Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury,

Book cover of Fahrenheit 451

Book description

The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.

Over 1 million copies sold in the UK.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and…

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Why read it?

11 authors picked Fahrenheit 451 as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Firemen… who burn books? The premise of a censorship society grabbed me right away. Ray Bradbury’s wonderfully imaginative writing has stuck with me since I first read this novel in high school. While the book was written in the 1950s, these are issues that we continue to grapple with to this day. What makes this imagined future so frightening is how possible it seems.

Fahrenheit 451 is the best dystopian novel of the 1950s in which firemen work as enforcers burning books rather than putting out fires because a societal mob claims that the world’s unhappiness and discord are the result of ideas expressed in books. A woke mob that prefers to watch tv rather than read books has determined what is wrong with each book. Blacks are offended by Little Black Sambo so it must be burned. Whites are offended by Uncle Tom’s Cabin so it must be burned. Cigarette companies burn books that portray cigarette smoking as dangerous. There’s bound to be…

The firemen are coming. As the inspiration behind everything from Rush’s Grace Under Pressure to the gunkata-toting Equilibrium, Fahrenheit 451 presents us with a hellish vision of 2049, where outlawed books are burned without remorse, suicide is a job hazard, and television is God. Bradbury himself was careful to state that he saw himself as “a preventor of futures, not a predictor of them,” which is nice and all, but the guy did happen to predict earbuds, 24-hour ATMs, flatscreen TVs, cancel culture, and the depersonalization of war, so at this stage he has a better batting average than…

I read Fahrenheit 451 in my first year of high school and it left the biggest impression on me. It was such a meta theme: a tale of what might happen if the world decided to burn books. I couldn't fathom such an apocalypse initially, but as I paged through it and grew to see abuses of technology I became quite alarmed at the book’s prophetic message. It’s certainly a cautionary tale of censorship, but beyond that, it rekindled my love for reading and my curiosity for tradition. As a writer, this book reminded me that literature is not meant…

Most people think about Fahrenheit 451 as being a book that is almost exclusively about the struggle of one man against an oppressive, overreaching government. I disagree. 

At its heart, it's about the weaknesses in our education systems that make Bradbury’s dystopian vision a sadly plausible future reality. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books burn, and Bradbury has noted how uncomfortable power has historically been with the books that educate the people—the books that don’t just explain “how” something should be done like an instruction manual, but dare to pose the question: “why?” Books that don’t simply ask…

One of the most well-known dystopian classics, Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 builds its dystopic society around the banning of knowledge and over-consumption of mindless entertainment. The book is subversive from the very first line—“It was a pleasure to burn”—introducing us to a world where firemen start fires rather than put them out. And our main character, fireman Guy Montag, is the perfect dystopian protagonist—deeply conflicted throughout, and seduced by the very thing he has been employed to destroy. The perfect dystopian book to feed your rebellion against censorship. 

From Mikhaeyla's list on dystopian to feed your rebellious spirit.

Written in 1953, this dystopian novel is as relevant as ever. It images a world without books of any kind, where firemen don’t put out blazes, they ignite them — destroying books and the homes of people who own them. Bradbury wrote this long before digital technology capable of monitoring our behavior was in place. His nightmarish novel is a gripping cautionary tale about censorship, totalitarian control, and the importance of freedom of speech. 

From Seth's list on book-within-a-book format.

I have never reread a book as many times as I have Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. To me, it stands out among other classics in this genre because Bradbury leaves so much room for imagination. His style gives you space on the page for your own struggles to fill the gaps and to expand the world into something that changes and grows every time you read it. 

Everyone should read Fahrenheit 451 at least once, but my recommendation would be to pick it up every few years and see how time has changed its personal resonances while at the…

Alternative futures are certainly a true realm of fantastic thought. What possible Utopia or nightmarish Hell lies ahead for us all? Ray Bradbury isn’t considered a master of the written word for nothing. Misfiled under sci-fi because of Bradbury’s specialization in the genre, Fahrenheit 451 presents a truly frightening look at a world bereft of truth and controlled by disinformation. It had already happened once during the author’s lifetime. He wanted to make sure it never happened again. This isn’t just a great book… it should be required reading for everyone.

In my teen years, the twin stars of my…

Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 takes place in a world any self-respecting bibliophile would shudder at the thought of - telling the story of a man named Guy Montag, a “fireman” who is rapidly becoming disenchanted with his job. His assignment? Setting fire to books, rather than putting them out. In this take, society no longer has the commitment necessary to appreciate literary art, and the overbearing rule of the state wishes to stop people from expanding the parameters of their minds. Unforeseen by the authoritarian government, Montag begins to open his mind to the complexities of the written word and begins…

From T.J.'s list on finding strength in a bleak future.

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