50 books to read before you die discussion

Fahrenheit 451
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Christine This is our 100 books group read for August 2016.

message 2: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Woodstock (daniellewoodstock) Has anyone started this yet? I'm starting today!

Christine I read this a couple of years so I'll be interested to hear your comments.

Buck (spectru) I read this three years ago. It is perhaps the book for which Ray Bradbury is best known. It was the second Bradbury book I read, after The Martian Chronicles. Here is a link to my brief and not particularly flattering review of Fahrenheit 451: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I have since read others of his, my favorite being Something Wicked This Way Comes, and I also enjoyed Dandelion Wine. And since I wrote that review my feeling towards Ray Bradbury has warmed considerably. I was late coming to it, but I do enjoy his comfortable style.

message 5: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Woodstock (daniellewoodstock) I read it when I was in high school, but it's been almost 10 years since then. I'm excited to read it again. This is my first Goodreads discussion.

Christopher Struck (struck_chris) | 37 comments I think Fahrenheit 451 examines the fear of knowledge and the discovery of how just a bit can ignite a different type of fire in one's mind.

Do you fight fire with fire?

message 7: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Woodstock (daniellewoodstock) This really stuck with me. It is an excerpt from Beatty speaking to Montag about the history of firemen and how things got to be the way they are:
"Don't step on the toes of the dog lovers, the cat lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Broolynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial, are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy … It didn't come from the government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God." (Pg 57-58, para 4)

I think it is interesting how this parallels with reality today. We censor ourselves all the time because we don't want to "step on anyone's toes". While I don't necessarily think this is a terrible thing, we should be mindful of what we say, I wonder if we are headed in the same direction as the characters in this book. I don't work in publishing, but I wonder if those that do feel like they have to water everything down. The book suggests that eventually, everything was so watered down that no one read anymore. It was a slippery slope from there.

**pardon my typing. I wrote this on my phone as I just moved and don't yet have a computer set up.

Christopher Struck (struck_chris) | 37 comments I don't think you are stepping on anyone's toes by not being correct ("politically correct" often - though not always - equals correct). I think you are stepping on a lot of people's toes by being correct. You're bringing out the uncomfortable by being honest and by reflecting the sincerity of a simple truth.

Reflecting someone's own inability back on them is the fastest way to make a person angry. Stephen King suggests that honesty is possibly the most important part about writing and likely leads to the fact that you'll no longer be spending time in polite society once you are.

Separately, I do think that a lot of stuff can get watered down for simplicity, but as I've read quite a bit of articles on the New Yorker, Atlantic, New York Times, Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, etc, recently, I've noticed that a lot of the articles by long-time and new journalists have substantial quality.

Recently an article even discussed how Rousseau's criticism of intellectual elite may have foreseen recent negative "western world" responses to globalization. It was an all right read, but it points to the fact that people are interested in the development of the philosophical dialogue as well as not afraid to post this online.

Katy Mann | 19 comments Christine wrote: "I read this a couple of years so I'll be interested to hear your comments."

I hadn't read this one in a while either.

I'm really enjoying it this time through. Glad it was chosen.

Carol (carol07) Danielle wrote: "This really stuck with me. It is an excerpt from Beatty speaking to Montag about the history of firemen and how things got to be the way they are:
"Don't step on the toes of the dog lovers, the c..."

That is true! And then there is the other part of the population that has no filter and comment on any and everything in a negative and sometimes hurtful manner. Go figure.

Dolores Gonzalez | 2 comments I read it and finished it over the weekend and still don’t quite know how I feel about it. I believe that a book’s main goal is to transmit an idea and I don’t know what idea was the one that I was supposed to have from this one. Technology is bad? If you look at a “1950’s the end is coming” sort of way maybe you could get on board with the idea that technology is to blame but now 60+ years later, technology didn’t do that to us, on the contrary, it has opened a lot of doors for a million different things, so I have to strongly disagree that technology is the devil.

However, I did find some similarities in our current society that were presented in this dystopian world. The idea that you could be busy, filling your head with everything “fun” and perhaps ignoring the fact that you could feel unhappy or alone even while sharing your life with someone else (like Millie’s and Montag’s situation), but I don’t think that technology is to blame for the current disconnection to our own feelings.

Also, I agree that you could control people by controlling information. I unfortunately have met people that are so oblivious about so many things that the only thing I can blame is to poor television/radio programming as well as a lack of good and affordable reading material within their grasp.

I definitely will have to read it again later on to have a better understanding of it but for now I’m hesitant about this book.

message 12: by Joy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Joy (audioaddict1234) I read this several years ago. I don't remember loving it, but I don't remember why I didn't love it. Maybe it was just that I was reading too mich dystopia at the time.

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