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Fahrenheit 451 (book)

A novel by Ray Bradbury

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In Honor Of All Banned Books...

  • Oct 14, 2000
Pros: Everything

Cons: Such things are actually going on as you read this!

Instead of choosing one from the frighteningly long list of books frequently banned in America, I have chosen a novel which surprisingly does not appear on the list. Fahrenheit 451 is perhaps the definitive word on censorship, as well as the most terrifying novel I have ever read...

Set in an ominous future where entertainment comes from wall sized televisions ,preferably all 4 walls, with even more trite content than programming today (if you can imagine that!),or perhaps breaking glass in the fun house, or speeding along at life threatening speeds in your vehicle attempting to hit pedestrians. A good citizen's first duty is to report anyone acting in a suspicious manner and above all anyone you suspect may have the most heinous and dangerous deviance of hoarding books!

An alarm shrills through the night air,and they come.The Firemen,not there to save you from literal fire, but to protect all society from the flames of knowledge lurking in the written word just waiting to destroy, subvert, and incite the masses. Spewing righteous fire they dispense justice,and in the blink of an eye the evil words are gone, the deviant quietly disposed of, and a collective sigh of relief blows away the bitter smoke...

Montage is a Fireman who begins to question his job,his life,& his society. Of course, questioning such things is just the first step toward even worse evils, like thinking for yourself! Inspired not only by encounters with such social deviants, but by the empty soul of his wife Montage begins hoarding books. His boss is well aware, and gives him the option to read them all so he can see just how worthless they are and then they can burn them together, OR be hunted down as a criminal and driven from society.

Montage cannot give up the inspiration he finds, so he runs. Pursued to the edge of "civilization", the media fakes his execution to alleviate the fears of all good citizens, and Montage escapes only to find a new society living in the wilds. A society whose members give up their own names, take on the name of a written work, commit it to memory, and then burn the book. The thoughts and ideals expressed in a written work cannot be lost if someone remembers it, nor can it be taken from you and destroyed. Someday, they will be ready for us again..is the ideal expressed by one of Montage's new brothers.

Here are some more wise words on the topic:

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." - George Orwell author of 1984 and Animal Farm in which he warned us that "All animals are created equal, some are just more equal than others."

"Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself."- Potter Stewart

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

"Censorship, like charity, should begin at home; but unlike charity it should end there." - Clare Booth Luce

Yes, books are banned in America. Search under banned books for more information, and you will find countless works which have opened the eyes of many people; including far too many novels by Judy Blume, several by Roald Dahl, Madeline L'Engle, and Mark Twain; the list is distressing to say the least.
We have gone from the ideals of a Democracy to a society of Hypocrisy.

It calls to mind another way our government has broken the Right to Freedom of Speech which states that people have the right to gather peacefully and protest decisions made by the government- for just one example, a peaceful protest was planned & people gathering while California was being Governed by Mr. Ronald Reagan. Protestors were allowed into the area by riot-geared troops, and not allowed to leave. Reagan ordered them to be bombed with tear gas...Things like this are still happening today.

I do not know when we came so frighteningly close to the antithesis of all that America was meant to be, but knowledge is the first step toward any great change. Please, educate yourself and others. Read the other reviews here in the banned book write off. Read everything you can, and then spread the word. Kimber_333 has some ideas on how to combat this dangerous censorship. As someone once said, "The Truth is a virus."... so try to infect everyone you know.

In closing I would like to quote one more wise person....

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!" - Voltaire....Amen.


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More Fahrenheit 451 reviews
review by . April 26, 2010
Fahrenheit 451: A Powerful and Thought-Provoting Novel
In 1966, Ray Bradbury wrote: "I find now, after the fact, chances are Fahrenheit 451 might be around for a few years." At that time the short novel, originally published in book form in 1953, had "been around" for 13 years. In 2003 it celebrated its 50th year in print, and now, in 2010, it is still as popular as ever. Why has this story had such longevity? Is it because Bradbury reversed a widely accepted premise--instead of putting out fires, future firemen start them? Is it …
review by . June 24, 2010
"We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?" cries Montag in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Montag, a fireman, is upset after having witnessed a woman who had chosen to die with her collection of books rather than leave them behind. In his world, however, firemen do not fight fires; they start them.      Bradbury’s 1953 science …
review by . May 21, 2010
I first read this book in middle school as part of an assigned reading course. I found it frightening and intense then in the same way 1984 is. Reading it again as an adult shines a whole new light on how this work has disturbingly captured the issues of American society that transformed from possibly relevant in 1953 to truly pertinent in today's world.
Quick Tip by . August 14, 2010
Read this in High school. A classic that should be read by all. As a Freemason I have had to memorize all the ritual by hear by having another brother mason recite it to me and I repeated it back, just like in 451. I like that connection allot.
review by . April 11, 2010
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 …
Quick Tip by . July 29, 2010
One of the greatest books about why books matter. An easy read, but sticks with you.
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
Better you read it while you can. Nice story. You can also check out the movie. This is an amazing "what if" novel.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
Ray Bradbury has a unique style of writing. Pick up this book and take some time to note his distinctive voice.
Quick Tip by . July 11, 2010
Interesting message from a prolific, renowned author but descriptive writing style not particular engaging.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
I had to read this for my English class once and however, I found it to be boring and not so entertaining. It actually is a good story. Other people seem to enjoy it.
About the reviewer
Quinn Blackburn ()
Hello, my name is Quinn. :o) I also answer to Mom, YaYa, and occasionally Entwife. I enjoy Beauty wherever I find it... Nature, Music, Art in all its forms... I believe these to be true and sacred things … more
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About this book


Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury which was first published in 1953.

The novel presents a future American society in which the masses are hedonistic and critical thought through reading is outlawed. The central character, Guy Montag, is employed as a "fireman" (which, in this future, means "bookburner"). The number "451" refers to the temperature at which book paper combusts. Although sources contemporary with the novel's writing gave the temperature as 450 °C (842 °F), Bradbury is believed to have thought "Fahrenheit" made for a better title; however, in an introduction to the 40th anniversary edition of the novel, Bradbury states that a person he spoke with at the local fire department said "Book-paper catches fire at 451 degrees Fahrenheit". The "firemen" burn them "for the good of humanity". Written in the early years of the Cold War, the novel is a critique of what Bradbury saw as issues in American society of the era.
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ISBN-10: 0345342968
ISBN-13: 978-0345342966
Author: Ray Bradbury
Genre: Intelligent Science Fiction, Political and Social Satire
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Date Published: 1966
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