Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Treat #30: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

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

This was one of the titles I sacrificed off of my list. I needed room for a few more titles and since I wanted to keep my list to 250, Fahrenheit 451 had to come off.

This is a novel I almost have memorized. My tenth grade English teacher gave me her own battered copy to read when I told her I was having a hard time finding some good science-fiction to read. I flew through her own copy and eventually bought my own (which is almost as beat-up as hers).

I cannot even begin to count the amount of times I have read this novel. Not only was it one of my favorite books in high school, but I also created a unit off of it in college. My final project, which I had to re-create, was a blended genre paper (a paper composed of multiple pieces in different genres centered around a theme).

It is a book that speaks to me-as a reader and lover of the written world.

Montag is a fireman in the future, but unlike in our day, firemen don't stop fires, they start them. Books have been fully banned. being caught with books in your possession results in the firemen coming, piling your books into a bin, and lighting them on fire. Montag begins to question his role, and the loss of knowledge during the burning of different books.

It is a powerful little book about censorship and government control. This is a great example to use in schools to discuss issues of restriction and society's role in determining what is acceptable to pass along to future generations.

I love every piece of this novel. It makes me appreciate that I am allowed to read what I desire, and to gain as much new knowledge as I want without any kind of restriction. I don't have to worry that the thousands of dollars of books that I have in my home might be taken from me and burned.

If you haven't read this because you hate sci-fi, you need to rethink it. It is powerful and a book meant for all readers.

"What traitors books can be! You think they're backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives."


  1. It took me until I was 30 years old to get up the courage to read this one. We watched a movie version of it in middle school and the scene with the lady in the fire/books disturbed me so much that I couldn't even THINK about this book without getting sick to my stomach. I'm glad i toughed it out, though, because it's wonderful!

  2. This is one of the greatest books ever!
    The first time I read it was when I was 14, on 8th grade, and I hated it (even though I didn't understand why...)!
    Then, I re-read it on March this year and fell in love with it... it was so real I was impressed!
    But, I haven't seen the movie... I'll get it this week!

    I am glad Thursday Treat is back!

  3. Oddly enough, I never read this book in high school. I purchased it a few years ago, but it has sat on my bookshelf since...along with a bunch of other "classics" that I just never seem to get around to...hence my reading project. This one is on the list and now I am really looking forward to it!

  4. I haven't read this since 8th grade, but I think it is about time to reread it.

  5. I never read this one in high school either. I read it, not for a class, in college and fell so in love with it. As a reader it poses the ultimate scary future. I also loved the idea of people taking on an entire book to perserve it. That's so beautiful.

  6. I just read it this year--I really liked it. It's one of the few books that I have the first line memorized: "It was a pleasure to burn."

  7. This book terrifies me. I've had it on my shelves for years...never read it in high school, somehow escaped it in college. I think I need to become brave now that i'm in my late 30's and finally read this book! The thought of burning books, of censorship by our government is so horrific...but such a relevant topic, even today. Especially paying attention to the latest 1st Amendment stuff going on!

  8. You say: "a novel I have almost memorized"... How appropriate! :-)

  9. I listened to Fahrenheit 451 for the first time this year. I can't believe I waited so long! I need to get my hands on a physical copy, because while I enjoyed the audio production, I sometimes have to read the words to really get into the deeper layers of a book.

  10. I haven't read it but I did see the movie. I need to read it, it sounds like.