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Fahrenheit 451 Unabridged Cd [Audiobook] [CD-ROM]

Ray Bradbury
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (981 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 20 2001
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!


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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 neighbor 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 ages 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Stephen Hoye's narration is perfectly matched to the subject matter: his tone is low and ominous, and his cadence shifts with the prose to ratchet up tension and suspense." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Audio Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still a masterpiece, and more than ever! :)) Jan. 13 2000
By Xavier
Format:Hardcover
I hadn't read this Bradbury's classic for 15 years. I had 14 years old then and though I liked it, I appreciate it now even more. Should I think I was not mature enough to understand all the ins and outs of the book?
When Ray Bradbury published his Fahrenheit 451 several decades ago, he depicted a decaying society, only preoccupied by its facade of happiness. Not that people are entirely free of the usual constraints but everything is done through games, shows, comics for them to forget the notion of thinking, source of all distress and misery. Those who resist are destroyed, dangerous books (those *who* make think) are burnt. And finally, does it work after so much trouble?
Well, at first sight, it depends on the basic purpose of the system. If its aim is to make people happy, it's undoubtedly a catastrophic failure. On the other hand, if it plans on making people believe they are happy or at least act as if they were, the answer may appear less immediate but little by little, you realize that for most of the characters, and therefore for probably most of the society, it comes to the same thing.
Montag, the fireman who burns the books, is suddenly confronted to the emptiness of his life. Is he happy? No. He will refuse the system and fight, like Granger and the old Faber. Mildred, Montag's wife, has accepted it all. It's so practical for her to live without thinking, with a virtual family on screens around the walls of the parlor. She has friends she can talk with. She has plenty of leisure, goes on parties, but is she happy? Can she be happy when she frequently needs a bunch of pills to get dopey to the point of risking her life? Obviously not. Same for her friends, you'll see it fast.
Two characters are really apart in this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Have The Freedom To Read Fahrenheit 451 Sept. 6 2012
By Scoopriches TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Stop Thinking.

Stop Thinking Right Now.

Because that book you have in your hands will cause you to Think.

Unacceptable Behavior.

Prepare for the book to burn.

Thank You for your cooperation.

This is the future world existing just around the corner, only a scant few minutes from our present times. Everyday, books which are filled with ideas to provoke thoughts and feelings in us, are routinely challenged and banned by unthinking and unfeeling scoundrels. These immoral vapid inhabitants of our planet are constantly trying to control what you read in order to control how you think. The scary insane world they propagate is shown in all of it’s terrifying fullness in one book. A literary classic by one of our modern masters.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. And yes, “they” have attempted to ban this book as well.

A Spoiler Filled Summary Follows.

First published in 1953, this slim volume tells the complete tale of Earth, sometime down our future road, where books of all types are banned. Reading is prohibited by law. Virtually everyone drugs themselves out on television all night and day. Into this time and place we are introduced to Montag, who, while out walking one night, meets a teenage girl named Clarisse. She does the unthinkable and goads him into thinking, creating thoughts of his own, and wonder about all aspects of his life. Montag’s wife is whiling her life away in front of the television, and he cannot seek solace for these uncomfortable ideas at work either. For Montag has the profession of enforcer of this societies rules. He is a fireman.

For in this twisted tormented existence, all houses are fireproof.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Written in the basement of the UCLA library Oct. 12 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
do not want to tell much of the story, as the unfolding is part of the intrigue. However now that houses are fire proof the purpose of firemen is performing a service by burning books to maintain the happy social order.

Naturally one fireman goes awry after several emotional incidences from someone burning up with the books to a young neighbor with strange ways, which run counter to his carrier. This leads to all kinds of deviant things like reading. What are you doing now?

One big rift between the book and the movie [Fahrenheit 451 (1966) -- Oscar Werner, Julie Christie] is that in the movie the "written word" was completely removed (even from the credits); where as in the book the state was against was literature and not technical writing.

Books are just symbols of ideas that could have been on the screen also. There is deference between training and education. Among other reasons the book was a symbol of one mans superiority over another in a world of equals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Bradbury's best Oct. 6 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This somber book, with its theme of government-encouraged anti-intellectualism, was written during an age when "eggheads" were suspected of being subversive somehow, maybe even godless commies. This distrust of intelligence and non-conformity is taken to the extreme by Bradbury, with stark and memorable results. By discouraging education and all forms of intelligent discourse, the future government is able to control the population not merely by force or threats, but by providing an endless flow of mindless entertainment, which (nearly) everyone happily accepts. Like sheep before the slaughter, the placated citizenry of Fahrenheit 451 simply doesn't know any better than to believe what the government pronounces at face value. This perverse form of "mind control"- enforced by keeping minds happily engaged in only the most trivial of pursuits- works only too well, since it is far easier to remain ignorant than struggle to form an opposing opinion that might require courage to express. And by burning the last remaining learning tools that threaten its empire- books- the government tries to erase the possibility that anyone could stir an uprising based on ancient philosophical principles such as democracy, liberty, and self-determination.

Ignorance becomes not only bliss, but a frightening way of life.

Bradbury is one of the original "Golden Age" science fiction writers, and that shows in this book. There's the element of the fantastic in the everyday gadgets here, more speculation and wonder that science. For this reason, it doesn't quite have the realistic edge that most mainstream fiction has, although the philosophical themes in the book elevate it to mainstream status. But if you like the "gee-whiz" in your science fiction, then that's another plus.

-Mark Wakely, author of An Audience for Einstein
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected!!!
When I got this book, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I knew the book was about a guy who worked as a "fireman" but that was about it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mikerah
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't get any better than this...
A science-fiction classic written by one of the masters. There is poetry here, and a message on society that will remain relevant across the ages.
Published 2 months ago by Syd More
2.0 out of 5 stars Ooooh, 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
What a talented writer. The book is short and to the point without lacking any of the details necessary for a good story. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Natalie Ralstin
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a classic for a reason
I originally had to read this for a project, and I thought I'd be bored to tears. I was so wrong. This book acts as a warning to an all too possible future. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Megan Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Hard to believe how this story is so representative to how today's hi-tech world is affecting people and their attitudes and habits and was written decades ago. Read more
Published 16 months ago by snailgurl
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Prescient Novel!
This is not a book about state censorship, this is a book about the banality of mass culture. Bradbury's firemen burn books to ensure that everyone is "equal" and "happy". Read more
Published on June 7 2012 by Daffy Bibliophile
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian cautionary tale
Fahrenheit 451 is one of the most famous works of science fiction, and with "Brave New World" and "1984" represents one of the most memorable and haunting dystopias. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2012 by Dr. Bojan Tunguz
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs Q: Book Addict
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Pages: 208
Source: Personal Copy

"Four-hundred and fifty degrees - the combustion point of paper. Read more
Published on Sept. 27 2011 by Mrs. Q: Book Addict
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or hate it, read it
Fahrenheit 451 is a novel ahead of its time. Though it was written in 1950, virtual reality, cyborgs, and computing are covered in surprising ways. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2011 by M. Yakiwchuk
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