Synopses & Reviews
Internationally acclaimed with more than 5 million copies in print, Fahrenheit 451
is Ray Bradbury's classic novel of censorship and defiance, as resonant today as it was when it was first published nearly 50 years ago.
Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires...
The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning ... along with the houses in which they were hidden.
Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames... never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid.
Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think... and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!
Nowadays firemen start fires. Fireman Guy Montag loves to rush to a fire and watch books burn up. Then he met a seventeen-year old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid, and a professor who told him of a future where people could think. And Guy Montag knew what he had to do....
Since the late 1940s, Ray Bradbury has been revered for his works of science fiction and fantasy. With more than 4 million copies in print, Fahrenheit 451
originally published in 1953 remains his most acclaimed work.
Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper burns. Fahrenheit 451 is a short novel set in the (perhaps near) future when "firemen" burn books forbidden by the totalitarian "brave new world" regime. The hero, according to Mr. Bradbury, is "a book burner who suddenly discovers that books are flesh and blood ideas and cry out silently when put to the torch."
Today, when libraries and schools are still "burning" certain books, Fahrenheit 451 is a work of even greater impact and timeliness.
About the Author
Ray Bradbury, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938.Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter.He became a full-time writer in 1943, and contributed numerous short stories to periodicals before publishing a collection of them, Dark Carnival,
His reputation as a writer of courage and vision was established with the publication of The Martian Chronicles in 1950, which describes the first attempts of Earth people to conquer and colonize Mars, and the unintended consequences.Next came The Illustrated Man and then, in 1953, Fahrenheit 451, which many consider to be Bradburys masterpiece, a scathing indictment of censorship set in a future world where the written word is forbidden.In an attempt to salvage their history and culture, a group of rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy as their books are burned by the totalitarian state.Other works include The October Country, Dandelion Wine, A Medicine for Melancholy, Something Wicked This Way Comes, I Sing the Body Electric!, Quicker Than the Eye, and Driving Blind.In all, Bradbury has published more than thirty books, close to 600 short stories, and numerous poems, essays, and plays.His short stories have appeared in more than 1,000 school curriculum "recommended reading" anthologies.Mr. Bradburys eagerly awaited new novel, From the Dust Returned, will be published by William Morrow at Halloween 2001.Morrow will release One More For the Road, a new collection Bradbury stories, at Christmas 2001.
Ray Bradburys work has been included in four Best American Short Story collections. He has been awarded the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America, the PEN Center USA West Lifetime Achievement Award, among others.In November 2000, the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters was conferred upon Mr. Bradbury at the 2000 National Book Awards Ceremony in New York City.
Ray Bradbury has never confined his vision to the purely literary. He has been nominated for an Academy Award (for his animated film Icarus Montgolfier Wright), and has won an Emmy Award (for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree).He adapted sixty-five of his stories for televisions Ray Bradbury Theater. He was the creative consultant on the United States Pavilion at the 1964 New York Worlds Fair. In 1982 he created the interior metaphors for the Spaceship Earth display at Epcot Center, Disney World, and later contributed to the conception of the Orbitron space ride at Euro-Disney, France.
Married since 1947, Mr. Bradbury and his wife Maggie live in Los Angeles with their four beloved cats.They have four daughters and eight grandchildren.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday in August 2000, Bradbury said, "The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me.The feeling I have every day is very much the same as it was when I was twelve.In any event, here I am, eighty years old, feeling no different, full of a great sense of joy, and glad for the long life that has been allowed me.I have good plans for the next ten or twenty years, and I hope youll come along."