Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2)” as Want to Read:
Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Something Wicked This Way Comes

(Green Town #2)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  118,972 ratings  ·  9,046 reviews
One of Ray Bradbury’s best-known and most popular novels, Something Wicked This Way Comes, now featuring a new introduction and material about its longstanding influence on culture and genre.

For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow S
Mass Market Paperback, 293 pages
Published March 1st 1998 by Harper Voyager (first published September 17th 1962)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Something Wicked This Way Comes, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Karen Nah. Whilst the books are vaguely connected in setting, the tone, characters and pretty much everything else are different enough that you wouldn't be…moreNah. Whilst the books are vaguely connected in setting, the tone, characters and pretty much everything else are different enough that you wouldn't be missing anything.

That said, if you're up for an entirely less creepy read, Dandelion Wine is still worth reading. :D(less)
stellajames Dandelion Wine is not all white and bright, as Something Wicked This Way Comes is not all black and dark. Nothing is, in life, or in books. Something …moreDandelion Wine is not all white and bright, as Something Wicked This Way Comes is not all black and dark. Nothing is, in life, or in books. Something Wicked This Way Comes has much to do with life, laughter and love. Dandelion Wine has the ravine, the Lonely One... both are EXCELLENT reading, neither have anything to do with the other, really, just both set in little, long-ago midwest towns.
The stories and characters are NOT directly connected, and they are completely different books, not sequels or prequels. Doug is the main character in Dandelion Wine. The father, Will and Jim are the main characters in Something Wicked This Way Comes, along with some terrific villains and lost townspeople. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  118,972 ratings  ·  9,046 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2)
Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
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
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mark Twain famously died in 1910 and Ray Bradbury was born ten years later in 1920. And on that day, the shadow of Samuel Clemens touched a mark on the baby’s head, and nearby the shade of Charles Dickens looked on in approval.

Bradbury is the bridge to our past, our bright and strong and colorful past. Twain’s world was as bold as a young America, full of steamboats, and fishing holes and jumping frogs. Bradbury, no less an American, but a resident of the October Country, revealed the long shado
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
Jun 12, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007, classics, 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
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Beautiful Bradbury! Magical Ray!!

"I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go into it laughing." ~ Stubb in Moby Dick.

"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes..
Open, locks, whoever knocks!"
~ William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

Beautiful writing, with vivid description; Awesome story telling; Wonderful characters; Well structured book, with short chapters.

The story covers a wide range of settings - day and night, evil and good, young and old, greed and content
Johann (jobis89)
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“Beware the autumn people.”

A travelling carnival arrives in a small midwestern town one day in October, resulting in a nightmarish experience for two 13 year old boys.

Do you like coming of age tales? Do you like beautifully written prose? Do you like your stories to invoke stunning autumnal imagery whilst whisking you away to the carnival? Well then, step right up, because Something Wicked This Way Comes...

Ray Bradbury has been a new favourite for me this year. I read The Halloween Tree last yea
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.
MacBeth Act 4, Scene 1

This book is straight-forward good vs. evil – and is quite terrifying at points! It goes beyond fantasy and mysticism and straight to the terrifying possibilities from the darkest reaches. This would be a great story to read if you are looking for a campfire tale, a Halloween scare, or a late night, nightmare causing fright fest. Some may find the scariness lost within the poetry of Bradbury’s writing, but fo
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
The carnival has come to town.

I have to admit I love the movie more than the book because, well, I enjoy watching the creepiness! I think I need to dig the movie out now and watch it 😊

Jim and Will are two young boys that are drawn into the carnival and they try to help stop the evil.

Creepy good fun!!

Mel ❤️
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury is a 1998 Avon publication- originally published in 1962.

I can’t believe it is already October, but at the same time, I’m glad it’s here. October is one of my favorite months of the year! One reason for that is that I get to pull out a spooky or scary book and create fun blog posts for Halloween.

The downside is that there are so many books to choose from, and so little time to get them read. Usually, I only manage to get one horror novel read, out
Julie G ("Doctor, my eyes!"  Offline for a week)
Once, when I was 19, I stood outside a stage door for an hour, awaiting the arrival of Ray Bradbury.

Bradbury was 70 at the time, and he was scheduled to give a lecture at my school.

I was determined that we were going to talk.

If this sounds stalker-ish to you, let me comfort you. It wasn't stalker-ish. . . it was more. . . Hermione Granger-ish.

I had my best pen and a special notebook, questions written down, and I just couldn't believe it, I was going to meet Ray Bradbury!

After an hour or so of t

”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
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 are being 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 reviewing my favorite Bradbury books. This one is my favorite of them all.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of Bradbury's best-known works. Like Fahrenheit 451 th

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
Susan Budd
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The first time I read Something Wicked This Way Comes was in my teens and it didn’t have much of an effect on me. The second time I liked it more, but I still didn’t like it as much as I did this time. And I think I know why. This is an October book. An autumn book. Maybe I couldn’t fully appreciate it until autumn—my autumn, that is. The autumn of my life.

For I was in the spring of my life when I first read it, and a thirty-something on my second reading, but I am in middle age now, so I know
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
Aug 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book is infuriating. 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2), Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1962 dark fantasy novelو by American writer Ray Bradbury. It tells the story of two thirteen-year-old best friends, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, and their harrowing experience with a roving carnival that comes to their Midwest Territory home in Green City, Illinois, on October 23rd. The boys learn how to face fear, by dealing with the frightening characters of this carnival. The leader of t
Ok, so this review is ONLY for the The Colonial Radio Theater dramatized production that I listened to and not the audiobook or print version of Something Wicked This Way Comes.
This one was another COVID-19 free borrows from Hoopla, and since I'd enjoyed the radio dramatization of War of the Worlds I thought this would be a lot of fun and a good way to introduce myself to the story..
Well, yes and no.


Yes, because the voice actors were very good & I did end up wanting to give the real story a try.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddy-read, 2020, classics
I love Ray Bradbury's writing so much! This was a wonderful and spooky book to read this month.

"Beware the Autumn people!"

I ranged between 4 to 4.5 stars, but decided to go with 4.5 stars and here's why:

1. The writing was not only poetic and beautiful, but it would suck you into the creepy atmosphere of the carnival. I loved reading about all the carnies, rides and circus sideshows involved with Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show.

I would be reading this story and it would creep into my
Peter Topside
Jan 12, 2021 rated it liked it
I thought this was a very enjoyable story. It was entertaining and had me curious as to how things would progress. It took me quite awhile to adjust to Bradbury's writing style, which, especially in the early portions of the book, uses a tremendous amount of metaphors and imagery. I found myself losing sight of the story itself among all of those, at times, excessive details. I'm certain this was done to mirror how the main characters at that age view the world, but it just wasn't my style, and ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I remember watching the Disney movie back in grade school. It fostered my horror of carnivals and men in top hats, music played backward, and the eerie irreality of people changing ages as they would change hats. As an adult reading the text, I was understandably awed by the rich metaphor and playful language.

Re-reading it now makes me melancholy.

Gone are the years that would support friendly neighbors in small towns where everyone knows everyone else, when the death of a barber actually makes a
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dave Schaafsma
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, ya-horror
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes--MacBeth Act 4, Scene 1

When you are young, a carnival is all breathless effervescence and light. It’s fantasy, and music and endless dizzying motion. Cotton candy and screaming rides and three chances to win a stuffed bear! As you get older, though, in your teens, your parents warn you of the dangers of the carnival, the lures of the carnies, the dark shadows. The hall of mirrors, once a place of hilarious images, becomes a surreal co
Ashley Daviau
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, just WOW! This was just as spectacular the second time around as the first, if not more so. This was my first Bradbury and actually my first thought upon finishing this was the first time was that I needed to get my hands on every book Bradbury has ever written IMMEDIATELY. Which then led to a love affair with his work that I’m still mixed up in. This book is BEYOND stunning, it absolutely blew my socks off. It’s dark and terrifying and the whole carnival atmosphere is just on POINT and I a ...more
October spooky read #5!

Creepy and nostalgic, huh? Well, doesn’t that sound just perfect! I mean, I’ve loved every Ray Bradbury book I ever got my hands on, so I was quite confident that “Something Wicked This Way Comes” would be a lovely autumnal delight: I had been saving it for crisper days, for thick scarf weather, to be enjoyed with a piece of apple pie or a nice, smoky whiskey (or both!).

The natural sequel to “Dandelion Wine” (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), this is the story of
Hannah Greendale
Bradbury was a gifted writer - every word carefully chosen, every sentence beautifully crafted - but the plot of Something Wicked This Way Comes has as much finesse as a Goosebumps book. ...more
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Note, Jan. 12, 2021: I just edited this to insert an accidentally omitted letter in one word.

Published in 1962, this remains one of Bradbury's better-known works, and was adapted as a movie in 1983, starring Jason Robards (but although Bradbury himself wrote the screenplay, he wasn't happy with the special effects and felt that much of his vision had been destroyed by the filmmakers). Like Dandelion Wine, the novel is set (presumably in the 1920s) in Green Town, Illinois, the fictional locality
Dirk Grobbelaar
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No choice! I must award this novel 5 stars for its hallucinatory gothic images. I feel that Ray Bradbury is exactly like one of the characters in his haunting tale, Mr. Electrico, who sat on an electrified chair, wheeling an electrifying sword which caused his spectators to be electrified. Quite a unique novel in a genre all on its own if I may say so, as I am not really a horror reader. Such a pity I did not read it in my teens as I now wonder whether I would have been swamped in admiration or ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Fairy Tale
  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • Ghost Story
  • Rosemary's Baby (Rosemary's Baby, #1)
  • The Pandarus File
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • 'Salem's Lot
  • My Best Friend's Exorcism
  • The Exorcist
  • What Moves the Dead
  • The Hellbound Heart
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • Hell House
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Dark Harvest
  • The Last House on Needless Street
  • The Troop
  • I Am Legend
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Ray Douglas Bradbury, 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 ...more

Other books in the series

Green Town (4 books)
  • Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1)
  • Farewell Summer (Green Town, #3)
  • Summer Morning, Summer Night (Green Town, #4)

Articles featuring this book

  Author Alice Hoffman has written dozens of novels, including the Practical Magic series, The Dovekeepers, The Marriage of Opposites,...
151 likes · 34 comments
“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.” 354 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.” 344 likes
More quotes…