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Fahrenheit 451 (Collection Folio) (French Edition) (French) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2002
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"One of this country's most beloved writers . . . A great storyteller, sometimes even a mythmaker, a true American classic." --Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post"
"The sheer lift and power of a truly original imagination exhilarates . . . His is a very great and unusual talent." --Christopher Isherwood, "Tomorrow"
"Brilliant . . . Startling and ingenious . . . Mr. Bradbury's account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating." --Orville Prescott, "The New York Times"
"A masterpiece . . . A glorious American classic everyone should read: It's life-changing if you read it as a teen, and still stunning when you reread it as an adult." --Alice Hoffman, "The Boston Globe"
"Frightening in its implications . . . Mr. Bradbury's account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating." --"The New York Times"
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The most surprising thing about Fahrenheit 451 is that it's premise could, in the hands of a lesser writer, easily turn a condescending little lesson about the importance of reading books. But like any work of art that would be missed if it was burned, Fahrenheit 451 doesn't want to give you answers. The book wants you to ask questions.
The main point for me is not that books are burned. That is only the most dramatic side of something bigger: that society allows them to be burned, and that no one is interested in reading in the first place. The only sources of distraction for the denizens of Fahrenheit 451 are sports or soap operas in televisions the size of entire walls. The speed of television does not allow you to stop and think, just swallow that entertainment loaf. From this insipid entertainment are born people who literally talk to the walls and a society unable to question.
Montag's wife, Mildred is one example. She can't talk about anything other than the soaps or what threatens her financial security. She is a cattle-person, described as having an invisible cataract behind her pupils, afraid of anything different, incapable of thinking or feeling without directions from the TV or authorities. Montag discovers how they can't connect to one another because in the end they don't know their own history. And without that knowledge you can't even know who you are, or what you want.
Today is 2015, and the society described in Fahrenheit 451 seems even more palpable than when the book was written in 1953. The internet shortens our attention span towards shorter and simpler texts and videos. More than ever we more intelligent - we have access to an ocean of information literally at our finger tips - but we are not wise. We don't know what to do with our information.
And we have no memory. The social media timelines dictate the discussion of the day, what funny video is trending, what news we should be disgusted with, what meme will be the big joke for a day or two before it is once again forgotten. Fahrenheit 451 even reminds us of the "mass society judgments" that lead to self-censorship.
I believe reading is fundamentally important for wisdom, more than any other art form. Reading is solitary work. It demands silence, and to let your ideas absorb the author's, contest them, accept or adapt. Fahrenheit 451 says that you can't make others think, but I believe it comes with a good recipe for wisdom: "Number one, like I said, is quality of information. Number two: time to digest. And number three: the right to conduct your actions based on what we learn from the two previous items."
Great read. I read this two times now.
"Pity, Montag, pity. Don't haggle and nag them; you were so recently of them yourself. They are so confident that they will run on forever. But they won't run on. They don't know that this is all one huge big blazing meteor that makes a pretty fire in space, but that some day it'll have to hit. They see only the blaze, the pretty fire, as you saw it." pg. 99-100
A riveting and extraordinarly powerful book, Ray Bradbury delivers a powerful message on how mass media is desensitizing and infantilizing us. A sharp critique of the garbage we are presented on a day to day basis and why books are and will continue to remain true sources of power that distinctly serve humanity's benefit. It's really a beautiful story told here, it's full of emotion, intelligence, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat! Do yourself a favor, buy this book and read it, share it with others and give it as a gift!
Fahrenheit 451 was a great example of a dystopian novel. The author really took time to develop the world that Guy Montage lives in. Its really suspenseful and really eye opening as to what our world would be like if the government censored so many of our books. There's a really surprising twist in the end of the book and the story ends on a good kind of cliff hanger. 10/10!
I enjoy dystopian novels such as 1984 and Brave New World, especially when they can point out relevant problems in our society. However Fahrenheit 451 is most definitely my favorite, because while it is terrifying at points when you realize how close we are to becoming that society, it also has a hopeful ending. Not necessarily a happy ending, and there are many events that upset me, but hopeful. I will be reading this book many more times.