Ray Bradbury's internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature set in a bleak, dystopian future, narrated here by Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins.
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television "family." But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television. When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.
©1951 Ray Bradbury (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"Bradbury's iconic novel about the dangers of complacency and the value of curiosity gains a solid new voice with this audio performance. Tim Robbins puts his acting prowess to use here, creating superb dialogue and striding confidently through powerful speeches that celebrate books and warn against the lure of technology. Protagonist Montag burns with all the earnestness of a man eager for change; Faber's aged scholar simmers with cautious hope; Mildred's vacuous presence echoes emptily. Robbins provides the theatrical with the expected confidence, but he also makes good use of quiet in this production. He makes Bradbury's words even more powerful by remembering to pause at opportune moments to let them sink in." (AudioFile)
This is a great story that everyone should read (especially these days in a multimedia world which almost directly reflects the world described by Ray Bradbury). I like Tim Robbins as an actor but I am disappointed with this presentation. It is over dramatic at times with gasping and shouting and his voice choices are not as good as they could be. His female voices sound like Monty Python's Mrs Knickerbater at times.
Not the easiest book to listen to compared to reading. I kept getting distracted easily. A bit like being one of the belittled characters. Got through it quite quickly though.
"I'm Burnin', I'm Burnin' for You"
When I see a new release on audio of a classic book read by a great actor or actress, I'm in. Sometimes it doesn't work. Here, Tim Robbins' rhapsody perfectly pitches this futuro de fuego novel that for most of us was required reading in school. The boy I was surely did not appreciate Ray Bradbury's talent for telling fantastic stories or his prose or the value and experience of *Fahrenheit 451.*
This book, with Tim Robbin's narration, lit up my literary fervor with a tale of how life would be without books, and has ignited my interest in Ray Bradbury's other books.
More valuable than the credit spent, this enthralling audiobook is a reminder of the value of literature and, more than that, an infernal blast!
"Can Tim Robbins read me all of my books?"
I never read Fahrenheit 451 in school like most people, so this was my first time. The story was tragic, inspiring, and thought-provoking. And in a way, terrifying, like most dystopian future novels tend to be when we notice the similarities to present day society.
Tim Robbins was amazing. He shouts when he needs to, he gets excited, he gets flustered and embarrassed. So far Robbins has been the best to listen to.
"IF SOMEONE GIVES YOU RULED PAPER,"
WRITE THE OTHER WAY.
I have lost count of how many times I have read or listen to this book. This time was the most pleasant and I felt I got the most out of it. Robbins is my kind of narrator. Some might think him too dramatic, but I appreciated the feeling he put into the reading. The book is divided into three parts, with the first part being the best.
THE MIND DRINKS LESS AND LESS
For a book written in the 40's it is amazing all the things Bradbury predicted. He predicted the death of newspapers, he predicted sitcoms, the word intellectual becoming a swear word, ear buds and people listening to something all day, Reality TV, and schools becoming more about sports then about academics. He also predicted that lots of people would be more likely to vote for the most handsome candidate, but that may have already been in practice during the 40's I don't know. He goes on about how we will need to be entertained at all times. This made me laugh, as just the other day I put coffee in the microwave, set it for 35 seconds and then worried about how I was going to fill the next 35 seconds. Some of these may be controversial, but in my mind he hit the nail on the head.
YOU THINK TOO MUCH
Part two was really good and part three was good. I thought in part three he got too poetic and dramatic, but Bradbury has been known to do that from time to time. His worries about over population did not happen and we did not have a bunch of nuclear wars. Books have not disappeared, they have gotten bigger, RE: Sanderson, Gabaldon, Hobbs and George RR.
SEA SHELL RADIO
Tim Robbins was great. When audible first came out with actors as narrators, I was not for it. I felt I was being disloyal to my favorite narrators, such as Dick Hill, Ray Porter, and Will Patton (who is an actor). So far, I have heard Robbins and Hathaway and both were great and made the books they read a pleasurable experience. I guess they aren't just pretty faces.
"More reality than science fiction, 60 years later"
Yes - It renews the current nature of this classic.
This was an amazing experience - Couldn't stop listening
No question - Guy Montag is solid with sensitivity and depth. Clarisse gives the story direction that further rounds out Guy as the lead.
Tim Robbin's performance was terrific - beyond any of my expectations! It made this an instant classic all over again. I have not heard any of his others but now he, as a narrator, has my attention.
I was riveted unlike anything I expected. As my headline states, How is it possible for a book from the early 50's to be so on target with where we are today? When originally read, it leaned science fiction. Now, it's far more the reality of our current technological times.
Brilliant. A Must Listen!
"Well read classic"
I think anyone and everyone can gain value from reading this book. The most interesting element to me is the date the book was written. It amazes me that the issues facing the author at the time are so relevant today. We live in a society where thought is being assaulted. Political correctness, fear of offense, and acceptance of various lifestyles is changing the dynamic of relationships, speech and thought. Humans are becoming more and more intertwined with technology which can lead people away from pondering and into a faster paced world.
Tim did an excellent job of giving characters interesting voices and keeping the story interesting. This is a book best read when you yourself have time to ponder and consider the implications of the situation in the book. It is best enjoyed when you consider the situation of the real world and see how the book applies.
George orwell's 1984. Both take place in a dystopian society where the government is large and controlling. Family and thought are restructured and monitored by the government. Both follow a male main character who is secretly rebellious to this organized oppression.
"What Dandelions Mean"
I hesitated buying Audible Studio's Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" (1953) because it seemed almost sacrilegious. But I've got three print versions and my kids have an electronic text version. Bradbury - who died in 2012 - had to have licensed at least the first Audible version, and his estate must have authorized this version. If the author said "okay," why shouldn't I listen? As busy as I am, I won't have time to read the text version again until I retire. And, well, Tim Robbins is the narrator.
It's impossible to write a review of "Fahrenheit 451" that hasn't already been written by Cliff Notes, Spark Notes, or some high schooler robbed of the magic of discovering Bradbury independently and forced to read the book. I just hope that the fact it's required reading doesn't obscure Bradbury's absolutely brilliant science fiction storytelling. ATMs? Earbuds? Flat screen TVs? They're all there - more than 60 years ago. But it's more than SciFi to me - it's horror.
Fear is very, very personal - I understand scary spiders, but snakes? Sure, boa constrictors can be a little intimidating, but California King Snakes are just about the cutest things to slither the ground. I've heard not everyone feels that way. For me, "Fahrenheit 451" is one of the most horrifying stories ever. I watched Francois Truffaut's 1966 movie version when I was 11, several years before I read the book. That night was the first time I woke up screaming from a nightmare. The books - burning the books. It was as if my friends were being burned alive.
The reason I keep personalizing the book and the review is that Bradbury's writing is Art, with a capital 'A.' Like all true art, it means different things to different people at different times. As a teenager, I don't think I realized it was dystopian - and I sure missed Fireman Guy Montag's feelings for his wife, Mildred. I got the overt symbolism, but only because a 9th or 10th grade teacher whose name I've forgotten made me learn it for a test.
Unfortunately, I wasn't impressed by Robbins as a narrator for this book. He's a fine Guy Montag, but as Mildred Montag and Clarisse McClellam? Ow. Mildred was biting and shrill, which is appropriate for her character - but it still hurt my ears. Robbins' Clarisse came across as vapid, and that wasn't good for a profound character.
For those of you playing 6 Degrees of Stephen King, this Audible performance is 1 degree. Robbins played Andy Dufrense in Frank Darrabont's 1994 film "The Shawshank Redemption." That was based on King's 1983 novella, "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption," published in the "Different Seasons" collection. Here's a less commonly known connection: King is a huge Bradbury fan, and "Fahrenheit 451" uses the term 'The Running Man' several times. King wrote an okay novella called "The Running Man" (1982) under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. which was made into a better - or maybe just funnier - 1987 movie of the same name starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bradbury's influence on King is far beyond just that subtle tribute. For example, his 2014 "Revival" revives the Bradbury's traveling carnival from "Something Wicked This Way Comes."
The title of this review comes from dandelions Clarisse picked for Montag.
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"Wish I Hadn't Cliff Noted This in High School"
I'm ashamed to say that during High School I made the grave mistake of using cliff notes to get through reading Fahrenheit 451. I did that for most books in High School and College and am just now going back and reading the for the first time. Like Orwell's 1984, Fahrenheit 451 is as relevant if not even more so in today's culture.
The first thing that struck me about Fahrenheit 451 is that it's actually a pretty straightforward and easy ready. Unlike many books that are "assigned reading" Fahrenheit 451 has a straightforward premise. It's set in a world where firefighters instead of putting out fires, start fires by burning books, and anyone associated with them.
What rang true most of all was towards the middle of the novel there's a scene in which the main character, Guy Montag is interacting with his wife and her two friends. It's a scene in which he reads a couple verses of poetry and the reactions of each of the characters was so distinct and so different that it took me off guard. The way in which Bradbury is able to convey the dichotomy between wanting to be happy and avoiding reality is something I wrestle with. Do I ignore the injustice in the world for my own happiness or do I fully embrace the fact that there are horrors taking place all around me?
And that's what I loved most of all about Fahrenheit 451, it made me contemplate my own life. I didn't find the story to be overly satisfying, especially the ending, but the questions it raises are profound. And its because of that, that I'm disappointed I hadn't read it earlier and urge anyone who likes my cliff noted my way through it to go back and enjoy this marvelous novel.
"Good but not my favorite!"
I liked the concept and the story was good, the long periods of exposition got a little cumbersome. I likely would not have finished it if I had to actually read it.
"Book changed my life!!"
Have you ever read one of those books that while you're reading it, you know it's changing your life and the way you see things?.... This book blew my mind. The simple fact it was written in 1951 and it was so spot on with so many details that are going on right now in our society. Thank God we still have books though :-) but a lot of the other things are going on right now. This was a phenomenal book. I am not the same person. I'm going to read another book by Bradbury called "Dandelion wine" I really like this author and I can definitely see his influence on Stephen King.. If you haven't read it I recommend doing so as soon as possible :-) my only complaint and it's a small one I did not love the narrator. Sometimes the voices were killing me. Mildred the wife sounded like Jocelyn from Bob's burgers. But it was fine and I could deal with it because the story was phenomenal
"Best. Narration. Ever."
This historically significant work doesn't need another review expounding is virtues. But THIS new narration MAKES the work into an even more powerful and moving piece than I could have imagined.
"Well read, intriguing, but ultimately lacking."
Robbins does a great job to bring this story alive.
But whilst it is immensely imaginative for the 1950s, with a large number of accurate predictions, I think it falls short of really having an impact.
In my opinion, the central premise (the value of the written word) is insufficiently explored at the cost of a mediocre narrative. It fails to compare to the class of dystopian literature with which it is so commonly associated.
"Fantastic story, worth getting into..."
The story is a classic, but the narration takes some getting into. The voice acting for the characters is great throughout, but the narration in the early scenes feels a little rushed and, at times, a little clunky. It gets better as you go through the book, and there are some points in which Tim Robbins really captures the frustration and drama of the world in which the protagonist lives. By halfway, the narrating style had me on the edge of my seat, so well worth persevering with if you find it poor at the start. As i say, the story itself is great. A really fantastic tale and a great overall audiobook.
"Very good, but short."
Great story and well performed, just wish it were longer. Would be great as part of a collection bit didn't feel good value for money using my monthly credit
"great story, could have a better narrator "
fantastic story line but unfortunately I found the narrator to have a lulling, sleep inducing voice
"Great thought provoking story"
Excellent narration and well worth a listen. A brilliant story and one we hope will not be our reality.
Compulsive listening. A world without books would be a frightening thought. Knowledge of for everyone.
"Great book. Chilling. and very uptodate"
I loved this book. It gives much to think about especially now with trump and Brexit.
"Glimpse of the future?"
Really thought provoking book. Took a while to get into and finished all too soon. Can't believe it was written in the 50's - must have had a crystal ball.
I loved every single word and enjoyed every second listening to this book. This will be one of the very few books I will listen to again.
"loved it !!!"
I really loved this book and the narration was amazing. I'd recommend it to anyone. and it's so short it's not a big commitment.
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