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Synopsis

Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. 

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

     Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear, and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

     When Mildred attempts suicide, and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

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Book Reviews

Fahrenheit 451
Average rating
4.2 / 5
"It was a pleasure to burn."
November 6th, 2015
In a future society, books are forbidden and "firemen" responsible for burning the remaining titles. That's the job of one Guy Montag, but he begins to question his role as he gets in contact with a teenager who reads secretly. And he becomes himself a criminal reader of smuggled books. The most surprising thing about Fahrenheit 451 is that it's premise could, in the hands of a lesser writer, easily turn a condescending little lesson about the importance of reading books. But like any work of art that would be missed if it was burned, Fahrenheit 451 doesn't want to give you answers. The book wants you to ask questions. The main point for me is not that books are burned. That is only the most dramatic side of something bigger: that society allows them to be burned, and that no one is interested in reading in the first place. The only sources of distraction for the denizens of Fahrenheit 451 are sports or soap operas in televisions the size of entire walls. The speed of television does not allow you to stop and think, just swallow that entertainment loaf. From this insipid entertainment are born people who literally talk to the walls and a society unable to question. Montag's wife, Mildred is one example. She can't talk about anything other than the soaps or what threatens her financial security. She is a cattle-person, described as having an invisible cataract behind her pupils, afraid of anything different, incapable of thinking or feeling without directions from the TV or authorities. Montag discovers how they can't connect to one another because in the end they don't know their own history. And without that knowledge you can't even know who you are, or what you want. Today is 2015, and the society described in Fahrenheit 451 seems even more palpable than when the book was written in 1953. The internet shortens our attention span towards shorter and simpler texts and videos. More than ever we more intelligent - we have access to an ocean of information literally at our finger tips - but we are not wise. We don't know what to do with our information. And we have no memory. The social media timelines dictate the discussion of the day, what funny video is trending, what news we should be disgusted with, what meme will be the big joke for a day or two before it is once again forgotten. Fahrenheit 451 even reminds us of the "mass society judgments" that lead to self-censorship. I believe reading is fundamentally important for wisdom, more than any other art form. Reading is solitary work. It demands silence, and to let your ideas absorb the author's, contest them, accept or adapt. Fahrenheit 451 says that you can't make others think, but I believe it comes with a good recipe for wisdom: "Number one, like I said, is quality of information. Number two: time to digest. And number three: the right to conduct your actions based on what we learn from the two previous items."
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1 review
Hard to get better than this
September 25th, 2015
One of my favorites growing up. Read again with the same fascination. A must read for book lovers and dystopia fans
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1 review
Classic
July 20th, 2015
I give this book full marks for a thoroughly enjoyable read. I love passages from the past that could easily be true, in many ways, today.
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1 review
GOOD BOOK
July 18th, 2015
It was a great book but is definatly a book with 1970's style writing even if its based on a future utopian society. Definatly would reccomed to somene 14+ due to some graphic parts. PARTS OF THE BOOK CAN BE DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND BECAUSE THE AUTHOR TENDS TO RAMBLE. I also enjoyed the amounts of metaphores and simbolisim. Chapter layout is weird though. Only 3 capters with page length ranging from 119-190 pages. DEFINATLY WORTH READING
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1 review
Nor a Witty Title
January 3rd, 2015
I quite enjoyed this novel and think that it is something that everyone should read at least once. The imagery was beautiful! It was one of my favourite things about this novel, that being said, it can be confusing if the book does not have your 100% attention. It also has a thought-provoking message that can still (unfortunately) be applied to our modern society. PS: Please excuse any spelling errors in my review. I'm typing this on my kobo (which is much harder than one would think)
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1 review
Essential reading for everyone
October 30th, 2014
This made me want to hug every one of my books to my chest and never let go. Masterfully written and even more relevant in an era of constant connectedness and media (over)load.
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1 review
One of the Best
October 30th, 2014
This is now one of my favourite books of all time, even though the story was written years ago it still feels fresh and touches on some of the biggest dilemmas that still face humanity today.
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1 review
A must read!
August 25th, 2014
I enjoyed this book when I read it many many years ago, but reading it again now, as an adult, I got even more out of it. If you have not read this book yet, I highly recommend you do. If you have, it is totally worth reading once again.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
January 23rd, 2014
"A book is a loaded gun in the house next door... Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?" Stumbling upon this quote got me to read Fahrenheit 451. Everything in this book spoke to me - I was blown away. It challenged me. It made me think. Originally published in the early 50s, it is amazing that the warning or message is more relevant today that it has ever been. Truly a great book and in my top 5.
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1 review
for $11
April 8th, 2013
I expected morr
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1 review

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