Friday, June 25, 2010

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Book Details
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Paperback, 208 Pages
1987, Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345342968

Nowadays firemen start fires. Fireman Guy Montag loves to rush to a fire and watch books burn up. Then he met a seventeen-year old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who told him of a future where people could think. And Guy Montag knew what he had to do....

Fahrenheit 451 is set in a dystopian society that any book-lover would loathe. Firemen don't put out fires, they start them. They burn books, all books, for the safety of society. Guy is a fireman who is content with the world around him, until he starts reading a contraband book.

Censorship, freedom of speech and the idea that knowledge is dangerous are at the forefront of this novel. Even today, people are still banning books and trying to stop certain ideas from infecting the minds of the populace. The books relevance has clearly stood the test of time, but perhaps that's more a problem with society than praise for this book.

While the premise is scary and all too possible, the writing itself is dull. Fahrenheit 451 is a short book full of description. In this case, being overly descriptive isn't a good thing. The wording is choppy and the only time you can really get into the flow of the book is when Bradbury goes on a rambling tangent.

The concept is sure to outrage and book-lovers will easily become enthralled with Guy as he embraces the knowledge and power books provide. Fahrenheit 451 is a good book, but it is written in a way that aggravating and distracting. I don't think it deserves the gushing praise that's heaped upon it.


Ray Bradbury's website


  1. I haven't read Bradbury since I was a little girl and I recall being lost a lot of the time - but maybe that had nothing to do with Bradbury...

    You must be doing something right with this many followers! So I am going to follow too to figure out your secrets!

    Thanks for stopping by earlier!
    Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

  2. I was thinking of reading this for the Dystopian Challenge. Hmm. Maybe I'll have a look at it if I can get it from the library. Won't buy it, for sure.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. @Steph - I think I'm just not a fan of Bradbury's style. I remember not loving Something Wicked This Way Comes either.

    My secrets? Umm, I post. A lot. A couple times a day. I'm surprised people most haven't unfollowed me yet for clogging up their feed readers :)

    @leeswammes - The library is always a safe bet, although as a classic, you could probably find it pretty cheap. You may love it and need to own a copy. I liked the premise, but the style wasn't my taste.

  4. Hm, I'm on the fence with this one. I'm interested in reading it just because it sounds like a cool concept. If the writing is dull, though, that's enough to make me put it down! Great review.

  5. This is one I feel like I should want to read, but just don't care about really.

  6. @Emidy - The book was short which helped a bit with struggling through the writing.

    @carolsnotebook - I had to read it. A book about people taking a stand to save books - sounds awesome to most book lovers. I may have expected this book to be the most perfect book on the planet, hence my disappointment.

  7. Was this a re-read for you?

    I haven't read this book in a very long time. It is so fuzzy. I remember kind of being bored through it, but that could have been a high school thing. LOL

    I'll have to re-read it soon. I know that it is a highly praised book, but I have never stopped to ask why. Maybe because at the time it was written the concept seemed so new as far as dystopian societies are concerned. *shrugs*

  8. @Missie - This was more of a skimming. I read it years ago but I always want to leaf through older reads to make sure I'm not forgetting anything major. The older reviews are usually a little more vague than newly read reviews, which is fine with me but I would hate to say something that was obviously from another book.

    You're probably right about why it's popular. While dystopian novels have been around since before there was a name for them, this book targeted a book lovers worst fear - a world without books. That's new and scary - especially to those who had never considered the possibility before.

  9. I recently picked this up from target, thanks for the review I been wanting to crack the spin on it.

  10. @Heidi - You're welcome. Hope you enjoy it much more than I did.