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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray…
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Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962)

by Ray Bradbury

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Green Town (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,666167563 (3.99)4 / 373
  1. 172
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (infiniteletters)
  2. 81
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (sturlington)
  3. 50
    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Not all circuses are for your amusement. Choose wisely which one to attend.
  4. 50
    The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney (bertilak)
  5. 40
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (streamsong, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These atmospheric coming-of-age tales are magical and poignant as they dance around issues of good and evil. Though they contain plenty of dark undercurrents, they are ultimately hopeful.
  6. 51
    The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (espertus, questionablepotato)
  7. 53
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (JGKC)
  8. 00
    The Fair to Middling by Arthur Calder-Marshall (isabelx)
    isabelx: Fairground magic.
  9. 11
    The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon (infiniteletters)
  10. 11
    The Night Country by Stewart O'Nan (amyblue)
  11. 01
    The Toymaker by Jeremy De Quidt (RachelMck)
    RachelMck: Has the same 'darkness' and creepy feel to it.
  12. 01
    The Boneshaker by Kate Milford (Othemts)
  13. 01
    Blind Voices by Tom Reamy (infiniteletters)
  14. 01
    Dust by Arthur Slade (infiniteletters)
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English (164)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (166)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
I couldn't stand this book. I don't know what's wrong with me and classics. I gave it two stars instead of only one because I liked the theme. I can see how it influenced other stories, like cirque du freak and even the movie Big, but I would rather read cirque du freak and understand it. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
I read this book as a teenager. Not long ago, I had reason to read it again. I noticed something that didn't entirely register the first time: Bradbury can really write.

This book's descriptions come at you at high speed. Bradbury doesn't choose among his figures of speech. He chooses all.

He can lay back, as in the opening sentence: "The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm." He can lay back, but he usually doesn't. For example:

At dawn, a juggernaut of thunder wheeled over the stony heavens in a spark-throwing tumult. Rain fell softly on town cupolas, chucked from rainspouts, and spoke in strange subterranean tongues beneath the windows where Jim and Will knew fitful dreams, slipping out of one, trying another for size, but finding all cut from the same dark, mouldered cloth.

Bradbury's over-the-top descriptions work because they are over the top. If Bradbury had held back, Something Wicked would have lost the passionate intensity that makes it stay with me. It might read more easily, but it would be a shadow of itself. There would be no reason to look back as an adult and say, "I remember." ( )
  pennwriter | Apr 27, 2015 |
My teacher assigned this book to us in 11th grade. I had little hope of finishing the book, let alone enjoy it. But enjoy it I did.

A tale of the time between summer and autumn, of youth and age and the desire of one over the other. Will and Jim may have been born a minute or two apart (Will before midnight on Oct. 30th and Jim right after on Halloween), but they are quite different from one another. Still, their friendship is rock solid and is tested when Dark's traveling circus comes to town.

Both boys dream of being older, none so much more than Jim. Will's father would love nothing more than reclaiming some of his lost youth. Mr. Dark's carousel might have the answer to both.

A great tale of growing up and I thank Mrs. Bailey for assigning it to us. ( )
  robfucious | Apr 16, 2015 |
Absolutely stands alone, despite being set in Green Town, Illinois, setting of [b:Dandelion Wine|50033|Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1)|Ray Bradbury|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1374049845s/50033.jpg|1627774] and others.

If the movie is well-done, it might be better, in some ways, for some readers, than the book. It's an awfully simple story, deep and resonant yes but ultimately simple, made into a full-length novel by the absolutely gorgeous language that is Bradbury's signature. A couple of relatively straight-forward examples:

A father waits for his son to come home one evening, "... holding a book but reading the empty spaces."

Describing villains: "The stuff of nightmares is their plain bread. They butter it with pain. They set their clocks by death-watch beetles and thrive the centuries."

If you love poetic, almost purple prose, by all means read this book - preferably now, or on Halloween. If you get impatient with literary stylings, try the movie and let me know if it's good. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Hmm... one reviewer said something I think I have to agree with: batshit craziness. This was one weird book. And I found I didn't like it. Firstly I listened to this book on audio and found my mind wandering easily throughout it. I think that might have been the prose and the way Bradbury talked in metaphors a lot. I feel like I need to go back and reread it again just to understand what all was said and implied. Also, I couldn't invest in any of the characters. I got close with Will but barely. I was very close to putting this book down. If it was any longer I might have. But, well now it's off the list. I was a little disappointed with this, as I loved Bradbury's novel Fahrenheit 451. Oh well. There are some great quotes in this book however. ( )
  Kassilem | Mar 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Man is in love, and loves what vanishes.
W.B. Yeats

They sleep not, except they have done mischief;
And their sleep is taken away,
  unless they cause some to fall.
For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And they drink the wine of violence.
Proverbs 4:16-17

I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.
Stubb in Moby Dick
Dedication
With gratitude to
Jennet Johnson
who taught me how to write the short story
and to
Snow Longley Housh
who taught me poetry at Los Angeles High School a long time ago
and to
Jack Guss
who helped with this novel not so long ago
With love to the memory of GENE KELLY, whose performances influenced and changed my life
First words
Prologue
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.
The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm.
Quotations
Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes in the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience. Billions of prickling textures. Cut one sense away, cut part of life away. Cut two senses; life halves itself on the instant. We love what we know, we love what we are. Common cause, common cause, of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul.
"Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin. Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit our appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others and look to wonder if he didn't just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt and sin, why, often that's your good man with a capitol G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it and sometimes break in two. I've known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as his to be his hog. I suppose it's thinking about being good that makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can't let himself alone, won't lift himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace."
And, Will thought, here comes the carnival, Death like a rattle in one hand, Life like candy in the other; shake one to scare you, offer one to make your mouth water. Here comes the side show, both hands full!
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380729407, Mass Market Paperback)

A masterpiece of modern Gothic literature, Something Wicked This Way Comes is the memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one Autumn midnight. How these two innocents, both age 13, save the souls of the town (as well as their own), makes for compelling reading on timeless themes. What would you do if your secret wishes could be granted by the mysterious ringmaster Mr. Dark? Bradbury excels in revealing the dark side that exists in us all, teaching us ultimately to celebrate the shadows rather than fear them. In many ways, this is a companion piece to his joyful, nostalgia-drenched Dandelion Wine, in which Bradbury presented us with one perfect summer as seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old. In Something Wicked This Way Comes, he deftly explores the fearsome delights of one perfectly terrifying, unforgettable autumn. --Stanley Wiater

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:18 -0400)

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Ray Bradbury's classic tale of a mysterious carnival arriving in a small town.

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