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Fahrenheit 451 | [Ray Bradbury]

Fahrenheit 451

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs or 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.
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Publisher's Summary

The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs or 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 Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

©1981 Ray Bradbury (P)2010 Tantor

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  •  
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 08-05-13
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 08-05-13 Member Since 2011

    Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fahrenheit 451 or Celsius 232.778."

    This happened to be this month's book club selection and since I found it on the 4.95 sale I thought it was my lucky day. Ray Bradbury is very descriptive and sometimes longwinded. This is the second book I have listened to of Bradbury and I think the narrators he has for his books are sleep inducing and I ended up using a fast speed, which I thought was ironic due to the content of the story. The story is better the second half of the book. This is a thought producing story and I found myself pondering many scenarios of today vs. Bradbury's vision of the future. I also found myself comparing this dystopia book written in 1953 to the rash of books that have come out in recent years with the same kind of theme. Bradbury was a pioneer in this type of literature. I wonder if this book might have been the inspiration for the movie Equilibrium (which is really good).

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacy Swenck 04-16-14
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    "Classic tale deserves a better narrator"
    What did you like best about this story?

    This is a classic dystopian novel.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The fake and overwrought melodramatic vocal modulations of this narrator made me return the book.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Temporal Singularity 11-08-13
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    "I am glad that I revisited this classic."

    I read this book many years ago and liked it then. I just read it again and I cannot believe how awestruck I am. When you consider that this story was first published in 1953 and the future that Mr. Bradbury envisioned, he was quite prophetic.

    Ray imagined rooms with entire walls that were televisions. Ads were targeted towards each individual viewer. Instant gratification was required by society. Entertainment is inane, shallow, and pre-digested. Porn is in 3D. Society is so self absorbed and focused on immediate happiness that they cannot see their society crumbling and oncoming nuclear holocaust. Our society with its large screen TVs, targeted internet ads, reality TV shows, news headlines that focus more on celebrity gossip, and our never ending cycle of wars is not to different from what Ray imagined.

    I wish that more people would read this book. If they did, they would see the parallels that I see and maybe they would reconsider how they view the world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Carlin Chelsea, MA United States 04-11-14
    Kate Carlin Chelsea, MA United States 04-11-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Hearing a classic"
    Would you listen to Fahrenheit 451 again? Why?

    Fahrenheit 451 is a staple in my classroom. This is a great "New Classic" for students to see what pacing, punctuation and style can do for a story. This is a great book to do while history class works on WWII. It has great historical and present day issues. I will listen to it many more times, with and without my students.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Captain Beatty shows how those in power are not always what they seem. As an avid reader and 'Fireman' his is a character that can give students great jumping off points to think about those in power and choices that we make "On the outside" vs who we are "On the inside"


    Have you listened to any of Stephen Hoye’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Stephen Hoye's performance on Fahrenheit 451 was exceptional. His pace, tone and variation works great.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Clarisse and Guy get to know each other and see Guy's mind begin to open.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AMY United States 11-30-12
    AMY United States 11-30-12 Member Since 2012
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    "classic dystopia, reader weak"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It is a must read for young people. I understand why the book is taught in school and why, when written it was so significant. The message still resonates but of course, after all these years, doesn't have the same punch


    How could the performance have been better?

    The reader was way too sing-songy and he was unable to vary his voice significantly to portray the different characters.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allen S. Root 10-29-14

    Al

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    "Good Dystopian Entry"

    From 1953--Bradbury didn't like Nazi book burning and had McCarthy issues. Lots of interesting ideas like an inability to understand literature. The pen is mightier than the sword only if we can read I suppose. Compare with Brave New World or 1984.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Daniels 10-11-14 Member Since 2008

    Uplinktruck

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    "The movie was better then the book"

    This is Ray Bradbury's classic tale of authoritarian government out of control. The only entertainment available to the population is a modern version of TV called the "wall." But it is strictly controlled content. Books ranging from Tom Sawyer to the Bible are banned because they are hurtful to certain groups of people. This is done to keep the population content and peaceful.

    When banned books are reported, the firemen are called to burn them.

    The print version was a little easier to follow because our main character is having some heated internal debates over the ethics of burning these books. Some of that internal dialog gets confusing as to what is and is not being said.

    This book was ok once but I doubt I will go through it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    taylor storey California/China 09-21-14
    taylor storey California/China 09-21-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Dystopia, Books and Firefighters"

    1. Dystopia novel. Futuristic. Lots of problems with the government in the future.

    2. They don't give good history anymore. Montag is a fireman. but he goes around and burns the books in the houses that are now completely fireproof. Which is what he believes all firemen have done.

    3. The book is about books. Lots of great quotes about the value of literature.

    4. I didn't know this until after I read, but Bradbury was mostly self educated through reading. He graduated from a los angeles high school and never went to college.

    5. Interesting to see the way he describes the people who continue to read. They are not part of the system, so they are not particularly wealthy, or successful, but they are more alive than any other human being. It really inspires me to continue reading, continue wondering about the world.

    "Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving....Don’t give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with."

    "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 guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    smarmer Los Angeles, CA USA 09-21-14
    smarmer Los Angeles, CA USA 09-21-14 Member Since 2011

    smarmer

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    "Superb reading; book has many layers"
    Any additional comments?

    First, the narrator was outstanding. He made listening exciting. I had read the print version of this book before and had seen the mediocre film version many years ago. This narrator could not have been better. It is worth the time just to hear what a superb job he did.

    That this was written so early in Ray Bradbury's career is amazing. Like so many of the stories in "The Illustrated Man," they have both surface interest and many layers of deeper meaning.

    This is a book about anomie, about narcissism, about the hypnotic effect of technology, media and entertainment, about individuality versus collectivism, about the lure of conformity. In some ways it resembles the theme of the film "The Truman Show," in the way it presents vicarious experiencing as an alternative to authentic experiencing.

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it and strongly recommend it, even to those who have read the printed version earlier. I especially recommend it to anyone who read Fahrenheit 451 in high school and who is now an adult. You will find much more there now than you did then.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 08-03-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 08-03-13 Listener Since 2009

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Braduryian on par with Orwellian"

    Happiness through forced equality. Remove the books that drive competing points to view and stupefy the populace through reality tv shows. Montag had had his eyes open to the horror of his existence that not only holds himself down but as a fireman burning books does his part to lower society to the lowest common denominator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • BillyBlackBear
    South Wales
    7/5/14
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    "Fire Storm!"

    This is a wonderfully dark piece of work that has some unnerving resonance with our fast and furious live today - I think it was this resonance that most impressed me about the book as there are some annoyingly long sections of mental torture that I found irritating but overall a very enjoyable read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    FAREHAM, United Kingdom
    4/2/12
    Overall
    "Obviously a classic"

    Obviously a classic so not much for me to add really. I must admit, I did find Stephen Hoye's narration a little bit too 'angst ridden' but that may well just be me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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