by Ray Bradbury | Grades: 9-12 | Ages: 14+ | Lexile Level: 890
About Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury's internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of twentieth-century literature.
In a future totalitarian state where books are banned and destroyed by the government, Guy Montag, a fireman in charge of burning books, meets a revolutionary schoolteacher who dares to read and a girl who tells him of a past when people did not live in fear.
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.
"Brilliant . . . Startling and ingenious . . . Mr. Bradbury's account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating." --Orville Prescott, The New York Times
"A masterpiece . . . A glorious American classic everyone should read: It's life-changing if you read it as a teen, and still stunning when you reread it as an adult." --Alice Hoffman, The Boston Globe
A Biographical Note About Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was the author of more than three dozen books, including Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, as well as hundreds of short stories.
He wrote for the theater, cinema, and TV, including the screenplay for John Huston's Moby Dick and the Emmy Award-winning teleplay The Halloween Tree, and adapted for television sixty-five of his stories for The Ray Bradbury Theater.
He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, and numerous other honors.