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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray…
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Something Wicked This Way Comes (original 1962; edition 1999)

by Ray Bradbury

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6,245144638 (3.99)4 / 333
Member:kijo
Title:Something Wicked This Way Comes
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Info:Harper Voyager (1999), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1962)

20th century (37) American (49) American literature (38) Bradbury (66) carnival (94) carnivals (52) childhood (36) classic (93) classics (50) coming of age (54) dark fantasy (57) ebook (34) fantasy (579) fiction (712) Halloween (26) horror (494) literature (34) magic (32) novel (113) own (38) paperback (51) Ray Bradbury (65) read (111) science fiction (542) sf (72) sff (59) supernatural (35) to-read (127) unread (55) young adult (25)
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English (141)  German (1)  Japanese (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (144)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
Bradbury's frighteningly sweet short work. ( )
  schmicker | Apr 19, 2014 |
This is a YA novel. It was published in 1962 when this term was not in vogue. It's about two boys in a small town somewhere in America. A carnival comes to town and changes their lives. The carnival is a sinister thing with evil proprietors and the two boys with help from one of their fathers destroy the carnival.

This must have been a fascinating even scary novel in 1962. We have seen or read carnival related movies and books and whatever this book describes is nothing new. The language is a hardcore American south which is sometimes hard to follow and grammatically ambiguous. I'm not a YA fan but still it's not a bad book. ( )
  mausergem | Apr 16, 2014 |
A late-season carnival arrives in a small Illinois town, and the side-show barker starts offering the customers a chance to fix their lives. This doesn't end well, and our 14-year-old heroes have to deal with this. One of the top three Bradbury's IMHO. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Feb 28, 2014 |
Title: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Author: Ray Bradbury

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Avon Books

Date: 1962

Pages: 293

Modern Library: The Reader’s List #65

Started: 23 September 2013

Two boys, small town, a traveling carnival, and odd old people. All of that makes for a great story, but throw a backwards running merry-go-round into the mix and you have something wicked!

I really liked this book. I might be bias though, Bradbury wrote Dandelion Wine, one of my favorite books of all time. First of all, I love, love, love, Bradbury’s style of writing. Take this sentence for example: “They ran in urine smell of shadow, they ran in clean ice smell of moon.” (263) You can’t tell me you haven’t found yourself in both situations, on a shadowy path or dark alley – running full stride in the night around the property of your youth. Had you ever put the urine or the ice smell to it? Unless of course you were walking directly through a puddle of piss or skating over a patch of ice I have my doubts. This is what makes Bradbury so good, and this book is full of sentences like the one above, sentences that accost your senses.

The two boys in this story are Will and Jim. They are best friends and next door neighbors. Other interesting characters are Mr. Dark, a.k.a. The Illustrated Man, Will’s father Charles, Mr. Cooger, and the Dust Witch. Some of the major themes in the story involve accepting who you are and your station in life, evil and what evil can and cannot do depending on one’s mind-set, and community and common cause.

I like the following passage on the topic of common cause:

“You start with little common causes. Why love the boy in a March field with his kite braving the sky? Because our fingers burn with the hot string singeing our hands. Why love some girl viewed from a train, bent to a country well? The tongue remembers iron water cool on some long lost noon. Why weep at strangers dead by the road? They resemble friends unseen in forty years. Why laugh when clowns are hit by pies? We taste custard, we taste life. 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, common cause of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul.” (198)

Hot damn! That passage needs to be recited at my wedding or my funeral. That right there is some real shit, thrown down smack dab in the center of a story about a freaking carnival that is the curiosity of sweaty boys and dissatisfied adults. This is why you need to read Bradbury. Well, this and the Shakespeare reference, and the magic, and the mirror maze, and the sense of belief in something more.

Go get this one if you haven’t already. It will be worth your while. ( )
  BadCursive | Feb 9, 2014 |
Bradbury had a way with words, with language. I miss him. ( )
  Lyndatrue | Jan 11, 2014 |
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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.
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.)
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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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