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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray…
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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,154192497 (3.97)4 / 411
Member:sturlington
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
Rating:*****
Tags:Horror, Green Town cycle, Illinois, 1960s, fave author, circuses and carnivals, small towns, young adult, novel, read in 1980s

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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1963)

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English (190)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
I won't lie this wasn't my favorite of Ray Bradbury's but it did hold some charm for me. It definitely reminded me of "The Halloween Tree" which I enjoyed, but it was a tad slow moving in places. A carnival comes to a small town and Jim Nightshade and his friend Will, realize that something isn't right with the carnival folks, something seems evil. While snooping on the carnival they get caught and fear for their lives, they must find a way to stop the carnies or lose their lives. Definitely creepy and wonderfully written. I must admit, I am looking forward to seeing how well the movie aligns with the book. ( )
  ecataldi | Jul 18, 2016 |
A dark, mesmerizing coming of age tale about two boys and a father. The plot is scary, complex, and engrossing. The characters are winsome, dark, and powerful. And of course, love conquers all, and I can live with that as the moral of the story. This one could be nightmare inducing, but maybe not quite? Great read! ( )
  hemlokgang | Jul 13, 2016 |
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 | Jun 6, 2016 |
This wicked little book picked me up along side of the highway and took me for a wild ride.
I found the prose to be, once again, the most delicious of them all. Bradbury has a way of planting you right into his liquid poetry scenes.
I loved everything about this story, but most of all the scene between father and son sitting on the roof having a heart to heart.
There are hidden gems scattered through out this story, I am so happy I read this during the beginning of fall season.
The villians were terrifying but in a delightful sort of way. If I could just jump inside this book and live forever I would be so happy. ( )
  XoVictoryXo | May 31, 2016 |
If there's one thing that Ray Bradbury excels at, it's his ability to recapture the range of emotions and attitudes that were present in all of us when we were just young, impressionable children. It's a sign of a talented writer if he or she is able to make the reader feel nostalgic for a childhood that one didn't have. Something Wicked This Way Comes pushes all the right buttons in reminding us of the wonder that was present in everyone.

A lot has been said about the prose of this book, and it's certainly of a higher quality than one would be expecting from a "horror" story. It's quite poetic and most of the time it is excellent at painting the scene.

The point of view from the two children is executed amazingly well. As in his other novels and short stories, Bradbury demonstrates his superb ability to realistically portray the beliefs and emotions of children. They aren't overly mature, but neither are they childish. He's hit the nail so perfectly that it really feels as though one is reading a true-life account of some curious boys, rather than a fictional account. On the other hand, breaking up the action between two children means that we never really get extremely close to either one. There's some nice interaction between one of the boys and his father that deals with the grown-up's attempt to develop a backbone and to stand up to the evil carnival people. This relationship creates some great dialog between the child and parent, as the older man tries to explain thoughts and concepts that are just slightly outside what the child can realistically understand.

The story itself is quite chilling and is told well. Many of the actions that occur don't really make much logical sense, but they are nonsensical in the same way that fairy tales don't make sense; everything works inside the current context and that's just fine for their purposes. Evil men do evil deeds simply because they're evil. Good men attempt to prevent the spread of evil, because that's what good men do. Their motivation really isn't important. What makes it work is the journey that the characters go through.

This is certainly a recommended read. Although often classified as a horror book, it really isn't all that frightening. But it succeeds at being a fantastic adventure tale that will remain with the reader long after the final page is turned. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
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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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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.

(summary from another edition)

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