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Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town #2)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  54,466 ratings  ·  3,296 reviews
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 read ...more
Paperback, 293 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Avon (first published January 1st 1962)
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Amber Dandelion Wine is an excellent book! You can read it before, during, or after-- just read it!
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Paul Bryant
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
Nov 24, 2012 Jenn(ifer) rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.”
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
Sep 04, 2012 Carol. rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Jun 12, 2007 Brooke rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The Dark carnival is coming to town.
Two boys and a father are the towns only hope.
If only out of fear you stay home and not 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 window 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 Charle
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
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

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
Nov 20, 2013 Eric rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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
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
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

A Book Club choice for Halloween; I have read Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and enjoyed that well enough. And it's not like he's a bad author - I just simply don't care for this book at all. It wasn't all that scary (maybe a bit creepy). Some good points, but often, the plot just disappears while characters talk about Great Important Things. Also not sure if the Narrator's somewhat sleepy voice just didn't help keep my attention.

Definitely an "It's not you, it's me" type book; I would
Something Wicked This Way Comes: The thrills and terrors of early adulthood (Revised after BookChat at Fantasy Literature and hearing audiobook version):

I didn’t read Ray Bradbury until age 40, so in my critical early years I missed out on his poetic, image-rich, melancholic prose and themes in books like The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, Fahrenheit 451, and his short stories. Though I can’t go back in time to rectify this, I am glad I finally took time to explore his world.

I’m sure if I h
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
...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
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
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.
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

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


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
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
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
Gary  the Bookworm

“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
Jun 05, 2008 Daniel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
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'
Stephanie Swint
This book reeks of Halloween. If you feel the need to experience something scary, at any age, this will fill that need. Ray Bradbury is an author I adore but have not read in a while. 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' calls you to read it and I don't know how I escaped it's siren song for so many years. It came recommended to me this year and I saved it for last for two reasons. One reason is it has been declared the epitome of Halloween by many people consistently for years. No one has shaken i ...more
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
Mr. Matt
Something Wicked This Way Comes is the story of two boys (about 11 or so), presumably sometime in the 50s. A dark carnival comes to town promising to fulfill your dreams. But nothing is for free - not even dreams. The two boys are exposed to the dark underside of want and desire and fight to save themselves and their town.

I wanted to like this book much more than I did. In mulling over my reaction to the book, I thought about expectations. How evil are expectations? With no expectations (or low
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
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
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
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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 (Green Town, #1) The Halloween Tree

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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.” 242 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.” 201 likes
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