Isaac's Reviews > Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
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Mar 19, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, science-fiction
Read in March, 2012

Does this book deserve 5 stars? Perhaps it is too short (compared to obvious 5 star novels like Shogun or something); the prose is brimming with forced metaphors, most characters are not fully developed (Mrs Montag in particular could have had a little more said about her) and the whole thing is probably underpinned with Bradbury's own paranoid Luddite attitude towards the advances of technology. I wonder if he has a Kindle or Nook...NO?! Thought not.

But! You see, I like a book with a theme. Also: a premise, some tension, a little emotion, a decent ending, and of course imagination! And Fahrenheit 451 delivered all these, to my great surprise. Other reviewers seem to focus on the so called "prophetic" aspect of the book, but I suspect Bradbury intended it to be an allegory and a warning; it is much better for it that way. Neither is this book a black and white tale. Captain Beatty was my favourite character here precisely because of his fully formed arguments that rang true in my mind. I never expected to find a sympathetic character like this in a dystopian novel of all things!

I had no idea this book would shout in my face as I read it. As of March 2012, this book has over 300,000 ratings on this website. How could a book, so universally read and liked - by Americans no less - actually say something that could resonate to me personally? A British Technophile? Bizarre! Perhaps none of us are as unique as we think, if things like this can happen.
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Quotes Isaac Liked

Ray Bradbury
“The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They're Caeser's praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, "Remember, Caeser, thou art mortal." Most of us can't rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven't time, money or that many friends. The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury
“If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


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