A Pleasure to Burn

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A Pleasure to Burn
A pleasure to burn.jpg
A Pleasure to Burn cover
Author Ray Bradbury
Cover artist Joseph Mugnaini
Country USA
Language English
Subject Censorship
Genre Science Fiction
Published (2011) Harper Collins
ISBN 1596062908

A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories is a collection of short stories and Fahrenheit 451 companion piece from author Ray Bradbury, first published August 17, 2010. First publishing under the Harper Perennial imprint of HarperCollins publishing was in 2011.[1]

Portions of A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories were previously published in the collection Match to Flame: The Fictional Paths to Fahrenheit 451 and the chapbook The Dragon Who Ate His Tail.

The origins and evolution of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 are explored in A Pleasure to Burn, a collection of 16 selected shorter works that prefigure Bradbury'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.

Contents[edit]

"The Reincarnate"[edit]

A man rises from his grave to try and reclaim his former life, only to find that he is no longer welcome in the world.

"Pillar of Fire"[edit]

In the year 2349, the last cemetery on Earth is being removed. The bodies are to be burnt, as all others have been. Upon hearing the commotion of what is happening, the final corpse decides to rise in the night and hide from this ultimate fate. He learns that horror writers such as Poe and Lovecraft have had their books burned and removed from the planet, and that nobody in this future society knows what fear is. At this point, he decides that as the last anachronism of the former world, he will be the one to teach the new world of fear. This story is also found in Bradbury's short story collection S Is for Space.

"The Library"[edit]

Government officials raid a library to burn the last known copies of classic literature. This short could easily have been a scene cut from Fahrenheit 451.

"Bright Phoenix"[edit]

When the town's chief censor comes to use the library as a testing ground for burning selected books, a librarian angers him with his strange behavior. Originally written in 1947, the premise was later expanded upon and turned into The Fireman, the novella which was later expanded upon and turned into Fahrenheit 451.[2]

"The Mad Wizards of Mars"[edit]

After burning all but a single copy of history's greatest horror writings, Earth attempts its first manned expedition to Mars. The familiar, current occupants of the red planet aren't happy to see them coming. Originally titled The Exiles, first collected in Bradbury's short story collection The Illustrated Man.

"Carnival of Madness"[edit]

A former library owner in a future in which the macabre has been banished uses the stories of Poe to plot his revenge on those who were responsible for the banishment of horror stories, films, Hallowe'en, etc. Also known as Usher II, in tribute to Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher.

"Bonfire"[edit]

Two people have a phone conversation while waiting for the end of the world. One of them seems more concerned with the loss of all of the great art than with their lives.

"The Cricket on the Hearth"[edit]

When a couple discovers that the government is spying on them, it has a strange effect on their relationship. Also included in the short story collection One More for the Road.

"The Pedestrian"[edit]

A man goes out for his routine evening stroll and ends up being stopped by a very strange police officer. Also included in the short story collection The Golden Apples of the Sun.

"The Garbage Collector"[edit]

A garbage collector learns that his job is no longer going to consist strictly of picking up garbage, but also something much more grisly. Also included in the short story collection The Golden Apples of the Sun.

"The Smile"[edit]

A little boy stands in line, awaiting his turn at a very bizarre form of public entertainment involving the Mona Lisa.

"Long After Midnight"[edit]

Early version of the story that eventually became Fahrenheit 451. Also included in the short story collection Long After Midnight.

"The Fireman"[edit]

Another early version of the original story that was later developed into Fahrenheit 451.

Bonus Stories:

"The Dragon Who Ate His Tail"[edit]

Part 1 of 3: A couple contemplates taking a time travel vacation. Also included in the chapbook The Dragon Who Ate His Tail.

"Sometime Before Dawn"[edit]

Part 2 of 3: A seemingly strange couple is observed by a neighbor. Also included in the chapbook The Dragon Who Ate His Tail.

"To the Future"[edit]

Part 3 of 3: A couple takes advantage of a time travel vacation to try and hide from the miserable time in which they live. They are pursued by someone who doesn't want them to escape. Also included in the chapbook The Dragon Who Ate His Tail.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Browse Inside A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories by Ray Bradbury". Harpercollins.com. 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  2. ^ "The Big Read: One Book/One Community - About the Book". Ebr.lib.la.us. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  3. ^ A Pleasure to Burn. "A Pleasure to Burn (9781596062900): Ray Bradbury: Books". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 
  4. ^ Bradbury, Ray. "A Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 Stories by Ray Bradbury — Subterranean Press". Subterraneanpress.com. Retrieved 2012-08-13. 

External links[edit]