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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,978185517 (3.98)4 / 403
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
Tags:gothic fiction, classics, Green Town, Illinois, read in 1980s

Work details

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1963)

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    isabelx: Fairground magic.
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English (183)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (185)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
YA classic....."seductive promise of dreams and youth regained"....father-son relationships...strange, sinister, nightmarish...vivid adventures.

"Will Holloway and Jim Nightshade are boys born two seconds apart -- one on Halloween, the other on the day before.
Will is the ultimate innocent, while Jim is darker and more knowledgeable about the world.
These two have been inseparable friends all their lives, despite their different personalities and tiny events that divide them on subtle levels. Then, one day, a strange carnival comes to their town, with a freak show and a carousel." (Publisher note) ( )
  pennsylady | Feb 11, 2016 |
Like many other people, I read this when I was quite young, along with many other Bradbury books.
Unlike many other readers, I didn't really love this book when I was a kid - I like Bradbury's sci-fi more. Re-reading as an adult, I feel I understand why: this isn't a book for kids, it's a book for adults feeling nostalgic for the impatient hopes of 'boyhood' (and that is 'boyhood,' not the more generic 'childhood') It's a very time-and-place specific boyhood, too - obviously rooted in Bradbury's own youth, but yes, probably, as previously noted, owing as much to Norman Rockwell-esque visions of Americana as to reality.

That said, I enjoyed it, this time around. The themes of boys wanting to rush through (or skip) boyhood, of men wanting to recapture the vitality of youth, of choosing whether you will grown into a good or an evil person... I felt that they're handled well; and I do really enjoy Bradbury's writing. And boy, that circus is creepy!

It's not perfect... I didn't feel that all the metaphors worked perfectly on all levels, the father finding all the answers in the library, although very cool, was a bit deux-ex-machina-y, and there are other problematic, dated, aspects to Bradbury's worldview. Overall, though, a book worth reading.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Beautiful poetic language but took a while to get into book despite using immersion reading. Audible book was extremely well narrated. ( )
  nospi | Feb 7, 2016 |
This novel is richly written, filled with vivid metaphors and deep philosophical thought. The recurring themes of death and aging gives readers of any gender and age something to think about.

Something Wicked gets most of its fame - according to my conversations with others - from it's dark characters. The carousel, certainly, lives as vividly in the reader's mind as it does in Jim Nightshade's. However, it's easy to get lost in the freak show that the carnival offers - the lightning-rod-salesman-turned-mad-dwarf and the dust gypsy - but as a mature reader now, I also see the lamentations of always being too young or too old, and the struggling relationship between a man and a son, a son and his father, and the importance of friendship and the pain caused when one friend strays irreversibly. The dark carnival became, for me, a playground for the discussion of death - personified by humanity as a way of confronting the fear - and aging (Mr. Electrode is positively frightening).

All said, though, at the end of the day I am a girl and which I find Will and Jim's story interesting, I have trouble relating to their story, always a bystander, which is why for me this story only gets four stars instead of five. I always felt like I was watching the story through a window and while I enjoyed the artistic writing, philosophical trails, and dark fantasy, it didn't consume me as well as some other novels I enjoy. It's nice to know of a book that is so embedded in the psyche of a young man, and it is certainly one I will keep in my mind to read to my son, should I have one someday. But for myself, I just didn't find it as thrilling because I lacked a shared life experience. ( )
  Morteana | Jan 29, 2016 |
Magical tale of childhood. ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
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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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