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Ray Bradbury: Extremely Rare Signed First Edition of Fahrenheit 451 with Asbestos Boards. (New York: Ballantine Books, 1953), first edition, 199 pages plus author biography, white asbestos boards with red lettering on spine and front board, 8vo (5.25" x 8"), no dust jacket (as issued), clear glassine cover. Housed in a banded quarter leather solander box with marbled boards, red cloth, and gilt lettering on spine. Illustrated by Joe Mugnaini. Also includes the stories "The Playground" and "And the Rock Cried Out." This is one of the rare 200 copies of Bradbury's seminal novel to be bound in Johns-Manville Quinterra, a chrysolite asbestos material, and signed by Bradbury on the limitation page. It is number 63 of 200. The irony of this particular book being bound in asbestos is delicious: a book concerned with burning books (and the free exchange of knowledge and information they represent) that is itself resistant to destruction by fire. Bradbury must feel a great sense of pride in such an irony. For a long time, Fahrenheit 451 was the only genre book ever to be bound in asbestos, and it's still one of two to hold that disctinction. In 1980, Stephen King ordered a limited number of copies of his novel Firestarter bound in asbestos as a tribute to this particular release of Fahrenheit 451.

Bradbury's masterpiece of censorship and a world informed almost entirely through television seems as relevant now as when it was published. The New York Times said of Fahrenheit 451 that it is: "Frightening in its implications... Mr. Bradbury's account of this insane world, which bears many alarming resemblances to our own, is fascinating." More fascinating still is this copy of Fahrenheit 451, one of the most sought-after books in science fiction publishing history, and an absolute must for any serious collection of books in that genre. In addition to the rarity of this release of Fahrenheit 451, the condition of this copy only increases its desirability. The book is near fine, with only minor edge wear and very light soiling to the boards. Some age-toning to the endpapers, but overall, the textblock is clean and tight. The solander box is fine. To say that this book is the cornerstone of any science fiction or Ray Bradbury collection is a wonderful exercise in understatement. From the Ventura Collection.

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Auction Dates
April, 2007
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