Thursday Quotables: Fahrenheit 451


Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!


Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
(first published 1950)

Montag looked at these men whose faces were sunburnt by a thousand real and ten thousand imaginary fires, whose work flushed their cheeks and fevered their eyes. These men who looked steadily into their platinum igniter flames as they lit their eternally burning black pipes. They and their charcoal hair and soot-colored brows and bluish-ash-smeared cheeks where they had shaven close; but their heritage showed. Montag started up, his mouth opened. Had he ever,seen a fireman that didn’t have black hair, black brows, a fiery face, and a blue-steel shaved but unshaved look? These men were all mirror images of himself! Were all firemen picked then for their looks as well as their proclivities? The color of cinders and ash about them, and the continual smell of burning from their pipes.

It seems like everyone know the first line of Fahrenheit 451:

It was a pleasure to burn.

But who remembers how incredibly Bradbury describes the world of this book and the people in it? I’ve just started a reread of Fahrenheit 451, and I thought I remembered quite a bit, but I was wrong. I keep finding passages, like the one above, in which Bradbury captures a look, a moment or a feeling in such startling, sharply drawn images and words. I’m so delighted that I’m treating myself to the pleasure of reading this amazing book again after so many years!

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (, if you’d be so kind!
  • Leave your link in the comments — or, if you have a quote to share but not a blog post, you can leave your quote in the comments too!
  • Visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

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