Bradbury, Ray: Fahrenheit 451

ray gower

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Synopsis
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 neighbour 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.

For some reason this is an often referred book, that is never discussed. It does however do for censorship what Animal Farm does for Marx.

As a read, it is a little dull to read, as might be expected from a short story revised heavily to make it long enough to be a novel, but is well considered, if bleak. And is the inspiration not only behind the film of the same name (1966 and 2005) and I suggest Equilibrium.

Unlike many such books, it did leave me with two sad observations.
After so many years trying to bring education to the peasent mass, it is only a matter of time before those in charge realise: a/ Education of the masses is a bad thing and b/ The masses are all too willing to give up education for themselves.
The other is that it is all slowly becoming true :(
 

Highlander II

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Originally posted by ray gower
The other is that it is all slowly becoming true :(


It's been a long time since I've read this one, however, this is far too true... very sad --

What happened to the days when ppl wanted to read and that kids wanted to go to school - or, wanted to learn anyway?


It's frightening how much kids are *not* taught in school anymore -

and all the concern about 'offending' or whatever of ppl and making kids 'feel bad' - it's crazy -

I'm too tired, or I'd get into this more...
 

BAYLOR

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I know Im late here but I think That this book is one of the best cautionary tales of all time and It does seem to have a timeless quality about it. :)
 

Verity

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It used to be thought an important thing to get an education to "better ones-self" - get a better job than your parents had. That's getting more and more difficult, so it's not really surprising that kids wonder what the point of education is. I was the first person in my family to go to university, and though I didn't get the better job I was hoping for (or not for long, anyway) I've never regretted getting the education.
 

Vladd67

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We do seem to be entering a new dark age where the average person seems only to be interested in reality tv, a time where people are famous for just being famous, more people seem to vote for the X factor than the general election, a time where people seem proud of their ignorance and educating yourself on a subject just for fun is regarded as weird. It seems many people wouldn't even notice the wholesale destruction of books these days just as long as they have their Jeremy Kyle show to watch.
 

Kith

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I read this for the first time recently and found it both poignant and terrifying.
 

farntfar

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I loved the idea at the end of personally becoming the receptacle of a book, after all the copies were burned.
To chose a favourite book and then to learn it by heart so that it couldn't be destroyed.

Of course, realistically, all the authorities had to do really was to drop a bomb on the camp where they all lived, but the idea itself was so special.
 

Dave

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Read this book - there are so many other ideas in it too - people hearing without listening on their iPod like shells - TV screens that get ever larger until the cover whole walls and several walls - people so involved with soap opera personalities that they neglect their own family.
 

BAYLOR

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Read this book - there are so many other ideas in it too - people hearing without listening on their iPod like shells - TV screens that get ever larger until the cover whole walls and several walls - people so involved with soap opera personalities that they neglect their own family.
Interactive entertainment . It seems to prefigure certain developments in our current world. :)
 

galanx

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We do seem to be entering a new dark age where the average person seems only to be interested in reality tv, a time where people are famous for just being famous, more people seem to vote for the X factor than the general election, a time where people seem proud of their ignorance and educating yourself on a subject just for fun is regarded as weird. It seems many people wouldn't even notice the wholesale destruction of books these days just as long as they have their Jeremy Kyle show to watch.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
 

galanx

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Never cared for Bradbury, though Fahrenheit was one I did like.

Read an anecdote that said that in those benighted pre-Internet days he was trying to find out the temperature book paper burns at, consulting encyclopedias etc., and somone suggested calling the fire department. 451F.

Was it marketed in Europe as Centigrade 232.778? I once heard that in Swedish Kong means King, and King doesn't mean anything, so the original version was marketed as Kong King.
 

BAYLOR

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They could make this one into a tv series.:)
 

Dave

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They could make this one into a tv series.:)
I think a lot of the best ideas he had in this book, some that I already mentioned, have already come true - depressingly so. He didn't invent book burning, that has happened many times. It is more of a symbol - you can burn a book but you can't kill an idea. Today ancient temples ruins are being destroyed and churches burned down, but you can't stop a religion that way. You can't tell people how to think. So, it would need to be set in a past that never existed. Setting it today wouldn't work. Bradbury once said that he didn't write science fiction and had only wrote one science fiction book. I'm sure that he meant this.
 

BAYLOR

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Certainly he claimed the Martian Chronicles are not SF.
He's a top short story writer with fantasy creepiness rather than disgusting horror. I think I have nearly all his short stories now.
He wasn't a fan of the Internet.
 

BAYLOR

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Im surprised no one has done a remake of the film.
 

dask

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Seems to me I recall reading an interview with Ray Bradbury a while back where he said something about Mel Gibson buying the rights to Fahrenheit 451. Never heard anything about it since.
 
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