1. Welcome to BookAndReader!

    We LOVE books and hope you'll join us in sharing your favorites and experiences along with your love of reading with our community. Registering for our site is free and easy, just CLICK HERE!

    Already a member and forgot your password? Click here.

January 2014 - Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

Discussion in 'Book of the Month' started by Meadow337, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    Ten thousand apologies for forgetting all about it after making a valiant effort to actually have the book sorted ahead of the month SIGH lol

    Oh well at least it is not long - so get yer reading boots on and ... read ... think ... discuss
     
  2. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    I thought I would include a link on How To Read A Book:

    How to Read a Book | The Art of Manliness

    and although he starts with what I'm sure you are thinking:

    1. Open book.

    2. Read words.

    3. Close book.

    4. Move on to next book.

    He does go on to have a useful discussion on how to read analytically.
     
    LisaBeex likes this.
  3. Polly Parrot

    Polly Parrot Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,959
    Likes Received:
    104
    Currently Reading:
    F. Scott Fitzgerald, Short Stories
    Hehe.

    Just downloaded it to my Kindle. :)
     
  4. Sneezy

    Sneezy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    45
    Currently Reading:
    Yes. Always.
    I am embarrassed to say I have not read this one, and certainly should have at some point.

    Soooo...in.
     
  5. gonewiththewind

    gonewiththewind Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Messages:
    142
    Likes Received:
    7
    Currently Reading:
    Lie Down In Darkness - William Styron
    I read this years ago - seems about due for a re-read. I will get right on it...
     
  6. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,933
    Likes Received:
    58
  7. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    get set


    go!
     
  8. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,933
    Likes Received:
    58
  9. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    um ...
     
  10. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,933
    Likes Received:
    58
    You know, I kinda wondered why there wasn't a discussion on this, and it's already Jan. It's only when I saw your message that I actually checked the dates on the posts above. My bad. :)

    I need to jog my memory on this book, which I read way before I started journalling (see how useful that is now?).
     
  11. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    poop LOL so go refresh, reread, come back, comment, discuss, debate, argue, make points, make counterpoints, make contretemps, ... SOMETHING

    And I will go reread myself. HA HA HA
     
  12. Occlith

    Occlith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,920
    Likes Received:
    53
    I read this in 2009. Which Books Did You Read In May? I reread and it's better than I remembered.

    I noticed that Bradbury's style is poetic throughout or at least it seems so to me. The meeting of Guy and Clarisse, the description of the stomach pump snake, jet planes overhead, The Hound as a spider.

    Topics still timely. Frivolity fills the time of the masses but doesn't feed the soul. Guy's anguish and confusion is loud and clear as he tries to communicate with his wife and the world...
     
  13. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    Been so slow to reread and refresh my memory. About half way through. Not disappointing me which is a joy. Some of the older sci-fi books I have such fond memories of have not stood up to a reread very well. (Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein is one.)

    So many themes. Totalitarianism. The slow erosion of standards and rights. No great moment, just slow attrition - just like is happening now. Replacing value with quick sound bites and MTV like rapid cuts. You know something happened but no clue what exactly happened. I wonder if he had a time machine or some prophetic like glimpse of the future.

    Why don't people read - because books take too long and need too much work in a world where the average advert is 15 seconds and the average song is 90 secs. Do you remember when songs were 5 mins?

    Ban books because they impinge on some one's rights. Have you seen the list of challenged and banned books?

    Top 100 most frequently banned books by decade: 100 most frequently challenged books by decade | Banned & Challenged Books

    And yet despite these big themes there is a journey of personal growth and discover that runs through the book. What happens when a man 'wakes up' and questions his entire life?
     
  14. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,933
    Likes Received:
    58
    Sorta like what I'm doing now. It's one thing to know that time is precious, another thing entirely to actually do something about it.

    Back to topic! :)

    Ok, I took a while to come back to this thread, not because I've been rereading it, but because I've been busy. But here I am before I nod off for the day.

    Before I read the book the main theme that swirls around this work is censorship. Having read the book, my sensation was more about governmental control of the population rather than censorship outright. I had thought that the book would delve on how books have harmed society in the past that led to their eradication, but I don't think the book covered this very thoroughly. Instead, it was more about how popular, tailored, government-approved entertainment was taking over the populace, and is actively encouraged to subdue discourse. It reminds me of Brave New World in this regard. More people are guided to prefer a certain type of entertainment, and in fact shaped it such that society shuns non-standard behaviour. I think Montag experienced this with this wife.

    But what I thought wasn't really covered was why books were burned, and why it was just so dangerous. In that regard, I think BNW answered this question a little more readily than F451 did.

    Speaking of censorship:
     
  15. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    I think the fact that he doesn't answer the question is in fact the answer. There was no great 'moment' when it was decided that books are bad. Those kinds of decisions tend to polarise opinions and generate strong feelings. This was more like a warning of the slippery slope society is setting its foot on when it / they / them start deciding what is OK to read / see / do. The 'safety police' and the rights groups and the religious groups and the parent's groups and the minorities groups .... all banning some little part that slowly adds up to a society that shuns anything that is different or non-conformist. Books in the story are, I think, merely symbolic of non-conformism.

    We can see it in so many ways today. Although we pretend to praise the individual who stands out, we also try very hard to tear them down. The system rewards the conformist more than the non-conformist. We view people who take a different path through life as whack job nuts. The fringe groups who isolate themselves are watched by a dozen different law enforcement agencies. Parents who try to have their own view on who educates their child, how their child is educated and what they learn are actively viewed with suspicion, discriminated against and subject to removals, imprisonment and fines. And this is not in communist countries - but in our so-called freedom loving western countries.

    In that regard look at Clarisse McClellan who is one of the instrumental factors in Montag's self examination. Her free-thinking ideals have made her an outcast among her peers.

    Ray Bradbury had this to say:

    There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist / Unitarian, Irish / Italian / Octogenarian / Zen Buddhist / Zionist / Seventh-day Adventist / Women's Lib / Republican / Mattachine / FourSquareGospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse ... Fire-Captain Beatty, in my novel Fahrenheit 451, described how the books were burned first by the minorities, each ripping a page or a paragraph from this book, then that, until the day came when the books were empty and the minds shut and the library closed forever. Only six weeks ago, I discovered that, over the years, some cubby-hole editors at Ballantine Books, fearful of contaminating the young, had, bit by bit, censored some 75 separate sections from the novel. Students, reading the novel which, after all, deals with the censorship and book-burning in the future, wrote to tell me of this exquisite irony. Judy-Lynn del Rey, one of the new Ballantine editors, is having the entire book reset and republished this summer with all the damns and hells back in place
     
  16. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    no one else have any thoughts?
     
  17. Occlith

    Occlith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,920
    Likes Received:
    53
    Beatty explained it as conflict avoidance and for the peace and well-being of the country. "Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal." But censorship of books and control of entertainment/media work together in controlling how the populace think and behave. If a government can censor books it can censor thought or at least attempt to.
     
  18. Occlith

    Occlith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,920
    Likes Received:
    53
    Faber describes three things that could provide the missing something that could help society -
    Quality of information.
    Leisure to digest it.
    The right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.

    I liked the description of Quality of information – as pores that show the face of life when people want poreless, expressionless faces.

    Do you feel that these three things are true to life or that it only applies to the novel?
     
  19. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    Likes Received:
    223
    I agree completely. Isn't part of the dumming down of everything due to the surfeit of junk information over quality and a lack of time to sort, define, digest, process, let alone act?
     
  20. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    2,933
    Likes Received:
    58
    It is true I guess that people do then to favour things where answers are readily available. Nothing 'difficult', or require 'processing'. So yes, I do agree with you both here.

    The phrase 'there are many ways to burn a book' reminds me of something of Ayn Rand in The Fountainhead (I'm really talking about the message in The Fountainhead, not the story, mind you). About how the exceptional are being smothered by the deluge of the mediocre, exulting the mediocre so that the standards of the population change to such a degree where praising the exceptional becomes rare and borderline unacceptable, and the only way to fit into society is embracing the popular.

    Absolutely agree here, and as a book that describes this kind of scenarios as a kind of prescient warning, once again I think Brave New World does it a little better. But I suppose this book has a more hopeful ending compared to BNW.
     

Share This Page