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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
6,550163580 (3.99)4 / 360
  1. 162
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (infiniteletters)
  2. 81
    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (sturlington)
  3. 71
    The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (sturlington)
  4. 50
    Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Not all circuses are for your amusement. Choose wisely which one to attend.
  5. 50
    The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney (bertilak)
  6. 51
    The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (espertus, questionablepotato)
  7. 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.
  8. 40
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (sturlington)
  9. 53
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (JGKC)
  10. 00
    The Fair to Middling by Arthur Calder-Marshall (isabelx)
    isabelx: Fairground magic.
  11. 11
    The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon (infiniteletters)
  12. 11
    The Night Country by Stewart O'Nan (amyblue)
  13. 01
    The Toymaker by Jeremy De Quidt (RachelMck)
    RachelMck: Has the same 'darkness' and creepy feel to it.
  14. 01
    Dust by Arthur Slade (infiniteletters)
  15. 01
    Blind Voices by Tom Reamy (infiniteletters)
  16. 01
    The Boneshaker by Kate Milford (Othemts)
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English (161)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (163)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Only one by him I could never get into. No idea whyt ( )
  unclebob53703 | Jan 25, 2015 |
Read it ages ago & can't remember it. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
Read it ages ago & can't remember it. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
Ray Bradbury’s tale of a sinister carnival is dated in setting, the smalltown America it depicts was being overtaken even at the time of writing, but the story itself remains compelling. It reads now as something of a requiem for a long gone era of innocent childhoods and long hot summers. And that’s part of the book’s point, it was always a meditation on having to grow up.

It remains powerful though, primarily through Bradbury’s evocative prose and vivid imagery. A fairytale is only as good as its boogeymen and the boogeymen here are memorably awful – a train made from bones, a carousel of time, an inescapable mirror maze, the illustrated man, the balloon witch and of course Cooger and Dark themselves. Bradbury’s best trick is to take away all of the heroes’ refuges until their showdown with the carnival is inevitable. It’s all rendered in a dreamlike atmosphere, as eerie as a prose David Lynch. The era of the carnival may have gone, but this book ensures it casts an unsettlingly long shadow. ( )
  JonArnold | Jan 20, 2015 |
This was a short book, and this is going to be quite a short review. Without a doubt, I enjoyed the atmosphere, 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. ( )
  tenaciousreader | Dec 30, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

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
The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm.
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. (from the Prologue)
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.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:12 -0400)

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

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