• The Dabblers

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Book cover - flames against black background, under text

Bradbury, who died aged 91 in 2012, said his novel was an expansion of ideas found in his 1949 short story, The Pedestrian, which was inspired by a late-night encounter with a police officer:

“I had been accosted by the police one night while I walked in Los Angeles with a friend. The police wanted to know what we were doing, when walking was our aim and talking occupied us.”

First published in 1953, the dystopian sci-fi has won multiple awards, been adapted for film, TV, theatre and radio, and finally gets to be sworn about and puzzled over by these two idiots for Episode 3 of The Dabblers’ Book Club.

Publisher’s Blurb

The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.

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.

The classic novel of a post-literate future, `Fahrenheit 451′ stands alongside Orwell’s `1984′ and Huxley’s `Brave New World’ as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity. Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which over fifty years from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.

Read the book, listen to the podcast, and tell us what you think.

Listen now:

Notes from Hajar: Apparently there is a recent Fahrenheit 451 film out

Read Sam Jordison’s review in The Guardian

Listen to this 10-min interview with Ray Bradbury from 1988

Buy the book