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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 (original 1953; edition 2001)

by Ray Bradbury

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30,58855426 (4.04)1 / 948
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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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 |
A classic. Steeped in metaphor. Confusing language. And not a bad book. Its brevity was welcomed as it told a certain story. It set it up in the first part, broke it donw in the second, and burned it to all hell in the third. The more i think on it the more i question and think and question and think, which i suppose is always a good thing. The ending (i am sure back then was unique) seems a bit commercially produced, but i guess movies and books end that way for a reason...

It was a pleasure to burn... ( )
  T4NK | Sep 30, 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 |
I've long been a fan of Ray Bradbury, but for some reason, this book was never assigned in school and I'd never gotten around to reading it -- criminal!

Fahrenheit 451, is, of course, the temperature at which paper burns. This is a book set in the future, and firemen no longer put out fires (in fact, they scoff at the notion that firemen of that sort even existed) -- they START fires. Specifically, they burn books.

I expected a book about a land of people fighting the firemen, huge crowds of people clamoring against the burning of these books. What shocked me is Bradbury wrote of a future where people were completely content to live with trivial knowledge and floor-to-ceiling televisions -- televisions that in fact could encompass the entire four walls of a room, where a person could "interact" with insipid and fake families in soap operas.

How sad, and terrifying.

The firemen were there to keep the status quo. Sure, there were small pockets of people who saved books, but philosophy and freedom of thought was definitely NOT encouraged. This book centers around a fireman, Montag, who suffers a crisis of thought, and he starts to save books, only to be turned in by his vapid wife. He runs away, falls in with a small band of scholars who, fearful of being caught WITH books, maintain the books in their head until a day when they hope the world will come back around.

I can't imagine a world without books. I devour them, and read virtually every day. And it's no secret that I love to write, and freedom of expression is important to me. I can't imagine living in a world where this sort of thing would happen -- and yet there are countries NOW where books are burned. This very country, the US, burned books, banned books, and in some cases, books are still banned in some schools and libraries.

I admit -- some books are vile. Books about how to make bombs, for instance, are disgusting. And yet -- the slope becomes slippery awfully darned fast. That's when I believe freedom of speech on MY part comes up. If they have the right to write such things, then *I* have the right to proclaim my thoughts about them.

So I ask you -- is there an instance when you would burn a book? ( )
  limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
excellent book. thought provoking and a scary read. ( )
  rampart_movie | May 30, 2014 |
Ray Bradbury shows the reader in Fahrenheit 451 a world in which people do not only actively shun reading but also in which those with books are hunted down and burnt along with their libraries by "firemen" - firemen who start fires, not douse them. The world of mass consumerism echoes that of [b:Brave New World|5129|Brave New World|Aldous Huxley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327865608s/5129.jpg|3204877] in that people have no time just to think, to be alone in their thoughts, and those that do are shunned or arrested. Guy Montag, the main character, means one such girl called Clarisse who is forced to see a psychiatrist because she asks "why" instead of "how" and focuses on nature rather than on technology. Her initial dialogue with Montag sets in motion the rest of the book as Montag struggles to be free from this dystopia he is allegedly loyal to.

Written during the era of the McCarthy trials, the book deals with the issue of censorship but also, it explores the effects mass media have on people, the alienation from society mass media induce, and how in the never-ending quest for a more simplistic positive image, a quotable sound bite, or the desire not to offend anyone at all, thought in all its forms must be supressed and along with it, books for the guard and keep our thoughts.

This is an excellent piece of dystopian literature, earning its deserved high place in the genre's pantheon and its message is still as pertinent now as when it was written. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
I never had to read for this for school, but I wish I had when I was younger. I found it beautiful, haunting and powerful. What bothered others--the metaphors, style, imagery et al.--is what gave the general themes and plot their power (for me). Anything I say about this book will be cast aside by many as naive ramblings by someone who has showed up late to the game... It has been picked apart by everyone for decades, from sixth graders to high school seniors; from college freshmen to retired English professors--what I think holds little weight. Still, I loved it, it means something to me and I'll remember it. ( )
  AaronKappel | May 22, 2014 |
I read this back in high school. The idea that people would voluntarily burn books was shocking to me. That was something they did in Nazi Germany. (By the way, that's the plotline of the new movie The Book Thief.) I also noticed that there was fireproofing on the buildings, so that nothing other than the books would burn. It reminded me of the neutron bomb that was invented in the late 70s, that would kill the people but leave the buildings intact. What's the point? Anyway, this was back in the late 70s-early 80s, well before the Internet and Kindle. Today, of course, they wouldn't need to actually burn books. One well-placed computer virus could do the same thing. Anyone who knows me knows I like books. I don't want to see them destroyed.

Just got the 60th anniversary edition. A lot of extras added to the novel. ( )
  jmcgarry2011 | May 9, 2014 |
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