Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury

Introduced by Michael Moorcock
Illustrated by Sam Weber

Ray Bradbury’s classic envisages a dystopian future in which the job of firemen is to seek out books and burn them. In this edition, introduced by Michael Moorcock, Sam Weber’s astonishing illustrations perfectly capture the novel’s haunting atmosphere.

Published price: US$ 44.95


Fahrenheit 451

In 1950, Ray Bradbury had a kernel of an idea for a story, and rented a typewriter in the basement of the UCLA library for nine days (it cost him $9.80). Dashing from the basement to the stacks to track down half-remembered quotations and typing at furious speed, in that short time he produced the first draft of an extraordinary novel. Serialised, widely published, adapted for film, theatre and even opera, the book, as Bradbury wrote, ‘seems to have a life that goes on recreating itself’.

Production Details

Fahrenheit 451 book
  • Bound in buckram.
  • Printed and blocked with a design by Sam Weber.
  • Set in Adobe Caslon.
  • Frontispiece and 5 colour illustrations.
  • Book size: 9½" × 5¾"
  • 176 pages.

A dystopian future in which fireman seek out books and burn them

‘No other writer uses language with greater originality and zest’

Fahrenheit 451 envisages a dystopian future in which the job of firemen is to seek out books, and burn them. Montag is a fireman who enjoys his job, wearing ‘the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame.’ He agrees with his boss who tells him how much happier people are now, watching endless television at high volume, than when they read books and thought for themselves. Then one night, Montag meets a young girl with ‘unconventional’ habits – walking at night, collecting butterflies and tasting rain. Something about the girl forces Montag to look at his world differently: children in cars running down pedestrians for fun, his wife overdosing regularly on sleeping pills, and his neighbour proud that her children would ‘just as soon kick as kiss me’. Montag realises that ‘we have everything we need to be happy, but we aren’t happy. Something’s missing.’ Such subversive thoughts will lead Montag to rebel – and rebellion has terrible consequences.

‘A disturbing tale that explores the maxim “ignorance is bliss” to its fullest’

Bradbury’s bleak admonitory vision is not of a tyrannical government, but of people who did this to themselves. His fictional dystopia began with a wave of political correctness that censored and silenced uncomfortable opinions; then interactive, reality TV swamped critical thought; and finally, each individual’s ‘right’ to the pursuit of happiness removed any sense of responsibility and even emotion itself. Over 60 years on, the fears raised by Fahrenheit 451 have not lessened. Yet at the book’s heart is a profound optimism: books are symbolic of humankind’s capacity for reflection and understanding, which can save us from our equally powerful capacity for self-destruction. This edition includes a new introduction by science-fiction writer Michael Moorcock and a series of astonishingly life-like illustrations by Sam Weber, which perfectly capture the novel’s haunting atmosphere.

'A word about Fahrenheit 451, a perfect edition. The art is magnificent. The picture of the little girl holding the flower on page 25 is mesmerizing. It is truly a pleasure to own these copies. Well done, Folio!'
Marc Bagwell, Folio Member, USA


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Review by CarltonC on 7th Jun 2012

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 4/5

"It is a good book, which remains relevant today, but it felt worthy. It has dated in that the ideas, which might have been novel at the time, now feel familiar and well used. The hyper-realistic ill..." [read more]

Review by RikZak on 7th Jun 2012

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"Sam is an amazing illustrator! Now, that Ray Bradbury is passed on, this is the defining edition of 'Fahrenheit 451' !. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/books/ray-bradbury-popularizer-of-science-fic..." [read more]

Review by anon on 22nd Mar 2012

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 4/5

"This has been a favourite novel for years and I was delighted to see it become an FS book. I enjoyed reading it in this edition, liked the heft of the volume, the illustrations were imaginative and t..." [read more]

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