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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

For my English class, I had to read a novel called "Fahrenheit 451". I had never heard of this book before but it was quite enjoyable. I was impressed by Bradbury's writing ability, which is very complex and sometimes confusing.

Has anyone read F451? If so, thoughts? What's your favorite book?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
That's one of his more well known books, but all of Bradbury's stuff is great.

A lot of his stories can be kind of sad and poignant, and of course sci-fi from that era can be an acquired taste (so many of the assumptions made seem pretty goofy now) but he had this amazing style and I always loved how sometimes you'd hit a section of prose that read like poetry. Try the Illustrated Man short story collection, or Martian Chronicles sometime.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

I'll make sure to check those out. Thank you.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

Ever read A Sound of Thunder?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

I've never even heard of it.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
If you've heard of the butterfly effect in regards to time travel fiction (it's an actual term, not just a movie) than I think the Sound of Thunder was one of the origins of the idea.

A lot of ideas common in sci fi fiction drew from his stuff. The early sci fi writers were really really influential.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
I read A Sound of Thunder, in class! Eckles shouldn't had done what he done... :)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
One issue with a lot of classic sci-fi authors (or really, just classic short story authors in general) that was always weird to me was how the quality level of their stuff could be all over the place. But the thing is, before they were famous most of them were cranking out stories as fast as possible and sending them around to every magazine they could.

They weren't trying to write some beautiful polished gem or prize winning novel, they were trying to get grocery money in a fast-moving market with a lot of competition. So the fact that so much of their work still holds up now, and just the fact that they rose above the masses to the point their work is still being printed and people know their names really speaks to how much talent they had.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

I remember that from 9th grade. It is one of my favourites so far besides Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Did you know it took Ray 9 days to write that book on a rented typewriter in a library?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

I actually didn't know that. I'm in 9th grade right now.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

The man wants his ashes in a Campbell's Tomato Soup can on mars. The man knows what he wants.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
Shit, I like that. I'll have to remember to put that in my will too.

I kind of want to reread Martian Chronicles now...

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

I felt pretty bad for the one alien in the story about shape shifting. He shifted into what everybody wanted and then he melted into tomato soup. 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

When Beatty died, I lost the will to continue the book (I mean, I totally finished it and all, but I wasn't happy about it).

Every time I think about Ray Bradbury, I think about how much I like the Martian Chronicles. I just enjoy stories like that! Oh! And I just remembered that Hagio Moto did a pretty little manga version of R is for Rocket. It's basically Bradbury's stories...but sparkly and full of oddly affectionate little boys.

Maybe you should try out Robert Heinlien stuff. Boy, do I love that guy! His work is very good, all progressive for it's time an' stuff.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
Hah, Heinlein and Bradbury is such a weird comparison. Heinlein's work is considered classic for a reason, he was incredibly imaginative and did a lot for the genre, but he was so cynical and honestly it's hard to avoid acknowledging the fascist leanings when reading his stuff.

His dialogue can be pretty cringeworthy too iirc...

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

Dude, I'm reading To Sail Across The Sunset right now and I've learned so much. I never really thought I'd read the word "69ing" in a piece of classic literature, though.
About 90% of this book is free love and very casual incest.

And yeah, I could hear somuh dat fascism coming through, but I never really thought of him as cynical. Looking back now...

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
Oh yeah, dude loved his incest.

I found an article giving a quick overview of some of his political weirdness. He actually changes his views quite a bit throughout his life. He was a fascinating guy though and I'm sure someone with more than 10 seconds to use Google could turn up a lot more about him.

Interestingly, he was apparently a kind of solipsist, which I hadn't been aware of. “I have had a dirty suspicion since I was about six that all consciousness is one and that all the actors I see around me … are myself, at different points in the record’s grooves.”

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
Speaking of comparing the two, it's kind of funny looking at the portrayal of black people in The Other Foot, which Bradbury couldn't even find anyone in the US to publish at the time, vs Heinlein's rapist cannibals in Farnham's Freehold, fifteen years later.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

 

I read it a couple years ago. If you're not actively looking for the greater meaning, symbolism, etc, etc, it's a bit of a confusing read at times. My favorite part of the book is not actually the book itself, but rather many library's response to it. Fahrenheit 451 is a book all about the dangers of censorship, yet it is one of the most censored books out there. I've always hated censorship on a personal level. Banning books simply because it challenges the idea of banning books? The mere idea of something so ludicrous makes me want to hit whoever passes the bans upside the head with an encyclopedia. Why am encyclopedia? Encyclopedias used to not only be banned, but were burned on sight. Nowadays, they're the only book in the library that nobody, not even a Texan, would think to ban. Censorship of books is decreasing drastically, but even the classics are still banned in schools and public libraries. The only reason Fahrenheit 451 is banned is because people don't want to admit that the idea of banning books is an outdated and outright stupid practice. Just because a book doesn't align with your ideals means that nobody should have the right to read it? That's like saying you hate all black people and want to segregate whites and blacks because god forbid they influence each other. 

Wow, I got off topic. Anyway, Fahrenheit 451 is a great read. It's also pretty short so it shouldn't take too long to read. I would highly recommend rereading it a few months later in order to pick up on a few new things. The book does a great job at being straightforward with the main message but hiding a few little small morals and ideas throughout the book, so make sure to be on the lookout for symbolism and connections.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
Love that little random bit of pointless hate you threw in to spice up a speech on the importance of tolerance. The narrow-minded twats always reveal themselves.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

This is the one that inspired Equilibrium, IIRC. Excellent book, and a foundational read for literature-inclined teens. The version I had had an introduction by Bradbury where he remembered a dramatisation of the book, wherein Guy went to his boss's house and found it lined to the walls with books. After the obvious surprise, Guy inquired why a book burner had a house full of books. The response, which was added by the theater crew, and not Bradbury's original work, was phenomenal (I've forgotten the exact words, but they were along these lines) - "having a room full of books is like a priest living in a house full of women. It's perfectly fine as long as you don't touch them." Interesting observation in the lore.

As far as its literary legacy goes, it seems Fahrenheit 451 was off the mark. We aren't censoring content through deleting it, we're doing it by promoting more and more vapid content to occlude the good. More Kim and Kanye than Hawking.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
Censorship was very much a real and present threat at the time he was writing, which is why it was something that kept coming up in his stories. Not so much of a future prediction as drawing attention to what was happening right then and where it could go taken to extremes. (Without voices like his speaking out against it.)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

That's true, in his time content creation was far slower and more centralized than it is now, and censors wielded strong authority. His legacy may well have kept the censors at bay in his time, though the modern world is a whole new ballgame.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago
One thing that's pretty much a constant in classic sci-fi is that no matter how crazy and imaginative their ideas got, absolutely no one predicted the power of personal computers or the internet. Or cell phones. Or the fact that the millions of people wielding all this incredibly powerful technology would use it solely to send each other memes and cat pictures.

Meanwhile we're pathetically far behind predictions in space travel. Probably because we wasted so much time playing sweet video games about it, so maybe it's a fair trade off but still, I was supposed to be living on Mars by now. :(

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

8 months ago

Totally agreed on the unexpected power (and subsequent wastage) of ICT technologies. To be fair, the only spark of hope on the space frontier (before today's over ambitious SpaceX) was the space race, and that was just a measuring contest between two philosophies of governance, not science for its own sake. While man has looked to the stars, he never really conspired to reach them, just a few dedicated but brilliant loners at society's periphery. In any case, the research I did for my Sci-Fi says that we shouldn't expect Mars inhabited colonies for atleast another 40 years, and not expect self-sustaining ones for another couple hundred years.