2015 |
Uma excelente alegoria sobre os perigos do anti-intelectualismo e da censura, razoavelmente bem fundamentada. Mas não se iguala a 1984 (Orwell), Nós (Zamyatin) e Admirável Mundo Novo (Huxley), que pensaram questões filosóficas em nível mais elevado e nos deram cenários mais plausíveis nos quais o espírito humano é destroçado. Fahrenheit 451 é antes um sinal de alerta, simplista e de foco mais estreito. Também excessivamente didático, pouco nuançado, nada sutil quanto à formulação de sua mensagem. Faltou-lhe o verniz filosófico - de resto super-abundante na ficção contemporânea (p.ex. em The Matrix) - de outras distopias. ( )
  jgcorrea | Apr 24, 2015 |
I would have expected this pretentious crap from hacks like Ayn Rand. I suppose my memories of loving to read Ray Bradbury as a teenager could have been chalked up to naive ignorance. This would not have been the first book I've re-read and changed my rating. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Impressed me when I was young and reading everything by Bradbury because I'd loved Dandelion Wine so much, and also impressed me when I read it because our library was promoting it as a community read. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Yes, but Kindle.
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |

Guy Montag is a fireman, but not like the firemen we know. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

This is a classic, and a great one to read and reread. Bradbury takes a believable world, and chooses a possible path to a future that no one should want to exist. It's a great example of why I love scifi books. It's the chance to look around and ask what if. Then, you can take that what if and run. Here, the idea of people watching more television and eventually stop reading changes how life is lived. We follow Montag who goes from unquestioning, no-thought living to wanting to read. He begins to look around and see the world he lives in to find things that are better than walls that are televisions. He learns to question things. It shows a very believable future that can still happen if tv's grow so large they take up entire walls (how far are we really from this already?), pop culture being more important that reading and learning (practically there), and thoughtful consideration being so discouraged it's illegal.
( )
  jessica_reads | Mar 24, 2015 |
An excellent read for a rainy day! A deep, thoughtful experience that leads you though the emotional journey that Mr. Montag experiences as the protagonist, and the development he receives through the book. Bradbury does an excellent job conveying the urgency and the feeling of the world spinning around the character as the reality of this dystopian future sets in his mind. In the surprisingly short time that Clarisse is in the book, we are emotionally connected from her from the start. The investment that Montag gives her is enough to make us care about what happens to her- (What did ever happen to her, anyways?) . The surrounding characters provide the grey washed out-ness that Bradbury is trying to convey about this future of bland, boring people, conformed into the same iron mold. The only thing I begrudge this book is that Beatty feels like a strange pawn to shout exposition. The quotes, while somewhat appropriate, seem to be more of a "tack out the quotes, shout more quotes; MORE QUOTES!!!!!! Are you confused yet? MORE QUOTES!" He does make for an interesting antagonist, though, and the interaction between Montag and Betty is intriguing. ( )
  Hide_The_Books | Mar 22, 2015 |
a brilliant novella that really stuck a deep chord in me. The idea of a society in which books are outlaws and new ideas wither and die is the kind of stff that keeps me up at night. Just an absolutely captivating read as we follow the journey of a 'fireman', who job is to seek out rogue book hoarders and scorch their trove to ashes. ( )
  nmg1 | Mar 20, 2015 |
Ear thimbles playing music constantly. Wall TV. Women starving themselves until they look like bacon strips. Actual police chases televised in living color. Kids tearing around in cars at insane speeds just for something to do. The country at war and nobody knows why. A total disconnect with the natural world. Does any of this sound even the least bit familiar? Bradbury's classic is a first-rate thriller that will never get old. ( )
1 vote JMlibrarian | Mar 3, 2015 |
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