Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2012 discussion

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Mount TBR Buddy-Reads > Fahrenheit 451

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message 1: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Buddy read with Margaret, Jeanette and Michelle


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Are we ready to go??


message 3: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) I just started and am already impressed with the mood Bradbury sets pretty quickly. Disconnected, dark and very impersonal. What a great question for a beginning with Montag and Clarisse, "are you happy?"


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I'll start tonight. Mood is very key in this story.


message 5: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Jeannette wrote: "Are we ready to go??"
Yes!!!!


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, I might start in the morning. I had two glasses of wine with dinner, and the book might be too heavy for my present mood. I hope you love it as much as I do.


message 7: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Funny! I know what you mean.


message 8: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments Have you guys finished part 1 yet? I'm ready to talk about it when you are!


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

You two start whenever you are ready -- I haven't started yet, but I'll try to catch up soon.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

The first thing that always strikes me about this book is the exquisite descriptive writing. It's such a pleasure to read, and it just puts the reader into the scene. The descriptions of the fire, the ethereal presence of Clarisse, and the cold, tomb-like bedroom.


message 11: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments I like the 3 walls of TV screens! Well, I wouldn't want it in my home and it's certainly disturbing to watch a couch potato on crack spend every waking hour in those three walls. But I have to admit there is a morbid fascination to it.

I agree with you on Bradbury's style. It's like reading poetry, isn't it? :)


message 12: by MichelleCH (last edited Sep 23, 2012 02:31PM) (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) I have finished the first section...

The televisions are disturbing. The announcers queuing in on the name of the homeowner is an interesting way to create community where there is none. No more front porches or ways for people to connect or share ideas.

It is interesting to me that Montag has actually begun to question his role. What about him is different enough that he doesn't accept the status quo?

I also really liked Clarisse. I still hope she is out there, somewhere...

It is poetry.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Clarisse got him thinking, but there must have been something inside him that was hoping to emerge. You get this stark contrast, really jarring, in the opening scenes. First, Montag burning books, then Clarisse like a fairy almost, someone outside, who laughs and talks, and then back inside to his almost dead wife, in their almost dead house. i think Montag longs for real connections, real community, and his wife is "content" (or is she merely conditioned/resigned to?) to live in her artificial world.


message 14: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments How do you get so brain dead that you forget how you met your spouse??

Yeah, I started to wonder about that air duct shortly after Montag stole the book...

Did you catch the little play on people going too "politically correct" that started this whole mess? I've often looked at my world and wondered about it. It's one thing to encourage tolerance for all races, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. I agree there should never be hatred based purely off prejudices. But the way this "being politically correct" nonsense is going, it just seems to me that a blinding awareness of other people's skin colors, sexual orientation or religious beliefs are being so utterly shoved down the populace's collective throats that in a lot of ways we are the exact mirror image of where we were before Martin Luther King Jr. told the world he had a dream, before Gay Pride, before the New Age movement. The only marked contrast is that we are now being programmed into going out of our way to not show prejudices. Do I think bashing/lynching any of these groups is wrong? Of course I do, as is any hate crime! But my thing is when we are all being programmed to fear being labeled prejudiced that we go out of our way to show that we are not when dealing with a certain race, belief system or orientation then isn't that another way of showing the world you are prejudiced?

Sorry for the soap box but that little bit about differing ideas offending other groups really got under my skin, reminding me of what I've been observing in my world for quite some time.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Beatty points out the emptiness behind losing our individuality. It shows in the way the children entertain each other with shootings, playing chicken, engaging in dangerous behaviours. A person who thinks, or makes others think is considered trouble.

I haven't quite figured out how to relate it to our current state of PCness -- maybe I'm still digesting that myself.

I wonder what Beatty's agenda is? Is he on to Montag, is he a friend or a foe?


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Sure -- explain something I'm not sure I can explain. Just start me out with the easy questions, Simran! lol

Well, I don't know if I understand Margaret's meaning that when we are all being programmed to fear being labeled prejudiced that we go out of our way to show that we are not when dealing with a certain race, belief system or orientation then isn't that another way of showing the world you are prejudiced? I haven't thought about it in that way.

I think the basic problem with today's atmosphere of political correctness is that it tries to force people to be accepting, and then people will naturally rebel against being forced into a feeling they don't choose to have. That is one way I see this backfiring. You can, and should, make the laws fair, but changing a person's heart takes a lot more time, and an individual approach sometimes.

In terms of the book, I think he (Captain Beatty) was expressing that as soon as everyone was accepted, society then became sort of bland, like tapioca. There were no differences (allowed), and while that makes society more accepting, it also squashes individuality; cultural differences are swept away in an effort for everyone to be the same, equal. So, we lose as much as we gain. People stopped thinking, arguing, rocking the boat. Hence, there was no longer any need for reading, debating new or different ideas. I don't know if this is a logical progression, but it's part of how the author explained the reason for a future without books, without conversation, without any deep thoughts.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, yeah, it's really big here right now. It's a good idea taken to extremes. I understand the intentions are good, but you just can't dictate peoples feelings. (*geez* I was worried you thought I was being a bigot! See what it does to people....)


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, an offshoot of it is that nobody loses at anything anymore. Kids get a ribbon for participating, not for being the best. So, it becomes rather watered-down praise. It makes people say, or not say, all sorts of things in convoluted ways. It is only words, and sometimes, if we're lucky, they turn into positive actions. It is tricky.


message 19: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments Jeannette wrote: "Oh, yeah, it's really big here right now. It's a good idea taken to extremes. I understand the intentions are good, but you just can't dictate peoples feelings. (*geez* I was worried you though..."

Haha! I was thinking it too. The PC mentality really does have that sort of effect on everyone. Even as I was typing my thoughts out, I was wondering if I would be taken that way. Don't get me wrong, that is how I see the world and I will stand by my words. I just felt I had to share them because Beatty's speech about everyone being careful not to offend anyone really struck a chord for me.

Where are you from Simran? Just wondering because I do love learning about other people's cultures. They fascinate me. In fact, I have recently gotten into the Italian card game, Scopa and I have befriended quite a few Italians because of it, even picking up on their language.

Okay, back to F451. I'm wondering about Beatty too. He "claims" he's all in favor of burning books but at the same time, he sure can quote them!


message 20: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) He certainly can! I am confused by him, especially when he is at Montag's home. He almost, almost appears trustworthy.

As for the PCness, I agree with your comments Jeanette.

It worries me that we sometimes don't know what an individual's true feelings may be and that could be dangerous. Being programmed to not offend can mask a lot...I rather know what I am dealing with, if that makes sense. Real change and acceptance is the better way in my opinion.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

I've just finished Part 2, and I think the scene where Beatty tears Montag to shreds buy quoting from books is one of the most terrible I've ever read.


message 22: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments Oh, I bet you have that beautiful British accent we Americans go absolutely nuts over. LOL!

Well I'm American so we go by states here. :) I was born in Mississippi and pretty much lived all over the place until I was 12 and we finally settled in Memphis, Tennessee. I came of age there, graduated high school, got my first apartment, met and fell in love with my husband there, you name it. We currently live in Northern Mississippi but still commute to Memphis for work. Like you, if you ask me where my heart is it is definitely Memphis! :)


message 23: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments Jeannette wrote: "I've just finished Part 2, and I think the scene where Beatty tears Montag to shreds buy quoting from books is one of the most terrible I've ever read."

Jeannette! I totally agree. I really hated Beatty in that moment...so much so that...the next part actually put a smile on my face. ;-)


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

***SPOILER***

So, did Beatty really want to die? I can never decide if he was suicidal, or just such an arrogant bastard who thought he could never lose? Do you think all those books spoke to his soul, or that his mockery was closer to the way he really felt?


message 25: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments Jeannette wrote: "***SPOILER***

So, did Beatty really want to die? I can never decide if he was suicidal, or just such an arrogant bastard who thought he could never lose? Do you think all those books spoke to hi..."


You know, I haven't quite figured that one out. He reminded me so much of certain people who mock books that I consider special ground breaking literature that I really and truly hated him. Ever heard someone say about another "He/she is so smart he/she is stupid?" The sort of person who is smart enough to grasp basic logical deductions and **yet** the sum of all their logical deductions end up being something that's off, or doesn't quite add up right? ...Am I making sense? Because the So smart they're stupid thinkers a little hard to make sense of anyway. LOL!


message 26: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Jeannette wrote: "I've just finished Part 2, and I think the scene where Beatty tears Montag to shreds buy quoting from books is one of the most terrible I've ever read." I know, he is brutally mocking him. He has the knowledge from the 'forbidden fruit' and is using it to gain ground and make his point, while Montag can do nothing.

Faber listening in is interesting. He reminds me of the 'good angel' on Montag's shoulder all during the exchanges with 'bad'.


message 27: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Margaret wrote: "Oh, I bet you have that beautiful British accent we Americans go absolutely nuts over. LOL!


So true. That and an Australian accent!



message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Margaret wrote: "Am I making sense? Because the So smart they're stupid thinkers a little hard to make sense of anyway. LOL! "

I don't think it's quite the same with Beatty. He knew what he was mocking, and really came across as believing that it all came down to dead words written by long dead people. At least, he seemed convincing (to me) that this was his opinion. He knew what to quote, and did it properly. I just wonder if he was really despondent underneath, and wanted to die?


message 29: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments I don't know but I sure was glad when he croaked. :) No mincing words here. His death put a smile on my face. Haha!


message 30: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Yes, his death was a relief. I think he was arrogant and felt indestructible.

I loved the ending and how each man was a "living" book. I was shocked at the destruction of the city and the false safety that their society had embraced. There was hope for the future with Granger and Montag but also the danger that the past could be repeated. Neither has lived in an fully open and free society.

My version of the novel had an interview with Bradbury where he described the irony of censure ship within his own novel by his publisher without his knowledge.

He also later found out that Faber is the name of a maker of pencils and Montag the name of paper manufacturers. I love little details like that.


message 31: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments Oh nice one on the Montag and Faber! I was wondering about the names. Wish I had your copy of the interview. In "Something Wicked This Way Comes" there was an interview with Bradbury. He mentioned having an instant rapport with one man from the circus back when he was a little boy. He and the man started talking and the man told Bradbury he recognized who he was (just by the look in Bradbury's eyes) in his former life as the friend who had died saving his life! I'm agnostic to the core but I have to say that little snippet gave me chills!


message 32: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments Well let's see, we're famous for our barbecue, Beale Street, BB King's and of course, Graceland: AKA Elvis Presley. But that has nothing to do with why I love it. It is simply the town where I made lifelong friends, where I experienced so many firsts, the good and the bad. It's where I got my real taste of life and truly started to "live".

How about your heart in England? Besides the beautiful accents what is it you love about it? :)


message 33: by MichelleCH (last edited Oct 01, 2012 04:52PM) (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Margaret wrote: "Oh nice one on the Montag and Faber! I was wondering about the names. Wish I had your copy of the interview. In "Something Wicked This Way Comes" there was an interview with Bradbury. He mentioned ..."

It gives me chills!!!!

Simran: sounds wonderful. I loved London when we visited two years ago, the food was fantastic too: mash, the English breakfast and of course stops for tea.


message 34: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 173 comments Simran also gets to live near all the *real* greats. For example, I recently heard about Ruth Rendell and PD James being in the same room together. They will be giving a speech about their writing craft, answer questions, followed by a reception and a book signing on October 5th...In London of course. And man, what I wouldn't give to go to that!


message 35: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 02, 2012 05:55AM) (new)

Too bad Simran is in SIngapore for now. I know she's hoping to get back to London, and soon!


message 36: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Singapore is another place I would love to visit!


message 37: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Well I hope you are back home soon! Just got back from a trip to Baltimore and NYC, it is always good to get home. Safe travels.


message 38: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) Yes, the Wire was filmed in Baltimore, though the producers threatened to move it to Philly. If you liked the Wire, you should check out Homicide Life on the Street.


message 39: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) I have heard so many good things about The Wire. I must watch it someday.

Baltimore was beautiful on the water. My first time there. I took the train which was a great way to visit and no worries about parking!


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