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Fahrenheit 451 [Library Binding]

Ray Bradbury
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 1990
Nowadays firemen start fires. Fireman Guy Montag loves to rush to a fire and watch books burn up. Then 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 where people could think. And Guy Montag knew what he had to do....
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Library Binding: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Buccaneer Books (Jun 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089968484X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899684840
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 14.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (207 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,443,170 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 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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44 of 47 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I am teaching "Fahrenheit 451" as the example of a dsytopian novel in my Science Fiction class, although it is certainly one of the most atypical of that particular type of narrative discourse. Compared to such heavy weight examples as George Orwell's "1984," Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World," Yevgeny Zamiatin's "We," Ray Bradbury's imaginative meditation on censorship seems like light reading. But the delicious irony of a world in which firemen start fires remains postent and the idea of people memorizing books so they will be preserved for future generations is compelling. Of course, there have been more documented cases of "book burning," albeit in less literal forms, since "Fahrenheit 451" was first published in 1953, so an argument can be made that while all the public debate was over how close we were the Orwellian future envisioned in "1984," it is Bradbury's little parable that may well be more realistic (especially in terms of the effects of television).
The novel is based on a short story, "The Fireman," that Bradbury published in "Galaxy Science Fiction" in 1951 and then expanded into "Fahrenheit 451" two years later. However, those who have studied Bradbury's writings caw trace key elements back to a 1948 story "Pillar of Fire" and the "Usher II" story from his 1950 work "The Martian Chronicles." Beyond that, there is the historical record of the Nazis burning books in 1933. The story is of a future world in which everyone understands that books are for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montage is a fireman who has been happy in his work for ten years, but suddenly finds himself asking questions when he meets a teenage girl and an old professor.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... a gift and it's now one of my boyfriend's favourite books!
I bought this as a gift and it's now one of my boyfriend's favourite books!
Published 4 days ago by Abigail Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars 451
brilliant book but didnlike the ending just finish surely there's more to it than that?
Published 10 days ago by lenny
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read
Superb book. Enjoyed it so much I read it twice.
Published 13 days ago by Shane Cassells
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Very good book, maybe a little short but a nice read.
Published 23 days ago by Mr. Colin J. Johnstone
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Read through this with a dislocated shoulder. Still relevant today.
Published 27 days ago by Greg Law
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good.
Published 1 month ago by terence moore
5.0 out of 5 stars not sure why this has taken me so long to ...
not sure why this has taken me so long to read - as in why i didn't read it many years ago. a compelling case for the banning of books and a reminder that intellectual readers are... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Viktor Wynd
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Intriguing dystopian novel which draws you in to the future (hopefully not).
Published 1 month ago by Deb
4.0 out of 5 stars although written in the fifties, it could have been ...
although written in the fifties, it could have been a sci-fi novel written 30-40 years later... it has a lot of influence from the fascist regimes in the thirties, creating a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by laros76
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely more relevant today than ever before.
Though quite a short book, and written a good while ago now, i was amazed at how contemporary and relevant a lot of the story and plot has become. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Peter Harding
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