Fahrenheit 451

  • by Ray Bradbury
  • Narrated by Tim Robbins
  • 5 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ray Bradbury's internationally acclaimed novel Fahrenheit 451 is a masterwork of 20th-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.


Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, October 2014 - I credit Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 as one of the books that sparked my love of reading, and now that I'm an avid listener, I'm excited to be able to experience the story anew with Academy Award-winner Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) narrating. Robbins' tone expertly mirrors the story's narrative – shifting effortlessly from somber and contemplative to suspenseful and terrifying. Each character, from the rebellious protagonist Guy Montag, to the enigmatic Clarisse McClellan, to the gruff Captain Beatty is distinct and realistic, making this frightening future seem all the more possible. Whether you enjoyed the book in a high school English class or never quite got around to it, every book lover should experience this poignant version of a dystopian classic. —Sam, Audible Editor


What the Critics Say

"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)


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Most Helpful

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!
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- W Perry Hall ""There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays"

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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- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-21-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios