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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
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,...
Published 19 months ago by Scoopriches

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fell short of expectations�
I heard so much about this book before I finally picked it up. And when I did get around to reading it...I wasn't impressed. Yes, the author's ideas are scary: That in the future, firemen set fires to burn books. One firefighter, Guy Montag, begins to look at his life more closely and discovers how empty it is. He begins to take books home from many of the places he has...
Published on May 29 2004 by Victory Silvers


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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 (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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. Firemen are called upon to save citizens from the illicit few who still harbour those dangerous, vile and destructive books. Crashing through your front door, the fireman ransack and pillage all over your home in order to find your treasured hidden books. These offensive items are then piled up in your living room. And then set afire.

Just close your eyes right now and imagine all your books burning up in a massive pile. Terrifying isn’t it?

And this is where the title of the book comes from. The temperature of Fahrenheit 451 is when paper burns. A fact that we never wanted to know, never needed to know, but Bradbury makes it a part of our reality.

And now back to the story of Montag, the man who preaches fire against books, is experiencing doubts about his purpose. His inner turmoil is kept secret from Captain Beatty, the suspicious fire chief, but to no avail. After stealing a book from a “crime scene”, he slowly realizes they are coming for him. Now a fugitive whose only sin was wishing to read, Montag is chased out of the city and into the wilderness away from “civilization.” Meeting up with a group of fellow refuges, Montag settles into his new journey, now finally free to read.

And now he is happy.

Bradbury’s story of burning books became an instant classic and helped launch his greatness. What initially started life as a short story, he nurtured into a fully developed gem about the horrors of censorship. Bradbury saw an evil that existed, that crept along stalking humanity since the dawn of time, and felt emboldened to expose it. He famously wrote the entire manuscript at a local University on a pay typewriter that charged a dime per half hour. That is how strongly Ray Bradbury had to tell Fahrenheit 451. Unfortunately a rather mediocre movie was produced in 1966, which except for a haunting ending is mostly a waste. It was also mentioned in singer’s Rachel Bloom musical ode to Bradbury, a song that can be easily found on Youtube and is NSFW.

Their are two reasons for my diatribe today. One reason is to pay tribute to a fine excellent book that teaches you to cherish reading and knowledge and ideas. The lifeblood of our soul. The second reason is because coming up is Freedom To Read Week. Beginning Sunday February 26th and ending Saturday March 3rd and is organized by the Freedom of Expression Committee of the Book and Periodical Council. This annual event wants Canadians to think about and value their freedom to read what they want, when they want. This proved to me the perfect confluence of events, the story that epitomizes the fight for the right to think, married to the week that celebrates your right to think.

If you have never read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, this week would be the perfect time to. The intellectual charlatans who loudly proclaim moral objections to various books are really cowards afraid of the ideas expressed. They deserve no attention and should be granted no quarter. The existence of Montag must never come to be.

The present world we live in is wonderful, a beautiful here and now. Everyday, books which are filled with ideas to provoke thoughts and feelings in us, are routinely consumed and enjoyed by thinking and feeling people. These amazing lively humans on our planet are continually trying to spread happiness by sharing their readings to help cause you to think. The encouraging healthy vision they propel is what society starts to transform into at the conclusion of one book. A literary classic by one of our modern masters that will never come to be.

Start Thinking.

Start Thinking Right Now.

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

Excellent Behavior.

Prepare for the book to be read.

Thank You for your excitement.

Scoopriches
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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
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.
Clarisse, for example, doesn't like or hate that fake prosperity, simply because she doesn't care. She just does what she likes and she's happy. It's probably the only person you'll meet who is. Unfortunately, it will kill her but her short encounter with Montag will have been fundamental.
Okay, I admit it, even if he's not from the "good" side, I've a compassion of some sort for the last important character of the story, Captain Beatty, the firemen's chief. He's really disconcerting, an opponent worthy of Montag. You quickly feel his cogency, his volubility. Despite his current lifework, it's easy to suspect he read a lot in the past and reflected over everything. He would once have been a precious ally for Montag but now, it's too late. He abides by the system and resigned himself, sincerely convinced of its ineluctability. So, of course, he must oppose Montag. The way he dies, the way he chooses to die, is terrible and you'll realize then what despair has haunted that man, how strong his disgust of life has been.
Oh, while I'm writing this, I've just remembered a scenery. In fact, each time I think about Fahrenheit, this one always comes to my mind. At a certain point of the 2nd part, Montag thrust himself in the parlor occupied by Mildred and her friends who were watching their favorite show on the 3 walls, the White Cartoon Clown. Montag pulls the switch, and after some words exchanged about the coming war, he simply says "Let's talk." The passage that immediately follows his request is powerful, from the bewildering words of Mrs Phelps about the children she never had to the furor of Montag appealing them to get out of his house, it's a total delight! I guess it's only there that the reader discovers in what terribly absurd world s/he was dived. This passage is a great moment of literature history, I swear you! :)
If you make up your mind and wish to buy that magnum opus, I suggest you buy the 40th anniversary edition for Fahrenheit deserves a choice place in your library. The dustcover is beautiful, with the back reproducing the original illustration. Now, let's remove delicately the dust cover. Wow, there's a nice hardcover under it, the main sides are light brown and my fingers can feel the author's name raised slightly in the same color :) and on the black edge, title, author and editor are in gold letters. Hum! Hum! What's more? Ah, yes, a very interesting and recent foreword by Ray Bradbury, very instructive, it explains everything: the genesis of the book, the historical context, the how and the why. The original introduction (written in 1966) is still there, as captivating as the foreword, both of them are worth reading. From all points of view, I'm very proud to own this edition. I hope you'll feel the same pride.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, April 18 2014
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What a talented writer. The book is short and to the point without lacking any of the details necessary for a good story. This writer is brilliant and clearly put a lot of thought into this book. It's written in such a way that it can be read by any reader at any level.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a classic for a reason, Jan. 31 2014
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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. A journey of realization and choosing what is right over what is easy. This and George Orwell's 1984 are the dystopian future novels to rule them all. I can wholeheartedly recommend this novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, April 11 2013
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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. I also found it amazing how Ray Bradbury had such startling foresight! I felt like I was reading about today's world in a strange way. I don't recall reading it in school but I sure am glad I read it now and would recommend it highly to anyone who hasn't read it and if they have to read it again!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Prescient Novel!, June 7 2012
By 
Daffy Bibliophile (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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". There was no censorship imposed by government, it's more a case of taking the world of television, movies and books as they existed in the early 1950s (and even more so today) and extrapolating how this vapid culture of ours could play out if taken to an extreme. The longing for conformity and, at the same time, for cheap thrills leads directly to the firehouse. I think that "Fahrenheit 451" shares a lot in common with Huxley's "Brave New World": keep the masses occupied with mindless entertainment and you'll keep society stable. But at what price?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian cautionary tale, Jan. 28 2012
By 
Dr. Bojan Tunguz (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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. In a future world, books are banned and firemen actually set fires instead of extinguishing them. The state exercises a form of social control through controlling what sort of information people have access to. It turns out that not all books are banned, only those that we would today consider "great works" - Plato, Shakespeare, The Bible, Darwin, etc. For me one of the biggest surprises about Fahrenheit 451 was the rationale that was offered for the burning of those books. In a nutshell, they offended politically correct sensibilities and the authorities felt that they would undermine the social cohesion. This expunging of the classics from the culture has an uncanny resonance with the attempts over past few decades to expunge them from the undergraduate liberal arts curriculum. And rationale is also similar: these books are not "diverse" enough and may offend the sensibilities of an ever-increasing list of "minorities." It is hard not to wonder if a milder, softer version of dystopian future that Bradbury was worried about in the early 1950s has not in fact arrived.

Bradbury's writing and ideas are somewhere between those of George Orwell and Philip K. Dick. His style is very engaging, and even poetic. His writing is at its best when one of his characters engages in a prolonged monolog. However, the plot development could use some improvement. There is very little in terms of transition from one scene to the next, and most scenes are overly compressed. It is very hard to follow the plot developments at times. Nonetheless, Bradbury is a wonderful stylist and unlike much of science fiction this book is a pleasure to read on a purely literally level as well as for its sweeping ideas.

As a last note, I found it incredibly ironic that I read this book on Kindle. Based on this alone I am fairly optimistic that reading and great books will not only survive but in fact thrive well into the 21st century.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Bradbury's best, Oct. 6 2006
By 
Mark Wakely (Lombard, Illinois) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The temperature at which a book burns, May 25 2006
By 
Still harrowing after all these years, and perhaps even more so now in SOME countries (not calling any names here), 451 is as disturbing and enlightening as it was low the many years ago when it was written. Like 1984 and BRAVE NEW WORLD, it is one of those "This can happend if we don't watch out" books. And we should listen. While not a long read, it is packed with emotion and forboding. Yes, this is a classic, worthy of being taught in school, but it's for everyone. A warning of what can happen if "they" take over. Don't let them.
Also recommended: "Katzenjammer" by McCrae and "Catch 22."
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Students Review, March 7 2006
This review is from: Fahrenheit 451 (Paperback)
Fahrenheit 451 was a novel written by Ray Bradbury in 1953. This book is not for people who like to read books that are easy to comprehend. If you are into books that you have to take the time to understand, than this book is for you.
It starts out by introducing the main character "Guy Montag" as a fireman of the future. Only in those days fireman don't put out fires, they start them. In the book all houses are fireproof and it is illegal to read books. If you are caught with books the firemen will come to your house and burn the books and your house.
Montag is a normal guy of the future until he meets this young girl named "Clarisse." She asks him questions that he always thought were a waste of time. In this time frame people don't get tickets for going too fast on the road. They get tickets for going too slow. Clarisse explained this situation very well in the book by stating "If you ask a driver what a green blur is. Oh yes, he'd say that's grass! A pink blur? That's a rose garden! white blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows.
Eventually Montag goes on a run he will never foreget. An old woman is willing to die with her books rather than live without them. So Montag decides to see what these books are all about because society has labeled books as being a waste of time so he begins to sneak books away from the houses they are burning. He eventualy shows them to his wife and she turns him in. Thats when it starts to get really intersting. but the most interesting thing bout this book is that it is almost beginning to come true. I mean we shortened classics from 500 pages to 100 and if you are really lazy you could probably just watch the movie.
I would definetly recomend this book as something to read that you just can't put down. Its another classic from Ray Bradbury.
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Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury (Hardcover - Sept. 23 2003)
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