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Fahrenheit 451

Critique • Text

Fahrenheit 451, first editionFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
1951 as novella The Fireman in Galaxy Science Fiction

First book publication
1953 as Fahrenheit 451

Literary form

Literary, science fiction

Writing language

Author's country
United States

Approx. 48,000 words

Notable lines

It was a pleasure to burn.
It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history.

— First lines

"I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane."

Her face was like a snow-covered island upon which rain might fall, but it felt no rain; over which clouds might pass their moving shadows, but she felt no shadow.

I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly. If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur! That’s a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles per hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn’t that funny, and sad, too? 

"If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none."

"A book is a loaded gun in the house next door."

"I hate a Roman named Status Quo."

Come on now, we're going to go build a mirror factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them.

Yes, thought Montag, that's the one I'll save for noon. For noon....
When we reach the city.

— Last lines


Critique • Text