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Something Wicked This Way Comes (1963)

by Ray Bradbury

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Green Town (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,954292586 (3.95)4 / 574
Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. HTML:

Few American novels written this century have endured in th heart and mind as has this one-Ray Bradbury's incomparable masterwork of the dark fantastic. A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes ?? and the stuff of nightmare.… (more)

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English (282)  Spanish (4)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  All languages (289)
Showing 1-5 of 282 (next | show all)
Over-written-underplotted-random-hyphenated sea grey, cloud flying, gold omniscient spider legged nothing at all. ( )
  CraigGoodwin | Sep 19, 2023 |
Nostalgia, baby. ( )
  cbwalsh | Sep 13, 2023 |
Unsettling from the first page to the last. ( )
  Brad4273 | Sep 13, 2023 |
Month of October 2022 - Spooky Classics

“Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town #2)” by Ray Bradbury (1962; 1990 - PDF Internet Archive FREE read) 228 pages.

Link to book:

https://archive.org/details/somethingwickedt0000brad

Setting: Green Town, Illinois

This is the second of three books in the Green Town series by Ray Bradbury…and a pretty darn good one. Ray Bradbury’s writing style is quite unique and sometimes very complex. I definitely have to find a nice quiet spot and fully focus to get into his stories. There were a few spots where I thought he rambled on a bit too long, and I couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. But, once he got back to the dialogue and action, the story immediately picked up again, and the pages kept turning. Bradbury did great setting up the scene and atmosphere and the feel of excitement with a circus in town. And, I have to say, it is most interesting to read the kind of evil different people can conjure up from their own minds.

Evil only has the power that we give it. (p. 204)

This line pretty much sums up the main point of the story.

A circus train, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show, rolls into town at 3 o’clock in the morning…the witching hour. Only three people seemed to have heard it arriving. Two 14-year-old friends, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade, and Will’s father, Charlie. They hear the calliope music playing. The boys sneak out to check it out and begin to see some odd and sinister things taking place. They learn this isn’t your everyday, normal circus. They are discovered snooping around and now see too much and are being hunted down by these evil circus characters.

This circus seemed to attract certain types of people in order to entrap them into a time-lapse on the merry-go-round, bringing them either forward in time, making them older, or back in time, making them younger. People were lured to this evil circus by their greatest fears and wants. Jim had more of a wild, curious and defiant personality and was drawn to the merry-go-round, more than Will. The merry-go-round was magical in giving you your greatest wish, but, with that wish comes also all your greatest fears: past, present and future. The boys learn that turning back time or moving forward in the future never turned out the way one thinks.

As the story moved along, they all seemed to learn more about themselves and the fears that were driving their lives. They eventually would have to come to terms with those fears or be drawn into the world of the dead and the traveling circus.

GREEN TOWN SERIES

Dandelion Wine (#1) - Read in 2020
Something Wicked This Way Comes (#2) - Read in 2022
Farewell Summer (#3) - TBR ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
3.5. I should have used Fahrenheit 451 as my gateway. ( )
  jarrettbrown | Jul 4, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 282 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ray Bradburyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Atwood, MargaretAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
康雄, 大久保Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eller, Jonathan R.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foy, GrayCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gioia, TedAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorey, EdwardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grahame-Smith, SethAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gulevych, YevhenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
King, StephenAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirk, RussellAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Litman, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Brien, TimCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennington, BruceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sibliy, BrainAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wölfl, NorbertÜbersetzersecondary 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.)
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Fantasy. Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. HTML:

Few American novels written this century have endured in th heart and mind as has this one-Ray Bradbury's incomparable masterwork of the dark fantastic. A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes ?? and the stuff of nightmare.

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Tantor Media

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