1.1's Reviews > Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
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's review
Jul 31, 2012

liked it
Read in July, 2012

If I had read this book 10 years ago it would've made a much deeper impression. But there's no way to turn younger and be really impressed, so it's better to be honest. This is a damn fine book. I'm fairly sure it managed to inspire a lot of people... I'm almost certain Stephen King read this as a kid or adult. The Stand seems mildly (at least) reminiscent of this novel.

So why is it good? It's got that small-town creepiness factor that is rarely captured. It plays out a little like Twin Peaks except not nowhere as cool. In essence it's like the second season, except if it was sharply written, dealt with younger protagonists, and had essentially zero women in it. This book is, hilariously, like an expert version of any of the Goosebumps or related juvenile horror series – in that this book is smarter, more profound, and ultimately more frightening. There's also a fair bit of action.

The whole *boy power*, 'friends forever', and youthful reminiscences from a forty-something year-old man were sort of hilarious, but Bradbury is a good enough writer that this doesn't ever get out of control. The characters, for the most part, play out exactly as they should and sound right. Jim and Will are kind of annoying, but they're obviously 'good kids'. Old Man Halloway ultimately has some great things to say, being as he is somewhat of Bradbury's author surrogate. The slang is plainly dated, but that didn't bother me so much.

Ultimately, the guy at the store who said this was real good, and Walden, but ignored Bertrand Russell, summarized exactly the sort of reader this book is perfect for: too savvy for pulp, slightly goofy, young, smart, but not quite at the point of reading the real big stuff.

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