I have always loved Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and introduced my kids to the book as well as the 1966 movie (free to stream on Netflix or Amazon with accounts). Now for the 50th anniversary of the classic novel, Bradbury has finally relented and allowed for an eBook release.
From the LA Times:
Simon & Schuster released an e-book edition of Ray Bradbury’s science fiction classic “Fahrenheit 451″ on Tuesday. First published in 1953, “Fahrenheit 451″ is a dystopia in which reading is banned and it is the job of firefighters to burn books. 451 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature at which paper burns.
The irony of releasing an e-book edition of a novel built around the death of print books was not lost on Bradbury, which is why he resisted the e-book idea. The Associated Press reports that the author was dismissive of the form, saying that e-books “smell like burned fuel.” Bradbury, a noted futurist who at one time was a consultant for NASA, told the New York Times in 2009 that the Internet is “meaningless; it’s not real…. It’s in the air somewhere.”
But the 91-year-old author has since changed his mind — about e-books, at least. Hence “451″ is available to digital readership.
“It’s a rare and wonderful opportunity to continue our relationship with this beloved and canonical author and to bring his works to new a generation of readers and in new formats,” Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp said in an announcement.
“Fahrenheit 451″ has sold more than 10 million copies. It has been published in 33 languages in 38 countries and has never gone out of print. Simon & Schuster will also release a new paperback version of the novel in January, followed by new paperback editions of Bradbury’s short story collections “The Marian Chronicles” and “The Illustrated Man” in March. “We are honored to be the champion of these classic works,” Karp said.
The e-book edition of “Fahrenheit 451″ is now on sale for $9.99 from all major e-book retailers. It may be the perfect book to read on your Kindle Fire.
Here is the description:
Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.
Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear, and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.
When Mildred attempts suicide, and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.
The pricing of $9.99 is also great – the 50th anniversary of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 was priced $3 higher, and of course most new releases are considerably more expensive. For a great classic that is as relevant now as it was a half century ago (more and more so over the last decade), it is a great opportunity to go back a re-read one of the great novels that cross boundaries between genres.