Fahrenheit 451

ISBN: 0006546064
ISBN 13: 9780006546061
By: Ray Bradbury

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Classic Classics Dystopia Dystopian Favorites Fiction Literature Sci Fi Science Fiction To Read

About this book

Fahrenheit 451the temperature at which book-paper catches fire and burnsGuy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down these dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.The classic novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization's enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.Bradbury's powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a classic of twentieth-century literature which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.

Reader's Thoughts

Guillermo Jiménez

Dejé de leer porque leer me alejó de las personas que amo. Me deshice de todos mis libros porque ellos me robaron mucho tiempo al lado de las personas más valiosas. Dejé de leer, porque a medida que veía escenarios, personas, comportamientos, atmósferas, relaciones, etcétera; impresas en las páginas de los libros, comencé a tomarlas como alternativas de vida, como comportamientos que debieran ser socialmente aceptados o asimilados a la vida cotidiana, es decir: perdí la noción de diferenciar entre lo 'real' y lo 'imaginario'. Antes de dejar de leer comenzaba ya a blandir el argumento de que la ficción es tanto más real y verdadera que la historia en sí. Que la ficción puede ser, más que un retrato fiel de la realidad, su profecía, su predicción. Aún lo pienso así.Entiendo la memoria y el recuerdo como una construcción mental. Así que, poco a poco recordé que yo era una persona que leía y agarre un libro. Agarré un libro dentro de una lista de libros de una persona que leyó a mi lado por algunos años y que decidió leer otro libro donde yo no figuro como personaje.Leí las primeras cinco o seis páginas a fuerza. Obligándome a interesarme por la trama para encontrar algo que me animara a seguir con la historia, y entonces, tal vez, volver a leer como sé hacerlo: buscando, indagando, cuestionando al texto página a página, para que me respondiera la pregunta de por qué debo seguir leyéndolo o para que me convenciera que quiero seguir leyendo.Papá ha sido un asiduo lector de sci-fi, y nunca, hasta que me animé a leerla entendí porque puede ser necesaria. Bradbury es una apuesta segura, creo, porque es un autor dentro del canon de este género y que además, es reconocido por el canon oficial como un buen escritor.Sabía, grosso modo, de que iba la novela, pero, nada me había preparado para comprender lo que entendí a través del personaje de Guy Montag. El libro es indispensable como respuesta a la comprensión de la historia del hombre sobre el mundo. Como este muere y renace, una y otra vez. Como no desiste en su andar, porque, andamos.La lectura nos hace comprender... algo que no comprenderíamos de otra manera. A través de ella realizamos procesos mentales o vivimos experiencias únicas, en ocasiones tan intensas o profundas como la vida misma, pero, desconfiamos, dudamos del poder de la palabra, es más: nos asusta. Le tememos tanto a los libros y su poder porque los ignoramos. Estamos ante los libros como nuestros antepasados lo estuvieron frente al fuego. Un libro en las manos puede quemarnos. Una mala lectura nos puede hacer pendejos y otra buenísima nos puede hacer más pendejos: osados, presuntuosos, taimados, ridículos. Es más, todo este asunto de Goodreads como concepto puede ser la perdición de la lectura: leemos para decir a los demás qué leemos y cómo lo leemos y, sobre todo: cuánto leemos.Pareciéramos destinados como el uróboros a estar persiguiéndonos por toda la vida. Cazándonos. Destruyéndonos. Y volviendo a darnos vida después del incendio. ¿Qué hacer mientras tanto? Escribir un poco para que otros leamos y escribamos sobre lo que leemos y otros lo lean y escriban. Y en los ratos de ocio, en los ratos donde la luz incandescente o halógena haya cansado nuestros miopes ojos, en esos momentos, entonces, dejar el libro de lado, tomar la mano de la persona que hay a nuestro lado, ¿quién? Quien sea. Tengan por seguro que esa persona le tenderá la suya a la siguiente y así, sucesivamente, quizás, la lectura tenga un sentido humano. Quizás.

MJ Nicholls

Bradbury was wrong. In our dystopian future, so many books of no value are published, and all the genuinely worthwhile ones are squeezed into insignificance, left to rot out of print, or are refused publication. See the BURIED Book Club for professional help. People are avaricious, brainless, crassholic, dreary, ectoblastic, fungible, gravideonasties, hopelessismore, imbecilickal, jugheadish, knobbled, leery, moronic, Neanderthal, octopusillanimous, protopathetic, querulouselike, rumplestiltskinless, simpletonian, twitchy, unloveababble, vertiginous, weak-mindead, yoghurt-obsessed, and zoologically backward. Bradbury’s short pulp novel is weakly written, full of functional and creakily literary prose, but delivers the message with minimum condescension. Truffaut trumped, but Bradbury dreamt. Great art gains in every medium.

Shannon (Giraffe Days)

Guy Montag is a fireman. At night - always at night - when the alarm comes in, he and his team rush out on the Salamander, the fire engine, to the condemned house where the police should have already removed the guilty home owner to an asylum so the firemen can go in without obstacle and burn the place down.Montag has always loved his job. He goes to sleep with a grin on his face, and tries not to look at the ventilator in the home he shares with his wife Mildred, where he's hidden something forbidden. When a new family moves in next door and he meets their young daughter Clarisse, he finds himself fascinated by the things she says and does. She talks about the little details in life, from a leaf to a dandelion held under the chin. She talks about her classmates killing each other, and tells him about a time when firemen used to put out fires, not start them.At home his wife is lost in her own world, a world of constant baffling television and sleeping pills. At work he feels like the Captain knows his guilt, his doubt. And when Montag steals another book from a fire and feels his whole world shaken up with new thoughts, he can no longer go back to being the same as everyone else: happy, because they don't think, don't need to think, and aren't confronted with anything remotely troubling. Including what's in books.There's a wallop packed into this short book, and for a book written in the early 50s, its message certainly hasn't diminished.The world of Fahrenheit 451 is one stripped of anything that can alarm people, that can make them feel excluded, misrepresented, confronted, confused. It is a world designed to ensure everyone's happiness, that began with a people's revolt against a thing that symbolised contradictory, contrary views, that enabled some people to feel superior and thus others inferior: books. The written word. Fiction and non-fiction alike, the people turned their backs on books. To help things along, the firemen began to burn them. Now the ideas in books are so long gone the people have no thoughts in their heads at all. They do not sit in silence and contemplate things; instead, a tiny radio sits in their ear and babbles constantly, or they sit in their living rooms where the walls are giant television screens, watching shows into which they themselves can become a part, that aren't about anything at all but which totally engross them. It is a world of fast pleasures - joy rides through the city at ridiculous speeds - and constant war with some unnamed country far away.As Montag's friend Professor Faber says in his explanation of where the world went wrong, "We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam." (p.83) What he means is that there is no substance anymore, that happiness must come from something, not the "nothing" that they have created. We recognise happiness because we have known sadness, stress, tragedy, and so on. Thinking critically, analysing, having our assumptions and opinions confronted - this is healthful, beneficial, not something to be scared of and denounce because it upsets people to have to think.Another thing lacking from this world is the idea of leaving something behind, of leaving an imprint of yourself on other people - that people would remember you for your gifts, your abilities, your personality, and so on. Montag can't even remember where or how he met his wife Mildred, and they certainly aren't happy. What else is lacking is knowledge, and self-awareness: no one has the ability to understand themselves, to say "I am unhappy" and discover why, or do anything about it. They are hollow people, and the historical path Bradbury traces is one of minority rule and shorter and shorter sound bites: books and television etc. reduced to single lines and 10 seconds of air time. This trait - with television at least - is apparent today. Aside from commercials, which can be dizzying, video clips for songs are equally headache-inducing, spending barely a single second on any one shot. While I don't think people will, on mass, ever turn their backs on books, our shorter and shorter attention spans is worrying.As for the prose, it's at times quite obfuscating. Descriptions become metaphors that might or might not be really happening, it's hard to say. The cloudiness of the language is poetic in tone but confusing in substance. I wouldn't say the strength of the book lies in its prose, the style of the writing, but in its ideas - for an "ideas" kind of book, it's surprisingly plot-driven. I find that this is the best way to bring ideas across, rather than through people just talking or confounding, "clever" descriptions. To see the ideas in action, that is more rewarding.There was a slip - I only noticed one but there may have been more - when Montag likens his wife's friends' smiles to the Cheshire Cat. There's no way he could have known what a Cheshire Cat smile was like, no way he'd have even heard of it. There is an emphasis on the fact that when Montag tries to read the books he's stolen, they make no sense to him because he lacks the basics, the foundations of knowledge. He has no culture or understanding with which to interpret what he reads. To him it's just gibberish.This is an older edition that I picked up secondhand; it contains a surprising number of very obvious typos - things like "th" instead of "the", and quotation marks in the wrong places. It has an Afterword by the author, and a "Coda" where Bradbury unashamedly rants a bit more about minorities complaining and why his books are, essentially, sexist. To the first, I was puzzled: I haven't really seen much of that. But then I recalled where I have heard these kinds of things, where librarians have locked away books (like the first Tin Tin comic) because they are too confronting or insulting to one group or another: Bradbury's home country, America. So if anything, he wrote this book in answer to what was happening, and continues to happen, in his own country. It's bound to have more of an impact there, for that reason, though it's relevant elsewhere as well. It's impossible to appease everyone, so when you try to the only thing you can do is simply remove what was upsetting a few, rather than talk openly about it and air the issues. You can't make everyone happy, but that is what the people in Bradbury's world set out to do, by making them all the same.In answer to why he doesn't put more women in his books, he avoids the question and instead lumps women - half the population - in with minorities. I get his point but it's a weak argument.The book reminded me of a more recent movie, Equilibrium, with Christian Bale - a sort of 1984 world where people are burned alive for owning anything from the past, and where children spy on their parents. Those stories always have a whiff of anti-communism fascism - something strikingly absent from a book like this, written as it was during the Cold War. It was quite refreshing really.On a final note, I did once try to watch the movie, from the 70s I think, several years ago but it was incredibly slow and boring, I had no idea what was going on and after a while I gave up. From what I remember of it, I'm not sure I'd like it any more now that I've read the book.

Mohamed Al Marzooqi

كان الروائي الأمريكي راي برادبيري في آخر أيامه يقود حملاتٍ لإنقاذ بعض المكتبات العامة المهددة بالإغلاق نظرًا لعجز ميزانيتها. فيقوم بمساعدة هذه المكتبات عن طريق إلقاء محاضرات عن حياته وكتاباته على أن يذهب ريع تذاكر الدخول إلى خزنة المكتبات لدعمها!يقول برادبيري في هذا الصدد "المكتبات ربتني. أنا لا أؤمن بالكليات والجامعات. أنا أؤمن بالمكتبات لأن أغلب الطلاب لا يملكون المال. عندما تخرجت من المدرسة، كانت تلك أيام الأزمة الاقتصادية ولم يكن لدينا مال، فلم أستطع الدراسة في كلية. لذا، كنت أذهب إلى المكتبة لثلاثة أيام في الأسبوع لمدة 10 سنوات. قرأت كل شيء في المكتبة. كل شيء. كنت أستعير 10 كتب في الأسبوع، فيكون لدي حوالي 200 كتاب في السنة في الأدب والشعر والمسرحيات، وقرأت جميع القصص القصيرة الشهيرة، مئات منها. تخرجت من المكتبة في الثامنة والعشرين من عمري. تلك المكتبة هي التي علمتني، لا الكلية"هذا الهوس بالكتب ليس بمستغرب على هذا الكاتب الاستثنائي الذي بنى شهرته على رواية "فهرنهايت ٤٥١" التي بيع منها أكثر من ٥٠ مليون نسخة، حيث يخلق برادبيري في هذه الراوية عالمًا مجنونًا يعيش على إحراق الكتب وإعدام المكتبات!(هل هناك غيري من ذكرته هذه الرواية الموجهة لليافعين بالتنين الصغير الذي كان يحلم بأن يصبح رجل إطفاء!)يمكن القول إن "فهرنهايت ٤٥١" التي نشرت عام ١٩٥٣تقع ضمن "الروايات الاستشرافية"، فقد تتكهّنت بظهور العديد من الأشياء التي لم تكن موجودة آنذاك، كشاشات التلفاز المسطّحة، سماعات الأذن لأجهزة آيبود، وأجهزة الصراف الآلي!غير أن أعظم تكهنات هذه الرواية في رأيي كانت محاربة الكتب، لا عن طريق إحراقها ومنعها، فهذه ممارسات قروسطية لا تليق بهذا الزمن الذي تشهد فيه حركة النشر والتأليف إزدهارًا لم تتمتع به أي حقبة من حقب التاريخ، ولكنه للأسف إزدهار سلبي يكرس التفاهة ويحارب الجدية والأصالة!أذكر أننا عندما أعلنا عن إطلاق صالون الأدب الروسي قبل أشهر، واجهنا سيل من الانتقادات والتعليقات المحبطة من كثيرين (وبعضهم من زملائنا الكتاب للأسف) تسخر من محاولاتنا المتواضعة لإعادة ضبط بوصلة القراءة في الوسط الثقافي الذي ينوء بأثقال من التفاهة تعجز عن حملها أعتى مكتبات العالم!إن هذا الترويج للتفاهة مع السخرية من أي جهود -مهما صغرت- لتصحيح الأوضاع القائمة جريمتان لا تقلان سوءا وبشاعة عن جريمة إحراق الكتب!

karen

so i decided that this is the summer i read all the books i "should" have read by now- all the classics i have not gotten around to. this was, oddly, sparked by that asshole that said to alyssa "this is why small bookstores are better - no one in big bookstores knows anything about books". which is, of course, inaccurate and ridiculous - poor alyssa is a nineteen year old girl who has not read any philip roth, and wasnt able to recommend a title to the (fifty year old) man but has probably read more books than most people you will pass on the street today. (unless you live on bookland ave) and i love small bookstores, but that is not the point. another thing that is not the point is that there are other people in the store besides the nineteen year old girl who is really not the target audience for philip roth, and between tom and greg alone, all the philip roth books have been read. so i just started thinking about all the books i havent read that are canonical (not philip roth - ive read four and its plenty) but, say, fahrenheit 451. so long review short, i read this yesterday. and its pretty much what i expected. even if you havent read it, you know what it is about, and i think it makes important points, but it just wont make my all-time-favorite list. but im glad i read it. his afterword is very good - i think i may have liked it more than the novel itself. so.

Alex

"The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies."That is a very unpleasant metaphor, and Fahrenheit 451 is an unpleasant book. It feels like it was written by a teenager, and if I were his teacher I'd give it a B- and not let my daughter date the weird little kid who wrote it.Its protagonist, Montag, lacks any character; he changes as Bradbury's shitty story requires him to, from the dumbest kid on the world (his cousin once offered to pay him a dime to fill a sieve with sand and he sat there for ages crying and dumping sand into it - I understand that's a metaphor, but it's a metaphor for a moron) to a mastermind (telling Faber how to throw the Hound off his scent). You ever see film of someone skipping a pebble in reverse? Me neither, but I bet it's like this: plop plop skip skip wtf?Each other character exists solely to advance the plot. There's the hot underage Manic Pixie Dream Girl - "her face fragile milk crystal" - who teaches him how to smell dandelions (and whose beauty is harped on endlessly) and then disappears off-stage; Faber, who's all of a sudden like best friends and then disappears off-stage; the bonfire circle of retired professors who happen to be right there when he stumbles out of a river looking for them.There's his wife - "thin as a praying mantis from dieting, and her flesh like white bacon." He seems to loathe her, and all real women."Millie? Does the White Clown love you?"No answer."Millie, does - " He licked his lips. "Does your 'family' [TV entertainment] love you, love you very much, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie?"He felt her blinking slowly at the back of his neck. "Why'd you ask a silly question like that?"There's a real conservative streak to this book. It looks backwards, as conservatives do. Bradbury blames his world's disgust with books on "minorities," what we nowadays call "special interest groups":"Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn it."These are the only specific examples given during Captain Beatty's central speech about why literature has been banned.There are some nice moments here. A disturbed and immature but intelligent kid flailing around will hit a few marks. The central idea? No, no props for that; book-burning was invented centuries ago. But the moment when the TV instructs all citizens to open their doors and look for Montag, that's nice. And the suicidal Captain Beatty is the book's only living character, although his speech is littered with what I swear are just random quotes. I even like the idea of a circle of book-readers, each responsible for remembering a certain book - but it's dealt with so lamely here. "We've invented ways for you to remember everything you've ever read, so it's no problem." Well, in that case I got like half the Canon, y'all can go home. Losers. Wouldn't it be cooler if these people had to work for it? Point is, those little flashes of competence are so overwhelmed by terrible philosophy and so ill-sketched themselves that I have no idea how this book has escaped the bonfire of apathy, the worst and most blameless fire of all. It's just a lame, lame book. I wouldn't burn this or any book. But I'll do worse: I'll forget all about it.

mai ahmd

جاءت هذه الرواية بذلك المضمون الذي سيحبه أي عاشق للقراءة أي عاشق لرائحة الكتب وأغلفتها وأي عاشق لزيارة المكتبات والتجول بين أرففها فكل هؤلاء سيلتفتون بلا أي شك لموضوع يمس الكتاب فمابالك لو كان الحديث عن حرقها !تلك الكتب التي أشبعت العطش للمعرفة و أنارت التفكير وأشعلت الأسئلة ،أثرت العقول و أثارت العواطف .. لا يمكن أن لا يخطر في الذهن إنه قبل اختراع الطباعة كانت الكتب تنسخ نسخا وبالرغم من ذلك المجهود الهائل الذي كان من الممكن أن يؤثر على نظر هؤلاء النساخ ويعدم الرؤية لديهم إلا إنهم لم يتوقفوا يوما واستمروا في النسخ إلا إن تلك الكتب نفسها التي أفنى البعض حياته لأجلها اعتبرها البعض أيضا ذلك الكائن التخريبي الخطير والعدو المحتمل فخلال عصورا مختلفة خضعت العديد من الشعوب للعبودية الفكرية ومورست الديكتاتورية في محاولة لخنق الهواء وقد نالت الكتب حظها من الإهمال ، الإغراق والحرق ! أمام هذا الكنز الهائل الذي تقدمه الكتب التي تمتلك تلك الرائحة الجذابة التي لا يدركها سوى عاشق للقراءة والأغلفة الملونة البراقة ذات الملمس البريء الناعم والذي يخطف قلوب وعيون عشاقها ! كانت السلطة تضطهد بشراسة أي شخص يمتلك كتابا ، أو أولئك الذين كانوا يخبئونها سرا .. فالقراءة وياللعجب جريمة يعاقب عليها القانون .. ولا عجب أن يصاب مونتاغ بأزمة ضمير وهو الإطفائي في زمن يقوم فيه بالنقيض من عمل الأطفائي المعتاد مونتاغ كان يشعل النار ولا يطفئها ، يرتكب واحدة من أخطر الجرائم لتدمير التراث الأدبي والإنساني .. يحول المكتبات المنزلية وأصحابها إلى رماد ويساويها بالأرض .. كلاريس هي أرض أخرى هي المطر هي العشب هي النحل إنها تقول أمورا رائعة وتمتلك عيونا مختلفة بينما أصابهم العمى ، هي الحياة الحقيقية و الجانب المشرق في الليالي الباردة ، وهي السبب الرئيسي في تحرّك ضمير مونتاغ في عبارة صغيرة وخاطفة وبريئة : هل أنت سعيد ! كلاريس تسير في طريق لا يجب أن تمر به الكلاب الآلية ولا النار المستعرة ! والتي تنتظر القوم الضالين من عشاق الكتبميلدريد زوجة مونتاغ المرأة الصقيع حوارها مع مونتاغ يخلو من أي دفء أي حميمية إنه كأي حوار آلي ، ميلدريد تجلس طوال الوقت على الصوفا لعلها تقشرلبا أو تمضغ علكة في يدها زر الريموت كونترول تقلب التيلفزيون من قناة لأخرى تتناول حبوبا منومة إمعانا في النوم ! غير مبالية لا تتحرك تظل في مكانها تكرر نفس العملية ، لو كانت في زمن اخترع فيه التيلفون لأمضت وقتها في التحدث والغيبة والنميمة نموذج للإنسان الإستهلاكي فارغ الرأس والذي يعيش كيفما أتفق ولا يمكن أن يكون قد عرف في حياته لذة أو متعة القراءة .. ميلدريد لم تعرف كيف ممكن أن تبقى رائحة الكتاب في اليد لم تشمها يوما لم تتنقل من مكتبة لأخرى لتبحث عن كتاب و لم تطارد كتابا في حياتها لذلك كم كان سهلا عليها أن تتخذ قرارها وتخضع للنظام وتتخلى عن زوجها !الكُتب منارات تضيء العالم فيما الكابتن بيتي أراد إغراق العالم في العتمة كما كان يفعل هتلر عندما أوعز بحرق الكتب عام 1933 كما فعل المغول عندما أغرقوا الكتب في نهر دجلة كما فعل من فعل عندما أحرقوا مكتبة البابا سروج في لبنان إن حرق الكتب هو حريق في القلوب العاشقة وكل من أحرق الكتب لهو الشيطان بعينه ! بيتي يمثل أي شيء شرير ينوي الإضرار بتلك المنارات العالية قد يمثل نظاما سياسيا يسيطر على الجمهور قد يكون الرداءة في الفكر قد يكون الصرامة في الرقابة وإن كان راي برادبري قد نفى ذلك قد يكون ركود الأفكار أو شيء آخر قبيح أشبه بذلك التنين الهائل الذي يقذف النار ولا يملك أحدا السيطرة عليه ! في النهاية يبدو أن راي كان يتنبأ بأن التكنولوجيا ستسيطر على عقل الإنسان في مرحلة ما وعلى الرغم من شعور القارىء بأن راي يقدم الأمل فهناك حفظة ينتشرون على طول الطريق إلا إنه يتركه محتارا هل تكفي ذاكرة الإنسان ! تلك الذاكرة المعرضة للإهتراء وللمرض والموت .. الرواية على الرغم من إنها رسالة تحذيرية إلا إنها أغنية في حب القراءة وعشق الكتاب وهي موجهة لعمر معين فيها رسالة واضحة ومباشرة للأجيال التي لا تقرأ .. للأجيال التي وضعت الكتاب جانبا واستبدلته بأشياء أخرى أقل أهمية وأقل ثراءا ورسالة لكل من له دورا في رسم الثقافة التي تحدد قيم المجتمع وتؤثر فيه وللأنظمة الساسية أيا ماكانت والتي تحاول أو حاولت غسل العقول أو التلاعب بها .. إنها دعوة أيضا لفضاءات واسعة في القراءة و حرية في الكتابة ..!قرأتها بنسخة للجيب بترجمة د أحمد خالد توفيق*

Chris

It’s time to do it, isn’t it? You know it is. We’ve all done it before, no sense in resisting the temptation to do it yet again. The sun has set, the skies have turned a sensational shade of indigo, the interior lighting is seductively dimmed. The house is otherwise empty, and not expecting additional occupancy any time soon. The blinds are down, curtains drawn tightly. The stereo is playing softly; isn’t that your favorite slow-jam? Of course it is. Thwart all possible interruptions; turn off your cell phone and disconnect the house line, only after placing a fraudulent call to the guy manning the nearest tornado alert siren telling him he’s got the night off. Nothing is going to get in your way. You lay back slowly, hardly able to contain the anxiety of awaiting the pleasures which are soon to commence. Relax. Examine the articles which you’ve assembled to increase the forthcoming flood of sensations; silk boxers and a plush robe for maximum comfort and style, instead of the usual barrage of Coors and Captain, you’re tapping into the reserves of Lindeman’s and Chambord, a fresh pack of Camels. You’ve even put a new dryer sheet in the blow-tube. Give in to any last minute impulses: feel free to slick your hair back, put a foot over that line in the sand you ordinarily wouldn’t cross. Everything is going your way. You’re set.Slowly place it in your hand, lift it up a little, don’t be afraid to gaze at it with affection and admiration for its worth. It’s quite a marvel, isn’t it. Perhaps the careful application of a gentle caress or a little squeeze before beginning will make all the difference. Feel free to use your non-dominant hand should you get to indulge in this more frequently than most. As a last precaution, double-check that the reduced lighting is ample for your needs, heed your mother’s warning that this can make you go blind. While still softly cradling the underside, lovingly wrap your thumb around the side and over the top. You’re ready to manhandle it bilaterally now. It responds accordingly, the cover opens smoothly, a sharp intake of breath: Fahrenheit 451 begins. As strange as it may seem, I don’t think I enjoyed this quite as much as I did on previous reads. Perhaps Bradbury’s classic is getting stale, or maybe I should take my own advice and employ a switch-handed approach next time. What I found to be really unexpected is that this time around I appreciated different aspects of the book than I did previously. On my first few reads of F451 I was naturally consumed (not to mention mortified) by the prospect of Fireman enlisted to seek out and destroy the world of literature my young mind was coming to embrace. Now, nearing the age where I’d always imagined I’d be sent off to the savannah to die alone, I’ve come to realize that while the Fireman aren’t necessary, I’m all for a reduction in the publication of completely pointless, brain-damaging crap. While I don’t fathom I’ll ever be entirely convinced of the heralded merits of ‘Living Green’, I will say that I’ve always considered stock car racing and the release of shitty books to be equally poor usage of natural resources. This is probably because in the elapsed time I’ve read “The Bell Jar” and “Story of the Eye”, which I am sure some people will cherish and find significant, but naturally it’s my taste that ultimately matters. Sarcasm probably doesn’t come across too well without italics.There was the time I thought maybe Clarisse was the engrossing aspect of the book. That inspirational, blossoming young woman who contrastingly stands out in the nightmarish landscape of Bradbury’s future like a daisy springing from the concrete on Wacker drive in downtown Chicago. In time I’ve come to expect that nothing good will come to these liberated souls, and like the daisy, she is also duly pulverized by oncoming traffic. Then came the reading where I sought to find significance behind the enigmatic nature of Fire Captain Beatty and the Hound. Beatty, who is the head book-burner capable of quoting from significant works through the ages, the self-hating bibliophile. It almost seems like a gyp that the Captain’s obviously interesting and divergent past isn’t recounted. I also thought maybe there was something more going on behind the cold, lifeless eyes of the Hound; prompted by the hostile (almost precognitive) attitude which it directs at Montag, and the announcement in the book that a Hound was released against the firemen in it’s own precinct. What might have been going on in that nameless Firehouse? Perhaps a whole station of firemen stockpiling, storing, hoarding books, the Hound finally unable to passively stand by and endure this dereliction of duty. Again, I got older and wiser, and realized what was going on here: in Montag’s world, everything has been fireproofed, thus no more need for fire hydrants, thus one upset pooch that’s been holding an aching urination for its entire existence.Reading F451 now, what I probably liked most was the world and backstory which Bradbury built around Montag’s awakening. Previously, I felt that the story completely revolved around the concept of the Firemen, and that the ridiculous society which spawned such an occupation was mere filler. I’m now leaning the other way, mainly because I agree with a small message which Bradbury buries in the book; that the reason the world ended up this way was because the voice of the minority clusters rose up and was obeyed; as Beatty states “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.” In an effort to make sure nobody’s feelings were hurt, anything which offended anyone was destroyed, a pure sign of progress. Yes, sarcasm again. “I protest, sir! Your book contains a statement in which the narrator derides someone for dancing ‘as if he had two left feet’!” trills the pear-shaped, discontented mother. “That’s possible.” The pothead author meekly rebuts, trying to recount just what the hell his latest book was even about. “My son was born with two left feet, and your vile, thoughtless trash insults his very nature,” she continues, “do you have any idea how he will feel should his innocent eyes happen to stray upon your story?” “Um, I guess he might feel like clumsily side-shuffling over to kick my ass?” And straight to the incinerator with book and author both.I sincerely do loathe this pandering to the minority at the expense to the majority, and can only expect the bleakest outcome to follow should we persist in this path. I think about this every time I have to confirm to the ATM machine that I do indeed want my transaction in English, and feel the bile rising up as I try to ignore the Braille beneath each number, seeing as this is a drive-thru machine. You’re not supposed to voice those unpopular opinions though, that’s cruelty, probably prosecutable these days. I envision a future in which the only person you can beat the shit out of without it being recorded as a ‘hate crime’ is a clone of yourself. It’s probably me just getting old and crotchety, but I now feel like I can better appreciate Bradbury’s dreary imaginings. The pace of life sped up beyond reason, the incessant babble pouring from the morons Mildred associates with via the wallscreens, espousing their inane thoughts on voting and child-rearing, and all the while, the few non-mutants simply falling into lockstep with this insanity, barely raising their voices to call for a cessation of the madness. I finally see F451 as something beyond a statement on censorship, I see it as an indictment of the people we’re allowing ourselves to become.

Sean

What if books ceased to exist? What if the society you live in, goodreaders, brainwashed you into thinking books were bad? Every single printed word on bookshelves, in homes, in libraries, in schools was forbidden and to own a book meant that you would be imprisoned or (even worse) killed for such an action. What if you knew that such printed words were important? What if you believed maintaining their existence was a necessity regardless of the serious consequences of preserving their survival? Guy Montag, a fireman, whose primary job in a dysotopian reality is to set fire to these books instead of putting the fires out. But he knows there is something fundamentally flawed about this concept. He doesn’t want to burn books. He wants to preserve them so that mankind can continue to acquire knowledge instead of witnessing ideas and works of imagination cast into the flames of censorship. The world around him does not understand this conviction. To do so would be extremely dangerous. Guy Montague is willing to take that risk and go against the very society that made him question his role in the world.

Traveller

Since this book, Fahrenheit 451, is about burning texts, and Goodreads is currently indulging in burning our texts, and will delete my review regardless of whether what I write here is ON TOPIC or not (yes Goodreads staff member, this book is about burning books, so if I write that here, what I write is both ON TOPIC and ABOUT THE BOOK (you obviously have not read the books on which we have written reviews that you've been deleting)), I will not bother to write a review, since some pretext will be devised to delete it anyway.

Tyler

Few appreciate irony as much as I do, so understand that I understand this review. The message of this book is decent: knowledge should not be censored. However, the rest of the book is utter shit. I found myself actually screaming at several points as Bradbury spent minutes and dozens of metaphors and allusions referring to one insignificant detail of the plot. It is too damn flowery to be understandable by anyone! In other words, an English teacher's dream. In addition, the story was about the message not the story in and of itself. Those of you who know me understand that this is that I detest most about classics, tied with how everyone reveres them without reading them.The Coda and Afterword just add to the confuse making me confused on whether Bradbury is a very hateful man or just a hypocrite. The main plot of the novel itself is that the majority rule canceled out intellectualism while in the Coda (maybe Afterword, I don't remember which was which) Bradbury blasts minorities (all, including racial, religious, etc.) for creating an overly sensitive society. Oddly enough, his heroes are the minority. Ha. Furthermore, the Coda is a hefty "Fuck you" to anyone that wants to critique his work in any way not positive. Therefore, I feel obliged to respond in turn: "Fuck you, Ray Bradbury. Your writing style is shit and I won't force it on my worst enemy." Harsh, I know, but true. If you do need to read this book, I suggest a Cliff Notes version as long as you can appreciate that irony.

فاتن

٤٥١ الدرجة التي تحترق عندها الكتب____________________خير اللهم اجعله خيركابوس هذا وليست روايةهذا الكتاب وإن كان مصنفا ضمن الخيال العلمي، إلا أنني أكاد أجزم أن بوادر حصوله في عالمنا العربي قريبة، وإرهاصات وقوعه عندنا ليست ببعيدةتخيل أن يتم الاستغناء عن العلوم الإنسانية؟!!! وتغلق أقسامها في الجامعاتتصور كيف سيعيش الناس وحيازة الكتب عامة ممنوعة ومخالفة للقانون ويحرق بيت صاحبهابل حتى التفكير يصنف على أنه من قلة عقل والتفكر يصبح جنونا صرفا بلاأدنى ريبوالناس يتم التحكم بهم وتوجيه مسارهم للانشغال بالتفاهات عن طريق سماعات في أذانهم وشاشات في جدارن منازلهم مربوطة بشبكة تبث السخافات لتلهيهم عن واقعهموغير هذا وذاك من المآسييقال أن المؤلف ألف هذا الكتاب ردا على عضو الكونجرس (مكارثي) في هجومه على المثقفينوالسؤال: كم من مكارثي عندنا في عالمنا العربي:/لا أريد أن أفكر في عددهم فهو جنون كما تعلمت من الرواية:$

Abdullah

من يملك الصبر لقراءة الكتاب كاملاً بترجمة الساقي يستطيع أن يمضي بعيداً في حياته محققاً كل إنجاز مهما بدا مستحيلاً. مخزية الترجمة و لا تليق بدار مبتدئة حيث ستظل الرواية مزيج من الهراء غير المترابط. ربما لو اعتمدت ترجمة قوقل لكانت أفضل حالاً من هذه الترجمة.

Huda Yahya

"الأفكار ليها أجنحة ماحدش يقدر يمنعها توصل للناس"ـــــــــــــــإذا كنت قد شاهدت الكتب تحترق في فيلم العبقري يوسف شاهين ووقعت في غرام الفيلم والمشهدفربما هذا الكتاب يكون لك*-*عندما تصبح قراءة الكتب جريمةفي هذه الرواية يطرح راي برادبوري أسوأ سيناريو لعشاق الكتبماذا لو كنا نعيش في عالم تخلص نهائياً من الكتب وجرم من يحملها أو ينقلها أو يحتفظ بها؟مونتاج هو بطل الرواية يعمل كرجل حريقومهمته ليست إطفاء الحرائق كما قد تظن بل إشعالها!وقبعات رجال الحريق تحمل الرقم 451 ومنها إستمدت الرواية عنوانهايصحو مونتاج من النوم ، ينظر إلى زوجته ، ترقد جواره كجسد في قبرلا يشعر بشيءربما بعض الأسى ، اللامبالاة ، وكثير من الملل والاختناقيخرج لسانه لوحش اللإضطراب النفسي الذي ينهشهماتبتلع الزوجة قرصاً ،، تشاهد التلفازستقوم كالعادة بمحاولة إنتحار جديدةيمضي مونتاج إلى عملهكان من الممتع أن تحرقIt was a pleasure to burn! مونتاج يعمل في المؤسسة الحكومية الكبرى لبلد شمولي(أي تحت نظام سياسي يحتكر فيه حزب واحد كامل السلطة ولا يسمح بظهور معارضة)ـوهذا الحزب يكرس كل إمكاناته في محاربة الكلمة المكتوبة يفتش عنها بشهوة في الليل ولا مانع أبداً يا مونتاج من حرق المكان الذي يحوي الكتاب إن إستلزم الأمر أو خرجت الأمور عن السيطرة*-*احشِ الناس بالحقائق سريعة الاحتراق حتى يشعروا بأنهم أذكياء لاتنسهذه رواية خيال علميهناك كلاب إلكترونية ،، وآلات ناطقةوكبسات الزر هنا لا نتنهيوعالم التلفاز يحتل كل الوقت ما تبقى من العقولفأي حكم شمولي كالذي قد تراه في رواية أخرى كرائعة جورج اورويل 1984وفي عالمنا الحقيقي تعيش بعض مشاهده كل يومهذا النوع من الحكم يهدف إلى السيطرة على العقولغسيل الأدمغةوحشوها بمعلبات جاهزة تشعر من يتلقاها بأنه ذكي ومثقفبينما هو في الحقيقة مجرد ترس في آلة كبرى تعمل لمصلحتها أولاً واخراًالمخابيل يفضلون الموت مع كتبهم .. هذا نمط سلوكي معتاد أظنني من هؤلاء المخابيلوهي كلمة وردت على لسان أحد زملاء مونتاج عن عجوز أبت أن تترك كتبها وفضلت الاحتراق معهاومونتاج يتعلميقابل من يحدث شقاً في عقلهيحاول منه طرح الأسئلةما الداعي لاغتيال الكتب بهذه الطريقة؟يحاول أن يجد جواباً ويبدأ في سرقة وقراءة الكتب بنفسهيقابل الثواروهم أناس يعيشون على أطراف هذا العالم المجنون*-*عندما تصبح أنت كتاباًتصور أن تكون مهمتك في الحياة هي الحفاظ على تراث العالمثقافتهتخيل نفسك كتاباً يمشي ويتنفسهؤلاء هم الثوارواحد منهم هو ماكبث يحفظها حتي يصير هو المسرحية نفسهاالثاني فاوست تغلغلت بداخله كل كلمة منها وكل نقطة وكل حرفالثالثة جمهورية أفلاطونلا ينادونها بغير ذلكوهكذا تتجسد الكلمة حية من لحم ودمتتوارثها الكائنات الحيةوتحفظ للعالم حقه فيها*-*راي برادبوري واحد من أعظم كتاب الخيال في العالمو هو هنا يستخدم كل ما هو ممكن أدبياً لصقل روايتهفلن تجد كلمة واحدة في غير موضعهاأو صفة بلا تلميح ساخرأو إسم لا يعني شيئاً ما يرتبط بالروايةمن الممتع أن تقرأ لهتعيش في قصصهتستمتع باسلوبه وصورهتطارده مثلي بين عشرات القصص التي أقرأها له ولا أشبع!*-*قدمت دار الشروق نسخة عربية للروايةولكنني أظن أن ترجمة أحمد خالد توفيق (ضمن سلسلة روايات عالمية للجيب) ستكون أفضل

Tara

one of my top 5 favorites of all time.Favorite QuotesHave you ever watched the jet cars race on the boulevard?...I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly...If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! He'd say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows.There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing....The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on....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 cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn cutter might as well just not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.We’ll go on the river...or we’ll go that way. Or we’ll walk the highways now. And we’ll have time to put things into ourselves. And someday, after it sets into us a long time, it’ll come out her hands and our mouths. And a lot of it will be wrong, but just enough of it will be right. We’ll just start walking around today and see the world and the way the world really looks. I want to see everything now. And while none of it will be me when it goes in, after awhile it’ll gather together inside and it’ll be me. Look at the world out there. My God, look at it out there, outside me, out there beyond my face, and the only way to really touch it is to put it where it’s finally me, where it’s in the blood, where it pumps around a thousand times ten thousand a day. I get a hold of it so it will never run off. I’ll hold on to the world tight someday. I’ve got one finger on it now. That’s a beginning.

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