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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 (original 1953; edition 2001)

by Ray Bradbury

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33,29864521 (4.03)1 / 1114
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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Guy Montag is a firefighter in a society that no longer needs firefighters in the same way that we use firefighters. Guy Montag's purpose is to burn any books that are found. The society that Montag lives in does not believe in making anyone feel inferior; therefore, books are illegal to own and read. When Montag meets a teenage girl, he begins his journey to discovering the truth about his society and how he feels about the society in which he lives. Will he continue to burn books, or will he decide that books are necessary for the society to become whole again? ( )
  Kay_Downing | Apr 28, 2016 |
Interesting combination of prescience, profundity and pretentiousness. Clownish portrayal of women, but I guess that can be expected from the 1950s. The narration by Tim Robbins of the audio book was quite good. ( )
  fhudnell | Apr 18, 2016 |
Ray Bradbury, more like RAD Bradbury. This book is full of truths. In this society books are illegal and it is near impossible to find time to think. This keeps people happy similar to a blissful ignorance. The people have repetitive days and this creates a perfect environment for the government to keep the people sort of "brainwashed" and oblivious to the unimportance of each individual persons life. ( )
1 vote CPocock | Apr 14, 2016 |
I have so many mixed emotions about this book. The writing is so choppy, but the message is so important! There was such insight and depth, but the main characters were just so unlikable! It’s a beloved classic and though I came away with a myriad of quotes I want to write all over my walls, I was still a little underwhelmed by the whole experience.

Full review → Joie des Livres ( )
  joiedeslivres | Apr 12, 2016 |
This book would have received 5 stars if I had read it before Brave New World, because it demonstrates the same danger that a life of habit and instant satisfaction can have.

It's an absolute masterpiece. It's fast-paced, which I like for a change, and Guy Montag feels so real, so genuinely upset, and I just can't help but feel that we live in a somewhat similar society, without some of the more extreme aspects.

It's a plea for individuality, all the more relevant today, because technology is rampant in today's society and seems to eliminate real, human interaction wherever it appears.

Guy Montag realizes that democracy is not all that it pretends to be, and that masses can be ignorant and habitual and destructive if they get to decide everything. His fight against the system and the people of his country perhaps asks the reader to do the same, to be a rebel, and to not accept anything that seems logical only out of habit.

  bartt95 | Apr 10, 2016 |
This book is a science fiction novel that shows the reader the value of books by bringing us into a civilization where the firefighters burn books. From the beginning, the main character, Guy Montag, takes us through his journey from being a firefighter and burning books, to finding value within books and treasuring them. At the beginning of the story, he is willing to risk his life in order to burn books, yet at the end, he is willing to risk his life to protect books.
This book is a good example of science fiction because it's futuristic. It describes a world that is different from today and refers to the way the world is today in past tense.
Use: Teach about the value of books; Teach about what books really are.
Genre: Science Fiction
Media: N/A ( )
  Bcruz14 | Apr 9, 2016 |
A book that has been around this long deserves some attention. This book, which explores the theme of life without literature and the education it provides, concludes that life and relationships are nothing without the ability to get below the surface. The book has lasting power because of that theme. When is too much TV too much? (The same can be said for everything). But it was just weird to read about wall TVs, ear phones, and people getting so involved in a show that they don't care about anything else. Here is one of the quotes that stuck with me: "Nobody listens any more. I can't talk to the walls because they are yelling at me. I can't talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough, it will make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read." I do agree with Bradbury that TV is mindless entertainment that feels real because it is so immediate - it feels like "truth" because it is in control. But reading allows you to experience more and make up your own mind. What do you think? See what he means?

( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
How horrifying to be told you can't read, to not be allowed conflicting views, to attempt to make everyone be happy all the time. As a reader, this book was terrifying, I simply can not imagine a world without books in it. True to dystopian form, the government thinks it can control it's people by taking away things we've always seen as basic rights. And heaven forbid someone should question that decision. This book will make you think, and look closer at the world around you and what liberties we are given at this point in time. Not to mention make you think about liberties that we've already lost or are beginning to lose and make you wonder just what's next. We must all learn not to turn a blind eye to government taking over our decisions and telling us things we must or must not do! ( )
  MynTop | Apr 8, 2016 |
One of the better warnings against censorship and government control of information. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
I don't really enjoy Ray Bradbury's writing style. I've read this book and started to read Something Wicked This Way Comes and I've found that neither of them have been able to grab my attention.

I liked the plot of Fahrenheit 451 but it definitely is not one of my favorites... ( )
  bhabeck | Mar 6, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this one. It kept my interest and when I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. It's one I recommend and now own for my favorites shelf. As a suggestion, read the version with an afterword and coda by Ray Bradbury. They add to the experience. "There's more than one way to burn a book." ( )
  MahanaU | Feb 26, 2016 |
His best known novel in a stunning illustrated edition. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Feb 16, 2016 |
In his forward, Bradbury comments that we won't need "firemen" to burn books if society persists in "wide-screen basketball gaming or MTVing itself into a stupor." If people stop reading, why bother burning books?

What would happen if reading were prohibited? If you had to memorize a work of literature in order to "save" it ... which work would you choose?

The date read is when our book group discussed this work, but I first read this work in the early 1970s (I think). ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 10, 2016 |
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 |
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