Fahrenheit 451 Audio CD – Audiobook, 20 Aug 2013
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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 Chronicles and 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 Perfect Paperback edition.
"One of this country's most beloved writers . . . A great storyteller, sometimes even a mythmaker, a true American classic." --Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post"
"The sheer lift and power of a truly original imagination exhilarates . . . His is a very great and unusual talent." --Christopher Isherwood, "Tomorrow"
"Brilliant . . . Startling and ingenious . . . Mr. Bradbury's account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating." --Orville Prescott, "The New York Times"
"A masterpiece . . . A glorious American classic everyone should read: It's life-changing if you read it as a teen, and still stunning when you reread it as an adult." --Alice Hoffman, "The Boston Globe"
"Frightening in its implications . . . Mr. Bradbury's account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating." --"The New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Bradbury is open in the Afterword about the fact that the book was constructed from various short stories, and it really does become obvious when reading through that this is the case. At times, the joins between the different tales are too easy to see, and the central character of Guy Montag is inconsistent as the narrative moves from each set-piece situation to the next.
I did enjoy some of the discussion in this book, for example Montag's dialogue with a professor about what books mean and why they are so important. As a story and reading experience, however, "Fahrenheit 451" was for me, unsatisfying. None of the characters truly engage, the end sequence seems to lapse into incongruous fantasy, and overall, Bradbury does not provide the reader with a genuinely convincing story to partner his intriguing vision of a nightmarish, authoritarian, conformist regime.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've wanted to read this for a while, as it's one of those stories everyone references and sounds like it was a significant milestone in the genre. Read more
First read this book when it came out in the late 50's to the UK. Thought it was quite good then. However reading it now nearly 60 years later was good to start with but... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Jim
Ray Bradbury's story is telling us how we are digging the same dangerous tunnels into illiteracy today in closing our libraries . Read morePublished 25 days ago by George Harrison
Great condition, great author. I won't spoil anything. Lovely intro by the author to the edition.Published 1 month ago by Mellissa W.
A book perhaps made notorious (and arguably the reason for its huge popularity) by it being included on the list of books to have been banned at one point or another. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tracy Terry
MY FRIEND TOLD ME ABOUT HIM HAD A GOOD LISTEN BUT IT IS IN THE THE RUBBISH BIN NOWPublished 1 month ago by Mr. Kevin W. Hayes
This has got to be one of the best futuristic books by Ray Bradbury, it keeps your interest and focus till the end.Published 1 month ago by Paul Treacy
A really intriguing concept that struggles to get going and doesn't create interest until over half way in. For a short book, I struggled to finish it.Published 2 months ago by Jade