Bradbury, Ray: Fahrenheit 451

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.

It probably ended up in development hell.
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.

"Guy Montag , slightly charred from the firemen's flamethrowers, nude except for a pair of thong underwear, runs through the streets of Los Angeles pursued by vicious Mechanical Hounds for two hours while telescreens show endless close-ups of his sweat-glistening muscular body ."
Mad Montag? One wonders who the villains would be.

Of the three or four big dystopias (1984, Brave New World and perhaps A Clockwork Orange), I think Fahrenheit 451 is the best at capturing the sadness of what has happened as well as the horror of it. I find Montag a more likeable character than Winston Smith: Winston seems too weak, and Julia too odd and spiky for me to really warm to them as people, although I feel sorry for them. Fahrenheit 451 also lacks the annoying and rather dated flippancy of Brave New World. The scene in which Montag distresses his wife’s friends by quoting poetry shows that, for all that they can distract themselves, the friends and perhaps everyone else know that something vital has been lost.

It’s also notable that Fahrenheit 451 isn’t set in a dictatorship but a kind of decayed, self-censoring democracy, albeit one where the candidates are identical and the firemen seem to be an informal secret police. Bradbury is clear that the censorship came partly from a wish not to challenge or offend, which seems very prescient these days. While there isn’t a massive, oppressive state, there does seem to be a lot of violence and cruelty on the streets, as Clarice’s murder suggests (assuming that it wasn’t some kind of semi-legal death squad). The people of the Fahrenheit 451 world seem brutalised and more brutal, or else timid and reluctant to face reality. Also, some of the technology seems much like ours: wall-sized TV screens, personal media players, massive highways and so on. Since I read Fahrenheit 451, I’ve always had a horrible image of the mechanical hound, a sort of Warhammer 40k thing made out of pistons and human body parts, lurking in the dark and waiting for Montag to make a mistake.

I disagree that this is a dull book. It’s a much better thriller than 1984 is a love story, although 1984 is ultimately a more insightful book. Bradbury sets up several suspense scenes, including Beatty’s visit to Montag’s home (will he find the book?) and the final chase. What I don’t like about Fahrenheit 451 is Bradbury’s semi-poetic writing style. I’ve always found him overly sentimental, the way Stephen King gets sentimental when he talks about growing up in small-town Somewhere. But this is just a matter of style, and doesn’t mean that Bradbury is a bad writer. I just find him florid. Overall, I'd certainly recommend Fahrenheit 451.
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.
I tend to find Bradbury's prose rather lacking though the ideas behind the stories are usually interesting. Shame the writing doesn't live up to the potential of the ideas. Though I agree, 451F is one of his better works.
I tend to find Bradbury's prose rather lacking
I wish I could write as good!

I read Fahrenheit 451 originally in 1960s and a few times since. Considering it was published in 1953, it's aged well. (Though Electronic Public TV was 18 years old and Color TV nearly 2 years old, RCA NTSC Color demo was 1951)

I've read nearly all his short stories and many of his novels. Some of the stories aren't that great for me... But it would be odd if I liked all the output of an author (Didn't like Pratchett Long Earth stuff and the "Science of" stuff was a bit maybe, rest is brilliant. Joanne Harris is my most annoying author. Never know in advance if I'll love or hate her books. I've got both).

In honour of Bradbury, the error code number for blocked resources for legal reasons on a web site is 451
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Read it in the late 50s and again last month (it was our reading group book of the month). I don't think the writing is particularly outstanding, but the ideas in it are - internet, social media, mobiles (cell phones) and targeted advertising.
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.
This was a Golden Age, a time of high adventure, rich living and hard dying... but nobody thought so. This was a future of fortune and theft, pillage and rapine, culture and vice... but nobody admitted it. This was an age of extremes, a fascinating century of freaks... but nobody loved it.
Read Neil Postman's book "Amusing Ourselves to Death" (available on the internetz for free)--always reminds me of Bradbury's novel. I'm teaching both in my English class this summer!
I'm teaching English but I was issued with 'The Duff' and a classroom full of vegetables.
Between Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Brave New World, the future was covered and here we are living all three combined. Of course, if people read these books now, they might come out stale . . . or nothing new . . . due to living it, to seeing these themes played out via Hollywood and other authors doing their own spins. Still, hats off to these authors and any other author who writes something prophetic.

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