If you love books, read this. It will tear your heart out to think of all the ideas in books being set to flame. If you're a slow reader, this will make you want to speed up. If you're a fast reader, this will make you want to speed-read. This books presents a future of little questioning and ultimate control. If you are a bibliophile, this book will stir your soul. I cannot recommend it enough.
Quite a scary book. 451 degrees is the temp at which paper burns. Quite a terrible thought for anyone that belongs to a club like this! And to think it is true in some countries - and could be in ours if we don't watch out!
Throughout high school, this book was always on the summer reading list. For one reason or another, I never chose to read it. I wish I had taken the time to read this sooner. Fahrenheit 451 now has a spot on my list of favorite books and I have already started recommending it to people.
I greatly enjoyed this book but was surprisingly disappointed by the ending. I don't really know what I was expecting. I felt like the ending was lacking compared to the rest of the story. I also didn't like what happened with Clarisse. She wasn't a great character, but I thought there could have been more of an explanation.
Everyone who loves books should read this one. Read and keep reading in case we're no longer allowed to in the future.
This is probably one of my favorite books of all time. I read it back in the 70's and loved it. I bought it for my daughter in the 90's and loved it again. Once again I got this book for my son 5 years ago and read it for the third time. This is a MUST READ for all readers. Anyone that says it is unbelievable has their head in the sand. This book will stay with you forever, the definition of a classic!!
I read this book once as a teenager and enjoyed it then. Surprisingly, it stood the test of time and I enjoyed it as much now. I found the issues it covered to be even more relevant today.
For such a short book, there is an incredible amount of material to think about, discuss and analyze. While it is unlikely that books will be banned in the near future, "political correctness" and censorship is alive and well and will only get worse as media increasingly represents the interests of the corporate elite and literature is simplified and edited of anything that may be considered "offensive."
This book is more true today then it was when it was first written. Forget TV, Movies, and doing something every minute of the day. Everyone needs to sit back and read a book now and then. More so now than ever.
Any book worth its salt will offend someone in some way; and if it makes you question why, all the better. The power of this book is not in the simplistic tale of a society where fireman set fires and burn books, not because it's illegal to own them, but because it's a crime to read them. Rather, it's the insidious nature of censorship that fascinated Bradbury. In the Coda at the end of the book, he vehemently protests any defanging of books in pursuit of political correctness. "For it is a mad world," he writes, "and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics."
In an interesting passage halfway through Fahrenheit, Bradbury discusses where good books derive their magic - the way they "stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us" - as well as their proper context and purpose: 1. for a book to be considered good, it must contain "truthfully recorded details of life"; 2. there should be an appropriate amount of leisure time to contemplate & digest what you've read; 3. based on what you've read & digested - proceeding to act thoughtfully.
"Fahrenheit 451" is a dark tale that warns about the limits of censorship. The greatness of this book is how it takes you on a shocking and inflammatory journey and drops you off wondering "if this could ever happen" where you live. Great fiction does more than entertain briefly. It makes us think...Highly recommended as an introduction to Bradbury.
This book, considered a classic, is a very quick read, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's nothing worth merit! "Fahrenheit 451" is an excellent dystopic novel, set in a future where firemen burn books to suppress freethought and learning. Stated by the author as a warning against the "evils" of television, the reader of this book can also take away lessons of censorship and totalitarianism. A must-read, especially for people who think reading is unimportant. This will wake them up!
This is a great book. For all Ray Bradbury fans, this is a must read. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading and thinks that it is a shame when others do not understand the joy and importance of reading.
I'm a firm believer of the adage 'knowledge is power.' Bradbury's classic of a totalitarian world where books are burned, individuality is considered suspicious behavior, and intellect is punishable by death, has continued to appeal to my unwavering belief after all these years since my first exposure to this work in the eighth grade.
Though I appreciated the style of this young- adult novel more when I was a younger adult, the message is more chilling now than it has ever been. Sadly, Montag's world of little substance where society treasures things rather than one another seems more applicable today than when Bradbury penned it so many decades ago.
This is the second time Ive read this book, and its even more engaging than I remember. While my first experience with the book had an excellent shock factor, the second reading allowed me to better appreciate the disturbing similarities our world possesses to the society Bradbury has created in the story.
There is something poetic in reading a book about not being allowed to read books.
I originally read this back in the early 1970s and after rereading, I'm surprised at how well this holds up and how relevant it is today. As most people know, the book is about a future dystopian society that makes it a crime to read books. Its fire department is used to burn books and of course Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books burn. The society the novel portrays is very close to the society of today where endless hours are spent viewing meaningless TV programs on room size monitors and the rest of the time listening to "earshell" radio. The society has itself to blame for the ban on books because of its disinterest in reading and learning. Bradbury was very prophetic in this where today people use their earbuds to listen to their iPods and view meaningless reality programs on widescreen television. The protagonist of the novel, Montag, starts out as one of the book-burning firemen but comes to realize the importance of books and of remembering the past. I also remember seeing the movie version of this when it first came out in the 1960s.. The movie was directed by François Truffaut and was a very good adaptation of the novel. I'll be looking out for it to see how it holds up. Overall, a high recommendation for this one.
A classic. Guy Montag, a man whose job it is to start fires, enjoys his job very much. He never considered how much joy and pleasure he had watching pages and pages being consumed by the flames, until her met her. She, a simple young seventeen-year-old, told him of a past where people were not afraid of what was out there. Books banned, thrown about, burned. Montag changes the whole image, he risks his job, his family, everything for justice and for the right thing to be done. An exceptional book full of real life problems we seem to still face today, Ray Bradbury takes a simple plot and turns it into something amazing. A must read for everyone.
I lamented not reading this sooner, but I think it worked out better this way. I don't think it would have resonated nearly as well to my teenage self as it does to me today. Hard to believe that the book is 60 years old when it continues to be even more relevant today. It never hurts to be reminded that popular culture and technology do have their place, but nothing can replace education, talking and connecting with other people, and thinking for yourself.
This is a book I should have read back when I was a teen, but somehow I never did.
The book is about a fireman named Guy Montag, living in an America where books are illegal. Those who own them are whisked away for re-education, and their books are burned by the firemen. Books, after all, contain ideas, and those ideas can be dangerously subversive and interfere with the happiness that is everyone's God-given right.
There are essentially two poles that Montag moves between, and each is revelatory in what it says about America as it may have been, and America as it may be. The first pole is Clarisse, an unusual 17-year-old who stops to enjoy the world around her. She smells flowers, listens to the wind, and becomes the voice of How Things Used to Be, when people talked with one another, and neighbors knew one another, and people stopped to enjoy themselves and allowed themselves to be miserable at times. She's the naif innocent, but she represents the purity of what even 60 years ago Bradbury sensed was being lost.
The opposite pole is Beatty, the fire chief. He's slick, he's polished, and he's the ardent apologist for the cold new world. He talks about how dumbing ourselves down has led to greater contentment and happiness. Ideas are simple and sterile, and being entertained has become the goal of every person.
And just think, Bradbury wrote this before the days of widescreen TV, before we had 24-hour cable and satellite signals, and before the advent of the Internet with its personalized entertainment options.
It's amazing how relevant this book still is to today's society. It's written gorgeously, and though it's a short read, quite captivating. I finished in a span of several hours and feel it time well spent.
I can't believe I haven't read this book before. It was amazing. It's a small little gem, but it really made me stop and think. It revolves around a society that is more interested in doing things, keeping busy, and being 'happy' and avoids even bans reading or thinking. Divergent thoughts are enemies to this society so they've collectively decided that the best way to combat that is to burn books.
Firemen now set fires instead of putting them out in this society. Guy Montag is the protaganist of this story, and as a fireman he has burned books, and the houses that contained them for 10 years. It's a really compelling read to watch Guy change from an enthusiastic fireman to a fugitive that is hoarding books. It's a classic story about censorship, war and the shutting down of the intellect.
Guy Montag is a book-burning fireman undergoing a crisis of faith. His wife spends all day with her television \"family,\" imploring Montag to work harder so that they can afford a fourth TV wall (sound familiar?). Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbor Clarisse, a young girl thrilled by the ideas in books, and more interested in what she can see in the world around her than in the mindless chatter of the tube. When Clarisse disappears mysteriously, Montag is moved to make some changes, and starts hiding books in his home. Eventually, his wife turns him in, and he must answer the call to burn his secret cache of books. After fleeing to avoid arrest, Montag winds up joining an outlaw band of scholars who keep the contents of books in their heads, waiting for the time society will once again need the wisdom of literature.
The writing was standard for Bradbury. The characters are flat, and not likeable. But the message of the book rings true.
I would recommend this book for its message. I would not recommend the book for the characters.
I love this book. This is the book I used to finally get my brother hooked on reading. It is the book that I most often reference in crazy political conversations with friends. I love it so much that I wrote a song about it (selfless promotion: you can hear it at www.soundclick.com "Shanna and the Hawk").
Bradbury is excellent. He is also a little prophetic. Read about the room that the woman interacts with her television show and see for yourself just how this is possible to be our future of entertainment. Let's just hope that the future of books aren't prophesied in this book.
This book is about a time when the world is without morals and is against education. In this time, firefighters have a job different than what is expected now... to burn books. One man is influenced by a young girl considered strange to everyone because of her desire for thought.
This was one of those 'Meaning to read' for years books. I finally bought the anniversary edition, read it and was wowed. It almost seemed like a believable episode of the Twilight Zone. I enjoyed the futuristic aspect of it, and the book as a whole much more than I expected to. It certainly is a terrifying future for any book lover here on Paperbackswap!
Fahrenheit 451 is Ray Bradbury's classic novel of censorship and defiance, as resonant today as it was when it as first published fifty years ago. The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning along with the houses in which they were hidden. A must read.
I can honestly say that I don't much care for this book, even now that I read it a second time, but that I do see why it is important. I'm not saying that I dislike it. I'm really in the state of mind about it that I can take it or leave it. That being said, the writing style is rather interesting and intriguing, and there is definitely a lot of great vocabulary and discussion material there.
My daughter is getting to the reading level where classics start to enter the reading list, which has prompted me to pick up some of the classics I never did read while I was in school. Youd have thought that Fahrenheit 451 would have been on my read long ago list, but surprisingly I never did get around to picking it up.
The book itself left me wondering why its considered a classic, frankly. Its a story designed to demonstrate that TV rots your brain, and that books as a repository of human knowledge are crucial to civilization. And... well, maybe that was an important message when the book was written, but in todays world, it just doesnt have much that grabs me. Our world is far from losing books---more people read today than in nearly all of history. And while TV certainly does seem to rot your brain, there are plenty of other media (books, too!) that can do the same thing. Its a classic case of mistaking media format for media content.
The book itself is relatively short (180 pages is nothing compared to todays novels), and moves at a brisk pace.
What a wild ride! From drab boring monotony. Enter Faber. To wildly imaginative poetic prose. I grappled with finishing the book until Faber came along and opened Montag's eyes. Such a riot, with contrasting views and ideas.
It's been a half century since I first read Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury's vision of a future where citizens become more enchanted with TV walls than books seems somewhat prophetic. But his fictional government takes a drastic step and bans all books. Most civilians couldn't care less, their interest in the printed word long ago snuffed out by their weakness for large, mounted semi-interactive televisions with inane programming. Homes become fireproof, and in Bradbury's future world, the fireman's job is burning books and the houses that contain them, sometimes with the book owners inside. Bradbury has said that book paper first burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit, hence the title.
In the 50th anniversary edition I just read, there is an interview with Bradbury, who died in 2012. He complains that many times this book was planned to be re-published after censoring for language, political correctness, etc. He claims that if we are not careful, we could head down that same path to literature void of all meaning.
Fahrenheit 451 is sixty-six years old now, but its message is still loud and clear. It is an easy read and worth a second look.
This is a book I should have read back when I was a teen, but somehow I never did. It's a widely celebrated book, dealing as it does with book burning, which sadly remains a problem even today.
The book's about a fireman named Guy Montag, living in an America where books are illegal. Those who own them are whisked away for re-education, and their books are burned by the firemen. Books, after all, contain ideas, and those ideas can be dangerously subversive and interfere with the happiness that is everyone's God-given right.
Looked at in that light, you're likely to expect the book to be about a totalitarian state that is trying to keep people in the dark, as any number of petty thugs with small minds and big Cultural Revolutions have tried over the centuries. The book is a little more insidious than that, though. It's about how we have done this to ourselves.
There are essentially two poles that Montag moves between, and each is revelatory in what it says about America as it may have been, and America as it may be. The first pole is Clarisse, an unusual 17-year-old who stops to enjoy the world around her. While cars drive past at 100 mph or more, Clarisse walks. She smells flowers, listens to the wind, and looks at the leaves. She tells Montag stories she's heard from her uncle about the Way Things Used to Be, when people talked with one another, and neighbors knew one another, and people stopped to enjoy themselves and allowed themselves to be miserable at times. She's the naif innocent, but she represents the purity of what even in the 1950s Bradbury sensed was being lost.
The other pole is Montag's wife, Mildred, who spends her day in a room with television screens on three walls, watching shows that are computer-altered to appear personalized for her, down to the ads. The shows are stupid, pathetic, utterly banal -- but to Mildred, they are her family. The thought of not watching the TV -- of not getting a fourth TV screen to complete the room -- is unbearable. When Montag does turn the TV off at one point, she gets hysterical.
And just think, Bradbury wrote this in the 1950s, before the days of widescreen TV, before we had 24-hour cable and satellite signals, and before the advent of the Internet with its personalized entertainment options.
In Montag's world, books were banned because no one read them anymore, and not enough people cared. Books are dismissed as meaningless and impenetrable, and so the ideas they contain are lost, because those ideas could make people uncomfortable.
It's an interesting book, and it probably would have been better read at a time when I wasn't six hours into a dreadfully insomniatic night, but I'm glad I finally read it.
A futuristic defense of books and reading; a futuristic criticism of television and interactive entertainment. Exceptionally well presented. Been in print for 50 years. A classic. One of Bradbury's best. Do not rely on the French movie from yesteryear for your understanding of this important novel.
I read this book back in High School, so it was over ten years ago - but I still remember most of it...it was more about ignorance and politics than about books. However, the first line of the book will stay with you: "Farenheit 451 the temperature at which paper burns."
...or at least I think that is what is started with!
Just one of the all time Classic SF type books - Bradbury at his best! It is amazing that the story holds up so well after all this time - I recommend everyone read this one, even if you don't like science fiction.
While this was supposedly a great piece of literature, it wasn't for me. I get the premise, and I get the concept. It is just silly. Not that books couldn't be outlawed, but, quite frankly, it wasn't written that well in my world.
I did not like this book at all and I really would not recommend it unless you would like to be bored to death. It has to be the worst book I've ever read in my entire life and the only reason I read it is because I had to for school.
A true classic of censorship and defiance. Much better than either movie adaptation! Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to START fires, fueled by books. He loved his job. Then he meets a young girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid of books. Then he meets a professor who told him of a future in which people could think.
This book talks of censorship and social control; something we should all be concerned with, given the current Administrations obsession with the faux "War on Terror" and it's resulting diminishing of free speech and our constitutional rights. The title is what Michael Moore based his "Farenheit 911" film on.
A must read for anyone who wants to put a historical context into the current zeitgeist of paranoia and illegal wiretapping!
Unorthodox as it is for my reviews, I think with this one, I'll begin with a quote. It's from a piece in this edition entitled "Coda" by Ray Bradbury, on the subject of censorship. He wrote here:
"Some five years back, the editors of yet another anthology for school readers put together a volume with some 400 (count 'em) short stories in it. how do you cram 400 short stories by Twain, Irving, Poe, Maupassant and Bierce into one book? Simplicity itself. Skin, debone, demarrow, scarify, melt, render down, and destroy. Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito-out! Every simile that would have made a sub-moron's mouth twitch-gone! Any aside that explained the two-bit philosophy of a first-rate writer-lost.
"Every story slenderized, starved, bluepenciled, leeched and bled white, resembled every other story. Twain read like Poe read like Shakespeare read like Dostoevsky read like-in the finale-Edgar Guest. every word of more than three syllables had been razored. Every image that demanded so much as one's instant attention-shot dead....
"The point is obvious. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/ Italian/ Octogenarian/ Zen Buddhist, Zionist / Seventh-day Adventist, Women's Lib / Republican, Mattachine / Four Square Gospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain-porridge unleavened literature licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme."
This is a perplexing, yet profound book, which emerged in the wake of unprecedented events in world history, so perhaps its dystopic nature is understandable. Eller, in the short piece "The Story of Fahrenheit 4151" stated that one of its primary influences was Arthur Koesteler, in that "only a few perceived the intellectual holocaust and the revolution by burial that Stalin achieved... Only Koestler got the full range of desecration, execution and forgetfulness on a mass and nameless graveyard scale," which in turn shaped the course of this complex book.
If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none. let him forget there is such a thing as war. if the government is inefficient, top-heavy and tax-mad, better it be all those than that people worry over it... Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology ot tie things up with. That way lies with melancholy.
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 snitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.
Those who don't build must burn. It's as old as history and juvenile delinquents.
Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you now to know with which ear you'll listen.
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... 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.
Hold onto one thought: You're not important. You're not anything. Some day the lod we're carrying with us may help someone. But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn't use what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spitting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us. We're going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we're doing, you can way, We're remembering. That's where we'll win out in the long run.
This book was awesome! I love the way he writes..using similes and metaphors and describing things that make you reach a conclusion and tell you how it is. I was so "pulled" into this book and it was so thought provoking. It applies to events going on in this country right now. Senator Ted Cruz referred to it when again he needed to defend our Freedom of Speech. If Ray Bradbury knew how our freedom of speech was in danger of being taken away, he would roll over in his grave.
Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World"! The central message of this classic story was not what i expected, but the close resemblance to our American culture and society today was downright creepy and scary. We are literally watching this unfold in so many aspects of our culture. This is really happening. I got the creeps when i heard the upcoming season of DWTS mentioned with anticipation and excitement. This is too close to home for comfort. Wow!
I find it highly ironic that I hated this book. It's been on my to read list for so long I was so glad when it came available but I think my very "Brave New World"
, high school reading list, teenage mind would have appreciated this immensely more. It was so jumbled and made no sense. The core of the novel, which sparked the "flame", if I may, disappeared so quickly and none of the characters had anything worthy to bring to the novel. I appreciate that might have been the point, but the purpose of the novel could have unfolded and been spelled out so much more eloquently. It was so just a quick, hot mess I was angry after reading it and can't wait to be rid of it. P.S. if anyone ever threatens to burn my books, I'll go down with the house too.
Bradbury has always had problems creating believable female characters, and this novel is also carried by the men. But his futuristic story of a world in which Fireman burn books is -- if anything -- even more chilling than it was 60+ years ago.
Bradbury seems to have been almost prescient in creating a world in which everyone is inundated with instantaneous information but not given the thinking time to act on any of it.
As this is considered a "classic warning" book, I had to read it. Now I've read it.
I did not enjoy this at all. Bradbury's style of writing was like watching a fat ugly woman trying to be sexy doing a pole dance. It was revolting. The story was just another "oh watchout, society will fall apart if we don't keep our freedoms" tale that litters the literary landscape.
The one main flaw in his reasoning that stood out to me was this: a culture and technology that can keep the masses happy and sedated must be led by people who actually DO read and know things. The problem is, those kind of people would not have been able to grow up in the society that Bradbury envisions for this book. Therefore the culture he warns about couldn't exist because the architects of it would have been cut off before they could create it. A circular reasoning mess.
Besides, we have Kindles and Cool-ers and PRS-505's and other ereaders now. And the internet. Books aren't going away.
I can understand how this would have been intuitive when it was written, but I was expecting more. I really enjoyed Clarice and was sad when she was no longer in the story. It was the only part of the book that held my interest. I think this would have been a good choice for a school assignment, not for anything else. I'm glad that I read the book, but it's not one that I'll ever pick up again or recommend.
We only read this because we have to for school. I don't see why it got so many awards. It's too figurative. Why can't they just come out and say what they mean? You have to keep re-reading it to try and understand what's going on.
Aside from all that, I thought it was interesting how it was written so long ago and seems to correctly portray the future.
The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning...along with the houses in which they were hidden.
Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames...never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.
Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think...and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!
this books cover has a different picture than the stock photo.......this book was my favorite school read if what happened in this book really happened in real life...we wouldnt have paperbackswap.com!