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Publisher's Summary

Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 is an enduring masterwork of 20th-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 16 selected shorter works that prefigure the grand master’s landmark novel. With 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 and a wondrous confirmation of the inimitable Bradbury’s brilliance, magic, and fire.
Ray Bradbury, one of the most popular science fiction writers in the world, is the author of more than five hundred short stories, novels, plays, and poems. He has won many awards, including the National Book Award and the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
©2010 Ray Bradbury (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Maliboo on 09-15-13

The World of 451

"It was a pleasure to burn." That is how Fahrenheit 451 opens. This collection titled after that first line contains stories that might be set in the universe of Fahrenheit 451, are thematically similar, or are actually early versions of that novel.


The Reincarnate • (2005) Unrevised version of same title published in We'll Always Have Paris.
Pillar of Fire • (1948) Previously collected in S Is for Space.
The Library • (2006) Originally published in Match to Flame: The Fictional Path to Fahrenheit 451 (an earlier deluxe edition of this collection.)
Bright Phoenix • (1963) Previously collected in Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales.
The Mad Wizards of Mars • (1949) Variant version of The Exiles from The Illustrated Man and R is for Rocket.
Carnival of Madness • (1950) Variant version of Usher II from The Martian Chronicles.
Bonfire • (1950) Originally published in the fanzine Torquasian Times Winter 1950/51, later collected in Gauntlet #2.
The Cricket on the Hearth • (2002) Originally published in One More For the Road.
The Pedestrian • (1951) Previously collected in The Golden Apples of the Sun and S Is for Space.
The Garbage Collector • (1953) Previously collected in The Golden Apples of the Sun.
The Smile • (1952) Previously collected in A Medicine for Melancholy and S Is for Space.
Long After Midnight • (2006) Not the same story as in the book Long After Midnight, this is the earliest take on what would eventually become Fahrenheit 451, it was previously unpublished until Match to Flame (2006)
The Fireman • (1951) Originally published in Galaxy Magazine February 1951, this is the original novella that was later expanded into Fahrenheit 451.

Bonus stories - all featuring the same characters and dystopian time travel premise:

The Dragon Who Ate His Tail • (2007) Originally published in a chapbook of the same title, previously uncollected.
Sometime Before Dawn • (2004) Variant version of the same title originally published in The Cat's Pajamas.
To the Future • (1950) Variant version of The Fox and the Forest from The Illustrated Man.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Drew (@drewsant) on 07-24-14


“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.

As always Scott Brick does a wonderful job in narration.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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