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A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories Paperback – August 2, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“All 16 pieces in the collection explore the hazards befalling mankind when society contrives to restrain the imagination. An indispensable companion to Bradbury’s most celebrated novel.” (Booklist)

“An essential addition to the bookshelf of every Bradbury fan, the collection is also accessible to curious readers with a taste for the dark, the strange and the macabre.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

From the Back Cover

Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 is an enduring masterwork of twentieth-century American literature—a chilling vision of a dystopian future built on the foundations of ignorance, censorship, and brutal repression. The origins and evolution of Bradbury’s darkly magnificent tale are explored in A Pleasure to Burn, a collection of sixteen selected shorter works that prefigure the grand master’s landmark novel. Classic, thematically interrelated stories alongside many crucial lesser-known ones—including, at the collection’s heart, the novellas “Long After Midnight” and “The Fireman”—A Pleasure to Burn is an indispensable companion to the most powerful work of America’s preeminent storyteller, a wondrous confirmation of the inimitable Bradbury’s brilliance, magic . . . and fire.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062071025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062071026
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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For all that I love Ray Bradbury's works, I think its fair to say that he returned to a few themes in his work over and over again, with echoes and reflections of other work popping up in stories again and again. In part, this is what makes it all Bradbury.

But this collection is a bit like peeking behind the magician's curtain. Even worse, although all the stories here relate to Fahrenheit 451 - or at least the concepts in it - they are not all stories that pre-date F451, but you would never know that without some detective work (such as reviewer Mark S has done). This book is a cut down version of something else, and although it’s a lot cheaper, its also a lot less. Also, rather than echoes and reflections popping up from time to time, this is more like being beaten over the head with the same stuff time and again.

The other thing you should be aware of, before you buy this book, is that "The Fireman" and "Long After Midnight" are pretty much the same tale, with minor textual differences, and the only ones that might be significant are at the end. And, of course, if you have read F451, then there is not a lot of need to read either novella, but presumably you know that already. I certainly did not mind reading the tale again once, in a shorter version, or even then reading it over again, but I was a little miffed at how a supposedly different version was really almost entirely the same.

So, for all my complaining, its still pretty good. Not a lot is new, or even rare, and Bradbury on the same theme without a break is not quite as good as a madcap anthology jumping around seemingly at random: but its still Bradbury.

Fahrenheit 451 is still a really powerful piece on self-censorship, and this collection certainly makes you think. But if I had my time over again, perhaps I'd just go and read F451 again instead.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All of these stories are culled from other collections, but oh it's great to have them all in one book....These stories are classic as only Ray can make them stand out and touch your heart at the same time. If you like Bradbury, you will love this!
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Format: Paperback
When I was in high school, I became aware of a body of stories that seemed to be sources for Ray Bradbury's novel, _Fahreheit 451_ (1953). First, there was a novella in _Galaxy_ called "The Fireman" that was an early version of the novel. I had not yet read the story, because it was not then available in book form. But in 1963, there was a short story in _Fantasy and Science Fiction_ called "Bright Pheonix" that was originally written in 1947 and was a source for the novel. It is a somewhat whimsical tale in which book-burning censors are frustrated by librarians who have memorized the books. I noticed that Bradbury's short story, "The Pedestrian" (_The Reporter_, 1951), shares a similar setting, imagery, and line of dialogue ("That's my house") with the novel-- similarities that almost surely made it another source to the novel. I suspected that there were other sources to _Fahrenheit 451_, though I didn't have the slightest idea what they were.

_A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories_ (2011) is a collection of thirteen "source" stories to _Fahrenheit 451_, plus three bonus stories from a later chapbook. They are stories that reflect Bradbury's love of books and art, his hatred of censorship and book burning, and his antipathy towards conformist dystopias. Bradbury prefers the madman out of the House of Usher to the sane conformist who rigidly follows the rules.

Let us start with the two stories most directly related to the novel, the two "Montag" novellas, "Long After Midnight" (_Eros_, 1963) and "The Fireman" (_Galaxy_, 1952). They are obvious "first drafts" of the novel and are clearly similar to one another.
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Format: Paperback
“A Pleasure to Burn” is a group of short stories and novellas from the “Fahrenheit 451” universe. They can be listened to before or after 451 or as a standalone. I found them very interesting and well written although there was some overlap with the original 451 and “The Martian Chronicles” making two of the stories repetitive.
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