A New Edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 That’s Only Readable When You Apply Heat to Its Pages: Pre-Order It Today

Ray Brad­bury’s Fahren­heit 451, a nov­el of a near­ly book­less dystopi­an future in which “fire­men” go around burn­ing any last vol­umes they can find, lends itself well to high­ly phys­i­cal spe­cial edi­tions. Last year we fea­tured an asbestos-bound, fire­proof ver­sion, 200 copies of which were pub­lished at the book’s first print­ing in 1953. The year before we fea­tured an exper­i­men­tal edi­tion per­haps even more faith­ful­ly reflec­tive of the sto­ry’s premise, one whose all-black pages only reveal the neg­a­tive space around the text with the appli­ca­tion of heat.

“Graph­ic design stu­dio Super Terrain’s edi­tion of Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi clas­sic Fahren­heit-451 took the inter­net by storm,” writes Elec­tric Lit­er­a­ture, “thanks to a video show­ing how its all-black pages become read­able text when exposed to an open flame.

Now, “for only $451  —  get it?  —  you can pre­order one to keep on a spe­cial­ly-heat­ed shelf in your home!” As not­ed in that post, you could also expose its text using some­thing oth­er than an open flame (a hair dry­er, for exam­ple), but that would hard­ly put you as much in the mind of the nov­el­’s “fire­men” with their book-erad­i­cat­ing flamethrow­ers. What­ev­er you use to heat up the pages, they revert right back to their car­bonized-look­ing black as soon as they cool down.

In Fahren­heit 451, says Super Ter­rain’s man­i­festo for this unusu­al edi­tion of the nov­el, Brad­bury “ques­tions the cen­tral role played by books in cul­ture and expos­es the pos­si­ble drifts of a soci­ety ruled by imme­di­a­cy. This tyran­ny of hap­pi­ness pre­vents any form of con­tes­ta­tion that could be nur­tured by reflex­ion, mem­o­ry or cul­ture in books or works of art.” This black-paged book “could be part of Bradbury’s fic­tion as a trick to keep and hide away the books from the pyro­ma­ni­ac fire­men. By set­ting the book on fire, the read­er plunges into the nov­el and becomes the hyphen between real­i­ty and fic­tion.” How rel­e­vant has all of this remained in our “time of con­tin­u­ous flow of images, self­ies, fake news, tweets and oth­er ‘digest-digest-digests’ ”? Strike a match, flick on your lighter, or pow­er up your hair dry­er — all, of course, under adult super­vi­sion if nec­es­sary — and find out for your­self.

via Elec­tric Lit­er­a­ture

Relat­ed Con­tent:

To Read This Exper­i­men­tal Edi­tion of Ray Bradbury’s Fahren­heit 451, You’ll Need to Add Heat to the Pages

Ray Brad­bury Reveals the True Mean­ing of Fahren­heit 451: It’s Not About Cen­sor­ship, But Peo­ple “Being Turned Into Morons by TV”

Father Writes a Great Let­ter About Cen­sor­ship When Son Brings Home Per­mis­sion Slip to Read Ray Bradbury’s Cen­sored Book, Fahren­heit 451

An Asbestos-Bound, Fire­proof Edi­tion of Ray Bradbury’s Fahren­heit 451 (1953)

Hear Ray Bradbury’s Clas­sic Sci-Fi Sto­ry Fahren­heit 451 as a Radio Dra­ma

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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  • Brenda Swampter says:

    This is a great way to read Fahren­heit 451. I have been an fan and avid read­er of Mr. Brad­bury since 1970 as a senior in high school. I had this great teacher who also exposed me to Har­lan Elli­son rtc

  • brad raybury says:

    This is so stu­pid. You risk destroy­ing all knowl­edge in the process of try­ing to acquire it? That’s not even what the book is about.

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