Friday Morning Bookclub

February 17, 2013

Good Enough To Listen to TWICE! Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit

I first read Fahrenheit 451 years ago. Was it in junior high school? High school? I really can’t remember when I read it, but when I saw the audio book sitting on the shelf of the library, I was intrigued. This dystopian novel was definitely worth a second read and it turns out it was also worth a third! Yes, as soon as I finished listening to it, I went back to the beginning and listened to it again.

For those of you who have never read Fahrenheit 451, or like me forgot more about the book than you remembered, Fahrenheit 451, written in 1953 is about a futuristic society where books are outlawed and people spend their days watching stories which make little sense on large wall to wall screens.  Between watching these “parlor walls”, listening to the radio via seashell ear radios, and driving 100 plus miles an hour looking at the 200 foot long bill boards little time was left to actually think about anything meaningful. It was all about “being happy” and knowledge was actually a bad thing, after all it made people feel superior.

Guy Montag was a fireman, as was his father and his grandfather. His job was not to put out fires as houses were now fire proofed, but to burn down houses found with books as well as to destroy the books themselves.  Montag never gave this any thought until he meets Clarisse McClellan, a strange 17-year-old girl who enjoys walking in the rain, picking dandelions and asking questions, something no one ever did. A series of events occur including a fire call gone wrong and Montag begins to question everything he once believed to be true. He realizes that he can’t even remember how he met his wife Mildred, a shell of a woman who watches the parlor walls all day and actually considers the characters in the shows her family. Suddenly his life begins to spin out of control.

Fahrenheit 451 may have been written 60 some years ago, but it is still a powerful, thought-provoking book. The televisions in my house are not quite as large as the wall to wall parlor walls described in Bradbury’s book, but they certainly have gotten much larger in recent years. And come to think of it, I can often be seen around town with little buds in my ears listening to my stories (via audio books). Yes, Fahrenheit 451 certainly has me thinking!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Reviews, Discussion Goodreads

Next on my “to reread” list… Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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12 Comments »

  1. It is really a thought provoking story!

    Comment by Resa McConaghy — February 17, 2013 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  2. I love that you have a “to reread” list. I do, too! It’s good to look at classic literature again with new eyes, or should I say older eyes. Forever on my reread list has been “Sons and Lovers” by D.H. Lawrence which I haven’t read since high school and I won’t say how long ago that is. Your post has inspired me to dig it out and read it again for the first time 🙂

    Comment by suddenlylostinwords — February 17, 2013 @ 2:59 pm | Reply

  3. I don’t think I ever read Sons and Lovers so I guess that goes on my “to read” list.For a different experience I am attempting to listen to some of the classics I read way back when!. As for how long ago I read some of these books…..I was in” junior high school” which I believe today is usually called middle school!

    Comment by susanbright — February 17, 2013 @ 5:32 pm | Reply

  4. Not sure if my comment went thru so here is it is –
    Hi Susan 😉
    Haven’t read Fahrenheit 451 and looking at the audiobooks there are three different readers……which one did you listen to?
    We did Wuthering Heights for our Feb book club book…..I read it part way and listened to it part way (love the Kindle/audio sync thingy). It was a great discussion book!

    Comment by Mona — February 18, 2013 @ 8:16 am | Reply

    • Welcome back Mona! The version I listened to was read by Christopher Hurt and I think it was well done. On occasion I have switched back and forth between listening to an audio version and reading the same book.and really enjoyed the experience. I have never really listened to a book via my kindle because the voice is more like a computer, isn’t it? Am I missing something?.

      Comment by susanbright — February 18, 2013 @ 12:27 pm | Reply

      • I don’t actually listen to it on my kindle – use my iphone for listening to audiobooks, but I can sync it with my kindle and pick up the reading where I left off on the audio book. That was a real nice feature with Wuthering Heights and the Einstein book our book club read……

        Comment by Mona — February 18, 2013 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

  5. Loving your re-reading! I started Farenheit 451 with my husband who teaches it in his high school classroom, but regretfully never finished it. Time to pick it back up!

    Comment by booksoutsidethebox — February 19, 2013 @ 3:33 pm | Reply

    • Try the audio book…only 6 hours and very entertaining!

      Comment by susanbright — February 19, 2013 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

  6. This is once instance that I didn’t like the author narration. The version I listened to had a disc with Bradbury talking about his life that I loved, though.

    Comment by stacybuckeye — February 20, 2013 @ 12:14 am | Reply

    • Hi Stacy… I wonder if we listened to the same version. There have actually been a couple of times when I could not stand to listen to an audio book because of the narrators voice. The book I listened to also talked about Bradbury’s life and how he finished the first version of his book (originally titled The Fireman) in the basement of the University of California library, paying a dime a half hour for the use of the typewriter! “Time was indeed money” and Bradbury finished the first draft in 9 days.It cost him $9.80!

      Comment by susanbright — February 20, 2013 @ 9:45 am | Reply

      • The one I listened to was actually narrated by Bradbury and for some reason his voice didn’t work for me. BUT I’m probably in the minority 🙂

        Comment by stacybuckeye — February 20, 2013 @ 9:52 am | Reply

        • I guess Bradbury should have left it to the professionals to read!

          Comment by susanbright — February 20, 2013 @ 3:13 pm | Reply


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