Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Book - 2018 | Simon & Schuster trade paperback edition.
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Sixty years after its originally publication, Ray Bradbury's internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 stands as a classic of world literature set in a bleak, dystopian future. Today its message has grown more relevant than ever before.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family." But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn't live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.
Publisher: New York ;, Toronto :, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks,, 2018.
Edition: Simon & Schuster trade paperback edition.
Copyright Date: ©1995
ISBN: 9781982102609
Characteristics: xvi, 249 pages : illustrations
xvi, 249 pages : illustrations


From Library Staff

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are housed. But then he meets an e... Read More »

ehbooklover May 06, 2013

I fully admit that I only chose to read this because of TPL’s Keep Toronto Reading program but I enjoyed it more than expected and finished it within a few hours. A dystopian-themed story about book burning that is troubling in its relevance to today’s fast-paced, technology-driven society.

From the critics

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Nov 07, 2019

I read this book as part of the 300 books everyone should read once challenge featured on Listopia. It reminded me of George orwells 1984. I didn't hate it. Although as a true book lover, a world without books scares me a bunch

Sep 14, 2019

It seems especially relevant nowadays in the world of cancel culture. The sjw emblem should be a salamander.

Aug 31, 2019

I highly recommend this book. The setting of the book is actually eerily similar to the world of today. It shows how far we’ve fallen from the age of reading, and what the consequences will be somewhere in the future. Anyone who thinks that books are of little importance (or just need some reminding that they aren’t) should definitely read this book.

Aug 28, 2019


Reading Fahrenheit 451 almost 70 years after it was written was a profound experience for this book lover. This brilliant sci-fi novel is very powerful and just as relevant today as it was when it was published in 1953, probably even more relevant. The story is very haunting and it thoroughly kept my interest from beginning to end. I was anxious to find out how it would end. Bradbury is an excellent thinker and very good writer. He shows the reader a world without books, a concept that may soon become a reality, and why and how it happened. He also holds a mirror up and shows readers the brutal and ugly truth about ourselves. I now consider it one of the best American novels. I won't take books for granted anymore.

Bradbury is spot on in his description of a world where books are outlawed enemies of the state and in which people sit in front of screens, absorbed by meaningless entertainment without purpose or fulfillment, losing their ability to talk to each other, and screens actually become family members. There are so many parallels in the story that match exactly what is going on today. We are, in so many ways, the people in Fahrenheit 451.

Some things Bradbury wrote in Fahrenheit 451 are so mind blowing. Here are some of my favorites:

"No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive...It didn't come from the Government down...Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick."

"The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are."

"The public stopped reading of its own accord."

"I remember the newspapers dying like moths. No one wanted them back. No one missed them."

I highly recommend getting a hold of the 60th anniversary edition (Simon & Shuster) as it includes great history, context and criticism of the book and Bradbury's own thoughts.

I thought I had read this book in my youth but now having read it I don't think I did. Maybe I had read the modified, censored "Bal-Hi" edition created in 1967 for classrooms which was then accidentally transferred in 1973 to the mass market. The original version was brought back in 1979. I remember seeing the Francois Truffaut film on TV in my youth which made a huge impression on me.

Aug 13, 2019

It has been a (long) while since I first read this novel, but it still seems to be an appropriate cautionary tale of what can go wrong when people put too much value into "mindless entertainment," and forget the importance of history and philosophy. Even after nearly seventy years since it was first published, its message continues to resonate with our "modern" times. Ray Bradbury was a truly visionary author.

Whenever I think about this book (or the movie inspired by it), I can't help but remember a similarity between it and the classic episode of the Twilight Zone, "The Obsolete Man," with Burgess Meredith and Fritz Weaver. Books had been outlawed in that setting, too. What a terrible time and place to have to live in. Just imagine if they had known about (so-called) "smart phones."

One of my favorite passages is from the second section, The Sieve and the Sand, page 79, first paragraph (2012 edition):

"… Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. …"

I hope that you might enjoy this book as much as I did.
(But, please, <READ> this book (or any book) before you watch the motion picture. Our future needs readers. Thank you.)

Aug 12, 2019

It was outstanding when I first read it and outstanding now. I had forgotten how bleak and dystopian it was....depressives should probably avoid it.

CircMary Aug 10, 2019

I am taking great pleasure these days in reading books I read in my younger years and have not forgotten to see if they were justly imprinted in my memory. Fahrenheit 451 is one of those books. Although I don’t remember why it impressed me as a teenager, I think it speaks highly of a book if it can be meaningful to the same person at different stages of her life.
I recommend reading “Fahrenheit 451” in tandem with the recently released “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. See you at the Library!


Fahrenheit 451 is set in a dystopian future and is the story of Guy Montag, a firefighter whose job is to destroy books by lighting them on fire. He lives a bleak life with his wife Mildred, who spends all day talking to the people on the television, who she calls her family. One day Montag meets Clarisse, a young girl who begins to change his viewpoint on the world and leaves him asking questions instead of just accepting things. This book was interesting because of the concepts explored by the author such as the effects of censorship, technology, and the effects of a lack of knowledge in mankind. I would recommend this book to teens who like dystopian fictions. On a scale of 1-5, I would rate this book as a 3. Analisa, grade 11, of the Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers.

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel about Montag and his futuristic life without books. Montag lives in a world where firemen burn books and houses and people are only allowed technological company. After encountering Clarisse, a misfit of society, Montag realizes that he is unhappy. He attempts to find a solution to his life through an old English professor and books. I recommend this book to older teens and adults who like novels set in the future. On a scale of 1 to 5, I rate this book a 3 because I thought there could’ve been a better ending with more details and a firmer resolution. Catherine P., grade 11, of the Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

Jun 28, 2019

Discomfiting to read because the protagonist fireman is so miserable and tense. Motivated to read by mention of Bradbury in The Library Book. May watch the original movie version.

May 26, 2019

To put it simply, Fahrenheit 451 is about a firefighter named Guy Montag who struggles to find meaning through books in a future world where everyone is plugged into the TV and radio. And it’s by Ray Bradbury, so with all that going for it, this book cannot go wrong. I enjoy reading through Guy’s deep inner thoughts, especially his panic attacks, which help to keep things interesting. This book is slow, but there ares some moments with action and all of the philosophical moments spread out throughout the story keep it interesting, also making it more fun to dissect than most books I’ve read, especially when only reading it for the first time. This is a book meant to tell us exactly why books are important and what makes them so awesome; and somehow, it sums up all of that in a story of less than two hundred pages! Unbelievable! Nine out of ten! @R2-D2 of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

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Add a Quote
Aug 13, 2019

"'I hate a Roman named Status Quo!'"
[Granger quoting his grandfather, to Montag.]

Aug 13, 2019

"… Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. …"
[Faber to Montag]

Jun 25, 2019

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds...''

Feb 12, 2019

Fire is bright and fire is clean.

Feb 12, 2019

Montag hesitated. "What—was it always like this? The firehouse, our work? I mean, well, once upon a time. . . ."

"Once upon a time!" Beatty said. "What kind of talk is that?"

Fool, thought Montag to himself, you'll give it away. At the last fire, a book of fairy tales, he'd glanced at a single line. "I mean," he said, "in the old days..."

Aug 08, 2016

"'My grandfather ran off the V-2 rocket film a dozen times and then hoped that someday our cities would open up more and let the green and the land and the wilderness in more, to remind people that were alotted a little space on earth and that we survive in that wilderness that can take back what it has given, as easily as blowing its breath on us or sending the sea to tell us we are not so big. When we forget hoe close the wilderness is in the night, my grandpa said, someday it will come in and get us, for we will have forgotten how terrible ad real it can be.'"

Aug 08, 2016

"'I hate a Roman named Status Quo!' he said to me.' stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said,'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no garantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there was, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in atree all day every day, sleeping it's life away. To hell with that,' he said,'shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.'"

britprincess1ajax Aug 02, 2016

"Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore."

britprincess1ajax Aug 02, 2016

"Most of us can't rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven't time, money or that many friends. The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book."

britprincess1ajax Aug 02, 2016

"Those who don't build must burn."

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Aug 13, 2019

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EuSei Jan 20, 2014

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

May 24, 2013

Violet_Owl_13 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Add a Summary
Jul 06, 2016

Guy 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.

Apr 15, 2013

Classic, futuristic, beautiful prose.

becklein98 Jul 19, 2012

In the future, books are illegal. With the profession of 'fireman', Montag is quite happy burning down homes and occasionally their owners as he and his team destroy books. But when his neighbour, a slender blonde of fifteen, plants the idea of a better society - one where books are legal - in his mind, his curiosity leads to his qeustioning their lifestyle.


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