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Fahrenheit 451: 50th Anniversary Edition

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

37 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

Very Highly Recommended! An excellent symbolic warning to society of today!

Take a step into an alternate reality in which attempted suicides are a daily occurance and firefighters are relentlessly called to start fires. That is exactly what Ray Bradbury does in his excellent forewarning of a novel, Farenheit 451. Bradbury writes futuristically...
Take a step into an alternate reality in which attempted suicides are a daily occurance and firefighters are relentlessly called to start fires. That is exactly what Ray Bradbury does in his excellent forewarning of a novel, Farenheit 451. Bradbury writes futuristically about a symbolic society that takes place around the time we are currently in. The society is one in which free thought of any sort is shunned if not completely blocked out by technology. Houses are filled with TV walls, 4 to a room all playing a different show, and front porches are completely done away with in the novel. The novel centers around Guy Montag a firefighter in the society who is discovering ideas he never thought possible to have.
Montag is a firefighter who makes a living burning down houses containing banned books which include anything historical or of a literary nature. He meets a strange neighborhood girl who's family is the odd-ball group of the town because they all get together and talk around a table at night. Within the discussions between Montag and the girl a notion crosses Montag's mind that is later developed when he watches a woman burn with her books rather than live without them. From this thought that maybe there is something missing from Montag's society, Montag ventures on a secretive and dangerous journey to discover what it is. During this journey Montag is hunted down, outed for concealing books, and forced to run away with other literary followers. In this journey he discovers that unlike his society believes, free thought is the true happiness. Montag and his group of literary followers are given a chance to redefine the then fast-paced, materialistic, and thoughtless society Bradbury describes.
The society in which Montag lives is one that denies any opportunity for free thought. This is seen in Montag's homelife, typical to his world in which he and his wife are overcome by technology every waking moment. Mrs. Montag spends her days with her "family" as she called it in a parlor. This family consisted of three wall-sized televisions each playing a different show. T.V. has even become a thoughtless act as shown when Montag questions his wife as to what she is watching and she can mention the names of the characters but cannot tell what action is taking place, only that she is amused by it. Mrs. Montag can only dream of the addition of a fourth Wall Television to keep her eyes occupied and mind blank. The action of having 3 blaring T.V.s in one room of Bradbury's society is an exaggerated symbol for the fast paced media we do have in the world today such as using cell phones while on the computer while a T.V. drones in the background. The commercials we see on T.V. now that are 10-30 seconds long and up to 5 minutes consecutively are a real life representation of the short of thought society Bradbury warned against and feared in Farenheit 451.
To enhance this theme of thoughtlessness in Bradbury's novel people in his society do not even have a chance to think while falling asleep. Mrs. Montag wears her seashell radio to bed every night. This seashell is not full of ocean sounds but instead radio and chatter that run through her ears and her mind all night while she sleeps. This defeats even the slightest chance for sound thought and therefore exemplifies once again Bradbury's warning and novel's theme that the media and technology we use, taken over the limit will prohibit thought and stop progress.
Bradbury's novel Faren

posted by 8013415 on April 24, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 72 people found this review helpful.

Boring and stupid

This book was just plain boring. The plot was too heavy and too much information was stuffed into the beginning of the book. It moves at a very slow pace and never picks up. I had a snail that moved faster than this. Read something else.

posted by Anonymous on August 7, 2000

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    School Review

    Review: This book was about a fireman whose job it was to burn the houses that contained books. Citizens of the town called in to the Firehouse if they had a suspicion about someone having or using books. Many of the bibles had been burned, Shakespeare had been torched, and Hemingway was left in dust. Find out what a popular fireman does to help stop the burning. Someone who doesn’t care for reading should read this short story about appreciating the written works of writers.

    7 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    Kind of dissapointing

    Book Review Outline
    Book title and author: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    Title of review: Could have been better
    Number of stars (1 to 5):

    Introduction
    I read Fahrenheit 451. Although, it was an ok book the concept was a bit of a stretch for me. It was difficult to imagine a world like the main character, Guy Montag, lived in. I think it could have been intended for an older audience. At some times it was hard to follow but I liked the challenge.
    Description and summary of main points
    The book definitely seemed to have an old timey feel, even though it was set in the future! The reason is that it was written in the 1950s by a man named Ray Bradbury. The story takes place in a futuristic town but the year is really in the 1990! Looks like that ban against books was never passed!
    Evaluation
    The plot of this book is about a man named Guy Montag who is a fireman from the future. Firemen in the future start fires not put them out. They spray kerosene on the books and set fire to them to ensure no one his breaking the law. He never questioned his job until he meets these two people, a young girl and an old man. They change his perspective a on things.
    Conclusion
    I thought this book's ending was semi- disappointing. The whole book its self wasn't terrible though. Over all I don't think I fully enjoyed this book. I definitely wouldn't recommen this to very many people though

    4 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2000

    Give me a break

    This book isn't that good....drags and is boring. Only good part is the idea of rebeling against an oppresive gov't

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    The outstanding Fahrenheit 451 review

    I looked forward to reading this book. Now after I readit I think more sci-fi people should read this book. This is why it gets a 3.5 on my list.
    My main points are it's a sad tail. . It's about love and the future. This is a sci-fi book. Some parts I was interested and then a wrong turn. I went straight to daydreaming. Some parts cool others not. After reading the book it was crazy. He barely had in thoughts. I was not what I lik to read. He should check his work I will read more of his books and give you the full review. Signing off.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    really boring and pointless

    my title says it all. i hated this book. so stupid and pointless

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2010

    im half way through

    yesterday i was forced to read this book and i think i almost died of complete bordum. nothing was going on and there was absolutly no action what so ever. im half way through and i really am not looking forward to reading the other half. i was ordered to read a science fiction/fantsy book and i dont see any way how this book is either one of those genres. im completely disapointed of the outcome of the book. my teacher would not consisder this fantsay or non fiction so now im at square one trying to find a new book again...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451 is about a world where firemen start fires instead of putting them out. In this book, the government does not allow the people to read books. To make sure that no one reads books, the firemen ignite houses to burn the books inside them. The main character of this story is a fireman named Guy Montag. When Montag kills his boss, the government sends a robot hound in search of him. The robot hound finds people by scent, and that is the plan to find Guy Montag. The reader is encouraged to read this book to find out the fate of Guy Montag.

    The plot of this story is intricate and if the reader does not pay attention to details then this story can be very confusing. I found that it does have some interesting parts. For example, I found it very interesting that this story was written a very long time ago and hints to the future. The interesting part is that the future is now. I would recommend this book to people that are interested in reading science fiction novels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    Just three words that¿s all I have to say about this book. It was terrible. This story had too many long moments that made me snooze way too easily. All the author tried to do was get his point across in a different way than just saying it. When the author was trying to think of a way to make it interesting he probably thought hmm yets make it about the future that will make it interesting. WRONG the only way to make it interesting is if you¿re a good writer. I don¿t even know the point the author was trying to get across. The best part in the book was him being chased and even then it was boring. The ending was just plain out stupid. The beginning was okay it got me interested but as it went on it got more boring. If you want it to be a good book you have to keep your readers on their toes reaching for the next page before their even done with it. You all are probably like how can I think this was a bad book it got a National Book Award. Well it was given like what 50 years ago and the guys who gave it were probably like 80. They don¿t speak for everyone and they certainly don¿t speak for me. By the way did the main character fall in love with a little girl because that¿s disgusting. Which by the way he killed her off too soon she was the only interesting character. If you¿re going to kill a character make sure that character is not the only good one. Also what was with his wife and the television at the end? What was the point of that really? Also what was with the hobos, why not a secret organization or maybe James bond. I¿m just not getting the big picture here. Anyway all I¿m trying to say is that for a lot of people it may not seem that good a book. I¿m just pointing out all the flaws in the book. Some people may find it good but I bet not a lot of high school teens do, but there is always one person out there that is different. I¿m not saying it¿s a bad thing, it¿s good. Anyway that¿s what I think about the book. As written by Douglas Adams, ¿So long, and thanks for all the fish.¿

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    I thought the book was kind of dull. It talked about interesting stuff later on though. The author made all the characters very diverse which I liked. I do think that the book was very thought out even though it wasn't that great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2007

    Censorship's Hero, Literature's Headsman

    Ray Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451 is not just a random piece of literature that speak out against censorship. Bradbury weaves an intricate tale of a futuristic world with a nihilistic, and, frankly, rather totalitarian government, and a single firefighter that is employed by this government. This fireman, Montag, like most all of the people in the bizarre, distant world that is the setting of this book, belives that the government is right in its crusade to destory books, and, by extension, destroy knowledge. One day, by chance, he meets a young girl that reveals to him the beauty of such knowledge that he has lived to destroy thus far. The story proceeds to speak of his own quest to find and salvage books, and then goes on further to speak of his run from the government in which he once had so much faith. I loved the themes in this book. The evils of censorship are quite aparent in this world, and I resent that people are allowed to do such things, and I really did enjoy how Bradbury displayed this in such a confrotational way. I confess myself, though, quite disapointed after actually reading the books. The book as a whole was rather dull, and I found that I had to re-read the first half of the book several times before actually, quite literally, managing to stay awake, and comprehend what was going on. I will also say that much of the dialogue was quite unnecesary, and rather boring as well. It drug on, much like a dying animal, and I had to supress the urge to shoot the book. The end, though was not boring, was completely unsatisfying. I would not recomend this book, unless you have an unnaturally long attention span, and an iron will already in place to read such a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2007

    Not Very Interesting

    I didn¿t really like the book. I thought that it was boring. I basically begged my teacher to let me pick another book to read. It was probably boring to me, because I didn¿t comprehend it too good. I didn¿t understand much of what happened. It jumped around at some points. Like when Mrs. Montag over dosed on pills, the author didn¿t tell us when or how it happened. We were even told about it, until after the orderlies were there. I mean for some people, this may have been an amazing book, but for me it was not all that great. It just wasn¿t the type of book that I like. It also didn¿t explain how they got things to be so ¿perfect¿. Houses didn¿t burn, people didn¿t die doing everyday things. They died of old age. They had all these machines that did everything for people. They cooked the food, cleaned the house, told you who was coming to your house. They just also made people lazy, which calls for a boring story plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2007

    HALF-BAKED BOOK BURNING

    Bradbury's famous dystopian novel of a techno-Taliban regime that uses its 'firemen' to hunt down private libraries, burn their books, and arrest their bibliophiles...has one fundamental flaw. Aside from serving as the pretext for a novel, there is really no good reason for this regime to bother with book-burning at all: they have marginalized literate culture so thoroughly that book-loving will soon die out, and poses no threat to anyone. The protagonist, a 'fireman' who burns one library too many, winds up reciting poetry to his wife, who bursts into tears at being depressed so cruelly, and wants only to return to the din of commercialized sentiment flowing 24/7 from the TV that fills an entire wall in their home. She snitches on him, and he goes into hiding with the book people, who live way out yonder past the railroad tracks, helping each other memorize books as their copies disintegrate. One such is Plato's 'Republic,' the most famous fascist blueprint in Western lit, in which art, poetry, and especially theater are all banned. These book people are carefully preserving the regime's own Bible for book-burning!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    Not as good as it's cracked up to be.

    Fahrenheit 451 is a ¿futuristic¿ science fiction novel. When it was written in 1953, it takes place sometime after 1990. In this futuristic time, firemen no longer put out fires. That would be ridiculous, since all houses are fireproof. Instead, firemen start fires. They burn books. Books are illegal, and so they are burned whenever they are found. They story follows the life one of the firemen, named Guy Montag. Montag leads a perfectly average life. That is, until he meets his new neighbor, Clarisse McClellan, who forces him to stop and think about things. She asks him whether he had ever read any of the books he had burned, whether houses had always been fireproofed, and things along those lines. It was common sense that houses had always been fireproof, and books were illegal to everybody. Clarisse makes Montag think, which comes back to haunt him. He starts to wonder why exactly it was that books were so evil. Montag¿s character stimulated my thoughts about books, and whether they really were as evil as the novel made them out to be. The characters live in a hellish society in which free thought is prohibited. Therefore, books have been outlawed. Even though I don¿t exactly like to read when forced to, I would much rather endure that burden than live in a society much like theirs. Although I agree wholeheartedly with the message of the book, I found it difficult, sometimes downright boring. I think that Ray Bradbury spends too much time on some subjects, and not enough time on others. Bradbury goes into great detail in the beginning of the story about Montag¿s wife, Millie, and her committed suicide. To me, this is not nearly as important as the war that is being set in motion as the story progresses. Also, the book left me without a sense of completion. The ending was so open-ended that it felt to me like I had to read another book to figure out what else happened. I enjoyed this book for one reason, and one reason only: it has substance. This book will take you, make you rethink everything you know, and then change your opinion about anything. It made me think about whether I took books for granted or not, and then it made me think about other things that I may have taken for granted. Many books today just tell a story. This book will grab you, make you a part of the story, and merge your world with its message. Bottom line: read this book if you want to think deeply. If not, don¿t even bother. You'll end up wasting your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2006

    Fahrenheit 451: novel review

    Try to imagine a world where no one is allowed to read and where books are destroyed because support free thought. We would all be basically the same, searching purpose, but unable to find it, because everything in our world is telling us that individuality is negative and will be persecuted. The only world you have ever known does not allow you to question this way of life or its authority because the objective of the government is to turn us all into mindless automatons to make their lives easier. Now imagine someone hands you a book and your entire perspective of the world changes. Now that you have found the joy of reading, the thought of going back to being the government¿s puppet would be too much to bear. This is exactly what happened to Guy Montag, a fireman whose job it was to burn books. In his society, reading is forbidden in order to try to keep everyone ¿equal¿. He never questioned this way of life until he ran into a girl named Clarisse McClellan who told him of a time when things were simpler and people thought for themselves. Then, when on a job, a woman refuses to leave her burring books and home, so she chooses to be burned with them. Montag starts to think that books may have some meaning and that what the government is doing is wrong. So he steels a books to see what they are all about. His mind is opened up to a wonderful new world of free thought. He decides that something must be done. As interesting as the plot of the novel is, I found this book rather hard to sit through. As all the people in this society are so similar, it leaves little room for character development. The events seemed to be very repetitive and were poorly explained so that the book did not seem to flow. A detailed description of the setting was also never fully explained, as well as physical descriptions of the people, so I found it very difficult to picture scenes in my head. The plot moved very slowly and the subplots never really made sense. I also found the ending extremely predictable. The climax, however, takes what little character development there was, and shatters it into pieces. A person, although fighting with inner demons, we learn throughout the novel is relatively peaceful and would not want to see anyone hurt. However, ones perception of this character is uprooted when he turns extremely violent as he goes against the laws in the one book that he has bothered to read (the Bible). All in all, I felt that the book¿s objective was not achieved. The poor character development and confusing subplot continually made me want to put the book down. This novel, however, talks about the importance of reading and how that a thirst for knowledge is good. With not a single optimistic character until the last 20 or so pages made the book extremely depressing and extraordinarily difficult to read. I would only recommend this book to someone with an extreme love for science fiction otherwise I feel that the reader, like myself, would be completely lost.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2006

    Fahrenheit 451- A good lesson

    Visualize a life where it is a crime to read and have books in your house. Imagine that life where you are arrested for believing in books. You can feel the sensation when you read Fahrenheit 451. When you read this book, it feels like your living through it. This novel is about a futuristic fireman, named Guy Montag who lives around the 24th century. His job is to start fires. He needs to burn books, and their ashes, to be precise. That is what firemen did in the future. He lives with his wife, Mildred, who is all about the future. She is unemployed, and spends the more of her time in the parlor, a three-walled television room. It shows her ¿family.¿ He never questioned his job about burning books, until he meets his new neighbor, Clarisse McClellan. She is a teenage girl who believes in the outer world. She finds beauty in the sky, the stars, and something as simple as leaves. She shows Guy that there is more to the world than starting fires. That is when he finds a complaint in his job. He begins to wonder what is inside of books that people would die for them. During one of his duties, he secretly takes a book that he was supposed to burn. He hides it in his house, away from people, away from his wife. One day, he shows the many books that he had secretly hid from her in the air vent in the ceiling. His wife couldn¿t believe her eyes. She was frightened that they would get caught. But Guy had confidence in himself. Captain Beatty, his boss, tries to control Montag¿s every thought about books. But he is determined to change the law about books being burned. He takes advice from a college professor, Faber to help him accomplish his mission. Faber is an old man that has hidden his books for a very long time. He shows Montag the path. But it is hard, because firemen are on his trail. He is a runaway fugitive who has broken the law. There are helicopters, police cars after him. Even with this, Guy is indomitable about his beliefs. He would go the extent to change the law. This book shows an example of persistence and determination. It teaches to stand up for what you believe in, no matter of the consequences. That is one reason why I liked this book as much as I did. It teaches a great lesson about important traits like perseverance, persistence, and determination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    Overview of the Selected Novel

    Fahrenheit 451 is a fictional story, set into the 24th century. In a world of speeding cars, large billboards, and wall size television sets, people have fallen from reality (in their minds). They no longer enjoy nature but pride themselves on their large television sets and seashell radios. Books has become illegal, and people no longer read books for fun. Guy Montag, the protagonist, burns houses that are found with illegal objects in their possession. He thinks he is content, but one day finds himself dissatisfied with life as he knows it. He is a firefighter, whose job is to start fires, rather than put them out. He has convinced himself he is content with his life. At the beginning of the book, Montag¿s state of being content is shattered. He meets a girl who seems to hold the answers to questions that have recently begun to toy with his emotions. It is in their conversation where he begins his journey to find the answers to his questions. These answers have the potential to affect him for the rest of his life. He becomes dissatisfied with his life, and does not have mutual feelings for his own wife. When tragedy befalls someone dear to Montag, he is thrust into a bowl of mixed thoughts and emotions. He then begins to question his purpose. He wonders if the thing he is missing in life holds more value than what he has now. When an illegal object is found in his house, he makes the mistake of showing his wife. He also reveals more illegal objects he has gathered over the years during his occupation as a firefighter. His wife goes hysterical but Montag decides to keep the items until he further understands what he is looking for. This causes the antagonist, Captain Beatty, to become suspicious and decide to investigate. Meanwhile, Montag seeks guidance, and goes to a man named Faber for help. They form a friendship and a way to contact each other at all hours. Captain Beatty begins to suspect that Montag has an illegal object in his possession. As if to clarify his suspicions, Montag reveals the illegal object to his wife¿s two friends (in front of his wife). When confronted by Captain Beatty, Montag escapes his grasp, and seeks refuge from his mentor, Faber. Packed with action and an interesting ending, this book has become a classic that has been passed down for generations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2006

    It's kind of boring

    I really don't see what all the hype is about. Fahrenheit 451 was boring and slow paced. If you're looking for a good read about a Utopia sort of society, just buy 1984 instead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2006

    Pretty Bad

    Fahrenheit 451 is a book about a futuristic society, where people life in fireproof houses and everything is electronic. Books are against the law, but people have them anyway. Their house is burned in consequence. Guy Montag is one of the firemen, the people who burn the houses. He is happy with his job, burning house after house, until a young girl opens his eye to all of the things that nobody notices anymore, such as nature. A few days later, the girl disappears. He asks his wife, Mildred what happened to her. She says the she was hit by a car and killed. Montag steals a book soon after. However, he is discovered by his wife, and she becomes extremely frightened. Then he reveals the books he has hid away throughout his career. Mildred cannot believe that the man who has boon burning books has been saving them. He remembers a conversation he had had with an old professor who he had caught hiding books but not turned in, and goes to Faber. Faber tells him about what happened to the society, and they plan to get books back into the society. However, Montag is discovered, and he is forced by the fire chief, Beatty, to burn his own house down. Then, he learns that Faber is almost discovered, and that to save him he must kill Beatty. He murders Beatty with his flamethrower, and flees. On his wanderings after he flees, he learns many lessons, and finds the answers to many of his questions. This book has many morals, and it has a very non-realistic attitude. It is almost childish, the extremism that is contained in this book. If this ever happened, it would not happen in the extremeness of the book. In this book, people listen to seashells, basically our MP3 players and IPods. They even sleep with them! It also has a mechanical hound that hunts out people by their smell. It then injects them with poison. Currently, that would be totally against the law. The society is not going that way any time soon. After all, nuclear wars have been started and won. More than one war, in fact. I found this book very depressing, and I do not recommend it. I still enjoy books, and I prefer reading books on paper instead of on a computer screen. This book also resembles how our society is turning towards electronics instead of books. I find this book well written, but depressing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2006

    Disappointing to me

    After I read 1984, which was very good, I decided to read Fahrenheit 451 because the plots seemed so alike and I thought it was going to be as interesting as 1984. Turns out that Fahrenheit 451 was boring. It was too slow and I didn't enjoy the book that much. I would recommend Fahrenheit 451 to everyone who read 1984 so they can see how different the novels are, in terms of excitement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2006

    This is a slow book

    I did not like this book very much because it was really slow. To me it seemed to take forever to even get into the book. I finally got into some type of action around page 100. The worst was at the first of the book, I couldn't keep track of where, when and what they were talking about. The best part, I thought, would have to have been the part where the hound chased Montag and could not find him. I would probably recommend this book to you only if you are a slow person and you have a lot of time on your hands.

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