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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray…

Something Wicked This Way Comes (original 1962; edition 1977)

by Ray Bradbury

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6,336148619 (3.99)4 / 339
Title:Something Wicked This Way Comes
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:Grafton (1977), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:SF Classic

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Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1962)

20th century (37) American (49) American literature (38) Bradbury (66) carnival (95) carnivals (52) childhood (36) classic (95) classics (48) coming of age (53) dark fantasy (57) ebook (34) fantasy (584) fiction (718) Halloween (26) horror (492) literature (34) magic (32) novel (114) own (38) paperback (51) Ray Bradbury (66) read (112) science fiction (544) sf (73) sff (60) supernatural (36) to-read (140) unread (55) young adult (25)

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Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
I read this book twice, once when I was 13 and once over 30 years later, and it was perfectly suited to me both times for different reasons.

The basic plot: two boys on the edge of teenage-hood encounter a mysterious traveling circus that holds terrifying and beguiling secrets - from the members of the circus to a cursed mirror maze to a magical carousel that can add or subtract years to one's life. Finding themselves hunted by the Illustrated Man (covered in tattoos), the Blind Witch, and others, the boys must rely on both their wits and one of their fathers, while trying to avoid the horrible seductions of the carnival.

The first time I read it, I was visiting Las Vegas, so the fantasy/circus/outlandish otherworldly themes were perfectly matched by my environment. I loved the thrilling and scary moments and remembered the Illustrated Man, the bewitched carousel, and the adventure of the story.

Three decades later, I read a whole different story. I was moved by the relationship between the father and the son; the themes of love, nostalgia, and family; the yearnings of the young to be older and the older to be younger; and throughout, the wonderfully inventive and beautiful language. ( )
  sylliu | Jul 18, 2014 |
This was a book that has been on my list of books to read. I finally did. This was a very enjoyable read and very creepy. This is definitely a book that would be suitable for younger readers as well. ( )
  bibliophile_pgh | Jul 16, 2014 |
I thought this was too old a novel to be scary, and it was a bit of a slow-starter fright-wise, but I knew not to give up on it because Nuclear Assault named an album after it. And I was pleasantly surprised at how genuinely creepy the book turned out to be. A timeless tale of a dark carnival of fright and the courage of everyday folks. ( )
  ARBraun7 | Jun 25, 2014 |
Bradbury's frighteningly sweet short work. ( )
  schmicker | Apr 19, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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.
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!
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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