Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

November 25, 2014
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburySomething Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Published by HarperCollins on January 1, 1962
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 304
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

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Few American novels written this century have endured in th 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 & 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 raree-show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes -- and the stuff of nightmare.

This was a short book, and this is going to be quite a short review. Without a doubt, I enjoyed the atmosphere of this book, it captures the wonders of youth so well. And the carnival is quite intriguing, it provides not just the young, but anyone that desires something, the answer to their dreams. The two boys, Jim and Will, are quite different as it is interesting see their different reactions to things. Jim much more fearless and adventurous, full of strong desires and the drive to try and get them, and Will much more leery and, well, sensible.

There is one conversation Will had with his father about what they fear and how his father did not fear death because death is what makes every thing else sad. It was quite a touching conversation, and I really like how Will’s father sees his son as a person, and a person he can learn from, and not just “a kid”.

But, yes, unfortunately there is a but, something about it just didn’t hold my attention as well as I would hope. There is a simplistic or bare bones type of style in this that I think both helps create the atmosphere, but also requires the reader to become engaged with less. The atmosphere is strong, but the characters and story didn’t seem to offer quite as much for the reader to get attached to. I think this is going to be a hit or miss book with many readers. But which ever side you fall on, I think it has it’s place as a classic.



  • Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy November 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I read this SO long ago, and loved it. But after becoming a book blogger and reading books differently, I’m not sure this would hold up for me now. So I totally get your reaction.
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  • Lynn November 25, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I read this and really enjoyed it I must admit. But I can see where you’re coming from completely. I absolutely have to admit that sometimes I go into a book just already feeling predisposed to like it and almost read it with a sense of wonder and I think was one of those books for me. Will you read any of his others? Or have you already done so – I think Fahrenheit 451 and Dandelion Wine are supposed to be very good or are you feeling meh about Bradbury now? I confess I simply chose this book based on title alone! How fickle is that?
    Lynn 😀
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    • Lisa (@TenaciousReader) November 25, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Nope, not scratching Bradbury off my list. I read Fahrenheit 451 last year (or the year before?) and loved it. It did get mixed reactions from the book club though. My mood definitely can impact how I react to a book. Sad, but true.
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  • Tabitha (Not Yet Read) November 25, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I think that often happens with shorter books sometimes its hard to build that connection with some readers. The premise still sounds really great though!
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  • Nathan (@reviewbarn) November 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    My dislike of this book is fairly well known in various forums. So not worth the hype, stupidly simple, and The Power of Love makes for a decent Huey Louis song but not such a great plot resolution. Read The Circus of Dr Lao instead if you need a weird carnival.
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