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James Patterson's newest novel will self-destruct after 24 hours

James Patterson's newest novel will self-destruct after 24 hours


A digital copy of Private Vegas will vanish after one day

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Millionaire novelist James Patterson's upcoming novel should deter procrastinators; it will only be available for 24 hours. Advance copies of the book, Private Vegas, will be unlocked digitally for 1,000 readers with secret codes (available now), who will have just one day to read it before it vanishes. The book will be available physically on January 26th.

Hope you're a fast reader

Patterson is calling this the "world's first" self-destructing book, but we've seen attempts like it before: In 1992, William Gibson released the 300-line poem Agrippa (A Book of the Dead) on floppy disk, which was programmed to encrypt itself after a single use. In 2012, the Argentinian publisher Eterna Cadencia began releasing books printed in disappearing ink.

Readers with the self-destructing copies of Private Vegas can chart their progress against other readers using the book's app for iOS 7 or 8. A countdown clock at the top of the screen will mark off the 24 hours until the book destructs.

And if you have $294,038 to spare, Patterson will be selling one physical copy of the book with an entire experience attached. That will include a flight to an undisclosed location, two nights’ stay in a luxury hotel, 14-karat gold-plated binoculars, and a five-course dinner with Patterson. At the end of the trip, the book will actually explode, and while the details are not clear on how exactly that will happen, The New York Times reports there will be a bomb squad present.