View Poll Results: Fahrenheit 451 : Final Verdict

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  • * Waste of time. Wouldn't recommend it.

    0 0%
  • ** Didn't like it much.

    0 0%
  • *** Average.

    5 35.71%
  • **** It is a good book.

    5 35.71%
  • ***** Liked it very much. Would strongly recommend it.

    4 28.57%
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Thread: September / Dystoptian Reading: Fahrenheit 451

  1. #16
    Registered User Lohena's Avatar
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    Just ordered my copy, shipping soon. No copies at library except an adaptation. Anyone heard of that?

  2. #17
    Internal nebulae TheFifthElement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrphanPip View Post
    Much of it is also rehashed from A Brave New World with nothing new added to it except for the pulp fiction action elements.
    I'd say the same about 1984 after having read We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Orwell gets a lot of credit for rehashing someone else's idea. Fortunately for Orwell, We is not that well know.

    We - an overview
    Want to know what I think about books? Check out https://biisbooks.wordpress.com/

  3. #18
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    I thought it was good, but the ending is simplistic. Perhaps it's an unfair criticism 30 years on, but a world war conveniantly wipes out the frivolous and oppressive society leaving it open for the tramps to re-educate. Despite the explanations of difficulty, it leaves aclean slate to begin again without any complexity.

  4. #19
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    After reading it again, this is still a favorite of mine. I get the complaint of over-seriousness (though, I think there are still humorous sections), but I find the writing to be beautiful. I love Bradbury's poetic prose. And while it does borrow a lot from other dystopian novels, I think it takes an original look at this type of society, i.e., from the point of view of the people who destroy the art that is deemed dangerous, how they destroy it (I found the descriptions of the fire particularly well done), and why they do it. The only real complaint against the book is that it's dated, but so is almost every sci-fi book from the 50s, so I don't hold that against it.

    Also, as to the comment about the convenient ending, I never got the impression that. . .

    (SPOILER)

    . . . just because that town was destroyed, that the whole of the oppressive society was destroyed. I think it was just meant to seal Guy's fate.

  5. #20
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    I liked the use of fie in the descriptions too - particularly as it changes with his circumstances - the warm tramp's fire for example.

  6. #21
    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    I liked the use of fire in the descriptions too - particularly as it changes with his circumstances - the warm tramp's fire for example.
    agreed. Also the contrast between fire and water is done very well.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

  7. #22
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    I also thought the scene where he is riding the train, and the droning voice of the news (or whatever it is) droning on and on slowly drives him nuts. Bradbury really did a good job of getting the feel of that down, and he does this quite consistently. It's why I like his writing.

    I found the excerpt:

    He was on the subway.

    I'm numb, he thought. When did the numbness really begin in my face? In my body? The night I kicked the pill-bottle in the dark, like kicking a buried mine.

    The numbness will go away, he thought. It'll take time, but I'll do it, or Faber will do it for me. Someone somewhere will give me back the old face and the old hands the way they were. Even the smile, he thought, the old burnt-in smile, that's gone. I'm lost without it.

    The subway fled past him, cream-tile, jet-black, cream-tile, jet-black, numerals and darkness, more darkness and the total adding itself.

    Once as a child he had sat upon a yellow dune by the sea in the middle of the blue and hot summer day, trying to fill a sieve with sand, because some cruel cousin had said, "Fill this sieve and you'll get a dime!" `And the faster he poured, the faster it sifted through with a hot whispering. His hands were tired, the sand was boiling, the sieve was empty. Seated there in the midst of July, without a sound, he felt the tears move down his cheeks.

    Now as the vacuum-underground rushed him through the dead cellars of town, jolting him, he remembered the terrible logic of that sieve, and he looked down and saw that he was carrying the Bible open. There were people in the suction train but he held the book in his hands and the silly thought came to him, if you read fast and read all, maybe some of the sand will stay in the sieve. But he read and the words fell through, and he thought, in a few hours, there will be Beatty, and here will be me handing this over, so no phrase must escape me, each line must be memorized. I will myself to do it.

    He clenched the book in his fists.

    Trumpets blared.

    "Denham's Dentrifice."

    Shut up, thought Montag. Consider the lilies of the field.

    "Denham's Dentifrice."

    They toil not-

    "Denham's--"

    Consider the lilies of the field, shut up, shut up.

    "Dentifrice ! "

    He tore the book open and flicked the pages and felt them as if he were blind, he picked at the shape of the individual letters, not blinking.

    "Denham's. Spelled : D-E.N "

    They toil not, neither do they . . .

    A fierce whisper of hot sand through empty sieve.

    "Denham's does it!"

    Consider the lilies, the lilies, the lilies...

    "Denham's dental detergent."

    "Shut up, shut up, shut up!" It was a plea, a cry so terrible that Montag found himself on his feet, the shocked inhabitants of the loud car staring, moving back from this man with the insane, gorged face, the gibbering, dry mouth, the flapping book in his fist. The people who had been sitting a moment before, tapping their feet to the rhythm of Denham's Dentifrice, Denham's Dandy Dental Detergent, Denham's Dentifrice Dentifrice Dentifrice, one two, one two three, one two, one two three. The people whose mouths had been faintly twitching the words Dentifrice Dentifrice Dentifrice. The train radio vomited upon Montag, in retaliation, a great ton-load of music made of tin, copper, silver, chromium, and brass. The people were pounded into submission; they did not run, there was no place to run; the great air-train fell down its shaft in the earth.

    "Lilies of the field." "Denham's."

    "Lilies, I said!"

    The people stared.

    "Call the guard."

    "The man's off--"

    "Knoll View!"

    The train hissed to its stop.

    "Knoll View!" A cry.

    "Denham's." A whisper.

    Montag's mouth barely moved. "Lilies..."

    The train door whistled open. Montag stood. The door gasped, started shut. Only then .did he leap past the other passengers, screaming in his mind, plunge through the slicing door only in time. He ran on the white tiles up through the tunnels, ignoring the escalators, because he wanted to feel his feet-move, arms swing, lungs clench, unclench, feel his throat go raw with air. A voice drifted after him, "Denham's Denham's Denham's," the train hissed like a snake. The train vanished in its hole.
    Last edited by Mutatis-Mutandis; 09-09-2011 at 07:40 PM.

  8. #23
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    I am finally starting to read it... Whohoo!
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  9. #24
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    Thank you for choosing such an amazing book. I've enjoyed reading it.
    back with more soon

  10. #25
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    After reviewing the parts I've underlined, I can say that Bradbury had a great vision of the future. Although I agree with the many people's conclusion that the novel is about censorship, I believe he also blamed the people themselves for ignoring reading/contemplating and going after trifle stuff such as watching TV 24/7.

    Also -as a teacher- I admired his criticism/ satire of education
    "Why aren't you in school? I see you every day wandering around."
    "Oh, they don't miss me," she said. "I'm antisocial, they say. I don't mix. It's so strange. I'm very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn't it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this." She rattled some chestnuts that had fallen off the tree in the front yard. "Or talking about how strange the world is. Being with people is nice. But I don't think it's social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don't; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher. That's not social to me at all. It's a lot of funnels and lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it's wine when it's not. They run us so ragged by the end of the day we can't do anything but go to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around .... I guess I'm everything they say I am, all right. I haven't any friends. That's supposed to prove I'm abnormal."
    That really was one of the best parts I liked.

    That's all for now.

  11. #26
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    It does feel a bit as if he's constructed the story from a series of set pieces. I agree that the Dentrifice satire is well done. I was also trying to see how the three walled TV would work. It seemed passive -I suppose the tech for interactivity wasn't thought of then. But the novel moves from his encounters with the girl, to disatisfaction with his home life and expectations, to the firestation. All the ideas are good, but they seem stitched together. The hound is the only bit where we can anticipate a future conflict - though we realise quite quickly that Montag is not happy with the book burning. One sequence follows another without any sophisticated narrative storytelling. Perhaps I've been spoilt.

  12. #27
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    Even if Bradbury anticipated more interactiveness with technology (even though it is there, as the characters of the shows talk and ask questions of the viewer), I doubt he would've included it in his future world, as being sedentary and near-brain dead watching the TV walls was largely the point. The TV walls seemed more like a drug than anything else, putting the viewer in their own weird, zombie world. When asked, Guy's wife couldn't even begin to give a plot summary of anything she watched.

    I also think Bradbury was a stronger short-story writer than novelist, and what you said above, Paul, kind of shows how it seems hard for him to get out of that fragmented type of story-telling. But, like I said, to me Bradbury's greatest strength lies in his prose.

  13. #28
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    I find it strains credulity a little too much for me, which is a problem considering, according to Bradbury himself, we're meant to take this novel as something "real" that could actually happen. Ironically, for a writer associated with sci-fi, Bradbury is a pretty spectacular Luddite. He's never gotten a driver's license or flown on an air plane.

    I like Bradbury's short fiction though, I've read most of his short story collections and he has produced a number of gems.

    On a related note: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1IxOS4VzKM

    Edit: I will say that I think Fahrenheit is a much better novel than Something Wicked This Way Comes.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

  14. #29
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    Why does it strain credulity for you? Just because of the technology, or thematically?

    Funny vid.

    I really enjoyed Something Wicked This Way Comes, but I read it in high school.

  15. #30
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandi View Post
    Why does it strain credulity for you? Just because of the technology, or thematically?
    I think Bradbury assumes people are much weaker willed and stupider than they really are. There's too much of a smug sense of superiority that runs through the novel. I'm not saying this is a terrible novel, just that is not a particularly brilliant novel either.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

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