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Something Wicked This Way Comes

(Green Town #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  88,124 ratings  ·  6,058 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 . . .

And 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 di
Paperback, Fantasy Masterworks, 263 pages
Published October 8th 2015 by Gollancz (first published 1962)
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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)
Marion Ich denke nicht, dass du das nachträglich ändern kannst. Du kannst allerdings eine neue Version anlegen, alles eintragen, Cover hinzufügen und die…moreIch denke nicht, dass du das nachträglich ändern kannst. Du kannst allerdings eine neue Version anlegen, alles eintragen, Cover hinzufügen und die ISBN aber freilassen. Dann müsste es funktionieren. Eine bestehende Version mit vergebener ISBN kannst du nicht mehr verändern, glaube ich. (less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  88,124 ratings  ·  6,058 reviews

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Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 shadow of Twain’s hist
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  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 and be m ...more
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 ❤
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 for those who a
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 nov
Johann (jobis89)
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 12, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those reluctant to read classic American lit
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 tha
Sep 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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.”
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
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 this is a fully fledgedall.
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 goi
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
Ray Bradbury is one of my absolute favorite authors, and SOMETHING WICKED is a book I've read 3 times over the past 17 years. To me, no other author delivers so much energy and emotion with just a word or two than Bradbury. He was definitely one of our national treasures and this is his most magical book. Highly recommended.

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 took it in h
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  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 w
Susan Budd
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 why a
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Ray Bradbury, you've done it again, man. I read Fahrenheit 451 again recently and decided to give this one another read as well. Now I have to read Dandelion Wine again and then read The Martian Chronicles and then basically everything, short stories, whatever. I think you're in my current list of top five favorite authors ever, Ray. You've been there all along, I just haven't really said it out loud or typed it or... yeah.

Besides, it's not like it matters anyway. You've got much more prest
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 in Something Wic ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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 Charles Halloway. His fa
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” (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” (, this is the story of a mysterious carnival that rolls into peaceful Green Town, Illinois, just as the leaves start changing colours. Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are best friends, and in some ways, two sides of the same coin. One is impatient and reckless, the other more quiet and thoughtful. They are at that precarious age where you are neither a child nor a teenager just yet. They witness the carnival's arrival in town over night, and even though they immediately know that this is no ordinary circus, they are delighted. They will soon come to see that Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has some unsettling powers

Will’s father Charles is what one might call an older man: he married a woman who was much younger than him, had a child late in life and often feels as if there was an unnatural gap of time between himself and his son. The carnival that snuck into town overnight has a very different meaning for him than it has for the boys; Charles has read enough books to know that when something sounds too good to be true, the hidden price tag is often much steeper than anticipated.

As I have come to expect - and look forward to - with a Bradbury book, I was treated to a delicious dose of nostalgia for a time that might have never really been. But I do love this enchanted memory lane, even if it only ever existed in Bradbury’s wistful mind. And I simply can’t resist the appeal of a carnival: had I been born in a different time and place, I would have totally been that kid who runs off to join the circus (too bad you can’t make a living being a tattooed lady anymore!). And if I had read this book when I was younger, I just might have: Bradbury conjures the smells and noises of this strange carnival so vividly that you’ll look up from the book and wonder where the candied apple vendors have vanished to.

But mostly, he paints a vivid picture of the feelings one experiences not simply growing up, but growing old. While this book sometimes has a certain vibe of being written for younger readers, the character of Charles changes everything precisely because he is a man who, as he puts it himself, settled and started late in life. Fifty-four years old is not old by today's standards, but in the 1930s, it was - and Charles feels unable to connect with anyone, but especially Will, because of his age. However, being older and having experienced things the boys haven't is key to this story, and to defeating the darker impulses that seek to seduce them. He is the perfect illustration that age is greatly tempered by one's attitude towards it. When a maze of fucked up mirrors show you something you don't like, its tempting to hop on the enchanted carousel that will shave a few years off, but Charles that would be losing sight of the good things that come with getting on in years.

“Dandelion Wine” was about the end of childhood and the loss of a certain innocence; “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is about the discovery of the dark side of human nature, of the temptations that come with growing up and of the importance of keeping a part of your mind young. 4 and a half stars!
Aug 05, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rebecca McNutt
Ray Bradbury's work is always enchanting. He has a great talent often not seen in most famous sci-fi/fantasy writers, putting sentimentality into his stories, which ultimately makes them more endearing and beloved. Something Wicked This Way Comes has some very heavy themes, and in a way, reading it is a very sobering experience - for what at face value is just a whimsical and creepy little tale is also a reminder that life is fleeting, and that those who wallow in what they no longer have are helping ...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 everythi/>
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes!

And how wicked it was! Carnival is coming to town but friends Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade aren't fooled - this is no ordinary carnival and they won't let the strange autumn people coming with it take over their town! So they, along with Will's glorious librarian father, discover the autumn people's secret and do everything they can to stop them.

I started reading Bradbury because of his most famous story about the burning of books and then
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Something Wicked This Way Comes' is a glorious read, a smooth creation of poetic prose mixed together so wonderfully I was as delighted as if I had bitten into a honey-filled buttery scone. The story is also an adorable panegyric about a small-town childhood and male bonding which had me in tears at several points.

Oh, wow, why can't more fathers understand how familial sentiment is rewarding and beautiful, especially between a father and his son? Age is barely a barrier between a boy and his f
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.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hmm, I’m torn between giving this book 4 or 5 stars.
It is creepy, it is “darkly poetic (Stephen King’s words)”, it captures you (or is that the Dust Witch), it is beautifully written with wonderfully descriptive passages, it is above all, Ray Bradbury.

All of that said it is in my view not as good as “The Martian Chronicles”. Maybe for 2 reasons; firstly I read TMC when I was young and impressionable, and my love of the book has stayed with me; and secondly whilst this is just as well written i
Raeleen Lemay
Read for Popsugar's 2018 Reading Challenge: A book about or set on Halloween

I loved the beginning; two tweens (Will and Jim) are complete opposites, but they are similar in that their birthdays are 2 minutes apart around midnight on Halloween. The interactions between the boys were so cute and genuine, and I loved the nervous rambling that somehow managed to take up multiple images at a time.

However, as the book went on, the overly poetic writing sort of lost me. I found myself readi
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Two boys, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade, are neighbors, childhood friends and very different from each other, although the latter works as a way to strengthen their mutual bonds and amend their shortcomings.

Along with them comes Will's father, the wise philosopher who works as a caretaker in the city's library, where he spends most of his nights, returning back there to read and find answers to his eternal queries.

Obviously, something feels very wrong with this particular carnival, but the
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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
  • Farewell Summer
  • Summer Morning, Summer Night
“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.” 340 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.” 298 likes
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