Fahrenheit 451: A Novel

Fahrenheit 451: A Novel

Paperback | January 10, 2012


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Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.

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 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 then 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.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

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Fahrenheit 451: A Novel

Paperback | January 10, 2012
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From the Publisher

Ray Bradbury’s internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future.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 o...

Ray Bradbury, author of more than 500 stories, poems, essays, plays, films, television plays, radio, music, and comic books, was born on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois. Twice during his childhood, Bradbury moved with his family to Arizona, returning to the midwest both times before settling permanently in Los Angeles in 1934. A...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.44 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:January 10, 2012Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1451673310

ISBN - 13:9781451673319

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Customer Reviews of Fahrenheit 451: A Novel


Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Classic Well written and very intriguing story. Worth a read!
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A classic worth reading Fahrenheit 451 is one of those books that everyone knows the plot to: there's a fireman and he burns books. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, even though I knew that, the book took a totally different shape than I was expecting. It reminded me both of Brave New World and 1984, although with a different feel than either. I was also surprised that the story itself is only about 160 pages long, and the rest of this 60th anniversary edition is appendices and extras. I found some of the information, particularly that written by Ray Bradbury himself, to be quite interesting, but I skipped over some of the other additions that didn't really appeal to me. Overall, a classic that is certainly worth reading.
Date published: 2017-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the only dystopian novels I like I'm not a fan of the dystopian genre, but this is one exception. I'm quite the bookworm and this novel about the burning of books really hit me and I appreciated the realism in the plot. Would recommend it to anyone interested in a quality dystopian novel.
Date published: 2017-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing this book is fantastic. I had to read it in grade 12 and have revisited it multiple times.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read Classic This book is incredible. I went into this novel without knowing what it's about or anything about Bradbury's works. His writing style is phenomenal, so enjoyable to read. The plot itself is thrilling and eerie, with numerous dystopian similarities to our society today. This CLASSIC novel is a MUST read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic This was excellent. I loved everything about this book!
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from True classic Makes you love reading and books
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome!! Great story, great writing... A true classic.
Date published: 2017-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sci-fi at its best A fantastic look into a dystopia where books are banned and the job of the fir department is to burn them.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought-Provoking This book can really be appreciated only when broken down and thoroughly understood. There are so many parts and nuances that make this book truly classic. The ending is hopeful and inspiring and the series of events leading up to the ending will have the reader at the edge of their seat. It truly makes you think about the world and where it is headed.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic A classic is always relevant. This book is more so than ever.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Felt like high school While I can't argue with the message (censorship of books and ideas) of this classic, I will say I felt the book was all message and no substance for most part. There was nothing in the book that surprised me. The biggest oddity in the story may have been Clarisse. She appears as an almost mystical character in the book. While seeming to be just a quirky child, she begins Montag's 'enlightenment'. But she is unceremoniously forgotten soon after. I will say that near the end of the book there is a bit more suspense (Montag vs the mechanical hound). But this also is dealt with in an unsatisfactory manner, and then the book ends.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OH the Horror! This book is amazing and made my inner bookworm cry
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Horror for Bibliophiles "We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy. Something’s missing." I’m not sure how I’ve made it this far without having read Ray Bradbury, but I am so glad that I have finally remedied this. I picked up Fahrenheit 451 without thinking about Banned Books Week, but the timing could not have been better. I mean, wow! A world in which books are not allowed- horror at its best for bibliophiles. Fahrenheit 451 was written by Bradbury in 1953, and what a life it has lived since then. Having finally read this, I can see it’s influence in nearly every dystopian / post-apocalyptic book that I have read. Joe Hill’s The Fireman was clearly influenced by this book, I found elements in Josh Malerman’s Bird Box, and the silencing of Clarise due to her hunger for knowledge brought to mind Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. "She didn’t want to know how a thing was done, but why. That can be embarrassing. You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it." I cannot add anything of value to the legacy of this book, I can only say that I really enjoyed it. Bradbury has keen insights into humanity, and I found myself highlighting many quotes as I read: "We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?" "When I was a boy my grandfather died, and he was a sculptor…he made toys for us and did a million tings in his lifetime; he was always busy with his hands. And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again."
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Get it Finally got around to reading this 'classic'. And wow, it really is good. Crazy how it relates to modern life now. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favorite One of my favorites growing up! #plumreviews
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book I remember reading this book from a long time ago and I thoroughly enjoyed the book as one of my favourite as a child.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Book. I read it years ago and I loved it.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from CLASSIC And it's a classic that isn't boring!! I read it in two days, just couldn't put the damned thing down!
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Everyone should read this book. Its awesome.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Great story, characters, and message, especially for these politically dark times. Unfortunately, books like this are often preaching to the choir.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Classic I read this book cover to cover and could not put it down. Though I suspect this book will not be for everyone, it's certainly one of my favorites and an enduring classic.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent required reading I first read this book when I was 16, and it scandalized me. Firemen who burn books? Outrageous. I re-read it again in my early 20s, and I had a new appreciation for Bradbury’s way of turning culture upside down. This is a great book for fiction and non-fiction lovers. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite book This is honestly one of the most thought provoking, and intelligent books I've ever read. It's timeless, scary, honest, and real. I would recommend it to a child, or an adult without any hesitation. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Includes Extras Has extra essays and critiques that take up around one third of the book. Overall story is good; Ray Bradbury is a literary classic and this is as you would expect from him. Amazing message and themes that are still relevant, especially in the modern society. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Should have been required reading when I was in high school. This novel is much more fascinating to me than "The Glass Menagerie"- the other book which I was forced to read & was tested on in my high school days. For the younger generation of kids who did use this book as part of the English curriculum- I envy you.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Thrilling, Engrossing Atomic Bomb To The Brain and A Love Letter To The Joys Of Reading It's not exactly a small novel, but I tell you this: I fell so madly in love with Farenheit 451 that I burned through it (pun intended) in a matter of days. I literally could not put the damned thing down. Go buy this book immediately.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Message While this book is a bit date, it's message is more relevant today than ever before, given the current political situation. People need to read this book.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Important book An important book that everybody should read.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Love the Premise, Hate the Style Book was not for me. I like the idea but hated the execution. The style overtook the themes. I get that the style was trying to evoke urgency but the short sentences reminded me of the blips and dings of crappy 1950s sound effects in movies. I found it distracting and lost my focus a lot. I read that Fahrenheit 451 was originally a short story and was extended into a novel later. You can tell. There's a lot of words that will repeat for no reason except for style. To me, it's just filler.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Love reading because of this book! As an avid book work I was appalled at the idea of book burning... I adore this book
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from total classic I never had to read this book in high school so I bought it for myself and am so glad I did!
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic It's one of those books that you can't put down while you're reading it and just sits with you long after you read it.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Good Read We had to read this book in university, and I was overjoyed to find out that it was a dystopic novel. Great thoughtfulness was considered when writing this book and the author did a good job with keeping suspense high. A must-read! Also, the sheer irony that elementary schools are banning this book because of a bit of crude language... they are really taking the plot to a whole other level with putting a barrier between kids and books!
Date published: 2016-11-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hard to get better than this One of my favorites growing up. Read again with the same fascination. A must read for book lovers and dystopia fans
Date published: 2015-09-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So Great! I am very late to the game in reading this one. While most people read it in high school, this was not a required reading for me. (I did however become very intimate with The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath in high school so not too much of a disappointment.) I did enjoy this though I did think it was quite short. I was a bit disappointed with the book, mainly the flow, until I reached the end. It left me wondering "why" a lot. Why is this happening, why can this be happening, etc. because there wasn't much of an explanation. There was only the idea that we were supposed to know that literature was banned because it caused people to debate and be "unhappy". But it was never explained why some people had access to the knowledge, like Beatty the captain of the fire department, while others did not. I mean, I would understand if the government officials had access to it, but why the captain? And if the answer is because after reading, he would be determined to burn all the books, then why not have all the firefighters read? Especially since you could be subjective in what you got people to read. If you only gave them books that were poorly written (and a few come to mind here), they might be tempted to burn them all. The best part to me was the comparison of the phoenix to humanity. The idea that humanity dies in flames only to be reborn from the remaining ashes to repeat their same mistakes is something that is now burned into my brain. (See what I did there) And afterward, I spent a lot of time thinking about how this is true -- and how a lot of dystopian novels look at this aspect now. While this wasn't the best written novel, it was still one that I think people should read and understand. Overall: 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed this one, even though it wasn't my usual dystopian type of novel that I read.
Date published: 2015-08-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Timeless Book on the Importance of Book The tone and message of this novel resonates with me, as I truly appreciate what Bradbury conveys to the readers. The use of language is superb.
Date published: 2015-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic I give this book full marks for a thoroughly enjoyable read. I love passages from the past that could easily be true, in many ways, today.
Date published: 2015-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from GOOD BOOK It was a great book but is definatly a book with 1970's style writing even if its based on a future utopian society. Definatly would reccomed to somene 14+ due to some graphic parts. PARTS OF THE BOOK CAN BE DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND BECAUSE THE AUTHOR TENDS TO RAMBLE. I also enjoyed the amounts of metaphores and simbolisim. Chapter layout is weird though. Only 3 capters with page length ranging from 119-190 pages. DEFINATLY WORTH READING
Date published: 2015-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book At first, when I started the book, it didn't look very interesting. However, as I moved on, it started to get more and more engaging and I could not put it down. I love books that make you think, and this book is absolutely one of those. This book will open your eyes and makes you think about the things that society does to people. Amazing book. Definitely recommended.
Date published: 2015-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nor a Witty Title I quite enjoyed this novel and think that it is something that everyone should read at least once. The imagery was beautiful! It was one of my favourite things about this novel, that being said, it can be confusing if the book does not have your 100% attention. It also has a thought-provoking message that can still (unfortunately) be applied to our modern society. PS: Please excuse any spelling errors in my review. I'm typing this on my kobo (which is much harder than one would think)
Date published: 2015-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Essential reading for everyone This made me want to hug every one of my books to my chest and never let go. Masterfully written and even more relevant in an era of constant connectedness and media (over)load.
Date published: 2014-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the Best This is now one of my favourite books of all time, even though the story was written years ago it still feels fresh and touches on some of the biggest dilemmas that still face humanity today.
Date published: 2014-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! I enjoyed this book when I read it many many years ago, but reading it again now, as an adult, I got even more out of it. If you have not read this book yet, I highly recommend you do. If you have, it is totally worth reading once again.
Date published: 2014-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Must Read! I love this book, despite my initial concerns. I didn't think that I would enjoy it, but I dived right into the story and never regretted doing so. A huge thanks to the Englisth teacher who made this a part of our "assigned reading" and really opened my eyes. A world without books? I think I'd rather die.
Date published: 2014-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! "A book is a loaded gun in the house next door... Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?" Stumbling upon this quote got me to read Fahrenheit 451. Everything in this book spoke to me - I was blown away. It challenged me. It made me think. Originally published in the early 50s, it is amazing that the warning or message is more relevant today that it has ever been. Truly a great book and in my top 5.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from for $11 I expected morr
Date published: 2013-04-08

Extra Content

Read from the Book

A New Introduction byRay BradburyMarch 12, 2003What is there new to be said about Fahrenheit 451? I have written three or four introductions in the past thirty years trying to explain where the novel came from and how it finally arrived.The first thing to be said is that I feel very fortunate to have survived long enough to join with people who have been paying attention to the novel in this past year.The novel was a surprise then and is still a surprise to me.I've always written at the top of my lungs and from some secret motives within. I have followed the advice of my good friend Federico Fellini who, when asked about his work, said, "Don't tell me what I'm doing, I don't want to know."The grand thing is to plunge ahead and see what your passion can reveal.During the last fifty years I have written a short 25,000-word early version of the novel titled The Fireman, which appeared in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine, and several years later added another 25,000 words for its publication by Ballantine Books.Occupying a house with a new baby daughter, we had to consider my trying to find somewhere that was a bit quieter to do my work. I had no money at that time to rent an office, but wandering around U.C.L.A. one day I heard typing in the basement of the library and went down to see what was going on. I found that there was a room with twelve typewriters that could be rented for ten cents per half hour. Excited at the prospect, I brought a bag of dimes with me and moved into the typing room.I didn't know what the various students were writing at their typewriters and they hardly knew, nor did I know, what I was writing.If there is any excitement to the novel at all, I think it can best be explained by the fact that every two hours or so during the next week and a half I ran up- and downstairs and in and out of the stacks, grabbing books off the shelf, trying to find proper quotes to put in the book. I am not a researcher and my memory is not all that accurate for things that I've read in the past, so the quotes that you find in the book were those wonderful accidents where pulling a book off the shelf and opening it just anywhere at all I found an amazing sentence or paragraph that could occupy a position in the novel.This early version took exactly nine days and I spent $9.80 on it, not realizing that the book had some sort of long life ahead.In the years since its first publication I have written a full two-act play and spent two summers in Connecticut writing an opera based on its text. The book seems to have a life that goes on re-creating itself.If I try to find its genesis in the years prior to 1950 I would imagine one would turn to certain stories like "Burning Bright" and a few other tales that appeared in my early books.The main thing to call attention to is the fact that I've been a library person all of my life. I sold newspapers until I was twenty-two and had no money to attend college, but I spent three or four nights a week at the local library and fed on books over a long period of time.Some of my early stories tell of librarians and book burners and people in small towns finding ways to memorize the books so that if they were burned they had some sort of immortality.The main surprise for the book occurred when I wrote the short story "The Pedestrian" in 1949.I had been accosted by the police one night while I walked on a Los Angeles street with a friend. The police wanted to know what we were doing, when walking was our aim and talking occupied us.I was so irritated by being stopped and asked about walking that I went home and wrote the story, "The Pedestrian," concerning a future where pedestrians were arrested for using the sidewalks.Sometime later, I took the Pedestrian for a walk and when he turned a corner he encountered a young girl named Clarisse McClellan who took a deep breath and said, "I know who you are from the smell of kerosene. You're the man who burns books."Nine days later the novel was finished.What a wonderful experience it was to be in the library basement to dash up and down the stairs reinvigorating myself with the touch and the smell of books that I knew and books that I did not know until that moment.When the first version of the novel was finished, I hardly knew what I had done. I knew that it was crammed with metaphors, but the word metaphor had not occurred to me at that time in my life. It was only later in time when I got to know the word and realized that my capacity for collecting metaphors was so complete.In the years of writing my two-act play and the opera that followed, I let my characters tell me things about their lives that were not in the book.I have been tempted to go back and insert these truths in the old text, but this is a dangerous practice which writers must refuse. These truths, while important, could ruin a work done years before.In writing the play my Fire Chief, Beatty, told me why he had become a burner of books.He had once been a wanderer of libraries and a lover of the finest literature in history. But when real life diminished him, when friends died, when a love failed, when there were too many deaths and accidents surrounding him, he discovered that his faith in books had failed because they could not help him when he needed the help.Turning on them, he lit a match.So that is one of the fine things that came out of the play and the opera. I'm glad to be able to speak of it now and tell you what Beatty had in his background.After the book was published, in the following years I've had hundreds of letters from readers asking me what became of Clarisse McClellan. They were so intrigued with this fascinating, strange, and quixotic girl that they wanted to believe that somewhere out in the wilderness with the book people she had somehow survived.I resisted the temptation to bring her back to life in future editions of my novel.I left it to François Truffaut in his film version of Fahrenheit 451 in 1966 to give Clarisse a return to life, even though he had changed her name and given her extra years of maturity, which at the time I thought was a great mistake. But she did survive to the end of the film and at that time I decided that Truffaut was correct.When I wrote the first version of the play I allowed Clarisse to survive among the book people in the wilderness. The same practice occurred when I wrote the opera.She was too wonderful a character to be allowed to die and I realize now that I should have allowed her to appear at the end of my book.That being said, the book is complete and untouched. I will not go back and revise anything. I have a great respect for the young man that I was when I sat down in that basement room with a bag of dimes and plunged into the passionate activity that resulted in the final work.So here, after fifty years, is Fahrenheit 451. I didn't know what I was doing, but I'm glad that it was done.Introduction for this edition copyright © 2003 by Ray Bradbury

Editorial Reviews

“One of this country’s most beloved writers . . . A great storyteller, sometimes even a mythmaker, a true American classic.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post