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Fahrenheit 451 [Mass Market Paperback]

Ray Bradbury
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, 1 Oct 1992 --  
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Book Description

1 Oct 1992 9780345342966 978-0345342966 New edition
Internationally acclaimed with more than 5 million copies in print, Fahrenheit 451 is Ray Bradbury's classic novel of censorship and defiance, as resonant today as it was when it was first published nearly 50 years ago.

Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires...

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!


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; New edition edition (1 Oct 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345342966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345342966
  • ASIN: 0345342968
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 12.8 x 16.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 440,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the greatest writers of science fiction and fantasy, Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1920.

He published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was just twenty years old. Among his many famous works are Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.

Product Description

Amazon Review

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's classic, frightening vision of the future, firemen don't put out fires--they start them in order to burn books. Bradbury's vividly painted society holds up the appearance of happiness as the highest goal--a place where trivial information is good, and knowledge and ideas are bad. Fire Captain Beatty explains it this way, "Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs.... Don't give them slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy."

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. Their dull, empty life sharply contrasts with that of his next-door neighbour 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.

Bradbury--the author of more than 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems--including The Martian Chroniclesand The Illustrated Man--is the winner of many awards, including the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. Readers aged 13 to 93 will be swept up in the harrowing suspense of Fahrenheit 451, and no doubt will join the hordes of Bradbury fans worldwide. --Neil Roseman --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

‘Fahrenheit 451 is the most skilfully drawn of all science fiction’s conformist hells’
Kingsley Amis

‘Bradbury’s is a very great and unusual talent’
Christopher Isherwood

‘Ray Bradbury has a powerful and mysterious imagination which would undoubtedly earn the respect of Edgar Allen Poe’ Guardian

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN. Read the first page
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Concordance
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Science Fiction 14 Nov 2004
Format:Paperback
It has been said that this short but unforgettable work represents Bradbury's only wholly successful novel. Personally I think Something Wicked This Way Comes is equally grand, and far more typical of its author, but there is no doubt that Fahrenheit 451 finds his narrative skills at their finest: the book drives forward with a clarity and urgency not found in any of Bradbury's other novels. His prophetic and visionary quality ranks alongside Orwell's, combining with paired down and super-efficient prose to create a nightmarish near-future where books are banned and burned upon discovery, and the firemen who destroy them 'custodians of our peace of mind'. Individuality is crushed and the masses satiated by the TV screens that adorn every wall of their living rooms. The protagonist is himself a fireman, until one day he begins reading a book and his world turns upside down. A brilliant and subversive piece of work, Fahrenheit 451 seems more relevent today than when it was written, not least because the world really has become increasingly as Bradbury foresaw. Short enough to be read in a single sitting, the book packs a punch that is never quite forgotten.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We went right on insulting the dead..." 4 Aug 2004
Format:Paperback
I've been checking out some of the classics that I never gave a chance while in high school, now that I'm a much more aware and mature reader. "Fahrenheit 451" was something I always wanted to read but never got around to it. Well, I have finally read it and the time was very much well spent. Ray Bradbury offers a bleak and dim future where thinking for yourself is against the law.
Guy Montag's life had always been simple. He understood the order of things, and he understood the nature of his job. He was a fireman, and that entailed burning books and burning down the buildings that hid them. He never questioned it once and never felt guilty for what he was doing. Things take a different route when he meets a peculiar girl who asks the tough questions that he has never had to answer. And with those questions, he starts to think and wonder why things are the way they are. Ever since the meeting with this stranger, Montag is curious about the true nature of his job, leading to dangerous revelations that will put his very life in jeopardy.
Bradbury has created a magnificent piece of literature that attacks censorship and the numbing of society head on with no regrets and no remorse. He doesn't need to give us an exact year of this future, as that makes it all the more frightening. Even though this is a work of fiction, it seems so realistic and so possible that all of this could really happen to us. Think about it. We are now a "TV Generation" who spend a lot less time reading, people are trying to ban different types of books for different reasons, and anything that is deemed "unpleasant" is demanded to be "fixed" or "taken care of" so we can all feel happy and not deal with the pain and troubles of life.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What foresight! 15 Jan 2006
Format:Paperback
Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of Guy Montag; a fireman whose job is not to put out fires – all homes of Bradbury’s future having been fireproofed – but to start them. The firemen’s prime targets are books.
What follows is a poetic and mesmerizing look at a future of censorship that has far too many parallels to modern day consumerist societies. This edition contains an introduction and afterword that is just as interesting as the novel itself. Here Bradbury cites the arrival of MTV and other commercial entertainment as factors that are distracting us, as a society, from the essential knowledge found in libraries. He notes that such firemen are not needed anymore because we are doing the job for them.
Also explained is the genesis of the book itself. The author describes how F451 has its origins in 5 short stories including a surreal-sounding one based on an experience of his being stopped by a police patrol car just for walking down the street.
A superbly written book that has eerie similarities with the world today.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
One morning during my free period at college I was sat in the library and noticed they had three copies of Fahrenheit 451. I'd heard that it was hailed as a great dystopia (some even ranked it alongside Brave New World and 1984) and so decided to begin reading. The thing which immediately struck me was that it wasn't a hard piece of literature and very enjoyable, even peaceful, to read. By 10 pm that night I had finished it all.
The story is about a future society in which books are illegal. Anyone found in possession of one is either sent to jail or burnt alive with them. All houses are 100% fire-proof and so the Firemen come along with their hoses which pump kerosene rather than water and soak the whole inside of the house (the books are normally tossed in one big pile in the centre). Guy Montag is one such firemen, but after meeting a very strange girl which changes the direction of his life and the way he views things, undergoes a revelation that results in him trying to save some of the few remaining books. In many ways the society described is similar to that in 1984, though isn't quite as radical or extreme.
Many unexpected twists occur and Montag finds himself running from the law after committing some serious crimes. He just can't relate to the people around him and their ignorant little minds which have been moulded into what the government wants; they're trapped in an artificial world where "Everyone's happy". But, as with all dystopias, we know they're all really dying inside (Freud would have probably put it down to serious repression).
As well as undergoing an immense physical journey through this society, Montag also experiences a profound personal one which lead to some amazing insights into the nature of man.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Foretelling and Lifechanging...
To be honest, I had fallen out of love with reading novels. The intention was always there, and I continued to buy novels, but they were left largely untouched, left within reach,... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Miss S. Gorton
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Another dystopian classic, not QUITE up to it's forefathers ( 1984/Brave New World), but definitely worth the read.
Published 16 days ago by Calico Pye
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
not a bad good being used as a study tool for course work
Published 20 days ago by ll
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books - I keep buying it for other people
One of my favourite books - I keep buying it for other people, and this was one of those occasions! Everyone should read this, it is extraordinarily prophetic and frightening. Read more
Published 24 days ago by A Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars It is so good that I red it in one day.
If you want to know the importance of the books then this story is for you.
Published 25 days ago by pawelgonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, compelling, inspiring.
An utterly glorious metaphor for modern society. As the technological age advances and civilisations plug in instead of stepping outside, Bradbury's message has never been more... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shona Joyce Herron
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, burning night of the soul
Published in 1953, this novel looks forward to the US in the 1990s when firemen are employed to burn books because books create envy and make some people feel inferior to others. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Neasa MacErlean
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic for some
Physically, in this world of electronic reading, it was a lovely book to hold and read. As a literary masterpiece, for me, it was a good read and yet not a great one and I found... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. C. J. Menlove-Platt
1.0 out of 5 stars incomplete utopia
i read this because of the hype and praise, but was very dissapointed with the hollow premise. how does this world function that can create robot dogs of amazing intelligence... Read more
Published 2 months ago by al
2.0 out of 5 stars Oooh, gosh.
Well, what can I say? I’d heard about Fahrenheit 451 from Michael Moore years back and I had a roommate in university who admitted it was the only novel he’d ever read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Troy Parfitt
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