Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Book - 2012
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In a society in which books are outlawed, Montag, a regimented fireman in charge of burning the forbidden volumes, meets a revolutionary school teacher who dares to read. Suddenly he finds himself a hunted fugitive, forced to choose not only between two women, but between personal safety and intellectual freedom.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451673265
Branch Call Number: Y SF Bradbury R
Characteristics: xi, 159 pages ; 23 cm


From Library Staff

Online Book Club pick for January 2020. In a society in which books are outlawed, a fireman in charge of burning the forbidden volumes meets a revolutionary school teacher who dares to read. Suddenly, he finds himself a hunted fugitive, forced to choose between personal safety and intellectual fr... Read More »

How would you feel if you were only supposed to watch television? All books are banned and burned. Fahrenheit 451 explores a society in which screen time, not reading time, is required.

List - Short Classics
Greene_Adults Jul 30, 2018

Turn the heat up in this classic that comes in at under 200 pages. In this science fiction novel, books are banned and firemen are charged with burning books instead of putting fires out. The main character is forced to choose between his safety and intellectual freedom.

From the critics

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Jun 25, 2020

Have you ever imagined if the world banned all books? Well, if you have, then the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is an excellent book to showcase this idea and the experience of one particular person: Guy Montag. Montag is a firefighter who has to burn books (paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit, hence the book’s name) even if it is at a hidden house. It is illegal to own books in this dystopian society he resides in. Amongst the reasons books were banned is to keep the society unaware of events and in a way retain them as illiterate. But when Montag encounters his neighbor, Clarrise, he interrogates the reason behind burning books since she inspired him to read confiscated books to educate himself. I was interested in how the structure of the events in this novel was put together as it raised many exciting situations. Additionally, I loved how technology was going to take over as a future reality that included big televisions since it was relatable to today’s society.

Jun 16, 2020

Farenheit 451 is set in a dystopian future where firemen start fires instead of putting them out... Specifically starting fires to books, deemed as the cause of their consumeristic society's unhappiness.

The book is on the short side but packed with thought-provoking narratives and underlying meanings. It's warning to an instant gratification society, AKA a "mind-numbed" society addicted to television, media, entertainment, etc. Thinking and going for walks of all things makes you anti-social in this world, and reading a book is enough to have your house burnt down! The accurate reflection of society today is staggering, (although definitely not pin-point accurate, it was written in the '50s). Bradbury was correct about a future instant-gratification consuming society, (He even predicted Apple AirPods!).

A highly recommended read, not too long but filled with great characters, an exciting plot-line and tidbits of valuable truth and knowledge scattered throughout the book. Must-read if you are interested in the Classics, or just anything!

Jun 02, 2020

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel written by Ray Bradbury. It has a fascinating background, set in a future where most books have become banned, complete with vivid imagery and flowery language. It describes Guy Montag, a fireman who burns books instead of putting out fires. Over the course of the story, Montag begins to gain an interest in the books that he was supposed to burn, putting himself in a dangerous dilemma. The story itself is truly exciting and thrilling, yet it is confusing at some parts. The book’s message was very powerful, noting that we cannot continue in the hedonistic ways of society. Fahrenheit 451 has predicted flatscreen TVs, earbuds, and digital communication. With each passing generation less people read books. Overall, it is a well written story. I highly recommend reading the book.

May 14, 2020

Once upon a time, the fireman’s job was to extinguish the fires. Now his job is to start them. ⁣

Guy Montag is a fireman who delights in burning books. Books are prohibited, after all: they speak of contradictory ideas and nonexistent people, unlike the ubiquitous TV’s that now rule the world. ⁣

After work, Montag usually goes home to his wife, Mildred, who is obsessed with the mass media. While awake, Mildred laughs with the TV, calling the fictional characters her “family.” At night, she falls asleep listening to music through her earbuds. Although she and Montag share the same bed, she might as well be in a whole other world.⁣

Montag’s life changes when he meets Clarisse who, unlike others, prefers human interactions to TV’s and takes walks in the rain. Under her influence, Montag begins to see his work in a new light. What is it about books that made the government so insistent on burning them? And why are some people willing to burn with them?⁣

I’m usually a sucker for dystopian novels, but unfortunately this one tries to crunch too many ideas into a single work. It initially reminded me of Amusing Ourselves to Death, especially with Mildred’s TV addiction, but then it turned into a discussion on government censorship and the consequences of political correctness, and eventually becomes an adventure. This is just too much for 256 pages, making the book both hurried and underdeveloped. ⁣

However, I still gave it 4 stars because it is unmistakably ahead of its time. Wall-spanning flat TV’s still only exist in shows like Black Mirror, and earbuds were unheard of when the book was written in the 1950’s. Even Amusing Ourselves to Death, the social critique I compared it to, was composed more than three decades later. ⁣

More importantly, one idea from the book still haunts me: it would not be the government that phased out reading and thinking. It was the people themselves, and the government merely used it to their advantage. ⁣

Oh, and in case you are wondering about the title, Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books begin to burn.

For more book and movie reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead :)

Apr 30, 2020

Fahrenheit 451 is a well known classic book about futuristic censorship and hiding ideas and knowledge from the people. The book is set in an alternate reality where Books are outlawed and anyone who is caught owning a book faces severe consequences. The book follows the protagonist, a man named Montag. He works as a firefighter which in this reality means he's part of a group that finds books and burns them to shreds. In this world televisions feed propaganda to the people and books that would give knowledge to the people are burned in order to dumb the population down. Montag never questions what he does until he meets a love interest named Clarisse who shows him what life was like before books were taken from the people. Montag decides he must stop this burning of knowledge and fight back against the firefighters. It's an excellent book that serves as a warning to the potential future we may face if censorship continues. I'd give this book a 5/5.
@Moebooks of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Apr 10, 2020

A well written book exploring the repercussions of limiting intellectual freedom. A myriad of parallels can be drawn from our current society, and the framework of this novel.

Mar 31, 2020

I would like to re-read this one day.

Mar 12, 2020

It is not too difficult to imagine aspects of the world described in this novel actually coming to fruition. The decline in respect for something as human as the study of literature is obvious and growing. Long live the "book men" who memorize great literary works in the hopes of preserving them for future generations.

Jan 20, 2020

The only other "must read" book I've ever read as boring as this was Lord Jim. These authors should be called padders as they're just filling space with words. Should be listed as a "don't read."

Jan 06, 2020

Okay, listen. Let's start with the bad. I love Bradbury's heart and he's a poet first and foremost, we'll start there.
And yes, as a woman, I know I have to steel myself before reading any American novel written by a man in the fifties. But really?
What hurts so much here is that the misogyny was so pervasive back that that it permeated even Bradbury's heart. I'm really tired of Dystopian sterility being attributed to women in the story as if they are supposed to be the keepers of passion, as if by (literally) choosing not to give birth naturally, they are somehow perpetuating a future without compassion. That's actually what's suggested here.
But it's not that important to the plot line! No, no, the heartless, shallow "women" in the story are just your typical backdrop. The Manic Pixie Dream girl dies to inspire the Lead Male--although, this is arguably one of her earliest appearances in American stories, so it hadn't become a trope yet and may have had actual value at the time.

On to the GOOD: The writing is all poetry. I noticed some things I haven't seen critics mention before; the use of elements in the end of the story (Fire, Wind, Water, and a beautiful passage about Earth when Montag reaches land). I would have given just two stars, but it gets a third for that.
It's interesting how he mentions that diversity and the notion that everyone takes offense to something leads to the watering down of content. I have some issues with the idea that diversity does anything but add depth to stories, however, this is actually quite timely because we are in an age of Sensitivity. And yes, sometimes, this does lead to the glorification of simplified and "watered down" books. So it made me think.

It's a short book and worth reading. Parts of it simply haven't aged all that well.

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Jan 13, 2020

And if it was not the three walls soon to be four walls and the dream complete, then it was the open car and Mildred driving a hundred miles an hour across town, he shouting at her and she shouting back and both trying to hear what was said, but hearing only the scream of the car. "At least keep it down to the minimum!" he yelled. "What?" she cried. "Keep it down to fifty-five, the minimum!" he shouted. "The what?" she shrieked. "Speed!" he shouted. And she pushed it up to one hundred and five miles an hour and tore the breath from his mouth.

Aug 13, 2019

"'I hate a Roman named Status Quo!'"
[Granger quoting his grandfather, to Montag.]

Aug 13, 2019

"… 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. …"
[Faber to Montag]

Jun 25, 2019

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds...''

Feb 12, 2019

Fire is bright and fire is clean.

Feb 12, 2019

Montag hesitated. "What—was it always like this? The firehouse, our work? I mean, well, once upon a time. . . ."

"Once upon a time!" Beatty said. "What kind of talk is that?"

Fool, thought Montag to himself, you'll give it away. At the last fire, a book of fairy tales, he'd glanced at a single line. "I mean," he said, "in the old days..."

Aug 08, 2016

"'My grandfather ran off the V-2 rocket film a dozen times and then hoped that someday our cities would open up more and let the green and the land and the wilderness in more, to remind people that were alotted a little space on earth and that we survive in that wilderness that can take back what it has given, as easily as blowing its breath on us or sending the sea to tell us we are not so big. When we forget hoe close the wilderness is in the night, my grandpa said, someday it will come in and get us, for we will have forgotten how terrible ad real it can be.'"

Aug 08, 2016

"'I hate a Roman named Status Quo!' he said to me.' 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. Ask no garantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there was, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in atree all day every day, sleeping it's life away. To hell with that,' he said,'shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.'"

britprincess1ajax Aug 02, 2016

"Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore."

britprincess1ajax Aug 02, 2016

"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."

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Jun 25, 2020

gurleen03 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 17

Jun 02, 2020

tang88260_0 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 13, 2019

RunningJoke thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

May 24, 2019

pink_dolphin_3025 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

May 20, 2018

blue_dog_8329 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 08, 2016

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Mar 26, 2016

blue_fish_825 thinks this title is suitable for 99 years and under

Oct 31, 2014

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May 13, 2014

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Feb 04, 2014

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Add a Summary
Jul 06, 2016

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.

Apr 15, 2013

Classic, futuristic, beautiful prose.

becklein98 Jul 19, 2012

In the future, books are illegal. With the profession of 'fireman', Montag is quite happy burning down homes and occasionally their owners as he and his team destroy books. But when his neighbour, a slender blonde of fifteen, plants the idea of a better society - one where books are legal - in his mind, his curiosity leads to his qeustioning their lifestyle.


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