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Fahrenheit 451

Narrated by: Tim Robbins
Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (17,035 ratings)

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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, October 2014 - I credit Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 as one of the books that sparked my love of reading, and now that I'm an avid listener, I'm excited to be able to experience the story anew with Academy Award-winner Tim Robbins ( The Shawshank Redemption) narrating. Robbins' tone expertly mirrors the story's narrative – shifting effortlessly from somber and contemplative to suspenseful and terrifying. Each character, from the rebellious protagonist Guy Montag, to the enigmatic Clarisse McClellan, to the gruff Captain Beatty is distinct and realistic, making this frightening future seem all the more possible. Whether you enjoyed the book in a high school English class or never quite got around to it, every book lover should experience this poignant version of a dystopian classic. —Sam, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

Ray Bradbury's internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of 20th-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future, narrated here by Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins.

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.

©1951 Ray Bradbury (P)2014 Audible Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Bradbury's iconic novel about the dangers of complacency and the value of curiosity gains a solid new voice with this audio performance. Tim Robbins puts his acting prowess to use here, creating superb dialogue and striding confidently through powerful speeches that celebrate books and warn against the lure of technology. Protagonist Montag burns with all the earnestness of a man eager for change; Faber's aged scholar simmers with cautious hope; Mildred's vacuous presence echoes emptily. Robbins provides the theatrical with the expected confidence, but he also makes good use of quiet in this production. He makes Bradbury's words even more powerful by remembering to pause at opportune moments to let them sink in." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Wish I Hadn't Cliff Noted This in High School

I'm ashamed to say that during High School I made the grave mistake of using cliff notes to get through reading Fahrenheit 451. I did that for most books in High School and College and am just now going back and reading the for the first time. Like Orwell's 1984, Fahrenheit 451 is as relevant if not even more so in today's culture.

The first thing that struck me about Fahrenheit 451 is that it's actually a pretty straightforward and easy ready. Unlike many books that are "assigned reading" Fahrenheit 451 has a straightforward premise. It's set in a world where firefighters instead of putting out fires, start fires by burning books, and anyone associated with them.

What rang true most of all was towards the middle of the novel there's a scene in which the main character, Guy Montag is interacting with his wife and her two friends. It's a scene in which he reads a couple verses of poetry and the reactions of each of the characters was so distinct and so different that it took me off guard. The way in which Bradbury is able to convey the dichotomy between wanting to be happy and avoiding reality is something I wrestle with. Do I ignore the injustice in the world for my own happiness or do I fully embrace the fact that there are horrors taking place all around me?

And that's what I loved most of all about Fahrenheit 451, it made me contemplate my own life. I didn't find the story to be overly satisfying, especially the ending, but the questions it raises are profound. And its because of that, that I'm disappointed I hadn't read it earlier and urge anyone who likes my cliff noted my way through it to go back and enjoy this marvelous novel.

45 of 47 people found this review helpful

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Don't ask for guarantees

“Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

I read this in Jr. High. What a waste. I wasn't ready for Bradbury. I mean I liked Bradbury. I read a bunch of his short story collections and even dabbled with his books. But I failed at that young age to appreciate Bradbury's language. I was reading for plot. I missed the words, the texture, the depth of his words. There is a reason this is a classic and will continue to be a classic. It is damn good. It is important. It is still relevant and still sucks the wind right out of me. Save 100 books from my burning house. This might not be one of the hundred, but only because it is burned into my brain and I won't ever forget it.

56 of 63 people found this review helpful

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I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You

When I see a new release on audio of a classic book read by a great actor or actress, I'm in. Sometimes it doesn't work. Here, Tim Robbins' rhapsody perfectly pitches this futuro de fuego novel that for most of us was required reading in school. The boy I was surely did not appreciate Ray Bradbury's talent for telling fantastic stories or his prose or the value and experience of *Fahrenheit 451.*

This book, with Tim Robbin's narration, lit up my literary fervor with a tale of how life would be without books, and has ignited my interest in Ray Bradbury's other books.

More valuable than the credit spent, this enthralling audiobook is a reminder of the value of literature and, more than that, an infernal blast!

89 of 101 people found this review helpful

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A Parable For Our Times

This book is a must-read for our times. The characters imprison themselves willingly in feel-good entertainment bubbles and resent and destroy anything that challenges them to stretch beyond their comfort zone. My favorite quote was, roughly, that we expect flowers to grow on flowers instead of good soil and rain... This book is good soil and rain for a curious stretching mind.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Classic (short) and trippy

This book has its moments where it starts blabbering like a trippy radio station. Why is it so short? It felt shorter than a short story. there is not much of character development. The story moves on really fast. The onus is more on the idea of destroying knowledge and making humans happy with brain dead entertainment. Story with the idea would have been better.

I expected narration to be top notch but Tim Robbins cannot do woman noises very well. It all came out whiny and annoying. Maybe their characters were suppose to be but he added something extra to it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Can Tim Robbins read me all of my books?

I never read Fahrenheit 451 in school like most people, so this was my first time. The story was tragic, inspiring, and thought-provoking. And in a way, terrifying, like most dystopian future novels tend to be when we notice the similarities to present day society.

Tim Robbins was amazing. He shouts when he needs to, he gets excited, he gets flustered and embarrassed. So far Robbins has been the best to listen to.

54 of 64 people found this review helpful

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Classic, but…

I honestly was not please with the story. I like the message, just not the delivery. I don’t believe it was just the use of the sublime that I didn’t like, but his actual writing style. The narrator did a decent job, I enjoy when narrators try different voices for different characters. My only criticism for the narator is that some of the voices were too aggravating (that might have been the point though).

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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IF SOMEONE GIVES YOU RULED PAPER,

WRITE THE OTHER WAY.
I have lost count of how many times I have read or listen to this book. This time was the most pleasant and I felt I got the most out of it. Robbins is my kind of narrator. Some might think him too dramatic, but I appreciated the feeling he put into the reading. The book is divided into three parts, with the first part being the best.

THE MIND DRINKS LESS AND LESS
For a book written in the 40's it is amazing all the things Bradbury predicted. He predicted the death of newspapers, he predicted sitcoms, the word intellectual becoming a swear word, ear buds and people listening to something all day, Reality TV, and schools becoming more about sports then about academics. He also predicted that lots of people would be more likely to vote for the most handsome candidate, but that may have already been in practice during the 40's I don't know. He goes on about how we will need to be entertained at all times. This made me laugh, as just the other day I put coffee in the microwave, set it for 35 seconds and then worried about how I was going to fill the next 35 seconds. Some of these may be controversial, but in my mind he hit the nail on the head.

YOU THINK TOO MUCH
Part two was really good and part three was good. I thought in part three he got too poetic and dramatic, but Bradbury has been known to do that from time to time. His worries about over population did not happen and we did not have a bunch of nuclear wars. Books have not disappeared, they have gotten bigger, RE: Sanderson, Gabaldon, Hobbs and George RR.

SEA SHELL RADIO
Tim Robbins was great. When audible first came out with actors as narrators, I was not for it. I felt I was being disloyal to my favorite narrators, such as Dick Hill, Ray Porter, and Will Patton (who is an actor). So far, I have heard Robbins and Hathaway and both were great and made the books they read a pleasurable experience. I guess they aren't just pretty faces.

47 of 59 people found this review helpful

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Book changed my life!!

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury
Location:?

Have you ever read one of those books that while you're reading it, you know it's changing your life and the way you see things?.... This book blew my mind. The simple fact it was written in 1951 and it was so spot on with so many details that are going on right now in our society. Thank God we still have books though :-) but a lot of the other things are going on right now. This was a phenomenal book. I am not the same person. I'm going to read another book by Bradbury called "Dandelion wine" I really like this author and I can definitely see his influence on Stephen King.. If you haven't read it I recommend doing so as soon as possible :-) my only complaint and it's a small one I did not love the narrator. Sometimes the voices were killing me. Mildred the wife sounded like Jocelyn from Bob's burgers. But it was fine and I could deal with it because the story was phenomenal

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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We should shrink billboards!

Listsning to this book, it made me wonder if the idea of audible books come from here.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 02-27-17

Fantastic story, worth getting into...

Any additional comments?

The story is a classic, but the narration takes some getting into. The voice acting for the characters is great throughout, but the narration in the early scenes feels a little rushed and, at times, a little clunky. It gets better as you go through the book, and there are some points in which Tim Robbins really captures the frustration and drama of the world in which the protagonist lives. By halfway, the narrating style had me on the edge of my seat, so well worth persevering with if you find it poor at the start. As i say, the story itself is great. A really fantastic tale and a great overall audiobook.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Alexander
  • 10-20-16

Glimpse of the future?

Really thought provoking book. Took a while to get into and finished all too soon. Can't believe it was written in the 50's - must have had a crystal ball.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-16-16

Superb

I loved every single word and enjoyed every second listening to this book. This will be one of the very few books I will listen to again.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • dario
  • 04-24-17

grasping till the end

The start was a bit difficult to digest but then I've grown into it and now I simply love it. There are some passages which have a clear resonance with our modern world.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike Mc
  • 01-10-17

Great thought provoking story

Excellent narration and well worth a listen. A brilliant story and one we hope will not be our reality.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-17-16

Fahrenheit 451

Compulsive listening. A world without books would be a frightening thought. Knowledge of for everyone.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy Connolly
  • 10-05-16

loved it !!!

I really loved this book and the narration was amazing. I'd recommend it to anyone. and it's so short it's not a big commitment.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Sally
  • 08-28-16

Thanks

Tim Robbins was incredible often hooked me in and the ending was so emotional but full of hope

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • B Breen
  • 08-24-17

Not great.

I won't be getting one narrated by Tim again. The plot is ok, it's well written, and badly narrated.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 03-31-16

Sizzling

The story is set in a twisted future of our world - one where all media is heavily controlled and 'fireman' are there to burn books.

The lead character is conflicted - does he maintain the status quo or challenge it? Is the lesser life currently provided safer or happier? Should he make a stand?

The message behind the story is similar to George Orwell's 1984 but told it's unique way. Tim Robbins delivers a top performance - a little too quick in places but still an excellent listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Nafees
  • 03-02-16

buy this

incredible, very relevant to today
one of the best narrations I've heard as well l

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Hadyn
  • 04-30-18

Breathtaking

This book is a stark reminder of a reality we may face in the future

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-22-18

a Dystopia to add to the list

just getting through the dystopian reading list hoping to avoid a real one
And testing out the review system

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-21-17

A wonderful satire. Or a glimpse of the future...

This is a great book. Satirical but not comedic. It is a dark tale of personal redemption and a societal correction after society has taken some very wrong turns. Robbins is great as a narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MarnieB
  • 10-23-17

Very good

It took me a little while to get into it but I’m so glad I did. Tim Robbins was very,very good as Montag. The only thing I didn’t like was the production credits being shouted over the beautiful music that swelled as the book finished. If your going to shout every production credit DON’T bother with the music!!!!! Totally ruined the ending. Tim Robbins should do more books. 😉

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 10-18-17

Need more stars

There aren't enough stars to rate the performance of this audio book. Tim Robbins is brilliant. I was on the edge of my seat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-10-17

Tim Robbins is a fantastic dramatic reader

So good. an emotional performance of brilliant subject matter. It's 67 years old and will remain just as relevant today as it was then as it will be a thousand years from now.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Try
  • 05-11-15

great story poorly presented

This is a great story that everyone should read (especially these days in a multimedia world which almost directly reflects the world described by Ray Bradbury). I like Tim Robbins as an actor but I am disappointed with this presentation. It is over dramatic at times with gasping and shouting and his voice choices are not as good as they could be. His female voices sound like Monty Python's Mrs Knickerbater at times.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Irenie
  • 04-02-19

Vivid character, change, and commentary

I won't write much beyond, Read this! I didn't regret the five hour audio one second.

The characters are striking without being shallow. The development of plot and character fast-paced and action packed without losing a smidgen of ability to make you think. The commentary on culture, society, even just being alive is perhaps even more appropriate now than it was at the time of writing.

Enjoy this book for some perspective on how you live your own life and help to see our time and society more clearly.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-17-19

Everyone should read or listen to it.

I love the story- it is worth reading or listening to.
The only issue I have with this version, is the insipid and annoying voice that the narrator gives Montag’s wife, Mildred. She could have been given any number of voices but he chose this one... I personally find it a poor choice and does not reflect a greater understanding of female characters and their roles.