Amazon – Fahrenheit 451
GoodReads – Fahrenheit 451
Author – Ray Bradbury

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books. – Goodreads Synopsis

Fahrenheit 451 was one of the first books I’ve read that really got through to me. Picture

The Salamander, The Hearth, and The Bong

that greasy, angsty, and unfocused teenager sitting in the back of the class daydreaming. Well… that was me. Now I’ve always loved reading (even school assigned reading like this one was), and it has always played a special part in my life, I just never had that intellectual smack in the face until I experienced Fahrenheit 451. (Maybe that’s not 100% true)

I put Fahrenheit 451 right at the top of the list of dystopian novels – right beside Brave New World. (Sorry but I’m not part of the crew that thinks 1984 is the best) The dystopia where people are just not interested in reading and enslaved by media just seems so much more appealing to me. (Not saying I want it, I just enjoy reading it more) I mean what is scarier than a world with no books! A world where we care more about senseless media viewing! This is like our worst nightmare here in the book blogging community!

Ok let’s get back to how it got back through to me. (OK yeah let’s put a cool headline here to make the post look more professional)

How Fahrenheit 451 Made an Everlasting Impact on Me

(Yeah that’s sweet)

The main protagonist, Guy Montage, just goes along with whatever is happening. He starts to realize “Hey what the hell am I doing anyways. Maybe books are cool?” Montage just wants to find himself, and what better to help him do that, but through the means that his current job is to incinerate. (Who would look for meaning in books?!) A part of how Fahrenheit 451 impacted me so much, is how I see myself in Montage’s character. I mean there is a reason why this is on most school reading lists. Who hasn’t had a period where they feel like Montage?

I see myself in Montage, but who was really the star for me, was his boss – Captain Beatty. Beatty’s mentor-like demeanor through the whole story really got to me. I needed to hear some of the things he had to say, and I still think about them all of these years later. I need to paste this quote here from during his speech to Montage:

“Ah.” Beatty leaned forward in the faint mist of smoke from his pipe. “What more easily explained and natural? With school turning out more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, snatchers, fliers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers, and imaginative creators, the word `intellectual,’ of course, became the swear word it deserved to be. You always dread the unfamiliar. Surely you remember the boy in your own school class who was exceptionally ‘bright,’ did most of the reciting and answering while the others sat like so many leaden idols, hating him. And wasn’t it this bright boy you selected for beatings and tortures after hours? Of course it was. We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man’s mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely, all over the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there was no longer need of firemen for the old purposes. They were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and rightful dread of being inferior; official censors, judges, and executors. That’s you, Montag, and that’s me.”

OK – I realize this quote is going to be longer than my post, but god damn did this whole speech really slap me in the face when I first read it. It was exactly what I could not put into words back when I was that narcissistic teen. Powerful. Beautiful. Beatty (although contradictory in his actions) was an excellent teacher to really make you critically think.

How Did the Movie Stack Up?

Killmonger is back BABY! Michael Shannon is Beatty! Ok I can dig both of that.

Wait not this one

What I was more interested then was how well that they were going to be able to pull of this adaption. I came in with pretty high hope – I love HBO, and I like the actors that were picked to play the main players.


Right off the bat Killmonger (shit… Montage) was jumping around being this big media presence. Meh, but ok I get it. It is not how his character was originally written, but maybe this is how it would really play out in the real world now that we know where tech is actually going. Then they started burning PCs and smashing servers. Meh, but ok this is also what it would probably be like. I can see the direction that this movie is taking, and how it still wants to hold true to how Ray Bradbury first envisioned his story. Where is Montage’s wife?…

I liked that they showed the scene of the woman burning herself with her books. This is a quote from the book about that scene:

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.

I wish that meaning had stayed in the movie! Books are special to me, and I wanted to see more of that message come across. Beatty’s message came through somewhat, I just wished the power of that full speech from the book came through. I do still enjoy the person they cast to play the role, and he did do a good job of portraying the essence of Beatty’s character, but I want the message of the story to be fully shown! I’m not feeling it. It’s not what I was expecting going in.


Meh. I enjoyed it. Still wanted more.

The book though? That’s a masterpiece. Read it if you haven’t yet.



  1. 10/10 would recommend it to security guards who enjoy discussing fire alarms.

    Have you read Feed by MT Anderson? It’s a futuristic dystopian book in which electronic feeds are implanted in everyone’s head.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always enjoyed that haunting book, from its depiction of vidi-wall entertainment to the “books” wandering at the end. And of course, The Hound! I was shocked to find the new flick on HBO; somehow I’d missed its release. Something I’ll be rectifying soon. Thanks for this post that reminded me. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I need to reread!

    Also, I totally get why 1984 isn’t the best, though I think it’s the ending that makes it. I like that Brave New World is also this dystopia wrapped in the sheepskin of a utopia except they use a different method. i will say that I remember the story being more interesting overall.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read this book about 2 years ago and LOVED it. I remember just being dumbstruck at first by it. How could this world exist? OMG what if it happens in real life. Such a good book. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s on my list of ‘classics’ to read. Can’t believe I haven’t had a chance as yet. Any time a book gets through to a teenager, that’s a good thing! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I haven’t read the book yet! I’m planning to tho. I just saw the latest movie and well, it was bad and I knew some stuff from before and I was like, this didn’t in the book! I didn’t like the movie at all. Michael B Jordan is a good actor but the movie kinda sucked for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I still haven’t read it but I have a copy! It’s in my HUGE TBR pile. Thanks for this review, it’s now gone up to the top of the pile 🙂 (I love Michael Shannon so looking forward to watching the film but only AFTER reading the book)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I read the book and honestly did not enjoy it very much. I felt like I missed something and I didn’t know where was the ending because I was flipping the final pages looking for more. I feel like I should read it again after this review and I want to watch the movie to see if I can relate more to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I taught this book when I was teaching at a private school. Most kids didn’t get it, but if you look deeper into the book, you can see all the technology that is similar to what we have today. It’s ahead of it’s time, especially now that many people don’t read books.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I really enjoyed the book when I read it a year back…(I didn’t experience those required reading things that most others did…not sure why…maybe because it was a small town school?)…anyway, but it really spoke to me as a reader, and now an adult watching fewer people read. Interesting how the date of publication has little influence on the applicability of the social commentary to today’s society.
    Haven’t watched the movie yet, but we have it recorded….may see about watching it this weekend.
    Great post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great review! I love Fahrenheit 451, and it definitely had a lasting impact on me as well. I’m curious to know if you’ve seen the newest HBO adaptation of the book? I haven’t seen either film adaptation, but I heard mixed things about the HBO version. Curious to see what you think!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have read the book twice, once as a teenager and once at middle age (fortyish). I loved the book and definitely liked it better than 1984 (for sure) and even better than Brave New World (I got into trouble reading that one to eighth graders back in the 1980’s when I was in my mid thirties here in the Bible Belt of the Texas Gulf Coast. In all innocence, I thought it was a fascinating look at what one man would see as what the future would be like, and I, as an “adult” did not think there was anything “wrong” or corrupting about it.) The principal of my junior high questioned my judgment in choosing to read “that” book after a parent called and complained. Go figure. I have never seen the movie, and unless you can convince me it is worth sacrificing some of my precious reading time to do so, I probably never will.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think the movie was horrible and mainly the sexual tension between Guy and Clarrise. I find the book a bit convulsive… but I still like the whole meaning behind the books and man! I am impressed by how you manage to have so many people following you and reacting to your posts! it is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I can’t say Bradbury was my first awakening with reading. It was actually The Great Gatsby—I had an excellent teacher, who was enthusiastic about it, help me understand it. It’s one of the reasons I wrote so many literary criticisms. But Fahrenheit was by far the most pungent. Bradbury has a way of showing human character that only a nineteen-fifties Sci-Fi author can. Like, the ideas were so universal, and Fahrenheit was so powerful a book that it struck me that it could actually happen. The cause of the Dystopia was real. I see it already today.

    The movie, Bradbury would soil himself if he saw it. Computers were the thing he was criticizing. I didn’t know that was the point of the new movie. Frankly, I’m a little concerned that that’s the direction the movie went, as computers have an innate tendency to make us stupid. Try finding any valuable information on the internet, it all has to be bought in the form of a book. I think the world could do without computers more than books.

    Like, this post concerned me a bit, though. I saw you read one of my blog posts, so I came on here surprised to see a post about Bradbury. The movie seems very Fahrenheit 451 like. It is almost eerie, and I think the reason you didn’t like the movie is that Bradbury was ripping to shreds things like computers, iPhones and the internet. It’s kind of a slap in the author’s face to use his idea to propose what is an antithetical notion to what he originally had in mind.

    I understand it. If I saw that movie my head would spin, and I’d probably throw one of my books at the tv hoping it would break. There’s something almost sinister in the concept of the movie that you described, that it seems to be trying to create the society Bradbury was warning about.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m also not a 1984 fan… I could never get into that book! I loved Fahrenheit 451 though and also recently reread it. It didn’t disappoint (again). I’ve found that sometimes the books I loved as a child just don’t do it for me now that I’m older. Thankfully, 451 does and I believe always will! 🙂 Never seen the movie, but doesn’t sound like I’m missing anything! (The book is almost always better in my opinion anyway)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m glad you mentioned that about 1984. I love that book, don’t get me wrong and I think it’s vitally important, but I would go with something like this:
    Brave New World > F451 > 1984

    Though I think we might disagree about BNW vs. F451.

    …You know, come to think of it, has there ever been a BNW movie? Seems like somebody must’ve made one at some point. Odd though…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I agree, the book is a masterpiece and read it as well as a teenager. It scares me how some things resemble reality more and more, like the wife being absorbed with her “screens” and wanting one more… didn’t make sense to me when I read it, back in the 90’s… now it feels like it could be home teathers, ipads, mobiles, multiple computer screens judging by the way the wife is absorbed and absent. I think I want to re-read it now 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Okay, as soon as I read the excerpt I knew I’d love this post 😂 we need more genuinely intelligent blogs, that are also funny. You get my stamp of approval (what an honor, I know). But seriously- Can’t wait to read more from you in the future. Keep up the great writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I’ve never leaned towards dystopian novels, but this one has been on my TBR list forever – forever because it’s dystopian and on my TBR list because who would want to burn books.

    And, I agree, 1984 isn’t the best dystopian novel.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I rate Fahrenheit a five-star book. However, the copy I read had a coda at the end written by Bradbury that I rate even higher. Here is a quote from it.

    “All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers, It’s my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset, I’ve won or lost. At sunrise, I’m out again, giving it the old try. And no one can help me. Not even you.”

    Thanks for a great review of a great book.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. i read this recently, finished it just yesterday. Which is why i was slightly startled when i saw this review on your page, life is full of strange coincidences. i thoroughly agree with you about the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have always wanted to read this book. For some reason we never read it in my school, but I do plan to check it out soon. I am reading cloud atlas right now though. I love the way you wrote your analysis, and the humor that you write with so easily. Thanks for putting this book back on my radar.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I just finished Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury; It’s like for every ten strange, borderline inappropriate things he says he redeems himself with one devastatingly profound thing.

    Liked by 2 people

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