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Book of the Month > Our October Book - Something Wicked This Way Comes

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message 1: by Linda (new)

Linda | 208 comments Mod
Post your thoughts about Something Wicked This Way Comes here!

"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 Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes…and the stuff of nightmares.

"Few novels have endured in the heart and memory as has Ray Bradbury’s unparalleled literary masterpiece Something Wicked This Way Comes. Scary and suspenseful, it is a timeless classic in the American canon."


message 2: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 33 comments Oh, can't wait! Haven't read this Bradbury yet. Good excuse to dive into this fave author's work!


message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda | 208 comments Mod
Such a great book - perfect for October. I read it many years ago and can't wait to read it again!


message 4: by PugMom (new)

PugMom (nicoleg76) | 203 comments I just saw that this book is in KU! Great!


message 5: by Linda (last edited Oct 16, 2020 12:31PM) (new)

Linda | 208 comments Mod
Hi Everyone,

Have any of you been reading (or re-reading) Something Wicked This Way Comes?

I had read it way back in high school - way too long ago! - and just finished re-reading it. I loved it just as much. It was cool to re-experience some of the unforgettable images, like the forward-and-backward turning carousel and the creepy sightless Dust Witch in her green balloon, looming in the night sky. And menacing Mr. Dark (although now I think his tattoos are more intriguing than scary).

It's interesting to read this from an adult perspective now. When I first read it I was older than Will and Jim, but as a teen, could relate better to the preteen boys than to the older Charles and Miss Foley. Like Jim, I couldn't wait to grow up - I anticipated things like graduating and going to college, and being on my own.

But now, I'm probably near the age of Miss Foley, and I'm actually older than Charles! And I felt bad for Charles thinking he was too old to run with the boys. I wanted to tell him, It's okay, you can do it - 54 isn't THAT old!! But I could relate to his longing to be younger again. And (without giving spoilers) I thought his character arc was very satisfying.

If any of you are re-reading, do any specific memories stand out? Do you feel differently about the book now than in the past?

There's so much more to discuss! Hope you'll join in and let us know what you think!


message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian Wickstead | 13 comments Ray Bradbury was always my favorite author growing up. Along with A Wrinkle in Time, Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles was one of the most influential books from my childhood. I would have been right around the same age as Will & Jim the last time I read Something Wicked..., so this was a great opportunity to finally get back to it.

I certainly didn't appreciate Bradbury's use of flowing, mesmerizing language back then - the story's action and dark imagery were enough to fall in love with. But rereading SWTWC left me somewhat in awe of so many passages.

I really enjoyed this second time around the carousel, probably more so than the first. As a 12-yr old reading this, it was all action and adventure and good vs evil. It's become so much more poignant now--the loss of time and a longing for unfulfillable wishes. Back then, I read just about everything I could find by Bradbury. I feel the need to do the same all over again to catch up on everything I missed in his writing.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else thought....


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda | 208 comments Mod
Ian wrote: "Ray Bradbury was always my favorite author growing up. Along with A Wrinkle in Time, Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles was one of the most influential books from my chi..."

I feel the same, Ian - I want to go back and re-read all of Bradbury's works that I've loved, as well as catch up on some of his short stories that I previously missed. And mesmerizing is the perfect way to describe Bradbury's language.

I think his style was simple and accessible enough for younger readers, yet readers of all ages can appreciate and admire his use of metaphors and lyrical structure. I also love how his stories are so visual and atmospheric - they really stir the imagination to see and feel everything his characters perceive.

As a writer, I really admire his seeming ease of storytelling, and am inspired by his use of magical realism in this tale that transcends the fantasy, horror, historical and coming-of-age genres.

In the prologue, he described October so distinctly and so universally: "... And if it's around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bed-sheets around corners."

And Chapter One ushers in a magical, menacing mood: "The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm. He came along the street of Green Town, Illinois, in the late cloudy October day, sneaking glances over his shoulder. Somewhere not so far back, vast lightnings stomped the earth. Somewhere, a storm like a great beast with terrible teeth could not be denied."

There are so many wonderful passages, I could keep on adding quote after quote!

How about any of you? What do you think of Bradbury's approach to writing? Are there any phrases, sentences or paragraphs in "Something Wicked..." that you especially like? Let us know - we'd love to hear from you!


message 8: by PugMom (new)

PugMom (nicoleg76) | 203 comments I didn't realise this was the second book in a series. Has anyone read the first book?
I should be finished sometime next week. Great book for this time of year!


message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda | 208 comments Mod
NicoleG wrote: "I didn't realise this was the second book in a series. Has anyone read the first book?
I should be finished sometime next week. Great book for this time of year!"


Nicole, Something Wicked This Way Comes is considered a companion book to Dandelion Wine, that Bradbury published in 1957. They are part of a 4-book series known as "Green Town," that takes place in the small town he based on his hometown of Waukegan, IL.

I read "Dandelion Wine" years ago (around the time I first read "Something Wicked...") and I remember that the commonalities between them are the setting, the theme of boyhood, and the magical realism style

But "Something Wicked" is much darker and has different characters. "Dandelion Wine" is centered on a 12-year-old boy, Douglas Spaulding (I remembered Douglas, but had to look up his last name!) and his experiences in the summer of 1928. I know that Bradbury wrote many of his own memories and recollections into it.

He published a direct sequel, Farewell Summer, in 2006 - it takes place when Douglas is 13. That was followed in 2008 by Summer Morning, Summer Night, that contained vignettes about Green Town that didn't make it into the other 2 books - it also seems to be a rarity. I haven't read either of these, but really want to!

Maybe we could read and discuss "Dandelion Wine" sometime next summer. It's as perfect a book for summer as "Something Wicked" is for autumn!


message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Wickstead | 13 comments Linda wrote: "Ian wrote: "Ray Bradbury was always my favorite author growing up. Along with A Wrinkle in Time, Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles was one of the most influential books..."


Here are a couple of paragraphs that stuck with me:

(From the opening of Chapter 28): "It was indeed a time between, one second their thoughts all brambled airedale, the next all silken slumbering cat. It was a time to go to bed, yet still they lingered reluctant as boys to give over and wander in wide circles to pillow and night thoughts. It was a time to say much but not at all. It was a time after first discoveries but not last ones. It was wanting to know everything and wanting to know nothing. It was the new sweetness of men starting to talk as they must talk. It was the possible bitterness of revelation."
A bit of a nod to Dickens' opening for A Tale of Two Cities?

...and this (Chapter 38): "The library, then, at seven-fifteen, seven-thirty, seven-forty-five of a Sunday night, cloistered with great drifts of silence and transfixed avalanche of books poised like the cuneiform stones of eternity on shelves, so high the unseen snows of time fell all year there."

Bradbury's writing always seemed like a Norman Rockwell painting packaged up and sent to us from the Twilight Zone.

I'm starting to reread The Martian Chronicles now, and it's also better than I remember.


message 11: by Linda (new)

Linda | 208 comments Mod
"Bradbury's writing always seemed like a Norman Rockwell painting packaged up and sent to us from the Twilight Zone."

Ian, this is a perfect way to describe Bradbury!

I also love the poetic passages that are some of your favorites.

Does anyone have favorite lines from Something Wicked This Way Comes to share?

Hope you all had a good Halloween!


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