Monday, March 9, 2009

Padfoot - Fifth Review - Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury scored with the writing of his well-known novel Fahrenheit 451. Although I was scared to read it at first (people burn books in it!), I decided to step up and be a man. Surprisingly, everything turned out fine and I did not weep uncontrollably.

Fahrenheit 451 is a story set in the future (think Anthem or Brave New World) where firemen start fires rather than putting them out. Their reason for starting the fires is to burn books; books are illegal in this world and anyone found with the possession of them had their books and house burnt to the ground. There is even one instance where an old woman refused to leave her books, and ended up burning with them. In her last breath, she recites words from a classic book. If it were me, I would be screaming "To die will be an awfully big adventure!"

The story begins with the line "It was a pleasure to burn." We are introduced to Montag, a fireman who thoroughly enjoys his "duty" of bringing books to this awful fate. Once he meets a young girl named Clarisse, he begins to question his whole life. The story then goes on to tell of his struggles with the norms of the present society.
"We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy. Something's missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I'd burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help."
After realizing that books may be a productive asset to society, he befriends an old man, Faber, who is a retired English teacher. Together they devise a plan in order to be free from the fiery bonds of this Hitler-esque society:
"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."
This is a very short but extremely satisfying read. The ending was not exactly what I had expected, however it took me a whopping 2 hours to get through and I can understand why it is now labeled a classic. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who knows how to read.

Also, if you are interested in the abundance of amazing quotes from this book, click on our quotes blog on the right-hand side.
One last time, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! There will be many more to come!



  1. I love the Peter Pan quote :)

    I read this last summer and wondered why I'd never been assigned it in school--it's a simple read, but so powerful

  2. Thanks! I do too :)

    It was never assigned for me in school, and it should have been. You're right-it's simple and short and definitely worth the attention.

  3. Hi Padfoot and Prongs :)

    I was passing by to tell you that I gave you an award :)

    Please check it out here ..

  4. I never got to read all of the "classic" high school books since I was in an advanced language arts..... always felt like I was missing out on something and now I know for sure that I did.

    Now I am going to have to look up the school reading lists and read them on my own lol.

  5. No way! They burn books in it? That is out of this world and very intriguing lol. I'm sure it wouldn't happen to us.

    Would buy this the next time I see it. Haha, you guys review a lot of interesting books so I always say I'll get them when I see them, haha! :)

  6. mnarf!!! what is the quote "to die will be an awfully big adventure" from?

  7. mnarf? It's from Peter Pan!!!!

  8. This is the second positive review of this classic book I've read in the past two weeks so it is going on my list! I've always been a Bradbury fan (loved The Martian Chronicles) so I must not be remiss. And if I was being burned alive I think I would yell " Holy Crap (or some other word...) that freakin (or some other word) hurts...cut it the freak (or some other word) out!)

  9. I am reading this book right now and I agree, it's a very powerful book. I think it's his best work ever.

  10. I agree, this is one of those books that actually honestly have had an amazing impact on me, its completely changed my views, particularly on society and the value of knowledge and reading.

    Its astounding, and one of the things that made me fall in love with it so was the beautiful prose, particularly during the scene where Montag finds his wife, (trying not to spoil here) - it made me cry! :)

    The quotes are brillant as well, one of my favourites has got to be 'So it was the hand that started it all...'. That really touched me for some reason. :)

    Great book, and like you said, its easy to see why its a classic.


  11. HI! I've stumbled on your wonderful blog and have gotten more books, through your reviews, to add to my wishlist. This book is one of them. Have been reading great reviews on this one.

  12. Awwww EXCELLENT!! Yes this one is definitely great...and it's also a quick and easy read. Definitely one of the modern classics.


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