Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Book - 2001
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A strange carnival brings terror to the population of a small midwestern town. Few American novels written this century have endured in the heart and mind, as has this one Ray Bradbury's incomparable masterwork of the dark fantastic. A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic rare show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes, and the stuff of nightmare. A gorgeous hardcover edition of a true and enduring classic of American literature, featuring a new after word by the author.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, 2001
ISBN: 9780380977277
0380977273
Branch Call Number: YA Bradbury
Characteristics: 293 pages ;,19 cm

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IndyPL_SteveB Jun 30, 2019

Acclaimed by some reviewers as Bradbury’s masterwork, by others as a disappointment, *Something Wicked This Way Comes* was Bradbury’s first true novel. When I read it back in the 60’s I thought of it as a novel about teenage boys. Today I see it as a novel that is at least as much about fear, aging, and death. It’s funny how 50 years will change your point of view.

14-year old best friends Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway discover that a mysterious carnival has come into town overnight, “Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show.” Soon after the circus opens, three townspeople go missing, and the boys are suspicious that the circus *changes* people. The two friends become especially terrified when they sneak in after hours and see the carousel that appears to make people younger when it goes in reverse and older when it goes forward. Mr. Dark, the real owner of the circus, appears to want to quiet the boys by adding them to his collection of freaks.

I love the plot, the bizarre characters, and the deeply spooky sense of dread. The writing is poetry disguised as prose, hard to get used to, but then the poetry seems to stick in your brain longer. But I got impatient with some of the rambling speeches Will’s father gives as he explains to the boys what is going on with Dark and the circus and what is important about life, and talks himself into the bravery and love for his son needed to confront the evil of the circus.

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Inferno8
Jan 31, 2019

This is one of my favorite books ever, Bradbury has a great deal to say on what it means to be a dad, he uses beautiful, descriptive language to write a timeless tale about two best friends and a father. Even if you hate horror novels - read it (it shouldn't even be called a "horror" novel).

a
angryitaliangirl
Jan 22, 2019

One of the best books ever written. Do yourself a favor and read it!!! Read it as a young adult and then read it again in college and then again when you are older. You will get something different out of it every time.

o
oldfrisco8
Aug 15, 2018

The story blends classic Americana with horror story elements to create a unique tale that is both terrifying and heartwarming. It is a tale of two childhood friends who are starting to mature, and worried about growing apart. It is a tale of a father who feels he is too old to connect with his son. It is a tale of an evil carnival that descends upon a small town, and uses magic to prey upon townspeople's fear. Bradbury's style and descriptive language at times makes the reader work through the page, but does provide rich imagery.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 08, 2018

The book, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, is considered a classic. And, after reading it I think I would have known that even if no one had told me. I like the quote that was used for the title a lot "By the picking of my thumbs/Something wicked this way comes", but since I'm not into horror books (even classic horror books), I think that some parts weren't so great. But, I love the way it ends! (3 out of 5 stars)
- @Redibis of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

c
CosmicEnergy
May 18, 2018

This book is one of Bradbury's best-known for a reason. The idea of an evil carnival that destroys souls would have been a half-baked pie in the hands of most other authors. They would have overdone it to the point of disgusting melodrama, and the book would probably have been a miserable failure.
It is Bradbury's unique and enchanting style that really breathes life into the plot, giving vivid and surprising details to everything from the shape of smoke to the smell of shadows. The book can only really be described as poetry, and upon finishing it the reader feels a sort of airiness from the barrage of figurative language that has been served to them.

j
jeff1885
Apr 21, 2018

This is one of me three most favorite Bradbury stories ever. Just had to read it again, and it hold up over the course of time.

r
RoyalJellyIII
Feb 20, 2018

Good book- it really does have a creepy atmosphere to it. One of my favorite Bradbury stories.

h
horthhill
Jan 24, 2018

“Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury is a wicked read. The idea of a supernatural and evil carnival creates a neat plot of good versus evil with its spooky rides and sideshows. The writing itself is wonderfully odd; sort of lyrical and disjointed. I’m surprised I hadn’t discovered this until now … but well worth the read.

c
CassandraOverney
Jan 06, 2018

I listened to this story on audiobook. It was really interesting, especially with the different sound effects. There were times when I was slightly spooked out by what was going on, but overall, the story wasn't that scary. Even though the story was really short, there were still wonderful passages about life, death, and fear.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 14, 2009

Two boys, James Nightshade and William Holloway, must save the souls of the people in their small town when an evil carnival arrives at Halloween.

SqueeGirl Oct 14, 2009

Two boys, James Nightshade and William Holloway, must save the souls of the people in their small town when an evil carnival arrives at Halloween.

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LazyNeko
Dec 16, 2011

Need, want, desire, we burn those in our fluids, oxidize those in our souls, which jet streams out lips, nostrils, eyes, ears, broadcasts from antennae-fingers, long or short wave, God only knows, but the freak-masters perceive Itches and come crab-clustering to Scratch. It's traveled a long way on an easy map, with people handy by every crossroad to lend it lustful pints of agony to power it on.

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