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Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

by Ray Bradbury

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
48,15092722 (4.02)1 / 1367
The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoys his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.… (more)
  1. 1003
    1984 by George Orwell (readafew, Booksloth, rosylibrarian, moietmoi, haraldo, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    readafew: Both books are about keeping the people in control and ignorant.
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A man's romance-inspired defiance of menacing, repressive governments in bleak futures are the themes of these compelling novels. Control of language and monitors that both broadcast to and spy on people are key motifs. Both are dramatic, haunting, and thought-provoking.… (more)
  2. 742
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (phoenix7g, meggyweg, Babou_wk, haraldo)
    Babou_wk: Contre-utopie, société future où l'unique but de la vie est le bonheur. Toute pratique requérant de la réflexion est bannie.
  3. 251
    Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Smiler69)
  4. 284
    The Giver by Lois Lowry (thekoolaidmom)
  5. 252
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (jpers36, moietmoi)
  6. 253
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (ateolf)
  7. 182
    Match to Flame: The Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: A great study of how Bradbury came to write Fahrenheit 451 as a progress through his own short stories, letters and drafts. A similar collection of stories but without some of the other material is also available as "A Pleasure To Burn"
  8. 164
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. (goodiegoodie, kristenn)
  9. 82
    The October Country by Ray Bradbury (Booksloth)
  10. 72
    A Gift upon the Shore by M. K. Wren (lquilter)
    lquilter: "A Gift Upon the Shore" is a post-apocalyptic world; some people seek to preserve books and knowledge, but they are seen as a danger to others. Beautifully written.
  11. 50
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (Morteana)
  12. 62
    The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects by Marshall McLuhan (bertilak)
  13. 95
    Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle (allenmichie)
  14. 30
    The Fireman by Joe Hill (sturlington)
  15. 63
    A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-day Iraq by Fernando Báez (bertilak)
  16. 75
    Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (andja)
  17. 53
    Feed by M. T. Anderson (jlynno84)
  18. 20
    Too Loud a Solitude by Bohumil Hrabal (edwinbcn)
  19. 10
    Shadowlife by Martin Grzimek (spiphany)
  20. 65
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (generalkala)
    generalkala: Also concerns book burning and their rescue.

(see all 29 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 854 (next | show all)
This book by Ray Bradbury is spectacular. I confess that I could not put it down until I finished it. The scenario is bleak and can apply to the world we are living in.
Through the ages, tyrants have feared intellectuals. Some have burned books. All of them want to control people.
This is the scenario in which the book has been set.
It applied to America then. It applies to many countries today.
There is madness to the writing. The sentences flow and pull you in until you are sucked into a world that can easily come true.

This is a superb book. It is masterful and serves as a warning to us all. ( )
  RajivC | Aug 27, 2022 |
Esta magnífica novela de Ray Bradbury nos sacude a desenrollar la cortina del conformismo, a pensar, a separarnos de la mayoría, a evitar los espejismos de los medios globalizados de "comunicación", a dudar y a hacernos preguntas constantemente. Un libro que sobrevive a sí mismo retratándose para no morir, es el guardián de una biblioteca. Es por mucho uno mis libros más queridos.
  serxius | Aug 26, 2022 |
I usually don't like dystopian fiction mainly because I am lost and bored after the first few chapters. However, with Fahrenheit 451 I never found myself bored. I think what intrigued me most about this novel besides others was what the subject was about censorship and the every-day-man more than politics and fear.

The main reason I loved this book and the main reason I read this book was for the fact it was about censorship, book banning, and book burning. In college, I did a huge project on the topic leading to my professor recommending this book to me. Took me a few years to remember about reading the book though. I'm glad I picked this up. Books that reference Gulliver's Travels as controversial and more than just a kids book (which isn't not) is a win in my opinion.

The other thing I loved about this book is you could argue that Bradbury is predicting the future. More and more classic books are getting less read and TV is taking over our lives. So many people today talk about a TV show to the point you don't watch it your considered abnormal. People get so invested with the characters the cry over a fictional death, post about it on Facebook, and think it makes them feel any better. To me that's the same thing as Mildred sitting on her butt and talking to the TV with the TV talking to her.

The other thing that floored me with this book is the things he thought of that became inventions many years later. The TV's they had were flat screen TV's that hung on the walls, which are still a new invention. The other thing he talked about were the earbuds. He never called them earbuds, but that’s what they were. Again not invented until after this book was published and after I was born.

There really isn't anything I disliked about this book. To me it's the perfect sci-fi. It's short, easy to read, and it doesn't get boring at the end. I can also see why so many people read it in high school and think we should keep reaching this book to kids, especially in today's world were TV and Netflix are become an addiction. Why read the book when it's a movie or TV show, I feel like most people think these days. I know there's a movie based on this book, but now I feel like it's wrong to watch a movie based on this book.

Read this book before someone like Beatty burns it and tries to kill you. ( )
1 vote Ghost_Boy | Aug 25, 2022 |
is clarisse the first manic pixie dream girl ( )
  bluestraveler | Aug 15, 2022 |
I had long remembered Fahrenheit 451 as a dystopian novel, in which a lone protagonist fights an overbearing and undefeatable authority (as in 1984).

What I had forgotten, until a recent re-read, was how much of an anti-consumer novel it is. This sentiment is not as overt as in, say, Jennifer Government, and is manifested only in what the population tends to do with their time instead of reading. They watch television, "the gibbering pack of tree-apes that said nothing, nothing, nothing and said it loud, loud, loud". They block out their environment and each other with earphones. Their subways are bombarded with advertisements. If video games and smartphones had existed in the '50s, there is no doubt that Bradbury would have included them.

The hated alternative, for which people are ostracized by society, is taking the time to think, to reflect, to appreciate nature, or to engage in conversation. All things which benefit an individual, but not a government or a business. Files are kept even on people who take a solitary walk during the quiet of the twilight hours: these people are obviously nonconformists, and the police reason that they can easily be used as scapegoats in the event that a crime cannot be solved.

There is also an undercurrent of youth-run-amok, a concern that more directly drives other novels (A Clockwork Orange, obviously). "My uncle says his grandfather remembered when children didn't kill each other", says the teenage Clarissa, "Everyone I know is either shouting or dancing around like wild or beating up one another." Faber thinks the problem is more timeless: "Those who don't build must burn. It's as old as history and juvenile delinquents." As Montag makes his escape, a group of teenagers out for a joyride try to run him down.

The book has a few things to say about writing as well. "We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought", insists Fire Captain Beatty. You know. Authors.

Faber denies the political charge of books, observing that books are merely a symptom of a way of life -- an artistic, academic way of life -- that the government has decided to suppress. In my youth, this was easily dismissed as a totalitarian society that could only happen somewhere else. The anti-intellectualism encouraged by the recent Bush administration gave me pause, this time around.

Faber also provides a poignant view on what distinguishes good literature from bad:
The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.

Bradbury's novel of a dark and anti-intellectual future holds up well, even 60 years later. It is too much of a fable to be viewed as prophetic, and too optimistic to be considered a wakeup call. As with all of Bradbury's writing, there are some nice lines and some great imagery. If the characters had been well-drawn, if the plot had seemed less forced, if he had, as it were, "touched life more often" -- this could have been a novel of immense power. ( )
1 vote mkfs | Aug 13, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 854 (next | show all)
Classique parmi les classiques, Fahrenheit 451 est à la SF ce que le Dracula de Stocker est au fantastique. Cette œuvre est une contre-utopie à la mesure du Meilleur des mondes de Huxley ou à 1984 de Orwell. C’est dire…
This intriguing idea might well serve as a foundation on which to build a worst of all possible worlds. And to a certain extent it does not seem implausible. Unfortunately, Bradbury goes little further than his basic hypothesis. The rest of the equation is jerry-built.

» Add other authors (46 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradbury, RayAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aguilar, Julia OsunaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aldiss, Brian W.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Algren, NelsonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Amis, KingsleyContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Atwood, MargaretAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Škvorecký, JosefTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Betjeman, JohnAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bloom, HaroldAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buddingh', CeesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chambon, JacquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crespo, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Achille, GinoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Diamond, DonnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eller, Jonathan R.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Emmerová, JarmilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güttinger, FritzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Highet, GilbertAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoye, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hurt, ChristopherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kayalıoğlu, KorkutTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kayalıoğlu, ZerrinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keyser, GawieForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knight, ArthurAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knipel, CidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lippi, GiuseppeTraduttoresecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, AdrianAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monicelli, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moorcock, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, Joseph A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordin, SivTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parry, IdrisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pepper, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prescott, OrvilleAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prichard, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robbins, TimNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robillot, HenriTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stangl, KatrinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Truffaut, FrançoisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veikat, MarjuToimetaja.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weber, SamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
أحمد خالد توفيقTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"If they give you ruled paper,
write the other way."
Juan Ramón Jiménez
the temperature at which
book-paper catches fire and burns
This one, with gratitude,
is for
Don Congdon
First words
It was a pleasure to burn.
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.
But that's the wonderful things 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.
But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.
I'm afraid of children my own age. they kill each other. Did it always use to be that way? My uncle says no. Six of my firends have been shot in the last year alone. Ten of them died in car wrecks. I'm afraid of them and they don't like me because I'm afraid. My uncle says his grandfather remembered when children didn't kill each other. But that was a long time ago when they had things different. They believed in responsibility, my uncle says. Do you know, I'm responsible. I was spanked when I needed it, years ago. And I do all the shopping and housecleaning by hand.
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. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course you couldn't know this, of course you still can't understand what I mean when I say all this.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This is the original novel by Ray Bradbury, not the 1966 film directed by François Truffaut or any other adaptation.
There are at least 2 works by this name: the novel by Ray Bradbury and its film adaptation. Please do not combine this with either.
Publisher's editors
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The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires, and he enjoys his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames. He never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid and a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

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Book description
"The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning... along with the houses in which they were hidden." Fahrenheit 451 is an enlightening story that is almost daunting. In a place where firemen build fires to burn books, this story is somewhat forboding because although it may seem extreme, it causes the reader to look at how much we take books and freedom for granted. Guy Montag goes outside the norm of a society where relationships are based on material things in order to try to discover how life would be if one were to actually think and live for themselves instead of being told what to do and how to behave.

AR level 5.2, 7 pts
Haiku summary
A fireman burns books
But then he dares to read one
And goes on the lam

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