Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Published: 1953

Number of Pages: 179

Rating: 4/5


There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”


I was astounded by this book. It gave my so much to ponder and wonder at. The very idea of a world where books are disgraceful is mind-boggling in and of itself. Could it be that these things that writers toil over and readers love and hate ardently, both emotions being enjoyable in this case, could be so feared, so despised that we would feel the need to eliminate them? To chase down every last page and burn it to a crisp. I found the philosophy behind such a decision quite fascinating.

Guy Montag is a fireman. He and his co-workers work diligently to set fire to entire homes that hold books, any type of book. Non-fiction and fiction alike. He finds pleasure in watching the snowflakes of pages fly into the air on a rampage and flutter slowly and languidly to the ground as the words die.

He’s also satisfied with the half-life he lives in a city and world where happiness is forced upon people. Everything is normal until he runs into Clarisse, a 17-year-old girl who is crazy. She has ideas and thoughts that others wouldn’t consider dreaming or thinking of. She sparks Montag’s rebellious fire. Guy soon lusts after the truth, after a world that can think on its own.

The world Montag has inhabited all his life, is, in my opinion, one of the most screwed up and loopy worlds imaginable. The very concept of everyone “being happy” when so few can think seems illogical. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy thinking. I enjoy the occasional argument. I enjoy knowing the full story, learning, and siphoning more and more knowledge. Really, the dystopian world’s main problem is that it has virtually eliminated real growth. In addition, it has killed off all opposition. Anything that could cause unhappiness is rejected. Books, movies, and other material that could possibly cause someone to think and worry, or simply feel the need to fight back, is taken care of.

Ray Bradbury’s style kept me reading,vehemently stuffing the words into my eyeballs. I loved his clear, strong, and ever-present voice. I’m eager to read Something Wicked this Way Comes, another one of his novels. The clarity of his writing spoke of truth in a remarkable way. I can easily imagine being convinced by anything he said.

I loved the idea of fighting for the books, the knowledge, and preserving them. You cannot help but admire people who are willing to give up much and enjoy so little in order to ensure that the people of the next generations would not go without the necessities of history and the pleasure of reading.

I read Fahrenheit 451 for book club this month. The girls are meeting today to discuss it, and although I know that some of them found the book “boring” (really?!), I’m certain that a very gripping discussion will be held. The topic of the book was so controversial and extremely odd that differing opinions will abound.

This book is one that a majority of the world has read. Many high schools consider it required reading. If, however, you have not read it, I recommend picking it up. You can find it anywhere. A book about the preservation of books should never go out of print.

Hallelujah for books!

4 Commentsto “Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury; Review”

  1. Great analysis! Fahrenheit 451 is definitely a "think" novel, and sometimes I still muse over the issues it brought up. I'm not a big fan of F451 because we analyzed the life out of it in my sophomore AP English class; however, it introduced me to the rest of Bradbury's work, which I love, love, LOVE. He's one of my favorite authors.

    Hehe, I like this: "vehemently stuffing the words into my eyeballs" That's a fantastic description. 🙂 Something Wicked This Way Comes is one his best, in my opinion. I also highly recommend the collection of short stories, I Sing the Body Electric! It's the first of his that I read and my favorite.

    I hope you like the rest of what you read! Since Bradbury's one of my faves (and we share a birthday; it's fate, right?), I enjoy seeing other people fall in love with his writing.

  2. Best. Fireman. Ever.

    I loved that book. 🙂 Been too long since I read it.

  3. I loved this one too and couldn't believe I'd waited so long to read it. A world without books is a terrifying thought.

  4. I really want to read this one now! I dunno, maybe it's the whole conception of being a "must-read for school" that makes me stay away, but after your review it sounds so much better. I really like those "think" books, plus it's a book about books and we all love books! great review

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