Cecily's Reviews > Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
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May 12, 14

bookshelves: sci-fi-or-futuristic, dystopian, american-canadian
Read in February, 2009

I love the fact that this book is a paean to the power of the written word: that people will live and die for it, and will wither without the transformative power of fictional worlds and the insights of others. Books "stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us".

It is set in the near future, where all books are banned because they are elitist and hence cause unhappiness and division. Instead, the population is fed continuous inane soap operas to lull their minds into soporific approximation of non-unhappiness. TV really does rot their brains, or at least sap their ability to thing for themselves.

Firemen no longer put out fires, but instead burn houses where books are found. There are also loving descriptions of the beauty of fire, so pyromaniacs may particularly enjoy those passages!


The plot is not particularly original: Montag is a fireman, so part of the regime. But he is tempted by the unknown promise of what he destroys, takes greater and greater risks, and ends up a fugitive, living rough with other rebels, each of whom has memorised a book so that when things change, they can be rewritten. Ironically, these people also destroy books, at least, the physical ones, after they have memorised them.

The lure and love of literature is irrepressible.

So the big question is, if you were going to become a book and memorise it for posterity, what would you choose - and would it be cheating to pick "Fahrenheit 451"?
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Quotes Cecily Liked

Ray Bradbury
“The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Philip A nice, timely review of Mr. Bradbury. Not all of his work his held up so well, but this book remains a true classic. He will be missed!

Mark Have often thought to read this.

Chris That's a tough question, but I don't think it would be cheating.

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