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Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is one of the undisputed classics of modern science fiction. Its title has become part of our common language. Its portrait of an increasingly soulless society in which books and ideas are anathema has become part of our cultural heritage.
A Pleasure to Burn is the ideal companion to Bradbury’s great novel. Edited by Bradbury authorities Donn Albright and Jon Eller, this generous volume gathers 16 vintages stories and novellas. Some of the stories, such as “The Pedestrian” and “Pillars of Fire,” will be familiar to the author’s long-time fans. Others, such as “The Bonfire” and “The Reincarnate,” are more obscure. The true heart of the collection are the long novellas “Long after Midnight” (which has only appeared once in an expensive limited edition) and the 25,000-word tale, “The Fireman,” the immediate precursor to the final, full-length novel. These independent, brilliantly original tales are a significant publishing event.
Together, these stories chart the evolution of the images, ideas, and social concerns that found their purest, most potent expression in Fahrenheit 451. A Pleasure to Burn is at once surprising, illuminating, and hugely entertaining. Intended equally for scholars, aficionados, and casual readers, it is both an invaluable Bradbury sourcebook and a unique, intimate glimpse into the mysteries of the creative process