Synopses & Reviews
Grandmasterof American Letters Ray Bradbury presents the 16 vintage stories and novellasthat informed and prefigured the creation of his dystopian classic, Fahrenheit451. Collecting rare and unknown tales as well as notable early triumphs,A Pleasure to Burn offers an unparalleled window into Bradburys creativeprocess, and a unique glimpse at the evolution of one of the greatest works of20th century American literature. Absolutely essential for fans ofBradbury books like Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes,The Illustrated Man, and The Martian Chronicles—and for readersof William Golding, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and other titans ofspeculative fiction—A Pleasure to Burn illuminates the unusual hiddencorners of Bradburys expansive imagination, revealing a creative force asvivid and powerful as the hottest burning flame.
“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)
“All 16 pieces in the collection explore the hazards befalling mankind when society contrives to restrain the imagination. An indispensable companion to Bradburys most celebrated novel.” Booklist
Ray Bradburys 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 Bradburys darkly magnificent tale are explored in A Pleasure to Burn, a collection of sixteen selected shorter works that prefigure the grand masters landmark novel. Classic, thematically interrelated stories alongside many crucial lesser-known ones—including, at the collections heart, the novellas “Long After Midnight” and “The Fireman”—A Pleasure to Burn is an indispensable companion to the most powerful work of Americas preeminent storyteller, a wondrous confirmation of the inimitable Bradburys brilliance, magic . . . and fire.
About the Author
In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2011 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."