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Burning Alexandria

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Irwin Gilbert is a hoarder, a bookworm, and after a cosmic event leaves the earth void of all electricity, the owner of what might be the world's largest remaining cache of novels. Irwin has a dilemma, however, the world has turned cold and he has no idea how long it will last. When faced with freezing to death, can he dare to burn "his friends" and how will he choose whic ...more
ebook, 28 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Riyria Enterprises, LLC
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  190 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Apr 13, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my own story, so I won't be "rating it" but I did want to mention a few things about it. This is a short story I originally wrote for "The End Anthology" a volume dedicated to stories about the end of the world. It came to me on a bike ride the weekend I learned of Ray Bradbury's death and is a homage to him and his iconic work Fahrenheit 451.

I recently discovered a few goodreads groups reading Fahrenheit 451 and so I made my short available for members of their group for free. I'll do
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melki by: Jim
Exposed to the harsh light, Irwin’s living room was little more than a narrow gap between precarious cliffs of books, which ran from floor to ceiling. Hardcovers formed the foundations, trade paperbacks the middle strata, and the little mass markets soared to a cottage-cheese-textured ceiling.

A book lover faces the ultimate quandary - freeze to death or start burning his beloved collection.

For anyone who loves the written word, this is a terrific tale of horror.

I found myself glancing nervously
Wulf Krueger
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 0_wk_read_2019
Basically, the blurb says it all – a (book) hoarder in a post-apocalyptic world lives among his tons of books and realises he’ll have to burn some of them. Unfortunately, he’s not the brightest bulb (not even in a world without power!) and, thus, disaster happens.

This is a nice-ish short story without any connection to Michael’s other works. It pretty much lives from the setting (books filling a small house entirely – sans a few “paths” - lovely though in theory!), the “name-dropping” (all the
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Definitely a great read, recommend it to everyone, especially anyone who has read 451 Degrees Fahrenheit.
May 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A short story about the end of the world. When electricity is gone will the greatest lover of books ever burn them all to stay alive. Worth the time to read but end of the world stories really aren't my thing but it's Michael J. Sullivan so I had to read it. ...more
Jason Brinkerhoff
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable fanservice to the literati.
Ren (A Bookish Balance)
Feb 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned-ebook
January 31, 2020
1/5 stars

The Burning of Alexandria follows a hermit and hoarder named Irwin during an Apocalypse. All electricity in the world no longer functions and the world has snowed over. This is an extremely short story so I'll stop with the synopsis there.

Unfortunately I did not enjoy this story, it is drowning in pop culture references (namely books and movies), and Irwin is really detestable. While we're meant to dislike him, he's the only character in the story and that gave me nothi
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
You can read books, but you can collect them too. Lets face it: we're on Goodreads, so there's a high probability that, in a way, you and me are book hoarders. Now, imagine you're in your house stuffed with books (like a big library, yes I know some of you have this dream) and, outside, there's an apocalypse. A cold apocalypse. What will be your next move? Yes, you don't want to make that decision, but Irwin has to, poor him.

This is a short story, obviously about books, words, paper and authors.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Extremely short story, that was a dedication of sorts, to Ray Bradbury, and his work Fahrenheit 451. This really is a fan service to all the readers out there that collect books. Irwin is dying in a new ice age but he has 70,000 books to keep him company. He is a hoarder and will not get rid of anything. His holy grail is his floor to ceiling collection of sci-fi and fantasy, that fills the entire living room, except for a small trench to walk through. When Irwin runs out of things to burn for h ...more
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reading about a man who didn't like ereaders in an ereader was indeed funny. It was a very short story, but very interesting. The ending was pretty good and I really liked all the references, even though I am sure I missed some of them.

Edit: I looked up some of the things I was sure were references even though I didn't know where from and now I have a list of thing to watch and read lol
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it
An odd, darkly whimsical tour through some of the better known books & their characters via a hoarder & an emergency. Loved the final fling! I got this for free & read it during lunch. It made it a pleasurable one. Thanks, Michael!
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was great. I LOVE the stories of Michael J. Sullivan, it doesn't matter if they are long or short. If it's written by him, it's a masterpiece. Highly recommended. ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a really good short story, definitely somewhat very sad.. I'd recommend a read, and I thank Michael Sullivan for giving us the chance to read it. ...more
Apr 16, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked it but it is very short.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Very short story that didn't mesmerize me. But the references to all the books and movies were cool.

And what a kick ass finishing line. I just had too laugh. Brilliant.
Miriam Michalak
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-calibre
Loved it!
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A quick fun read, and a wonderful homage to Bradbury, and books in general, I think.

Here are some things that I jotted down as I read it (I do stuff like that. Yeah...).

Story Time!

Before we married, my husband, for the longest time had a copy of Atlas Shrugged on the back of his toilet. He never appeared to read it as it never moved, and I've never had the desire to myself, so one day I asked him why it was there. 'Emergency toilet paper,' he replied. I still have it, years later, though I have
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Sullivan's work
Recommended to Carol by: The author
I found it quite ironic that this is a short about a man who at the end of the world had hoarded books against the ebook revolution and I was reading it on my kindle. Anyway on to the review!
I really got this, bit of a book hoarder myself, and honestly I think if the world ended I'd have a hard time without my supply (it's why I love my kindle, going on holidays, small suitcase, thousands of books at my finger tips, bliss!). I would have given this a full five stars because I could fully underst
Julia Sarene
I've just finished this one, and I loved it!
In fact it was so good, I got on the wrong subway on the way home, and had to go back...

I adore books, I'm interested in people who are not quite normal, and I'm addicted to SciFi and fantasy... I feel like this story was written especially for me!
The thought of having to choose, which books to preserve, and which ones would be lost forever made me cringe! That's like choosing a favorite child...

Not much more I can say about it, without spoiling, so I
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just reread this awesome little story... This apocalyptic story is a great homage to Ray Bradbury... It is a story about the love of good books and too much snow...

You know I put this story right up there with other great shorts... Such as: Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu and Emperor of Mars by Allen Steele.
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-story
I'm so glad I finally got to read this! It's the perfect short story for book lovers (and book hoarders). I'm also very glad that I didn't know anything about it when I started it - the ending actually made me giggle with a strange mixture of horror and delight. ...more
Michael Kotsarinis
Apr 13, 2015 rated it liked it
More like 3.5/5

Post-apocalyptic is not really my preferred genre but it was a short story from an author I like. The story itself will ring many bells to book-lovers and the end is so fitting!
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Classic short story where the interesting protagonist is faced with a major choice, a crossroads, and it all plays out beautifully in the mind of the reader. Wonderful setup, exposition, and laugh out loud humor where one wouldnt expect to find it. I loved it!

The fact he mentioned _The Road_, a book I know the author does not care for but the main character does, was a wonderful little easter egg :D
Allan van der Heiden
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A morbid idea of a hoarder’s struggle to save themselves.

Very good play on using different books by other great authors in the story and ending with Bradbury really sinks the references.

Good read for people who love reading and are very familiar with books.
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Skimming through.....
Dec 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks, read-in-2015
I hate to give this such a low rating, but it was just not my cuppa tea. I am probably the only one that did not like Fahrenheit 451. I did like the part about ereaders though as I have been reading ebooks for more than 10 years and don't know what I would do without an ereader!

I loved all the rest of the books that Mr. Sullivan wrote, though, and am eagerly waiting for his next series to come out!
Martin Forbes
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow i liked this short Story, the Story about Irwin it is a bit Sad, he is a bit of a loner but he likes it as it is he has his Books many Books and his Theorys but then everything..... that is where i stop you have to read it for yourself this 27 Sites brings you for a short while in Irwins World so read and have Fun reading this nice sad short Story :)
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I do not love it like I love Hadrian and Royce. Short stories are not my favorite things to read. This one made me think. Since I especially love my Kindle, it really made me think about readers. I definitely see why it was a tribute to Ray Bradbury. It put me in the mind of Farenheit 451. Nice work, Michael, even though it's very different from your other writing. ...more
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
A perfect tribute to Ray Bradbury. It's achingly and hauntingly poetic—the writings flows beautifully and transports you to this world of isolation and cold where a man sits hundled between pillars of words. Highly recommended for anyone and everyone. It's a short read so at least there's nothing to lose, right? ...more
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