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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray…

Something Wicked This Way Comes (original 1963; edition 1962)

by Ray Bradbury, Susan H. Choi (Cover designer), Tim O'Brien (Cover artist), Kellan Peck (Designer)

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6,709169556 (3.98)4 / 383
Title:Something Wicked This Way Comes
Authors:Ray Bradbury
Other authors:Susan H. Choi (Cover designer), Tim O'Brien (Cover artist), Kellan Peck (Designer)
Info:William Morrow (2001), Reissue, Hardcover with dustjacket
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Tags:YF, SFF, 1960s, American, Midwest, classics - dark, supernatural, horror, friendship, life changes, marriage and family, men and boys, read in 1980s

Work details

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1963)

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English (165)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (167)
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
Now, this is my kind of scary read. Wholesome lead characters in a wholesome town and just the right amount of creepiness to tingle my senses. Carnivals seem to be the perfect fodder for scary stories - after old, broken down houses - and I love how Bradbury brings to life a carnival that can give both children and adults readers pause. The innocence of young Will and Jim, and their friendship, propels the story along it's mysterious, fantasy-driven horror. It is a classic tale of good versus evil, told in a voice designed to stir the imagination of the reader, and place the reader in the middle of the story to fight evil alongside Will, Jim and Will's father, Charles. The story has a timeless quality to it that appeals to me. It doesn't feel dated or come across as lacking in substance. I kind of like the "gosh, golly" language of the boys...that made me smile, especially as conveyed by the audiobook narrator, Kevin Foley.

Overall, a fantastic story with just the right amount of sinister creepiness for the non-horror reader like me to enjoy. I don't think I will ever look at a merry go round (or a house of mirrors) or smell hot dogs and cotton candy without thinking about this story. ( )
1 vote lkernagh | Oct 7, 2015 |
Wanted to love this, but did not. IT and The Body by Stephen King deal with the same themes and do it much better. Kings version of childhood seems more real, the peril more perilous and the prose eminently more readable. I am guessing that many of the fans of this book love the prose and the high metaphor/simile density. It didn't click with me and that made me feel slightly guilty. I am sorry, little book, for not liking you better. ( )
1 vote StigE | Sep 15, 2015 |
Uma história demasiado gótica do ponto de vista de 2 rapazes sobre os terrores das personagens arrepiantes de feirantes freaks que querem roubar almas através do fascínio das atrações. Gostaria mais se tivesse sido usado o estilo de escrita de Neil Gaiman. Demorou a arrancar e foi demasiado gótico para meu gosto. ( )
  bruc79 | Jul 31, 2015 |
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." ( )
1 vote pennwriter | Apr 27, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
康雄, 大久保Translatorsecondary authorsome 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
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.
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 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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