Something Wicked This Way Comes
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Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town #2)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  47,470 ratings  ·  2,819 reviews
It's the week before Hallowe'en, and Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois. The siren song of the calliope entices all with promises of youth regained and dreams fulfilled... as two boys trembling on the brink of manhood set out to explore the mysteries of the dark carnival's smoke, mazes and mirrors, they will also discover the true pr...more
Paperback, 263 pages
Published August 7th 2008 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 1962)
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Paul
I read this when I was an insanely romantic teenager and since then the cruel world has beaten all that nonsense out of my brain with bars of iron and wires of barb, and left me bleeding and barfing in a vile ditch, so I should probably not have plucked my old Corgi paperback of Something Wicked out from my most cobwebbed shelf and thought to wander nostalgically recapturing the wonder and enrapturement I once perceived herein. In those faroff days I wanted to be the smile on the bullet, I wante...more
Jenn(ifer)
Nov 24, 2012 Jenn(ifer) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: autumn's children
Recommended to Jenn(ifer) by: my 12 year old self

”Have a drink?”
“I don’t need it,” said Halloway. “But someone inside me does.”
“Who?”
The boy I once was, thought Halloway, who runs like the leaves down the sidewalk autumn nights.


***

When Ray Bradbury was a boy of 12, he paid a visit to a carnival in his home town. It was there that he saw a performer, Mr. Electrico, sitting in an electric chair where he was charged with fifty thousand volts of pure electricity. Bradbury, seated in the front row, watched as the man’s hair stood on end; he held a...more
notgettingenough

Since goodreads now equals Amazon, my reviews will be found elsewhere.

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpres...
Jason
One thing I’ve noticed about a lot of young adult books and coming-of-age movies is a certain generational disconnect between the protagonist and his forebears. I guess in a lot of ways this is like noticing the absence of Indian food from a French cuisine cookbook, because why would anyone expect otherwise? If a story is to feature the youth perspective, then it should follow logically that his parents’ thoughts, ideas, and motivations factor into the story only peripherally. Right, Mikey? But...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Sep 04, 2012 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of the Night Circus, Bradbury fans, creepy nostalgia
The Ray Bradbury I remember reading decades ago was not this poetic. Something Wicked was a surprise, his evocative language doing so much to capture the mood of early fall and the seasons of life, both literally and metaphorically. Clearly, he loves words in their many forms. Equally clearly, he is gifted as using those words to create a finely layered tale about two thirteen-year-old boys when the carnival comes to town. These boys are on the brink of change; longing to be older, to do more an...more
Mike (the Paladin)
One of my favorite "semi-horror" reads. I suppose it could be called "horror" but it doesn't fit neatly into the mold. Like a lot of Bradbury's work the smell of late summer and early fall permeates this volume. The point of view is that of a boy on the brink of manhood as he gets to know more about certain concepts of "good and evil" than he ever really wanted to. I grew up on a farm within walking distance of a small (very small) town and this work hits home with me.

There are books that can b...more
Brooke
Jun 12, 2007 Brooke rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those reluctant to read classic American lit
Shelves: 2007, classics, own, horror
Leveling any complaints against Bradbury seems like a literary crime, but I'm afraid I didn't enjoy Something Wicked as much I feel like I should have. The plot was really interesting, and right up my alley - evil carnival comes to town and preys on the unsuspecting citizens. The execution, however, left me wanting more.

The first problem is that the prose is a bit outdated. It's like I ran into with The Haunting of Hill House, it just didn't age well over the last 40-50 years. It's not that it d...more
Lou
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The Dark carnival is coming to town and two boys and a dad are the towns only hope. If only out of fear you could stay home and don't go down to the fair ground tonight for the dark man awaits.

Two buddies, boys, they live next to each other and can see each others bedroom windows when needed. Friends born two minutes apart one 1min before midnight October 30th and the other 1min after midnight October 31st Halloween.
I loved the father son relationship in this story between Will and his father...more
Trudi

Sigh. I hate when this happens. I should have loved the shit out of this book. It's Bradbury, it's vintage horror, it's Stephen King recommended, it's a coming-of-age tale about young boys and a creepy carnival, and it's been on my reading list for years. This book and I should have hit it off like gangbusters. The chemistry should have been overwhelming and indisputable. But we got off to an awkward start. I kept putting it down and picking up other things. Finally, with the day off work, I too...more
Jason Pettus
Ray Bradbury has never sat comfortably in the world of literature, nor with me; considered a "genre writer" by some and meant as an insult, a "serious writer" by others and meant as a compliment, it seems that I am always going back and forth about his merits in my head too, especially the farther away we get from many of the books' original publication dates. That said, how can you not love Something Wicked This Way Comes, which the older it gets the more can actually be appreciated as a histor...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a dark fantasy tale of the upheaval that a strange carnival of souls causes when they arrive in a small, unnamed town. It delves into heavy themes of regret, longing for lost years, and the desire for maturity and escape from one's lot in the world. You see, the Carnival, ran by Coogar and Dark, feeds on all the wretched, negative emotions that the humans they prey on exude. They will find much sustenance in this Midwestern town.

Our main characters in this stor...more
Eric
Nov 20, 2013 Eric rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eric by: Megan Mandell
I had an incredibly hard time reading this book, especially considering it's a 300-page linear story about an evil circus coming to a small town. I think it's because -- unlike Fahrenheit 451 -- Bradbury overwrote this book to the point of it being dense poetry rather than prose. The dialogue is sparse and stilted, and the descriptions are never-ending, and hard to follow.

Reading the opening chapter, the language excited me. I falsely assumed it was just being used to set the mood and would tape...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Not a review, really - just some thoughts.

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.


Other than being a rather creepy story, this novel is also a lament for the passage of time and the ending of things. Consider Jim Nightshade, who at the age of thirteen, has decided not to ever have children:
‘You don't know until you've had three children and lost all but one.'
'Never going to have any,' said Jim.
'You just say that.'
'I know it. I know everything.'
She waited a moment. 'What do y
...more
Paul
Bradbury’s famous allegorical novel still packs a punch today. It is a follow up to Dandelion Wine and contains many of the same characters and is based on Bradbury’s own childhood. It tells the story of Jim and Will two boys who live next door to each other and who are almost 14. The Carnival comes to town; only this is no ordinary carnival and there is something sinister about it. It contains a wonderful collection of characters: Mr Dark, who co-runs the carnival who is tattooed all over, Mr C...more
Doug
...his skin stealing the paleness from his bones... old... older... oldest...

This book deserves a review. I read a couple reviews from some yahoo's on goodread. How can you say anything derogatory about bradbury? One critic asked why can't he just write "he walked down the street" without taking 3 paragraghs to say it? My response is: backhand, fronthand, backhand, fronthand. WHAT!!!??? why didn't Page just strum an A, then D, A and D instead of giving us a minute thirty of pure bliss at the beg...more
Becky
Oh Bradbury, why did I take so long to discover you? I could blame the fact that I missed that class in High School where they read Fahrenheit, or I could point to the some four hundred books on my To Be Read Doompile, but they all seem so shallow now. I instantly connected to your style, it was brilliant. I could feel the autumn and October winds drift past me, laden with smells and tastes that are specific to the chilly months in the Midwest. Every word was so beautiful, so evocative, it was a...more
J
Authors like Salman Rushdie, I’ve written, are unable to write authentically in the vein of good wholesome simple answer philosophy because they write about complicated moral issues, complicated worlds, complicated resolutions. They deal with a very real world with very real difficulties.

Ray Bradbury is a different kettle of fish entirely. For the most part, Bradbury writes of a simpler moral universe, one in which there is starkly defined good and evil and there are people swayed in one directi...more
Gary the SophistiCat

“Beware the autumn people. … For some, autumn comes early, stays late, through life … with no winter, spring or revivifying summer. For these beings, fall is the only normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No, the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks through their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between...more
Daniel
If only I had read "Something Wicked This Way Comes" when I was 12 or 13 years old, I probably would have loved it and been able to reread it nostalgically. Sadly, I came to Ray Bradbury's book for the first time two decades too late.

"Something Wicked"'s main failing, especially to a reader who prefers his writing on the lean side, is its overly purple prose. (A long monologue by one of the book's main characters about "winter people" and "summer people" is particularly hard to take.) The novel'...more
Regine
---EDIT---

I realized how completely incomprehensive my first review was, so this is a complete rewrite.

*Ahem*

I'm the kind of person that gets into the "spirit" of things. So for October, I decided to read three horror stories: Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (a classic), The Strain (a complete flop for me) and Something Wicked This Way Comes. This book wasn't easy to find. I had to scour around in at least 6 bookstores in the city to find this book. When I finally had it, tucked away in the bottom of my...more
Apatt
As I write it has been about a week since Ray Bradbury passed away, as you can expect for such an influential author numerous tributes were written by famous authors, celebs, columnists and of course fans. Instead of adding another drop to the ocean of tributes I would rather pay my own little tribute through rereading and updating this existing review.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of Bradbury's best known works. Like Fahrenheit 451 this is a fully fledged novel rather than a collection...more
Stephen
3.5 stars. I wanted to give this 4 stars but it just didn't quite make it. A good book and worth a read but not Bradbury's best.
Chance Maree


"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


I had a strong urge to read this novel. Perhaps it was the title, a quote from one of the witches in Macbeth where she says she can tell something evil is about to come because of the way her thumbs are itching. In the next two lines, she welcomes that evil--open the door, let it in (which reminds me of a Paul McCartney song....). Anyway, what a wonderful title! And who can resist a sinister carnival rolling into town? So, I was hook...more
Alex
Something Wicked This Way Comes

The Plot (4/5)

I loved the plot. Ray Bradbury draws on his personal experiences, and lucidly portrays fear of the unknown throughout the novel. I love the premise of the creepy night carnival and the night-time adventures. The tension and suspense is wonderfully crafted. I could share the boys' eager anticipation, and the father's growing sense of unrest. The pace of the novel was perfect with events steadily but creepily unfolding. I was hooked by the time I got t...more
Bennet
This is the best October story ever.

I re-read it almost every October, this 1963 paperback edition, which I've had since I first read the book in sixth grade, which would have been . . . 1969. It's a story I will never outgrow, and I love it as much now as I did then.

If anyone ever wants to spend the thousand-plus dollars it costs to acquire a hardcover first/first (first edition/first printing)and give it to me, feel free, it will be treasured.

But the words are the same in any edition, so do...more
Rose
I don't give Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" praise lightly. This was a book I first read many years ago in junior high, back when I used to take some of my lunch breaks and spend reading in the library. The librarian never bothered me, and I read as many books as I could fit into a lunch period (which was maybe one or two books depending on the length of each book). It took me two lunch periods to read this book because I wanted to savor every last word. Why? Because Bradbury's...more
Anton
This book is crap-tastic. The prose is ponderous, self-indulgent and nonsensical, at every opportunity taking turns of phrase so purple and baffling, that I can only understand them as symptomatic of a woefully adolescent conception of what "poetic" or "serious" prose would look like. (I'd insert an example but really I can't face opening the book again to look for one). Probably connected to that, Bradbury's child characters talk and think like world weary 80 year olds. I can't remember the las...more
Kevin
Something Wicked This Way Comes

Colorful seems to be too pale of a word to describe Ray Bradbury's prose, perhaps' slick, sweet, lyrical, and above all captivating, capture the true essence of the magic he weaves with the written word.

Describing this novel as a coming of age tale seems so cliche, I like to think of this story as a vision of life, a book of hope, dreams and the true fantastic. Ray Bradbury manages to awaken the child in all of us, this story was written as if Ray was reaching out...more
Mohammed
Jun 30, 2012 Mohammed rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you enjoy quality fantasy, weird
This is only my third Ray Bradbury book and the others have been The Illustrated Man and The October Country they were great collections of weird,fantasy,SF stories. I saw his greatness there with his clear and unspectacular prose style. This Novel shattered my view of his prose. There was so many impresive turn of words, dark poetic writing that i could with pleasure let the words sing inside my mind to enjoy them slowly.

The mundane part of the story about the boys and their friendship and what...more
Stefan
This was my first experience with Bradbury and I had to ask myself several times, "Why haven't I read any of his work before?" Bradbury has a wonderful style to his prose and his use of language really makes the reader pause and relish what has just been read before moving on for more.

Several other reviews and comments have labeled this book as a book for teens or slapped it with the dreaded "Young Adult" label. While I do find this novel to be very appropriate for a younger audience. I also th...more
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1630
American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois. He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938. Although his formal education ended there, he became a "student of life," selling newspapers on L.A. street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at the typewriter. He bec...more
More about Ray Bradbury...
Fahrenheit 451 The Martian Chronicles The Illustrated Man Dandelion Wine I Sing the Body Electric! & Other Stories

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“A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half an hour before, you spent just ten minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know is bad, or amoral, at least. You can’t act if you don’t know.” 221 likes
“Death doesn't exist. It never did, it never will. But we've drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we've got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing.” 171 likes
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