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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer baxter
Out of all of Ray Bradbury's prodigious gifts, perhaps none is greater than his ability to capture the true essence of childhood in a timeless manner. While his most prolific period is now four decades past, Bradbury's descriptions of the hopes and fears of childhood still strike a powerful chord; in particular, he is able to capture the fears of childhood from an adult's perspective, without in any way minimizing them.
In "Something Wicked This Way Comes" the reader is treated the pinnacle of Bradbury's writings on childhood. In it, he explores the most fundamental desire, and conversely, the most fundamental fear of childhood: growing older. Who among us wouldn't have leapt at the opportunity to be "grown up" at the snap of our fingers, but what about the consequences? Here, Bradbury uses the metaphor of a carnival that preys upon the fears of growing older, quite literally, in order to sustain itself.
The two main characters, Will in Jim, are fourteen, and in that awkward time that is not quite adulthood but not quite childhood either. They are torn between the desire to plunge into adult life, even as they cling to the safety of childhood. In this regard they are no different from any other child, the difference is that the carnival, and it's mysterious merry-go-round make it possible for them to do something about this situation. Juxtaposing their dilemma is Will's father, who married and had Will relatively late and life, and feels his age all the more as a result of his young son.
"Something Wicked This Way Comes" is a clever, spooky story, perfect for Halloween time. Bradbury is a master of descriptive writing, and no one sets a mood better than he does. More than that, tough, this is a novel about coming of age, about the value of youth, but also about appreciating where you are and what you have achieved. It is heartfelt and sincere in an age where far too many novels use cynicism as a mask for a lack of ideas. For that reason alone, this is a novel that is well worth reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Something Wicked This Way Comes is chilling, intense tale of two teenaged friends, Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway, and a mysterious carnival. They are the only two people in the town, initially, that can see that something is not right with Mr. Dark and the sideshow freaks.

Bradbury gives such life to his main characters, Jim and Will and Will's Dad. It is with horror and total understanding that the reader watches as Jim is nearly seduced by the carnival's promises. As an older reader, it was easy to feel the sadness and sense of loss being experienced by Mr. Halloway. Will, so likable, so naive, is the least believable only because he is so true in his goodness; and yet, I truly couldn't find fault with Will's character as such because his emotions were portrayed so well. Emotions were captured with wonderful clarity in this book, and are it's strongest feature.

The language used by Bradbury in this book borders on poetry. I was continually struck by the beauty of a phrase, by an unusually accurate description or by a passage that simply begged to be read aloud. I was amazed at how beautifully he used the words, and how the words themselves added to the surreal feel of the story.

As a story, this was a tense, spine chilling fairy tale, or urban fantasy (if I can use that term to describe a country story). I found I needed breaks after a few chapters, so suspenseful was the experience for me. It's not necessarily horrifying or frightening, but the level of anxiety that the characters were undergoing expressed itself to me as reader. The evil was sometimes over the top evil, again in a fairy tale way, and the actions and reactions didn't necessarily make sense, but one doesn't look for normal everyday reactions in such a surreal dark fantasy. The message of good triumphing over evil, while not particularly heavy handed, is rather painfully obvious, which was off-putting at times.

I wasn't fully satisfied with the ending, with the particular way that good triumphed evil. It just didn't fit the build up and felt a bit forced, as if Mr. Bradbury didn't have the ended planned out and had to come up with one in a hurry. While still surreal, and still requiring serious decisions by the characters, it fell too neatly into place and at the same time left several unresolved issues.

Despite any complaints I have, it is certainly a good read, and I can see it's influence on many other authors I read, but it's not as strong of a book as is, say Fahrenheit 451
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
georgia hunter
Two 13-year old boys are the centre of this book, but this is not really a children's book. In fact, I suspect that the modern 13-year-old would find the philosophising tedious and the action trite. However, to the older reader (say, high school and up), there is much to recommend the book. The plot: a carnival arrives in town, unusually late in the season, and a few townspeople disappear. The two boys investigate and learn that the people who were thought to have disappeared still exist, but in altered form: one has become a wizened dwarf while another has become a little girl. They discover a carousel that can turn the clock - make you older or younger. The carnival operators become alarmed by the boys and try to buy them off (by making them "grownups") or kidnap them.
Of course, the plot isn't as important as the atmosphere, which is truly creepy. Carnivals and freak side-shows are creepy at the best of times, but Bradbury manages to instill dread and darkness into every scene. The boys eventually enlist one of their fathers, who works at the local library, and who supplies the philosophy in the book. Naturally it focusses on death and aging, which the carnival's carousel can reverse.
The supernatural elements are a nice touch, and unique (I don't think they've been copied). Especially well-designed is the blind "witch" that can smell souls - she is essentially the bloodhound that tracks the boys for the carnival's master.
The only drawbacks are that the philosophy is a little simplistic (mostly because the father is simplistic) and the notion of a carnival is outdated. It sounds quaint to modern ears that 13-year-old boys would be this excited about a carnival and its acts. However, I enjoyed the book, and recommend it to others.
The October Country: Stories :: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (2006-09-26) :: The Illustrated Man :: The Halloween Tree :: Blade & Rose (Blade and Rose Book 1)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
creatrix tiara
I love Ray Bradbury. I have since I was young and never missed an episode of The Ray Bradbury Theatre on TV. When you think of the great authors of the past century, he's definitely on the list...somewhere near the top.

The story is written very flamboyantly with a dream-like quality to it. It's the story of two young boys and an evil circus that's come to town. There is a point to the story - a message it leaves you with. Be happy. Enjoy who you are and what you have. Don't fret over years that have passed, things done wrong or not at all. I would recommend this book to everyone. It's not the easiest read but it is worth it!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, is a very exciting book that uses a lot of symbolism. It is about evil that comes to a little town in Illinois. It may be difficult to read for some people, but once you understand the symbols and the plot, the book is excellent. In this book, evil comes in many different ways shapes and forms. If you are not satisfied with your life, evil will temp you with your most deepest desires, but if you are not strong willed, you will be taken over by evil and lose something very important to you. I would encourage anyone to read this book if you are looking for a good book to read. Evil comes in town in the form of a carnival and everyone associated to the carnival is evil. All the "freaks" in the carnival are people that weren't satisfied with their lives and gave in to the evil temptation. The prince of evil, whose name is Mr. Dark, controls all the freaks and everyone else in the carnival. The main characters in the book are Jim Nightshade, Will Halloway, and Charles Halloway. These characters are the main people that evil is after throughout the book. Charles Halloway is Will's father and Jim Nightshade is Will's best friend. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate this book as an eight. I would strongly encourage anyone who likes to read to pick up this book sometime.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
galeel hosen
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Plot: 2/5. Overall I was very underwhelmed. This story was not scary at all, really, and did a poor job of building suspense for the characters. The actual plot points of the story were lost in the poetics of the telling. It may be arrogant of me to tell Ray Bradbury anything, but more of a balance between style and story would have been very beneficial to this book.

Characters: 2.5/5. Charles was the most striking character on the good guy’s team, likeable despite his wordiness. Mr. Dark (the Illustrated Man) was definitely the most memorable character, but I had no idea what his motivations were throughout the story, which immediately turns me off from an antagonist. Will was very sensible for a thirteen year old, which was refreshing, but also came across a little bit whiny as he sniveled and cried in Jim’s shadow throughout the story. Jim was flat and featureless; with a name like Jim Nightshade you’d think he’d have a little bit of a personality. No female characters had any personalities or did anything but get rescued or sacrificed in this story, which is disappointing to say the least, but not unusual of Bradbury. Generally unfleshed characters that made it hard to care about them.

Style: 4/5. Ray Bradbury is a poet at heart, and that shows through in the writing of this book. The words leap like lightning off the page, crackling with dark beauty, but often overshadow the other elements of the novel.

Originality: 3.5/5. I can’t imagine this was the very first ‘evil carnival’ story, but it feels like the idea was fresh at the time, unnerving and unsettling in a way that has been lost to cliche in newer iterations of the trope. American Horror Story draws its fourth season basically directly from these pages.

Overall: 3/5. Beautifully written prose isn’t worth much when the technical aspects of prose are so completely overpowered by the way it is written.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
_I've always considered this book to be the dark companion to Bradbury's _Dandelion Wine_. Will Halloway is Douglas Spaulding is...young Ray Bradbury. However, where _Dandelion Wine_ dwells primarily on the innocent and uncorrupted side of small-town America in its golden age, this volume dwells with its shadow side. You see, Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show doesn't bring darkness to town, so much as it cultivates what's already there. Like all portrayers of vice, if there weren't already a potentially willing market, they would have no success.

_Yet, every generation the black train steams into town- always on the cusp of the seasons- always in a long October, half way between midsummer and Christmas. Every generation they tempt and entrap. Every generation must either resist or succumb to their dark tricks. These October people are still out there, still making their infernal rounds....

_This book bears rereading. First of all, like much of Bradbury's earlier work it is as much poem as prose. I know that I myself didn't really appreciate poetry, the right brain side of seeing things, until I found his work. Also, as one grows older, one identifies less with Will, and Will's potential shadow, Jim, and more with the other characters. For me, Will's father, an old man who has wandered the world and has suffered a thousand petty defeats- and a much lesser number of minor victories- becomes more and more familiar.

_This book will give you nightmares. It will do so not because of graphic violence, but because of the way it subtly undermines the spirit and spreads doubts through the chinks of the soul. Still, without Dark to contend with, how would Light define, and strengthen, itself?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nam wan
I had only read Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 and I wasn't sold on the genius of Ray Bradbury. It is hailed as a literary classic and there is merit to this, but quite a few literary classics don't really hold up as a pleasurable read...but then folks have different tastes and perspectives. Then I came across Something Wicked This Way Comes, and honestly it was half title and have Bradbury that made me pick it up. I love the title of the book, and the back of the mass market paperback has to be one of the single best book descriptions to hook a reader. The book jacket read like a carnival barker trying to convince you of the wonders you will find inside the tent, or within these pages. A carnival is exactly what has come to Green Town, Illinois. Two eleven year old boys, Will and Jim, were born minutes apart. Will was born a minute before midnight on October 30, Jim a minute after, October 31. Light and Dark. They are best friends and in the middle of the night, two weeks before Halloween, they hear a train whistle blow and music in the air. They sneak out of their homes and discover a carnival being set up, except there is something dark and dangerous about this carnival coming in at three in the morning. By daylight things look better, friendlier, but there is a darkness and a creepiness hiding behind every tree and every carnival ride. Something is wrong. How wrong? I couldn't say without spoiling the surprise, but while there is the sense of the innocent to this book there is something truly wicked on the horizon.

Had I read Something Wicked This Way Comes when I was around the age of the boys, or even a few years older, I would have absolutely loved this book. It has that creepy vibe that works better when you are young and reading a scary story alone in a mostly dark room. I have no doubt about this. When I have children and if they want to read a creepy book when they are a little older, I'll recommend this one. It is not at all filled with gore or excessive violence, but the imagery and what is occuring is the stuff of bad dreams. Ray Bradbury is very effective in telling this story, building tension, and capturing the tone and perhaps essence of young boys. This novel seems geared more to a younger (early teens, maybe pre-teen), but it is written with skill and craft, it isn't a low budget campy movie, it's a quality prestige piece that is accessible to a range of audiences.

Still, I had difficulty being truly engaged all the way through. It's a great campfire story, but reading it in the daylight and fifteen years later than I should have, Something Wicked This Way Comes just didn't completely click with me. I can admire Bradbury's craft and imagination here, but I didn't love it like I would have fifteen years ago. It's a very well written book for a younger reader, though readers of all ages can certainly still enjoy. I certainly did.

-Joe Sherry
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a great read with so many metaphors, themes and symbolism that it will take several readings to really grasp them all.

The story is about two boys Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway that are friends. They were born, on Halloween night, one minute before(Will) and one minute after(Jim). the kind of boy that is caring and thinks problems through. impulsive and acts before thinking. They seem in many ways to be completely opposite of each other. Will's Father feels old and that he isn't a very good capable father. He starts questioning his own abilities and about his existence.

One Autumn day a Carnival comes to town...Jim and Will sense its' coming on the wind. The Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show arrives with its' siren song of youth, beauty and dreams regained. This siren song is played for each one of the people in Green Town, Illinois. The boys soon learn that the carnival destroys every life it touches. Soon they are on the run left up to Mr. Halloway to come to the rescue.

I don't want to give away too much of the book but the idea of temptation's siren song played to everyone presents an interesting theme. Even when the carnival is it really gone...or is it just gone from Jim, Will and Mr. Halloway? Have they learned how to deal with its' song? Will it return again in another Autumn? Is it in reality always with us? There are always fears, regrets, desires and dreads in life and the way we deal with these and the conseqences that follow are indeed very frightening to think about.

This is the kind of book that deserve to be read and seriously thought about.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
deborah harrison
Ray Bradbury was the favorite author of my youth. I discovered The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 when I was eight or ten and started working my way through everything the library had by Bradbury. This book struck me especially vividly. Perhaps I was just the right age though I never lived in a small town or went to a carnival. The story is so vividly told and so jam packed with wonder and poetry and joy and horror and amazement. Rereading it now some thirty years later, it still thrills and delights. Lasting through time is surely a sign of greatness.

The story is about two boys, Will Holloway and Jim Nightshade, who are best friends in a small Illinois town. One day in late October a lightning rod salesman comes, warns them of a coming storm and gives them a rod to protect Jim's house. That night a mysterious train brings Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show to town. It seems like a benign carnival come far too late in the season, with Halloween approaching. Evil things are afoot as the boys discover the more sinister side of the side shows.

The book is more than an adventure story. It's more than a coming of age story. It's more than a fantastical horror novel. It deals with old age--Will's dad is also a major character who comes to blows with his advanced years (or so he thinks of the 54 he's had) in the same way the boys confront their looming manhood and soon-to-be-lost freedom of boyhood. The story looks at temptation in many forms and the importance of joy in overcoming evil. It is a rich and full novel that definitely rewards multiple readings. I can't wait to share it with my son when he is old enough.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rabab elshazly
One morning in October, at 3:00 am, the Cooger and Dark carnival silently came to town. Will and Jim went to watch it set up. The train was old and black, and the tents went up in complete silence like magic. It scared Will and Jim so they ran home. The next day they went to go check it out but it seemed like a normal carnival. So they decided to ride all the rides. As night fell they came across and "out of order" carousel where they met Mr. Cooger and Mr. Dark. Mr. Dark seemed interested in Jim But he and Will left. They hid in the bushes and saw Mr. Cooger get on the carousel backwards and get younger. Later that night Jim went to go see if he could get on the carousel to get older. Will tried to stop him and they ended up putting Mr. Cooger on forward to many times and he died. Later, the dust witch from the carnival, under Mr. Dark's control, put a mark on Jim's house so they could find him later. Will and Jim washed it off and Will tried to kill the dust witch but it didn't work. The next day the carnival had a parade through town to secretly look for Jim and Will who were hiding under the street. Will's dad, Mr. Halloway, saw them and agreed to meet them later in the library to figure out how to beat the carnival. They figured out that the carnival came every thirty to forty years so no one would remember it. Then Mr. Dark came looking for Jim and Will. He crushed Mr. Halloway's hand and then had the dust witch put a spell on Will and Jim. Then they went back to the carnival. Mr. Halloway showed up to volunteer for the bullet trick. Using the crowd, he was able to break the spell on Will and kill the dust witch. After the crowd and all of the carnival freaks left, Will and his dad went to go find Jim. Jim was still under the spell and was being pulled toward the carousel. He got on it and it started going forward. Will ran over and, with some difficulty, pulled Jim of the carousel and they fell to the ground. But6 when Will got up Jim didn't move. Will started to cry because he thought Jim was dead. Then a little boy came to talk to Mr. Halloway, but he turned out to be Mr. Dark. Mr. Halloway killed him and then went over to Will and Jim. By just singing, dancing, and laughing, they were able to break the spell on Jim and he was okay again. They all agreed that they would be able to handle whatever evil that was up ahead. Although parts of this book are boring, overall it was very interesting.

Parts of this book were very boring and confusing. For example, whenever they talk about life. They talk about it to much and it can get boring to read. You could skip over those parts and the story wouldn't change at all. Also, when Will is talking to his dad about being a good person. They were talking about if being a good person meant that you were happy. I didn't find that part interesting. They could have just skipped to the part where Will warns his dad to stay away from the carnival. This book uses a lot of metaphors and strange descriptions that make it hard to understand. For example, when Will and Jim were watching the carnival set up. You kind of have to reread parts of it to figure out what they were seeing and what you were being told.

Parts of this book were funny and interesting. For example, it was funny how Will and his dad saved Jim. They were jumping around being goofy and even though Jim was pretty much dead, it made him okay again. And when he woke up, he didn't even question what they were doing, he just joined in. It was interesting when Mr. Dark was looking for Jim and Will in the library. He made it sound like he could hear their hearts beating. You want to keep reading to find out if it will lead him to them. Also, it was interesting when Will was trying to kill the dust witch. At the last possible second his weapon broke. He had to throw the arrow himself. Maybe she would have died if it didn't brake.

Some parts of this book creepy, but still kind of cool. For example, when Will and Jim see the carnival set up. It was completely silent and they said it was like a spider with all the ropes everywhere. And the big tent seemed to pop up out of no where. It scared them so much that they ran home. Another creepy part was when Mr. Dark crushed Mr. Halloway's hand. You have to have a lod to strength to crush someone's bones. It made Mr. Halloway collapse in pain. Another creepy thing was the tattoos that Mr. Dark had of Jim and Will. If he pinched the tattoos then they actually felt pain. His hands were bleeding s Jim and Will's foreheads started to bleed. That is just weird.

I would recommend this book to people who under stand metaphors and don't mind some boring parts. I would recommend it to people ages twelve and up. Little kids might find it a little boring and confusing.

C. Chapman
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sonali lakhotia
Perhaps I am a bit biased, but I just can't say anything bad about Ray Bradbury. I have read the reviews of "Something Wicked This Way Comes" both positive and negative. I agree with both sides to an extent. "Something Wicked this Way Comes" IS a dated novel. And while dialogue at times seems straight from "Leave It To Beaver" (Gee whiz!) and the ending can be deemed corny, I feel that this book and Ray Bradbury have stood and will continue to stand the test of time.

Bradbury's style of writing may not be appreciated by everyone, but to say that his work is a waste of time seems way to extreme to me. I love Bradbury's works FOR the metaphors, FOR his long descriptions. Bradbury does not allow his readers to be innocent bystanders, instead he places them right there standing next to Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway, witnessing firsthand the evil that is Dark and Cooger's traveling carnival. It is a perfect combination of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. For this, Ray Bradbury is definitely one of a kind.

As for the ending, I was happy to read a novel with such a simple message at the end. There was no big complex (often ridiculously impossible) solution to ridding the town of evil, rather a pure, simple fix. For me, "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is a welcomed stray from modern horror fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Bradbury uses fantasy to drive home moral truths, and no where else is that more apparent than in this classic short novel.
The Cooger and Dark Pandemonium show invades a small town in fall, but only two young boys, Jim and Will, understand its true intent, to prey on local citizens by giving them their hearts' desires and then stealing their souls. But the boys, especially Jim, are as susceptible to the sinister charms of the carnival as anyone else.
This is a word-drunk book, crammed with imagery, as dizzyng and delightful as a Ferris Wheel. But it's a cautionary tale too. Bradbury seems to be telling readers that man must accept the nature of things, for if he fools with nature he risks losing his own soul forever.
I have taught this book to college students on two different occasions. They love it for its fantasy and horror and sense of wonder. But this is a book for all ages.
(For an excellent analysis of the book, see Stephen King's DANSE MACABRE or Russell Kirk's ENEMIES OF THE PERMANENT THINGS.)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Something wicked, this way comes". You have to respect an author that is willing to take the title of his book from the master Shakespeare. Furthermore, Bradbury manages to incorporate myriad ideas for young and old into one true feast for the senses. No matter how many times I read this, I am always struck by the poetic manner in which the story is told.

This is the story of Will Holloway and Jim Nightshade, and how they outwit the evil carnival and its twisted custodians. Seems like a great idea for a kid's book, yeah? And it is. However, add in thorough discussions on the nature of growing old and the character of good versus evil and what it means to be one or the other, and you have a dissertation worthy of any graduate student. All this is told in Bradbury's characteristic bouncy, playful syntax and is always a consummate pleasure to read.

This is required reading for the imaginative child or the adult looking to reconnect with their youth and the wonder therein.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
minh cuong nguyen
The master of minimalism Ernest Hemingway once said that he would cut the first 50 pages of his books down to 5. Evidently, Bradbury believed in a similar approach. For chapter after chapter he throws one-sentence paragraphs at the reader. That forced my mind to search for missing sentences, which only triggered imagination. His style reached an apex at chapter 31, which read: "Nothing much else happened, all the rest of that night."
From that point on descriptions and details get longer and the overall creepiness of a carnival from hell come to town antagonizes and disturbs any who continue to read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
No one has ever written better about the enchantment of childhood than did Ray Bradbury in Dandelion Wine. Its a book that's all about the bright possibilities of youth, when the whole world seems magical. With Something Wicked This Way Comes, he looks at the flip side, how as we get older we discover that evil exists in the world too, and not just that it exists but that it is alluring, to us and all those around us.
It's 1929, in Green Town, Illinois, and Jim Nightshade and William Halloway are thirteen, right on the traditional cusp of manhood. They are still boys when the dark carnival, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show, comes to town, but by the time it leaves they'll have grown up, for Mr. Dark, ringleader of the carnival, offers people their deepest darkest desires in exchange for their souls. Many of the townfolk, including Will's own father will be seduced by the offer of a return to youth, while Jim will find the offer of growing up fast irresistible. But Will can see what's going on and first saves his father and then the two of them fight to save Jim and the town. This book is thrilling, scary, and, most important, wise in the ways of man. Bradbury well understands that evil is such a powerful force not because it is so awful, but because it is so attractive. The people of Green Town aren't necessarily bad people, but in their willingness to exchange their very souls for an easy chance to be something that they are not, they head down the path of evil. What Mr. Dark is offering is unnatural in the strictest sense of the word, it violates the laws of nature, and Will's struggle against him is truly heroic, maybe even Biblical. You'll not often hear him listed among the great American authors, but with this book, Dandelion Wine, and Fahrenheit 451 to his credit, Ray Bradbury may deserve at least a mention.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Bradbury has always been a better short story writer than a novelist but occassionally he comes along with something that makes you wonder why he doesn't write more novels. However most of his best novels read like longer short stories and this one is no exception. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, because this one is so good you don't notice how short it is and really don't even care. His classic seems engrained on our collective conscious and most people probably think the phrase "Something wicked this way comes" comes from the title of this book and not from the Shakespeare play (Macbeth?). The one thing I notice that's different about his writing is that it's far more lyrical than normal, he seems to have a better command of the English language and every sentence and paragraphp seems dense with imagery and metaphors. The story itself ain't too bad either, the tale of a carnival that has come to take the souls of the unsuspecting town, and only two boys and a father who doubts himself can stop them. Mr Dark is one of the best villians ever to grace a novel and he exudes menace and pure evil all at the same time. The entire novel feels like a child's dream turned into nightmare and Bradbury's trademark nostalgia is still there, though less prominent than usual. Everything is beautifully constructed and you'll want to savor the writing over and over. Everyone who thought he had left horror should read this, even though it's not in the same vein as say The October Country it's close enough and just as enjoyable.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
steve kline
I've always considered this book to be the dark companion to Bradbury's _Dandelion Wine_. Will Halloway is Douglas Spaulding is...young Ray Bradbury. However, where _Dandelion Wine_ dwells primarily on the innocent and uncorrupted side of small-town America in its golden age, this volume dwells with its shadow side. You see, Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show doesn't bring darkness to town, so much as it cultivates what's already there. Like all portrayers of vice, if there weren't already a potentially willing market, they would have no success.
Yet, every generation the black train steams into town- always on the cusp of the seasons- always in a long October, half way between midsummer and Christmas. Every generation they tempt and entrap. Every generation must either resist or succumb to their dark tricks. These October people are still out there, still making their infernal rounds....
This book bears rereading. First of all, like much of Bradbury's earlier work it is as much poem as prose. I know that I myself didn't really appreciate poetry, the right brain side of seeing things, until I found his work. Also, as one grows older, one identifies less with Will, and Will's potential shadow, Jim, and more with the other characters. For me, Will's father, an old man who has wandered the world and has suffered a thousand petty defeats- and a much lesser number of minor victories- becomes more and more familiar.
This book will give you nightmares. It will do so not because of graphic violence, but because of the way it subtly undermines the spirit and spreads doubts through the chinks of the soul. Still, without Dark to contend with, how would Light define, and strengthen, itself?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christian dabnor
First of all, Something Wicked is not for those seeking a cheap thrill, a sudden "Boo!" that sends you three feet in the air one minute and makes you wonder why it ever scared you the next. No, this deeply poetic tale is not for literary "junkies." If you actually take the time to digest this marvel, you'll end up distinctly disquieted; truly, you'll see things in a depth you never did before, from the longings and regrets we all face, to the simple joys anyone can find right at the end of their nose. Oh, who am I kidding? There's no way to sum up this book. I have read it at least five times, and I still find myself unlocking undiscovered secrets I passed over the time before. As I age, my views about life are constantly changing. But always, this book hits me at the core. This tale will follow you for the rest of your life; I would advise all sincere Bradbury fans to keep a copy in the glove compartment. The man has been blessed with a gift of language that will not be surpassed in the forseeable future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ashley mckay
Best friends Will Holloway and Jim Nightshade were born 2 minutes apart, Will one minute before midnight on Oct 30 and Jim one minute after midnight on Oct 31, and their different personalities reflect that well. And each is tested in different ways when Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show comes to Green Town, IL shortly before their 14th birthday. Characters from the carnival compliment the overall creepy atmostphere, from the Dust Witch to the Illustrated Man, Mr. Dark himself.

Bradbury's unique writing style perfectly sets the tone for this spooky tale of boyhood and wishes. While reading it, I was reminded of other characters from newer books, especially Mr. Leland Gaunt, the proprietor of Needful Things, from Stephen King's book. And while some passages near the end of the book are a bit long-winded, it didn't detract much from a great spooky story, and one with a lot of insight into what it's like to be 13.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
susan messer
Something Wicked This Way Comes(1962).
Ray Bradbury, author of such renound classics as The Martian Chronicles and Farenheit 451, took a stab at the horror genre in 1962. Much like Mary Shelley(Frankenstein) and Bram Stoker(Dracula), Ray Bradbury helped in the shaping of the Horror genre, now ruled by such authors as Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Combining Horror and Classical Literature, with a plot of Greed and Deception, Bradbury created what today would be known as a Horror Classic, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and also one of the most recognizeable novels in his catalog. Bradbury was the first Horror author to use children, the most unlikely heroes, that Stephen King later used in his commercial smash IT and his short story "The Body", and lods have been used by numerous other authors and directors of popular culture. Based on a famous quote of Shakespeare, Something Wicked This Way spawned a popular movie of its own, and Modern Day Metal Artist Iced Earth even used it for the title of their popular album. In the next paragraphs, you will read just what made Something Wicked This Way Comes such a timeless classic, and one of the very few classics I can stand!
During the time before Halloween, in the cold Autumn of October, a Train seemingly spawned out of hell comes into town, a dark omen of the days ahead. As a calliope crackles mysterious doomy tunes, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show, a carnival of sorts, unloads their dark materials, tents, animals, and sideshow freaks of equal gruesomeness. Jim Nightshade and Will Holloway, two young curious 12 Year old boys, seemingly are the only ones to hear the hellish calliope(FYI, an organ) music at Three in the Morning, so they set out to see where all the noise is coming from. Soon they find out, and flee back to their homes to await the coming storm. The next day, The Carnival is out in full force, and most of the entire town is there, to view such rides and shows as A Mirror Maze, a Ferris Wheel, seeing Skeleton Men, Dwarfs, Fortune Tellers, Mr. Electro, and Mr. Dark, the Amazing Illustrated Man. Their is also a Merry-Go-Round, but it is strangely Out of Order. After the crowd leaves and the carnival shuts down, the crowds subsided totally and all is quiet, Jim and Will stay behind, hiding, waiting to learn the mystery of the carnival. Soon they are thrusted into a world where their wildest dreams are imaginable, and their worst nightmares are staring them right in the face, and they are the only ones who can subside the Growing Storm...
Since this is my first Ray Bradbury novel I've read(And probably not the last), I won't compare Something Wicked This Way Comes to his other works, but instead rate his writings as my observations as a reader. The most memorable part of Bradbury's writing, is his descriptive writing, which, even such a simple act as running, Bradbury lets you Feel, Hear, See, Taste, and almost makes you think you can reach out and touch what isn't there. Although many times his descriptions run-on for too long, other times he hits the right notes in the right amount of space, and his genuine talent for writing and descriptions bring the story and the characters alive. Something Wicked This Way comes, along with Stoker's Dracular, is one of the few classics I can stand, because too much emphasis in other classics is placed on descriptions rather than plot, but Bradbury's plot is deftly place Center-Stage here, and the Reader never feels bored or let down. Many times his ideas may seem unreasonable, but against the other material it doesn't take too much away from the book to me.
Overall, Something Wicked This Way Comes left a strong impression on me for Bradbury, and this won't be the last book I read by him. If you noticed the 4 star rating, it's mostly because of the things that plague classics so much for me. Overlong descriptions. I must emphasize though Bradbury isn't nearly as inconsistent as many authors, so this is just minor. Also some of his plot ideas seem odd and leave the reader thinking "Huh?", but most of the time the plot is easy to follow.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is Bradbury's finest novel, in my opinion. All of Bradbury's fiction is lyrical in nature, but in this work his prose flows quickly and magically from the first page to the last.

The book is closer to horror than sci-fi, but I regard it as simply a great novel and believe that its universal theme of good vs. evil qualify it as literary fiction of the highest order. It is a book I read every few years to remind me of what language is capable of doing and to listen to the voices of Bradbury's unique small town characters as they attempt to deal with the mystifying forces of Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Show, a traveling carnival.

The one-star reviews appear to be from the usual students who were forced to read the book. Don't be deterred. If you like a scary tale that also examines love and the human heart, you can't go wrong with SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
john lamb
I really loved the inherent creepiness of this book. The black train, arriving in the night, sets the scene. This was a book club selection, and at least one of our members found it highly disturbing, which I think may be the ultimate thumbs-up. Very well done. Definitely a classic I will be keeping in my book shelves.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
This is a review of the audiobook voiced by Stefan Rudnicki.

My introduction to SWTWC came via Bradbury's screenplay for the 1983 Disney film of the book. It was a succinct and visually compelling distillation of the fantasy tale, as I later concluded. The film was well-paced, had an evocative musical score, and was an apt re-casting for the classic confrontation of good vs. evil, and the devil/Dark's faustian bargain in the town library, with a redeeming reconciliation of father and son thrown in for good measure. I found Bradbury's screenplay to be a fitting foundation for the film's director, Jack Clayton, to create the visual narrative.

As for the book, it got off to a good start -- Bradbury excels at setting the scene. The problem with the text is that RB could not cleanly propel the narrative to its denouement and conclusion. EVERYTHING, it seems, became scene-setting in SWTWC. I suspect the book was written at a time when RB wanted to push his writing skills to more dynamic level. Unfortunately, he pushed his story off the cliff, trailed by a long train of hyphenated nouns and eccentric adverbs and adjectives.

In short, the book is terribly over-written. Quirky and cutesy phrases like "the surfing of splashes of glass at his feet" and "they ran in clean ice-smell" over-wring the tale, turning sequences and chapters into a clotted, belabored, awkward and ill-fitting poetry. The result is a numbingly eccentric cubist tale framed in over-heated expressionistic tableaux - the wrong formula for a narrative set in a small midwestern town. There are just too many distracting descriptive details in SWTWC while the dialogue between the characters, by contrast, is pedestrian -- making for a non-blend. This means the characters don't get as developed as they should.

See the film instead. Jonathan Pryce as Dark and Jason Robards as Mr. Holloway give solid performances that hit the mark where the book could not. By contrast, the book's awkwardness taxed even the gifted Rudnicki who valiantly tries to voice RB's overwrought syntax.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is my favorite book by my favorite author—the man who made me want to be a writer myself. It contains some of the most beautiful, rapturous, dig down into your soul prose that I have ever read. The words and phrases and sentences in this book are delicious and shiver inducing. No one paints word pictures the way Bradbury did. This is a master class in the power of words.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
That Bradbury is the living legend of fiction so profound that it can move you for life is a well known fact. What is not known is that his stories are not just fiction. Rather every word he writes comes out of the experience he had in this life or last or may be next.
Something Wicked This Way Comes explores the deepest, darkest desires of human heart. 2 Boys stumble upon the secret of a "dark carnival", its mysterious carousel and even more mysterious Mr. Dark, the ringmaster, the granter of all wishes.
How the boys resist the evil of the carnival and all those lurking in its dark depths, how they temp their fates and struggle to survive makes a wonderful reading experience you won't find anywhere else.
Whether you like Gothic fiction or not one thing is sure, you will like this book for its wonderful prose and extraordinary plot.
CONCLUSION : A masterpiece. BUY IT.
RELATED BOOKS: October Country, From the Dust Returned
OTHER GOOD BOOKS : Death is a lonely Business, I Sing Body Electric, Farenheit 451, Illustrated Man, Martian Chronicles.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kate lyn walsh
I have to start by saying that I am an avid reader, but it usually takes me about a week to read a novel. On rare occasions, though, a book hooks me so thoroughly that I drop everything and read it constantly. This is what happened with Something Wicked... I am not one for heavy, thick, flowering language in my fiction, but I tolerate it fully with Bradbury. He never just says plain in simple terms what something is or what something is doing. He uses metaphors constantly and they work so well. Yeah, I know that's what good writing should be, but I've read lots of books that use lots of metaphors and it just doesn't work for me. I choke on it and can't see it and can't keep up with it. Bradbury does it masterfully in my opinion. As for the story, it is creepy and it is scary and it is wonderful! No, it won't freak you out or give you nightmares, but it will give you a chill if you let it. Let yourself visualize the characters and hear the calliope and you will be immersed and I bet you'll love it!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I liked this book. It was hard to understand in parts of the book but after working through it I was able to get it. There was action, suspense and evil things happen.

Jim Nightshade (13 years, 11 months, and 23 day) and his friend Will Halloway

(13 years, 11 months, and 24 day) can't wait for their birthdays on Halloween. About a week before Halloween a carnival comes to town which is unusual because it so late in the year. At 3:00 the carnival comes. Curiosity overcoming them, Will and Jim run down to see it. That's when they knew this wasn't a regular carnival. In the morning they decide to go again but no it looks like a regular carnival. One ride stands out to Jim, the merry-go-round, which says, closed. The carnival closes and Jim and Will stay to look at the merry-go-round and they find out why it's closed. If ridden forward the merry-go-round makes you older, ridden backwards it makes you younger. They check newspaper articles and Mr. Cooger and Mr. Dark have been bringing the carnival every forty years. The same men that own the carnival now. Only the merry-go-round can answer that question. Going to Will's dad for help it becomes a competition against the carnival freaks that live off pain. When Jim, who wants to ride the merry-go-round, is nowhere to be found that's where Will looks first. Jim is they're riding the merry-go-round getting older. When he gets off, he's about 19 years old and close to dead. Will's dad suggests that if happiness killed the freaks then it should bring Jim back. Yes I did like this book because I have read other R L Stine books, but they where Goosebumps books and have really liked them because I really like mystery books.

The book is about Emily and her family. Her mom tells her that she is going to be getting two new stepsisters. One is called Jessie and the other is called Nancy. Once they are at her house strange things start happening. Somebody killed Tiger, Emily's dog, while she was at a dance. Somebody killed Jollie and somebody put peroxide in Emily's favorite shampoo. When the family goes camping and Emily, Jessie and Nancy go looking for firewood, Nancy gets separated and Emily tries to get away from Jessie and she ends up in the old grave yard. When Nancy puts the shovel in the rabbit's grave the shovel lands on Emily's arm and her arm is broken. Why has someone been trying to hurt Emily?

I recommend this book to anyone.But will it work?

If you like dark fantasy you'll like this book, or science fiction. Advanced readers will like this book too. There is action and suspense so if you like that you will also like this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
renee wickham
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a little gothic masterpiece by Ray Bradbury. The story concerns Will Holloway, his best friend Jim Nightshade, and his father Charles Holloway. One October a carnival comes to town. The carnival is run by a group of freaks who are intent on evil. The entire town, and particularly the two boys, and put in terrible danger. That all leads to a tremendous climax as Will, Jim, and Charles have to try to learn the true nature of good and evil to save themselves and the town.
I can't believe that some people have written that this book is dated. I don't think that anyone will be saying that after the events of September 11. As long as fathers and sons still love one another and as long as there is evil to strive againgst, this novel will still be extremely valid. Something Wicked This Way Comes is fairly symbolic, and comments greatly on the nature of good and of evil. The story is fascinating and enlightening. Absolutely any reader can read this wonderful novel, be moved by it, and come away with a better understanding of human nature. I don't think that Ray Bradbury gets the credit he deserves, but any read of one of his novels will prove to the reader that he is a GREAT novelist.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
adam doyle
This was my first Ray Bradbury book...seems amazing that I had never read Bradbury. I was aware of his work through television and films, but had never picked up a book, and I am glad that I selected this book.
It is a coming of age story and how the world rushes up to pull us from our care free childhoods into the dark entreaties that rush toward us, to rob us of that innocence.
The tempo of the prose races as fast as boys running for the sheer joy of it. An exciting read with many life lessons written by a man who obviously loves words for the sake of themselves and the power of what they evoke.
I have just become a Ray Bradbury fan.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fredrik brouneus
Bradbury's novel opens up with a wonderful prologue describing good months and bad months. After reading this, I couldn't wait to delve into the novel to discover what other morsels of genius he had to offer.

The story of good versus evil, youth versus death, and love versus hate is timeless. It will never get old. It will be recycled in various formats until the day people stop telling stories. Bradbury uses his story as a vehicle to expound upon these themes.

When a wicked carnival comes to town it tempts its inhabitants with youth and life. It's hard to say no to your greatest wishes as Will, Jim, and Charles Halloway discover. Some townsfolk cannot turn their back on their dreams. Others discover that true happiness means accepting Life's twists and turns, no matter how cruel they may be.

This novel is full of exquisite figurative language. Bradbury shows his prowess as a storyteller in this tale of good and evil.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Well, Ray Bradbury pulled off something I never thought I'd see: heartwarming horror. Something Wicked This Way Comes is a truly frightening horror story about two boys living in a midwestern town visited by a mysterious carnival and its group of evil proprietors and "freaks." The boys see too much and become the target of the malevolent forces of the carnival. Bradbury writes these characters to be truly frightening.

The horror story itself would have been very solid, but Bradbury marries it seamlessly to the story of one of the two boys coming to see his father in a different light, even as the father finds something within himself that has sat dormant for far too long.

A truly deep story that will scare you, inspire you and keep you turning the pages. This one should be read more often, it's a real gem.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I love the horror genre, and I realize how well received this book has been since its publication in the early 1960s. I read some of Bradbury's other books when I was younger and remember them fondly. So, I went into this book with a huge bias in its favor.

Thus I was surprised and distressed when I found myself getting annoyed with this early on. Yes, there is an excellent plot, interesting characters, and an effective dark ambience is created. But the super-ultra-flowery prose just does not work for me. I found it tedious and at times impenetrable. Numerous passages were almost ridiculous in their attempt at being...I'm not sure what they were going for. Poetic? They just seemed ludicrously over-wrought. I wonder how Ray viewed this book later in his career. Many portions of this book were so bad I suspect he maybe later felt embarrassment. Yes...bad. Really bad.

I would have preferred a much more pedestrian use of language. And some more literal references would have helped me visualize the story better: How big was the carnival grounds? How far was it exactly from town? How many "freaks" were there? How high was the "dust witches'" balloon that Will shot down? What did the dust witch look like exactly? There are so many vague allusions that I could never quite capture what was real and what was imagined. The murkiness didn't make the story more mystical to me, it made it confusing. There needed to be some solid physical/literal parameters rather than an entire book of perplexing word-play. It almost seems as if Ray was going for word experiments here, or random fusions of words for montage or thought-flow effect. Or maybe he was just showing off? I guess he succeeded in making me interested enough in the story that I wanted to keep reading and find out what happened. But I continuously had to struggle with his language. Some passages I could decipher after a while; others I could never fathom.

I also thought the theme of laughter and happiness as an antidote for evil was just a little...I'm not sure if naïve is the right word, or simplistic. Like the little laugh-and-dance routine by Will and his Dad at the end to save Jim...that seemed uninspired and ridiculous to me. I didn't find it to be a compelling conclusion to the stand-off between good and evil. Or the bullets with the happy smiles on them? Or, defeating the dust witch by laughing at her? Sorry..those themes seem unconvincing and far from profound. Kindness, forgiveness or some other kind of sincerity would have been more illustrative of substantive good over evil, in my view. Giddy laughter and smiles to kill the bad ghouls just seems goofy to me.

Anyway, the book is worth reading just because it is so famous, but it will not go down as one of my favorites.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shannon white
I've been in love with books since I was old enough wander around by myself in libraries, eye-balling their spines and yielding to their siren song. So powerful was the spell some of these delicious tomes cast that I can still remember how I felt when I read them. I can picture where they rested on the book shelves. Even their covers have been burned into my mind's eye.
And that's saying a lot. Because I'm 41 years old. And some of these books were devoured some 30+ years ago.
And in all that time I have never found a book to equal Something Wicked This Way Comes.
I read this book yearly, sometimes twice a year. Always in October (my favorite month) and sometimes whenever I need an infusion of wide-eyed wonder.
I can't explain what this book does to me. All I can tell you is that each page crackles with electricity. And magic. And all the joys, smells, sounds and feelings of being a boy in a small midwestern town.
I doubt anything I say is going to convince you to read this book. After all, it's only my opinion. And you don't even know me.
Yet, I can honestly make this prediction. If you have an imagination, a yearning for the days of your youth, a love of night-time thrills and an appreciation for how a master craftsman plies his trade, this book stands a chance of holding a very special place in your heart.
Oh. And let's not forget the mournful sound of train whistles and calliopes. You'll find them a-plenty within the pages of Ray Bradbury's marvelous book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
I am grateful to Stephen King for having brought this novel to notice in his horror fiction chronicle-critique `Danse Macabre' (which I will recommend to anybody who is even remotely interested in horror/fantasy media).
The main protagonists of this supernatural adventure are the sunny Will Halloway and his companion and counterpart, the wild Jim Nightshade. The plot centers on how their lives are turned upside-down with the arrival of that very unusual sideshow carnival, Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show (God, this has such a Heavy Metal feel to it).
If it were to be judged by its start-up this would undoubtedly be one of the best books ever. Bradbury in his element comes up with the literary equivalent of a Rick Wakeman solo. The words fly fast and furious, magically arranging themselves into such dizzyingly ornate and mellifluous phrases, sentences, paragraphs that almost threaten to drown the reader in their exuberance and beauty. This major portion of this book contains some of Bradbury's finest literary moments and as anyone who has read his work will till you, that is an achievement of no mean order. Characters like the Dust Witch and Mr. Dark aka The Illustrated Man are described in such vivid and astonishing detail as to strongly etch themselves onto readers' minds. You do not merely read, you see, hear, smell, taste, feel whatever the pen of Bradbury commands you to. This book bristles with parts that I will be happily re-reading for many months on.
Wherein lies the catch? The plot after one of the best build-ups ever constructed grows somewhat loose with several potentially interesting supporting characters (Mr. Electrico, the Dwarf) given marginal footage. Although lavish description is used to paint what Stephen King describes as the `Apollonian-Dionysian' divide between Will and Jim, once the action heats up, this is pretty much left by the wayside, the boys rendered almost interchangeable in their personalities. The story, after a point moves IMO almost into the realms of the straight-ahead thriller format, although Bradbury's writing alleviates a lot of the conventionality and it is perhaps only the cynical bastard in me that finds it difficult to swallow the `Love Conquers All' driven denouement.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elizabeth thompson
This novel displays all of the trademarks that have established Bradbury as one of the premiere writers of our time. His prose is captivating, his use of allegory is brilliant and his descriptive imagery is perfectly fitting. The characters are memorable, the plot progesses at a satisfactory pace and the book's message of good/evil, human nature, youth, desire, self-awareness and more rings out clearly. I can see where some reviewers have found Bradbury's style here a bit difficult to get into, but if you go with him, he will take you on an unforgettable journey. Highly recommended to all Brabury fans. If you're new to Bradbury, this is one of his more notable works (though I might recommend "Martian Chronicles" or "Fahrenheit 451" as a starting point), just be patient and see it through to the end--you will not be disappointed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nathan braun
I first read this book as a teenager in 1963., and at the time it made a very strong impression on me. Now, in my 70s, I wanted to see if the spell still held. I'm pleased to say it does. Such is the power of a master story teller such as the late Ray Bradbury. His genius will not soon be replaced.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ritam bhaumik
I thought this would have made a great short story. If all the action had been packed in to 1/4 the number of pages, it would have made for a very exciting read. But I got bogged down with all the philosophy and the description. Something exciting would happen, then there would be five pages of philosophy, and then something else exciting would happen. Sometimes the philosophical rambles would occur in the middle of conversations between characters.
I would have enjoyed this book more if I had been in the right mood for it. I picked it up because I enjoyed the movie, and my experience with Ray Bradbury (mainly short stories) is that his work is exciting and entertaining. I was just looking for a fluff story, I wasn't prepared to work for it.
The plot line was great. It revolves around two boys and a carnival that comes to town. This was a different sort of carnival, though, because it was run by evil people who fed off people's fears and unattained desires. The two boys manage to fight the carnival and loosen its grip on their town.
I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy or good triumphing over evil. But take care to realize that it's not a quick and exciting read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have read Something Wicked This Way Comes at least 5 times and every time I am amazed at the writing skill of Ray Bradbury in this novel. Each paragraph reads like poetry. I not only see, but I smell and feel the story.

The book evokes the desires of all of us to be younger, older, prettier, or more famous. But there is always a cost for these atributes and there is even a cost to recover them from your past. We all know a Jim Nightshade (the darker side of each of us) and a Will Halloway (the brighter side of us). In this coming of age novel, the two best friends are only one day apart in age, but quite different in what they will do to attain their aspirations. They are anxious to be "older" and when a carnival comes into town during an electrical storm, they find the means to their desires. The question is whether the cost is worth it.

This book is not for those that get high off of action, but for those that love to indulge in feeling goosebumps, smelling decay and hearing creaks. Just one example of Bradbury's prose from the book: "What's the answer, he wondered, walking through the library, putting out the lights, putting out the lights, putting out the lights, is it all in the whorls on our thumbs and fingers? Why are some people all grasshopper fiddlings, scrapings, all antennae shivering, one big ganglion eternally knotting, slip-knotting, square-knotting themselves? They stoke a furnace all their lives, sweat their lips, shine their eyes and start it all in the crib. Caesar's lean and hungry friends. They eat in the dark, who only stand and breathe."

Interestingly, the movie with Jason Robards as Will's remorsefull librarian father (quoted above), still maintains the same prose and feel. I recommend both. Read the book, but remember, there is a cost for going backwards.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Something Wicked This Way Comes is an interesting and highly entertaining melding of fantasy and horror. The book is not exactly fast-paced, but it is a smooth and pretty quick read, and quite suspenseful (a trio Bradbury usually manages to evoke.) Bradbury has a very unique style. He has been called a "prose poet" and that is a highly accurate description. Though he is writing literary fiction here, it is almost as if you're reading poetry at times. He uses metaphor often and it is quite effective. The only problem with this is that the dialoge at times, though beautiful, can see a bit unrealistic. Alas. The book is a great read. The fascinating portrayal of evil and self-responsibility is all the more effective due to the two protoganists being teenagers. The relationship between one of the boys (Will) and his Father is very touching as well. Just a well-written book. Recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is one of my favorite short stories by Ray Bradbury. Walt Disney was also a big fan of Bradbury's works and wanted to make SWTWC into a full length movie. This was a match made in heaven, since it took someone with Walt Disney's genius to transform and enrich Bradbury's original short story. I actually prefer the movie over the story, although I recommend reading the story first and then watching the movie. This movie is worth the purchase price and I have viewed it many times. I especially like the themes and contrasts in SWTWC (i.e. faith vs. unbelief/anxiety; wisdom vs. rashness/recklessness; light vs. darkness; goodness vs. evil; beginnings vs. endings; youth vs. age; people's needs vs. their desires/wants---and the list goes on and on). The actors do an excellent job in the movie (Walt certainly knows how to pick the right individuals for their particular role). P.S. FYI I believe that this was the only R rated movie that Walt Disney made under the Disney label. I love literature that is not only enjoyable, but also causes you to think and reflect and learn.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Sometimes there seem to be two Ray Bradbury's. On the one hand, there's the writer of Twilight Zone-esque (before the TZ existed!) stories that are exciting or just plain creepy (The Illustrated Man, R Is For Rocket). On the other hand, there's Bradbury the stylist, who can write page after page of poetry in prose form (Dandelion Wine). Not everybody likes both.
But in this novel the two Bradbury's meet. His love for boyhood, the beauty of a small town, the love of a father are all captured in gorgeous writing wrapped around a truly creepy tale. The Wonder Years meets Dracula? There's really nothing else like this work: it can stand up right beside To Kill a Mockingbird and a Tales From the Crypt collection.
Oh, and whatever you do, don't watch the movie version.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
stephanie williams
Wow! This book has received so much praise since it was released that I finally decided to read it. I definitely never read it as a kid.
So some books can stand the test of time and even though life, and language and technology change the story if well told survives. That was most definitely not the case for me, regarding this story.
I have no idea when this story was supposed to take place but the way the dialogue drags, it could have been the late 1800’s or early 1900’s , or heck I don’t know the 1940’s or 1950’s. But this was one terribly uninteresting story.
And while you can definitely see how this book influenced Stephen King, Mr King’s books are far more readable, and better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I read this one as a kid and remember it scaring the crap out of me. The illustrated Mr. Dark freaked me out big time.

A Bradbury classic, dark, dripping with atmosphere, coming of age, sinister, carnival tale. Excellent. This one is like a fine wine that just keeps getting better with age.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
basim alamuddin
Bradbury's classic tale is about two thirteen-year-old boys who dally with a strange and evil circus and end up fighting a battle to save their town from the dark forces of evil. There are many vividly frightening characters and scenes along the way. When things are looking really grim for the boys and the society, one of their fathers steps in, believes their outlandish tales, and joins forces with them. The father figure spouts eloquent philosophy on a wide range of subjects, and in the end, he's the true battle hero, which is a little disappointing, because I wanted the young heroes to shine more. Overall, this is a great read around the month of October, and I know it will be enjoyed by generations to come.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Two boys, a small town and an evil carnival. Sounds campy, but it's actually a good story, problem is, this is not a good book. Bradbury can invoke your childhood wonder of life and the brashness of youth and in that way it's a very good book. You can feel the fear of the boys of Mr. Dark, but you also feel thier wonder of him and his show, makes you really feel for the characters. The problem with this book is the semi-philosophical ranting, it was just irating to read, and he keeps doing it all though the novel. I can take it if it happens once or twice, but the thing is just littered with it. It breaks the momentum of the book, something happens, something else is about to, but first you have to push though three pages of these conjectures. That's the other problem with this book, the building of suspense is just that he talks about something else for awhile. Something is about to happen, and then he'll flash to a childhood memory, or moralize about society, or whatever...arghhhhh. I don't recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nina motovska
I'll admit. When I picked up the book, allowing myself 2 graze the pages, I thought it was 4 kids. A circus?? The freak shows coming 2 life??? But, having just discovered the joys of Bradbury, I decided 2 read it anyway.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is definitely somewhat childish. Yet if it wasn't, it would be horrible. It is being able 2 see through the children's eyes that makes it all enjoyable. It is the perspective from which the tale is told that gives U slight scares... and it is the detail of the story that makes U want 2 bundle up and lock the doors... although, like many Ray Bradbury novels, there are a lot of extras thrown in, on the whole, this book cannot be beat
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
carly bowden
On June 5, 2012, Ray Bradbury passed away. Long live Ray Bradbury.

To readers he will live on through his myriad short stories and a few novels that are destined to be classics. The first is Fahrenheit 451, The 50th Anniversary Edition, a nineteenth century classic that warns of the dangers in banning books and censorship. The second Bradbury classic is Something Wicked This Way Comes, with a title no less intriguing than the first.

In SWTWC Bradbury has given the world a fiendish tale reflected through the eyes of two young boys and their wonderment of a traveling circus. At times the metaphors, the similes, the personifications are overwritten; but mostly they sing across this dark field of a novel, soaring over flapping circus tents and the bizzarrie inside them. Though lesser known than the decade older "Fahrenheit 451," SWTWC is a classic that will be read for decades to come.

Ray Bradbury isn't dead. He lives on. Long live Ray Bradbury.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abby bozman
This was a great book, no questions asked! I dislike some of Bradbury's book, like "Fahrenheit 451", but this was a great book. I liked the way it kept you reading, making it hard to put the book down. At the end of every chapter, there was that constant overhanging feeling of suspense,forcing you to dive even further into this ocean of a book. The characterization was great, and the way Bradbury would switch from one scene to another to keep you updated was wonderful. The characters from the book acted like your worst nightmares would actually act, making the book seem all the more real. Even the beginning was exciting, unlike most books. This horror book skips the hassle of blood and guts, and just gets right down to the real thing: an evil group of people only you realize aren't what they appear to be. Not just another horror story with cardboard people and a stupid monster, this book really lets you get INTO the people in the book. It can get confusing at some points, but that's part of the fun. I recommend this book to sci-fi and fantasy lovers. "Something Wicked This Way Comes" just goes to show, looks can be deceiving.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andrew sullivan
It's a week before Hallowe'n, and Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow has come to Green Town, Illinois. The siren song of the calliope entices all with promises of youth regained and dreams 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 discover the true price of innermost wishes...The best Hallowe'n reading for the young ones and the adults!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This is the story of Will and Jim, best friends for as long as they can remember. One night, a carnival comes to town. But something about this carnival is not quite right and the boys are determined to find out what.

This is a fantastic story. It is about love and friendship, good versus evil. It is about our desires and our fears. It has wonderful descriptions, but the writing is a little difficult at times and interrupts the flow of the action. Were it not for that, this would be a five star book. Definitely a recommended read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
angela stringer
I wish I could give this fifty stars. It is probably my favorite book of all time, and most definitely my favorite Bradbury book. I read this every year, and for me to read a book more than once, it's got to be extraordinary. This book has got everything: horror, romance, seduction, mystery, innocence, triumph, loss, an awesomely wicked carnival, and boys who get to rise up to be heroes. I absolutely love it.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Ray Bradbury'
s book was something that I've wanted to read for quite some time. Unfortunately, I had already seen the film so I had a plot in mind as well as a mood. Bradbury as always strings metaphores together like we do popcorn on the Christmas tree. It's his main setup for atmosphere and that is the books great strength. Unfortunately for me, the characters of Will, Jim and Will's Dad are flat, underdeveloped and dull. Without a back story, I really don't have a sense of caring for the characters and as hard as I tried that didn't change. This was typical of Dickens at times. He created characters and then threw them into the story for development. I never found this technique particularly inviting for me.
The story is simple enough -- a carnival comes to town creating strange and bizarre situations that invite temptation. Jim wants to be older -- but we aren't given a good enough reason why. Will's Dad wants to be younger and the idea feels more universal than centered on the character in question and it falls short. The carnival can do this of course but at a price. That alone feels as rundown an idea as I've ever read. Everyone has that statement. The ending feels more of a fable than anything else and perhaps that's what Ray wanted out of the story. Perhaps he would have put 'once upon a time' and 'happily ever after' were it a different time.
The message -- don't fall into temptation and don't let misery eat away your soul. I don't know, the book has great mood and atmosphere but had the same feel for me as 'Tale of Two Cities' -- I couldn't want to finish it and move on to something else.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie clair
There's something about the way Bradbury writes, as if you are reading synapses and neurons. He puts you right in his head and it is a wonderful place. With this book I became a fan of Bradbury's work. Apparently originally meant to be a short story entitled Dark Carnival Bradbury turned this into one of the scariest novels ever written. I'm not kidding folks. Under the guise of a children's tale is a story of a circus of bad intentions, a seller of lightning rods, an evil merry-go-round, and the terror of being a teenager. Highly original and entertaining. If you are a fan of horror fiction or just plain old good story telling pick this book up and enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury about a year ago, and was amazed by it. I loved how painfully true the story was becoming...I also was enchanted by the beautiful writing. So obviously, I had to check out more works by this wonderful author. I purchased Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

This book far exceeded my expectations. Though a few parts of the book are drawn out and uninteresting, the majority of it is fantastically written, with lots of beautiful imagery. The ending was very unexpected, but cute and thoughtful.

Is it as good as Fahrenheit 451? I wouldn't compare the two, but I enjoyed this book slightly more, though Fahrenheit 451's message is more true. Five big fat shiny stars for Something Wicked This Way Comes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
No, that's not the title of a new self-help book, it's the title of my review of "Something Wicked This Way Comes", a story that captures the awesome freedoms and fears of youth, as well as the potent yearnings of age.

I read this as a student and enjoyed it, and recently read it again after entering my mid 30s. I am now at a point between the two extremes that Bradbury dissects in this timeless (pun) merry-go-round (pun) of an a-fair (pun). OK, three puns in a row deserves a bad rating for this review, but what else can I do? The book is a classic, and will live as long as men and women look forward or backwards through their lives and reflect on what could be.

I could chirp about how Bradbury has such eloquence and how he can construct a phrase with more spirit and humanity than should be possible, but if you want all that just read the jacket cover - greater readers and writers than I have said it all before.

All I can do is verify that the story still holds true, and still stirs both boyish and manly emotions, even as I begin to see the shape of middle age forming in the mist of my future.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nicole nelson
I was happy to see Bradbury using Greentown IL as the setting for this novel. In "Something Wicked This Way Comes" Bradbury again uses 2 younger boys (13) to give the reader a glimpse into Greentown, but this time it involves a strange carnival. If you loved "Dandelion Wine" and "Farewell Summer" like I did, you should know this is more of a horror sci-fi novel. I felt there was enough to keep me interested but couldn't help feeling that there was something lacking. At certain times I just didn't seem to get any chills or scares with the carnival or its villains other than Mr. Dark. I kept saying to myself "I guess this is it." Also, if you've read negative reviews for this book, you'll notice a lot of readers are bored and/or upset with Bradbury's dialogue and explanations throughout. I must admit some of it may have been over my head but other times it helped me connect to what Bradbury was trying to convey. It may take me several more reads for me to really appreciate what other positive reviewers were talking about.

As another reviewer put it, there may be a generational gap between those who can appreciate a carnival being the strange twisted scary landscape for a novel. I believe "Something Wicked This Way Comes" was completed in 1962 and the scary carnival concept was probably a more original concept back then. A newer reader (myself included) has probably seen this numerous times in cartoons, video games, TV shows, and other books.

Much like "Dandelion Wine", I thought Bradbury did a wonderful job in his portrayal of the two young boys Will and Jim. He made me feel like I was young again with his many references to kites (have not thought of my times of flying a kite in probably 25 years), sneaking out of the house at night to meet friends (one of the bigger rushes I remember getting as a kid), and even later in the story he makes a reference of Will urging himself to whistle while he walks past the graveyard after sundown(I could see myself doing something like that just to tell myself there was nothing to be scared of).

Probably the most powerful part of "Something Wicked..." was when young Will's father Charles Halloway seems to come to life later in the story talking of love and common cause (page 195). Take from it what you will, I thought it was brilliant, I just wished I could have been moved like that earlier in the story. Again, this may take another read for me to fully appreciate what Bradbury has given to us. Somewhat lacking in suspense for me, but spinning a little magical charm here and there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
There are so many levels to this novel, so many important subplots that to dismiss this book as an "evil carnie" story would be totally irrelevant and unfair. The evil- and this book defines evil, it hits the nail on the head- takes so many forms and affects so many people; but here are the most important:... 1) Jim and Will's friendship. They're best friends, but they're obviously spereated by their characters. Will has been brought up by both his parents; he's thoughtful, a little neurotic; shy, conservative and introverted. Jim is the opposite. He was brought up only by his mother, his father left when he was little; he's outgoing, impulsive, daring, eager to grow up, leave the past behind. Bradbury expresses their differences several ways: Wills' blond, Jim's dark-haired; Will was born one minute before Halloween, Jim's one minute after. And even though he's older, Will always feels he's behind Jim. Like Jim's always in a rush to grow up, leave Will behind... there's symbolism in a scene where Will's running after Jim, and Jim's constantly slowing down for Will. This is important when the carnival comes to town, because Jim, perhaps anxious for a father figure, is easily swayed in going with the carnival. In Star Wars, Jim would turn to the dark side, and Will the light... 2) Will's fathers age. Mr. Halloway feels like he's grown up too fast; and now, in his fifties, he believes that he's never done anything with his life. He feels particularly ashamed that he's never been there for Will: never young enough to play ball with him, run with him, climb with him. And now he's afraid that Will doesn't love him anymore, and is gradually turning into his father. Mr. Halloway bears a mental load on his back of age and regret. Bradbury does a wonderful job here, as in all his stories, of really communicating a man's personal fears and longings. You really side with Mr. Halloway, because his insecurities and insights are the same as ours. You feel his angst, and when the carnival comes beckoning, offering him the chance to be young again, you can truly understand his dilemma... This is really a novel about the evil which resides in us all, merely manifested into something tangible. It's about humanity: their desires, fears, longings, insecurities, regrets, and how we can't let go of them. This is a horror book, not it the sense of ghouls and goblins (though there's plenty of that); it's a horror book about the stuff inside of us, and what we don't express to the ones we love. This is my favorite book, and might just be yours once you read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shannon dwyer
Thirty-five years after its initial release, this magical and mesmerizing story still carries a punch. The opening pages are more like a thriller where you know something is out there...waiting. You can hear it; you can feel it getting closer. And it's not going to be pleasant.

You follow a pair of young boys on their pre-Halloween adventure until you realize there is a lot more at stake than just going to the carnival. And the father of one of the boys, a meek and beaten down man, has a great decision to make. Others in the town face a temptation that could and does change each person's life.

A small town story with universal truths about life and what you make of it. This is a true masterpiece using Bradbury's poetic phrasing and the hypnotic pictures he paints with words.

Read it again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gee gee
Bam! All of a sudden, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade find themselves caught between a fight of good vs. evil.

I thought 'Something Wicked this Way Comes' was an excellent science fiction/ fantasy book and this book is definitely a book for people who enjoy scary stories.

Charecters that the book mostly revolves around are Will Halloway, Jim Nightshade, Charles Halloway, Mr. Dark, Mr. Cooger, and other freaks of the carnival. The book Mostly takes place in the month of October at a carnival and soon mysterious things start to happen to the boys when they arrive at the carnival. The force of evil is so great that they can't control the situation by themselves. They must get help from Will's father to help defeat the evil.

To me this was a great book and they best part of the book was when Charles Halloway carves a smile onto a fake, dissolvable bullet and kills the Dust Witch with the smile and goodness. The reason that the Dust Witch died is because of the happiness that was on the bullet. This was the most exciting part of the book to me because when Bradbury describes the scene, the image is so vivid in your mind. Also, he has the power to stop time and seem as if the world stopped for a second when Halloway shot the bullet.

If you are interested by this book, there are many other books that have been written by this author. These book consist of 'The Halloween Tree' and 'The Illustrated Man'. I really enjoyed this book because it is very exciting and i really recommend this book to everyone. For me this was a book in which i can't stop turning the pages until the book endds. I hope you are encouraged to read 'Something Wicked this Way Comes' becasue of this review and i hope taht you enjoy the book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
skye alena
This book, while wonderful, requires not only a certain sense of wonder, but also a willingness to let the magic develop. It takes patience, the reading can't be rushed or the mood will disappear. Personally, the reason I enjoyed this work so much were due to the feelings of nostalgia it invoked. It took me back to my boyhood, and the mystery of every autumn night. The prose is filled with description and metaphor, transporting the reader directly into the shadowy side of Jim and Will's sleepy little village. The ominous carnival on the outskirts of town and its strange denizens all come alive through Bradbury's master storytelling . If you are a fan of Gothic fiction or just want a tale of the dark fantastic, it doesn't get much better than this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a book where Dean Koontz 'Funhouse' creation lack - visionary imagination. Bradbury has this unique ability to capture the mind of readers and pull them in a world of dreams that become horribly wrong in a world of doubt. Have you ever seen what an apple can do to you? Have you ever cross a railroad crossing, yet you stop and wonder? I re-read this book again because it is just soo good, yet so evil. A thick plot layered in so many ways that only the wicked be damned. Nightshade and Halloway wants to find out...will you join them?

A highly recommended masterpiece of a read.....just forget the movie.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
andrew south
When I heard that my book club had chosen this book for our October reading with the idea of reading a creepy, Halloween-esc story, I was thrilled. I later found out that Something Wicked This Way Comes is often considered a genre book for horror. Even better. On top of all that, Ray Bradbury is a well-known author whose works are held in high regard. I was eager to dive into the book and went in with high expectations.

I was severely disappointed.

The overall idea of the book is really quite intriguing. A creepy carnival that feeds off of its customer's inner fears and insecurities mysteriously rolls into town before Halloween. Two boys know something's not right and set out to foil the evil that has invaded their small town. There's a lot of potential for an amazing story.

However, the writing really ruined it.

The style and overall writing struck me as overly poetic, clunky, and self-indulgent. Creating a captivating, bone-chilling setting is an essential for making a good horror. However, metaphors heaped on top of analogies do not a good setting description make. There was often so much description going on that I lost track of what exactly was going on plot-wise. It always seemed like there was more happening that there actually was. There were also a lot of sentences that contained prose like "He saw. He didn't see. He thought. He didn't think. He heard. He didn't hear." At first, such prose was interesting and new. But it got really old, really fast. I respect Ray Bradbury as an author and I respect that all authors have their own, individual writing styles. However, the writing style really killed this book.

The first fifty pages or so were actually quite well done. The scene settings were captivating and the way Bradbury set the characters of the two boys up was masterful. Then, the whole thing went downhill for the next 150 pages or so. The boys became really bland and hard to relate to and the writing got so clunky and confusing that it was difficult to figure out what was going on plot-wise. The last 50 pages picked back up and ended the book solidly enough with a satisfying conclusion. It was just a matter of slogging through the middle to get there.

It really is a pity that the writing style ruined the book as much as it did because the idea behind it is truly intriguing and interesting. I haven't read a lot of Ray Bradbury's works, but I hope this is one of his worst and that his other works are far better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
will tomer
I had heard a lot about this book, but just recently decided to read it. I was glad I did. The book is NOT science fiction (as the cover states) but is a wonderful and dark fantasy.
Steven King, in Danse Macbre, notes that this book is a universal childhood fantasy book. I would qualify this just a bit, it is a "boys" childhood fantasy, and may be universal for boys. This distance from my personal experience(I'm a woman) didn't harm the book in the least. The themes are universal, so, while it may not strike and "I know that!" chord, it sure does ring true.
Not the scariest, or spookiest, but full of wonderful images and tense moments.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
austin netzley
I can't believe I waited until age 28 to read this book - and I'm such a Bradbury fan! I think it would have clicked more with me at a younger age, but it was still fun to read. This is a classic example of Bradbury's "indirect storytelling"... he presents the framework or essential elements of a situation, and then it's left for your imagination to fill in the blanks and interpret it. In other words, this book does not spoon-feed you every piece of underlying plot or meaning - that depends on you. It is definitely a spooky book (though somewhat dated and long-winded), and I would recommend it to anyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The title of this book is what initially drew me in. I always wondered where this phrase came from; little did I know it was actually a Shakespeare quote. Either way, I had never read a Ray Bradbury book before and I wanted an easy read that would be suspenseful and satisfying.

The book follows the adventure of two young innocent boys and their run-in with an evil carnival that comes to town. I found the friendship between the two boys to be very similar to my childhood friendships, which helped me make a quick fun connection. The circus magic in this book seemed to me to have a little influence in the magical Harry Potter series, although not so deliberate in its fantasy.

One of the most unique aspects of this book that I noticed was the usage of a mixture of concrete/abstract imagery to set the scene and describe the characters. When describing the dark figure coming into the room, Bradbury writes, "The shadow seemed deliberate in its slowness so as to shingle his flesh and cheesegrate his steadily willed calm." With noun-verbs in descriptions such as "cheesegrate" and "shingle" it seems as though we can trace the tendency we have in American English of "noun-ing" our verbs back to Bradbury. At first, the very detailed and obscure descriptions were a little annoying and hard to read through. However, as I got used to the style of the author, I began to enjoy reading the different adjectives and verbs he would use to paint the picture in my mind.

Overall, although a little hard to find initial interest, I found this book to be an interesting and beneficial read. The characters that are brought life in vivid abstract-concrete detail provides for a creative story with enough suspense and emotion to keep you interested until this end of this short read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris williams
Bradbury at his greatest is truly a great read. Any avid reader can remember the first time they read Farenheight 451. The thoughts and issues contained in that novel were truly amazing, causing one to pay attention to the glory our society can create and destroy. Something Wicked This Way Comes is as wonderful.
The novel is ultimatly about a battle between good and evil, or truth verses deception. The main character is confronted with secrets he doesn't want to know and given the chance to live out long hidden dreams. The book plays out well, leaving the reader wondering until the last pages.
Most important is Bradbury's ability to describe the elements in the novel. One could taste breath, feel the wind, and smell the carnival. Something Wicked This Way Comes is a wonderful book and should be enjoyed by readers of science fiction and other genres alike.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joseph selby
I read this for the first time when I was in high school and was immediately hooked by Ray Bradbury. After that, I had to read everything of his that I could. It's been quite a few years since reading Something Wicked This Way Comes, so I figured it was time to re-read. I enjoyed it as much the second time around, the characters, suspense and details create a chilling, timeless tale.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenna rose
"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." This quote from Shakespeare adequately describes this now-classic work of horror by Ray Bradbury. Bradbury manages to use evocative language and charming characters to draw the readers into what is almost a parallel world.
Will Holloway and Jim Nightshade are boys born two seconds apart -- one on Halloween, the other on the day before. Will is the ultimate innocent, while Jim is darker and more knowledgeable about the world. These two have been inseparable friends all their lives, despite their different personalities and tiny events that divide them on subtle levels. Then, one day, a strange carnival comes to their town, with a freak show and a carousel.
But a more sinister undercurrent runs in this carnival: The freak show, with its tattooed "illustrated man," blind gypsy witch, and murderous dwarf, is more menacing than the townspeople expect. And when Will and Jim see the carousel change a man's age, they become the targets of Mr. Dark and his evil cohorts -- for fates worse than death.
Bradbury's writing is a mixed bag. While it's extremely evocative and often surreal, it becomes a little clumsy at times. He refers to the carousel horses having "panic-colored teeth," but never explains what this description means. His metaphors occasionally become very strained, and at times the lapses into philosophical musings become distractions to the overall plotline.
However, he expertly draws out a feeling of horror with only a few words, never overdoing the descriptions of something that terrifies Jim and Will. Rather than using "ghoulies and ghosties," Bradbury plays on fears in every human being, such as fears of aging, loneliness, physical decrepitude, loss of loved ones, and most horrifyingly when people are aged or de-aged and thus unrecognizable to their friends and loved ones. The buildup of suspense as the boys hide from Dark and his lackeys is utterly terrifying. And in a masterful use of nostalgia, Bradbury brings readers to the midwestern America of his youth, an innocent place of screen doors, fall leaves and barber shops.
Jim and Will are good foils for one another. Too often in books with two lead characters of the same age and background, there is no personality difference, but these boys are radically different. Will is an utter innocent, with no comprehension of the seductiveness of evil and a great deal of fear for his family and his best friend. Jim, on the other hand, is more susceptible to Mr. Dark's offers. He wants to age to the level of a young adult with the carousel, while knowing in his heart that nothing good can come of it; his temptation is frightening in its intensity. The temptation is reversed for the quiet Charles Holloway, who is haunted by his own age and the relative youth of his son. His gradual changes of thought on this matter are never clumsy or sappy, but rather with the brilliance of Charles' new perceptions.
"Something Wicked This Way Comes" is one of the rare stories that blends unusual prose, good characterizations, and skilful atmosphere into a true spinechiller. A great horror classic. Do not read after dark.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kay gerard
Okay, sorry for the pun, but it's true. Hear we have probably one of the most effecting horror novels ever written. What makes Bradbury so powerful a writer. It's not just the simple, yet lyrical, prose, but how every word seems to pulse with the theme of his stories. Bradbury is a master fanticist, who, like Gene Wolfe or Harlan Ellison, has written an large amount of stories in various genres (SF, Horror, even mainstream) yet alway maintaining the same style and texture. Any one who loves good writting should at least read this, The Martian Chronicles, and Fahrenheit 451.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hilary knause
Gothic thriller with horrific overtones, this novel is not for the faint of heart. But it is brilliantly written, with some of the most deliciously macabre imagery ever put in a novel about children.

The only thing that detracts from its brilliance is the weakness of the good ultimately used to prevail against the powerful minions of evil. Bradbury's worldview doesn't allow for anything more powerfully good than humor in the face of horror. Unfortunate. It would have been nice to see the boys use virtue or faith or hope to triumph.

But, by all means, read this book! You will be thrilled, horrified and firm in your resolution to never be in a library after closing time!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joseph bates
I was a child of the 40's/50's. As a result this was a nostalgic trip down memory lane, coupled with the dark imagining, that is typical of the early teenager. This book was better than "Dandelion Wine", but not as good as "Farewell Summer". The book is vintage Bradbury, in that he writes in color. The daytime parts are colorful, while the nighttime parts are always shades of black and gray.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I tried to read this book several times when I was about thirteen (the age of the two boys in the story). Although I was a Bradbury fan, and found the tone and premise intriguing, I could never get past the opening chapters, usually setting it aside about the time the carnival pulls into town.
35 years later, I finally read it.
I didn't lose anything by waiting, because I'm sure my younger self would have been disappointed. This story has a lot to offer in terms of its philosophical mood, and has a haunting quality to it, but it's told in a surrealistic style that is not always clear, and Bradbury's prose is clotted with numerous tangled metaphors and sentences that make no literal sense. It's still not what I'd call a difficult read; I whipped through it in a few days. Bradbury maintains an element of suspense(more by suggestion than by clearly describing anything) and the conclusion, although slightly heavy-handed, is satisfying.
"Something Wicked this way Comes" reminds me of two books: "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle, a children's novel which made a tremendous impression on me when I was nine years old; and Stephen King's "Needful Things", which has a similar theme. There are probably dozens of stories using this theme; since this one was published 40 years ago it's not fair to call it derivative, but I'm not sure if it's genuinely original. None of that really matters, though, since it's Bradbury's feel for the time and place, and his accurate depiction of the adolescent point of view that make this story effective, in spite of its frequent wordiness, obscurity, and overwriting. Sometimes the best writers can get away with bad writing --- or what would be bad writing in the hands of a less capable author --- and that seems to me to be the case here.
As others have observed, it's not a horror novel; more of a dark fantasy with a positive underlying theme. I find it encouraging that so many young people are reading and enjoying this book; although I'm not wild about it, it's likely to whet the appetite for further reading.
If you haven't read Bradbury before, I recommend the short story collections such as "Illustrated Man" or "October Country"; or the novel "Fahrenheit 451", and the collection of linked stories that forms his masterpiece "The Martian Chronicles."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
june tan
Any fan of Halloween will fall in love with Ray
Bradbury's dark novel about two boys and an evil
carnival that comes to town... The Carnival promises
to fulfill your greatest wish, but charges the highest price for it...
Can Will and Jim stop Mr. Dark, the carnival's operator
from prying on the town? Will they finaly be able to rid
the world of it?
A captivating story, combined with Bradbury's dark, rich,
seductive tone of story-telling make this book almost
impossible to put down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The Book Something Wicked this Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury, is a great novel that shows a person quite a lot of life lessons that will guide him through life. In this

book; there is a different kind of witting style compared to other writers. The genre of this book is scary but if you understand the situations, each character is going thru its not

frightening, is more of a mystery you want to solve. I would encourage you as a reader to go pick up this book and read it.

William Halloway and James Nightshade are thirteen-year-old boys living in a green town, Illinois. They are going to turn fourteen in a week. However, a tragedy happened that changed this two boy's life. A storm was warned to them

that was coming to there village. The two boys go to wills father which is in the library to get some books. Wills father feels to old and he's is only fifty-four and he wants to be young like his boy and be able to run and have fun. Charles and William find out about a carnival coming to there town the next day.Wills father see's a sign in a store right around the corner of the library it read

"Cooger & Darks Pandemonium shadow show" and Jim and will mysteriously found one like that also. They two boys paid no attention because they were too excited about the carnival not for long though. Charles had this weird feeling in his tummy about going to this carnival or not Mr.Halloway is concerned that this carnival came too late at a time were the man is

really close to death.

The book has some parts were you just do not want to stop reading or leave yourself hanging. Bradbury had a type of writing that you just do not find in any

particular book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jay hartwell
I read Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I give this book a 3 star rating. The author takes a long time to get to the point, so it's a little boring. If you don't understand metaphors then you probably wouldn't want to read this book.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is mainly about two thirteen-year-old boys, who are best friends, experiencing the wrath of evil. It all starts with a flyer that says "Crooger and Dark's Pandemonium Side Show". Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade, the best friends, find this flyer. At three o'clock in the morning, they see the carnival roll in. Once they visit the carnival they quickly find out that there is something not right. The main attraction is the "Freak" show and the Mirror Maze will suck you in and you will never come out. Will and Jim visited the carnival one night and the "Freaks" caught them. The boys' got away but the "Freaks" hunted them down. Once the boys' and Charles Halloway were caught all it took was a little love for the "Freaks" and the carnival to go away.

Will Halloway is one of the main characters in the book. He thinks about danger much more than Jim. Will was afraid to go to the Mirror Maze because he saw evil in it. Although, as the story unfolds, he becomes more confident. He shows this by cutting the witches balloon. Jim Nightshade is a main character also. He is the exact opposite of Will. Jim is a daredevil and carefree. He wanted to experience the wrath of the carnival and fight the evil. Jim shows that he is afraid of nothing by wondering the streets at night and going to the carnival a couple times alone before Will went with him.

If you think or know that you enjoyed Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury then you would enjoy A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury, and The Veldt by Ray Bradbury. I am a seventh grade student in North Carolina.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
laura stumpf
If there's one thing that Ray Bradbury excels at, it's his ability to recapture the range of emotions and attitudes that were present in all of us when we were just young, impressionable children. It's a sign of a talented writer if he or she is able to make the reader feel nostalgic for a childhood that one didn't have. SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES pushes all the right buttons in reminding us of the wonder that was present in everyone.
A lot has been said about the prose of this book, and it's certainly of a higher quality than one would be expecting from a "horror" story. It's quite poetic and most of the time it is excellent at painting the scene. However, there are a number of places where it feels forced and pretentious, as if Bradbury is writing that way just to show off his thesaurus-reading skills. But for every turn of phrase that falls flat, there exist several chilling moments that will be forever etched in the mind of the reader. It's a step above the sort of material that one usually finds in genre works.
The point of view from the two children is executed amazingly well. As in his other novels and short stories, Bradbury demonstrates his superb ability to realistically portray the beliefs and emotions of children. They aren't overly mature, but neither are they childish. He's hit the nail so perfectly that it really feels as though one is reading a true-life account of some curious boys, rather than a fictional account. On the other hand, breaking up the action between two children means that we never really get extremely close to either one. There's some nice interaction between one of the boys and his father that deals with the grown-up's attempt to develop a backbone and to stand up to the evil carnival people. This relationship creates some great dialog between the child and parent, as the older man tries to explain thoughts and concepts that are just slightly outside what the child can realistically understand.
The story itself is quite chilling and is told well. Many of the actions that occur don't really make much logical sense, but they are nonsensical in the same way that fairy tales don't make sense; everything works inside the current context and that's just fine for their purposes. Evil men do evil deeds simply because they're evil. Good men attempt to prevent the spread of evil, because that's what good men do. Their motivation really isn't important. What makes it work is the journey that the characters go through.
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES is certainly a recommended work. Although often classified as a horror book, it really isn't all that frightening. But it succeeds at being a fantastic adventure tale that will remain with the reader long after the final page is turned.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
You can't beat a story told by Ray Bradbury. Loved it as a kid, loved it again everytime I re- read it. If you are willing to take a step back a short time ago, to a simpler time. When traveling sideshows came to our little towns, this is for you. Enjoy the goosebumps!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This magnificent story of a dark carnival that visits a small town is a masterpiece. Ray Bradbury weaves an incredible blend of grace in prose with this tale of a would-be boyhood dream turned nightmare. The head of the circus 'Mr. Dark' will really give you chills as he is a pure through and through villian seeking the souls of everyone in town. 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' is one of Bradbury's paramount works of pure genius. Anyone will truly be a Bradbury fan after reading this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ted hunt
Ray Bradbury is an intriguing and insightful author. In this novel, which revolves around the life of two young boys that are attached at the hip, the fantastical plotline is only a small portion of what the book has to offer. The novel opens and the reader is introduced to the two young boys, each with very different backgrounds. One resents his lack of a father, and the other resents the advanced age of his father. One wants to forever cling to his boyhood, and the other can't wait to turn around and spit on his youth. When a dark and strange carnival comes to town, it seems that it holds solutions for everyone within its billowing tents. The one boy can grow older, and the other boy can make his father younger. Through the progression of the novel, many characters are lost to the somber carnival, and many of its previous members are introduced. If the reader can only cling on through the intense twists and turns this novel takes, he will be rewarded greatly at the end. Insight into human nature, and the true colors of good, found in the age-bent body of the father, and evil, found in many of the carnival members (essentially the owner, Mr. Black), will all be received by the faithful reader. The two boys triumph over the evil strangers, and they escape with scars gained only from their loss of innocence. In essence, it's the not quite average story of two boys reaching the brink of manhood.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
carla aka alska
There's a lot of hype about this being classic literature, and one of the best genre books ever. I disagree. Although Ray Bradbury is a superb writer, this book seems to fall short. The writing is overly poetic, and the dialogue is clunky. If you read this you may find yourself re-reading sentences to figure out what the hell was being said. Although not from the book, there are many, too many, sentences like this:
"Will ran, didn't run. Jumped, didn't jump. He stomped his find on elephant shadows and cat whisker winds."
Again, this isn't an actual sentence from the book, but something similar to the type of writing.
Buy it, read it, experience it. These reveiws are just a matter of taste anyway. The book simply left me
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amber fuller
When I put down this book yesterday, two-thirds of the way through, I was pretty sure it was the best book I had ever read on the subject of death. If not death, then the peculiar phantasm of death paraded by the ghoulish, the morbid, the interminably gasping, and the paranoid. There could be no more perfect metaphor for the fascination and terror death holds for us, than the carnival. Swooping in, strange, exhilarating, mysterious, dangerous, and familiar; overwhelming and sometimes nauseating.
Bradbury's style for this novel makes heavy use of metaphor and simile, sentence fragments, and slang, which are often incongruous and insensible; at first this is annoying, largely because it seems like an affectation, but there are moments in his stream of images and phrases where all the disparate elements flow together and what's left, whether it makes sense or not, is really beautiful.
The same can be said for the spates of philosophizing, shuffled in and out of the story as we explore the allure of the carnival, and the weaknesses of it's victims. After having researched urban legends, ghost stories, and various real acts of evil for the last few months, I tend to agree with his assertions (filtered through the character of Charles Halloway) about fear and death in particular. And having been a William (unnervingly good), and a Jim (fascinated with, inured by the macabre), and a Charles (trying to rationalize a world where both exist), I also tend to sympathise with Bradbury's views on humanity. Yes he does go on, (or as Jim Nightshade says "You talk a lot.") but he has something to say, even if it is wedged into a stream-of-consciousness style that is not wholly decipherable, or one-hundred percent the truth. What doesn't work, for me, and wholly forgivable for a book from the '60s, is the dated male perspective which shadows Charles' discussions of love and compassion, which makes it seem like women exist only to be a man's emotional consciousness; forgivable, but still somewhat disruptive to an otherwise interesting discursion.
Now, the last third of the book. Perfectly suspenseful, somewhat satisfying, until the very end, which seemed mealy and saccharine compared to the subtly textured, fair-food substantialness of the rest of the book. Like having Spielberg direct the last ten minutes of a David Lynch film.
In summary, a good book, but not for horror fans, certainly not for people who insist on direct communication, who are flummoxed by effuse evocation. Definitely for someone who can appreciate the simplicity of small town life, and the difference between the percieved and real dangers of the unknown.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Without doubt, this is one of the best American novels ever written! In this poetic-prose masterpiece, two boys, Jim Nightshade (the dark one--hence the name) and William Halloway (the light one--i.e. Hallow=Holy or Halo) encounter an evil carnival inhabiting their small mid-western town (Waukegan, Illinois). Mr. Dark and his prized possessions--the freaks--succeed in luring and deceiving the townfolk into succumbing to their desires and fantasies, thus fueling and giving life to the evil carnival. Beware of the Autumn People! They feed on the lonely, desperate, and weak-hearted. Along with William's father, the two boys try and defeat the approaching evil and in the process they learn more about themselves and their growing and misunderstanding relationships with each other. This novel not only has a great plot and very interesting and in-depth characters, but it is SOOOOOOOOOOOO well written. Also, from the reading, we learn about Bradbury's philosophy on life--ACCEPTANCE! This book should be considered a classic and every middle school and/or high school should make it a mandatory read. Although it has received great reviews, this novel is still very underrated. In my opinion, Something Wicked This Way Comes is far better than Bradbury's more popular-- Fahrenheit 451. Hollywood--NOT DISNEY--should make a major motion movie about this masterpiece. This book--along with The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, and Death Is A Lonely Business--are definite must reads. One day, I predict Something Wicked This Way Comes will become an American classic. BEWARE OF THE AUTUMN PEOPLE! Who knows, we could be next.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gyda arber
For English I wrote a response to this book, in poem form, and I'm going to share it with other the store-Niks:
'The crescent moon I have marked on the bullet is not a crescent moon. It is my own smile. I have put my smile on the bullet in the rifle.'
The sheer terror on her face was clear,
She knew it was over for her.
Although blind, she was not stupid,
Bracing herself, she only hoped he was a liar, and he didn't feel the way the bullet looked.
Click... The gun loaded,
She knew how he felt, she could sense it in the air,
The tension as she waited for somebody to realise the danger was unbearable...
The bullet fired...
Did it hit, did it miss?
Nobody knew, but she was dead - from shock.
Choked by a smile...
How many books can spark a poem this deep? Ok, well, I think its deep... And I got an 'A' for the book project I put the poem in. In conclusion, this book was so clever, I never would have thought that such a strange book would have me on the edge of my seat. Incredible...
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
megan ilertsen
Something Wicked this way comes starts out as a book about two boys named Will and Jim. Jim always gets into trouble for not thinking but acting while Will usaully thinks and avoids things. This book is a mystery that will have you on your seat reluctant to put it down. The beginning scenerio is that there is a man who sells lightning rods walking down the street and there is about to be a storm. The man offers Jim one. This is the first time you see Jim's ignorance and Will's insight. Jim thinks it would be cool to have your house hit by lightning while Will is convinced that it would not be worth taking the risk. Soon the boys are in the midst of a carnival that claims the merry go round is broken when infact it runs backwards. They see a man on the merry go round get younger as it goes around. This sets the novel up for a great mystery and plot. The first thing that will catch your eye will be that you are constantly trying to figure this novel out, if you skip one scene or one page you may be confused for the rest of the book. Overall I beleive this book would be good to recomend to anyone looking for a very good mystery novel with good themes and a good plot.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stephen lee
Something Wicked this Way Comes is a story of mystery. If you like spooky and curious novels, you are going to like this one. Something Wicked this Way Comes has events you probably want to know who the bad person is and what is going to happen. I did not really understand the story in the beginning; because my opinion is that, the author goes from talking about a character and does not click with the rest of the story. The Novel is good to read though, because when you get closer to the end the story has a lot of suspense, and makes the story more exciting and interesting to read. The story has details that explain how the characters and setting look like. You can picture the theme of the story easily. Something Wicked this Way Comes is about two close friends that find out a secret magic that the carnival has. The two boys then are hiding in dark places and do not trust no one. They hide, because the carnival freaks are trying to hunt them down! If you choose to read this novel, read each chapter carefully, because if you do not you will get lost and would not know what is happening.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Long recognized as the master of the short story and science fiction, Ray Bradbury is most at home in the October country, the land where beauty and terror walk side by side. He ushers us into this land in his novel,"Something Wicked This Way Comes", and almost poetic rendering of two boys coming of age and a man dealing with his own mortality.
It is October, the season between warm summer and the chill of winter, and a carnival is coming to town, blown in by the same winds that make two young boys wake in the morning hours and gaze out their windows, full of unspoken longings. A handbill flies across the street promising a thousand and one wonders on its way to the quiet country town and a library's janitor feels the stirring of the boy he was fifty four years ago as the sound of a calliope comes closer.
Too late in the year for a carnival,"Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show" arrives with something for everyone, the sweetness of cotton candy and the fascination of the freak shows, mirror mazes and merry go rounds and, master of it all is the Illustrated Man, who just might have your picture tattooed in the pal of his hand.
Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are fascinated by the secrets the carnival hides and are drawn steadily deeper into it's dark secrets and fantastic promises, but the line between the wonderful and the terrible is a thin one and it is up to Will's father to make sense of the wonders the carnival has really brought and to try to save the two boys from its' lies.
Although I am not a fan of the horror genre and did not believe I would like this book, I soon became fascinated with this novel and it's beautiful imagery. I often found myself re-reading Ray Bradbury's expertly crafted phrases which propel the reader from this world to Bradbury's own like the magic he loves to write about. He touches on our past experiences of sound and taste, memory and desires, hopes and fears and wraps them into a fantastic story that appeals to all ages. This is more than a "horror" novel.,it is a life-affirming story of foolishness and bravery, wisdom and the miracles of love between a father and son, and between two friends. Though "Something Wicked This Way Comes" has been made into a movie, there is no substiture of Ray Bradbury's genius for description and his mastery of the English language. He reminds us of the children we were and reassures us of the future when he writes. This book will leave you smiling and looking at the world with eyes more attuned to the wonders around us.
Oddly enough, this book has been dedicated to actor/dancer Gene Kelly whose artistry, says Bradbury, "changed my life". This book and its sweet message will also touch lives and leave them changed. I highly recommend the experience.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
judy mcclure
The novel "Something Wicked This Way Comes," by Ray Bradbury is a book of dark wit and fantasy. With suspicious and unuseual characters, you must really keep up with the writings to recieve the messages tha the auther is throwing at you in an array of annalogys. That is what makes it hard to read and understand. such as,"His voice, Will thought, Inever noticed, It is the same color as his hair." The main characters, Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway are but act like twin brothers. They talk the same, think the same, and often do the exact thing at the exact same time, including,"In one single motion,Will leaned from his window, as did Jim."And a few paragraphs later,"both boys vanished in a quick and sudden motion and returned at the same tim e,each with binoculars. In conclusion,"Something Wicked This Way Comes" asks for a devoted and patient reader. Sometimes you just have to just sit back and rethink what you read.It is a very different book in the sense of reading and understanding. I would recommend this book to a very academic person, or someone who wants to try something new. Thank You.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is a fiction masterpiece. It is enormously frightening in a very subtle way. I found it easy to identify with the two main characters, whose lives are forever changed in an instant by the sudden appearance of evil. It reminds us just how very fragile our surroundings really are and how evil can have many, not so obvious faces. At the same time, we see how good can triumph over darkness. Suspenseful to the end, I could barely put the book down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kelly beckwith
Or should we scratch out that "horror"? "Something wicked" is, by all means, Bradbury's best. It has an authentic way of describing the feelings of children, and the horror lies in that surreal point of view. A glamorous and terrorizing carnival arrives in town and steals the lives of people, with its secrets visible only to the unfettered eye of children. In my opinion, S.King was inspired much by this book when writing his masterpiece "It". Recommended for everybody, double recommended for people who are looking for serious horror, albeit in a fairy-tale clothing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A mildly paced, philosophical novel by author Ray Bradbury (author of "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451"). Bringing out his very wordy and verbose style of writing, Bradbury tells a tale of dream-like, or even better, nightmare-like proportions. Jim and Will, a week under fourteen, are searching for some excitement in their quaint town in Illinois, but what they get is the place they call home suddenly turned upside down. Late one night, the boys discover a night-train coming down the shore. It's carrying what will shortly become a carnival of mystery. The boys can hardly believe their eyes. The carnival filled with sideshows and ghastly dark tents, harbors a cast of evil-natured freaks that have a certain humane charm, winning the hearts of the town folk. Inside the carnival, they find an insane, powerful, mirror maze that casts a spell on the boys' teacher, who later falls victim to the magically twisted carousel with powers to add or extract years from it's riders. The boys find this out, and are soon on the freaks hit list. Nothing is what it seems, friends are being disguised by new ages, and nobody knows who these freaks are or where they came from. But one thing is clear. Jim and Will are next, if they don't find out how to stop them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
devin mcnulty
I love Bradbury's style, how his writing calls up so many images from my own childhood.

When "Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show" rolls into town, two thirteen-year-old boys become involved in a grand mystery. "And that was the October week when they grew up overnight, and were never so young any more..."

I loved the merry-go-round that could speed up or reverse aging!

I don't like to tell too much about a story, so I'll end with a high recommendation from a life-long-reader.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jane yu
If you are not in the right mood to read a book then do not read it. If you are not prepared to think then do not try. I am writing this to you, Mr. Tulsa, OK. You are an idiot. "I would have enjoyed this book more if I had been in the right mood for it." How pathetic can you be? The philosophy implemented by Mr. Bradbury, amongst the text, reveals the author's ideals and thoughts. That remains as a standard for most novels, short stories, novellas, and the like. If you take out the philosophy then you haven't a story. And please, do not try to read anymore because I don't want you to do it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amy t
This book, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a book by Ray Bradbury. It is a fiction book. In this book, the lesson is to help others in any way you can. It is like what John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country." In this case, Will helped his friend without asking and that shows how much Will and his friend Jim care about each other. This book has a lot to do with friendship.

The text is about a carnival coming to their town late in the year and Will's father has a bad feeling about it but the boys are enthusiastic about it and go many different times. Mr. Dark, the illustrator, has like an evil mind while Charles Halloway, Will's father, doesn't. Mr. Halloway outsmarts Mr. Dark, rescues his son, and kills the witch. Later, Jim falls into a stupor where he almost dies. Mr. Dark comes back as a kid when Mr. Halloway had recognized him and kills him with showing affection. While the carnival falls apart, Will keeps trying to revive Jim. Will and his father save him by singing, dancing, and laughing, anything that deals with happiness. Happiness brings Jim back alive and away from the edge of being dead.

At the beginning of the book, it was very interesting learning about the two boys of how they were and described themselves. For me, later, it got less interesting, but then Mr. Dark came in with the carnival and everything all of a sudden was very cool to keep reading.

Therefore, this book has to do a lot with happiness and heroic stuff. I hope this convinces you that Something Wicked This Way Comes is very interesting and fun to read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I love this novel -- its whole is truly greater than its parts -- but some of it's seriously flawed. (I even heard Bradbury himself complain about it.) You get the feeling that Bradbury's a true believer of artistic inspiration, of a kind of unrestrained, no-metaphors-barred kind of poetics; but that he's not too keen on rewriting. He re-wrote this novel, in a sense, when he wrote the screenplay for the movie. It is the movie version, not the novel, in which Bradbury entirely overhauls the story and really polishes things up, i.e. fully fleshes out the characters, gives the plot a kind of emotional complexity and horror that never really exists in the novel, and really focuses in on the book's major theme -- the loss of youth and the acceptance of old age and death. Next to the novel, the movie shines and cuts like a razor. (Bradbury, incidentally, also wrote the screenplay for Moby Dick.) I love Bradbury, he's one of America's greatest national resources, and his works have even influenced such writers as García Márquez. But like I said, it's Bradbury's movie, which he wrote himself, that's the real masterpiece. If anyone doesn't agree with me or doesn't understand, then I would urge him to watch his cinematic adaptation. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book was awesome. It caotures youth and innocence with simple words and phrases. I've always enjoyes Bradbury's works and this was no exception. This book is worth the trouble of reading. It's fast-paces (unlike what others have said about), easy to read, fun, and almost scary in a rather peculiar way. I was reading this book every time I had a chance. Young or old, read this book to relive memories past and present.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
brandi hutton
I know that Something Wicked This Way Comes is a classic that many readers love, but I found the novel rather disappointing and can in all honesty only reward it with three stars. For me, the writing was just too disjointed at times, full of little pot holes I kept catching my foot in. The real world of this dark fantasy, the town before the dark carnival rolled in under the cover of night, never seemed real to me, and the friendship of the two boys, Will and Jim, never made perfect sense. We are told they are so much alike, born two minutes apart, but they seem mirror opposites to me. One aspect of Jim in particular is mentioned rather prominently yet never explored or even mentioned again, a fact I found disheartening. Then there is Will's father, an older man stumbling quietly through just a few pages of the first half of the novel before becoming magically transformed into an eloquent speaker and incredibly able enemy of dark forces. Certainly, there are aspects of the story I accepted and enjoyed, such as the issue of time and the ways in which boys want to be older and aging men and women long for a return to youth; it was exactly these most innermost desires that fed the strange carnival operators Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger. The idea of the carnival freaks being the remnants of the carnival's former victims is also good. The machinery of the story, though, just never worked for me. The mirror magic of the maze was not developed enough to be convincing, and the inner mysteries of the darkly magical carousel never seemed anything more than foolish to me. Since the evils of the carnival were never convincing to me, the manner in which its harmful effects are fought seemed almost ridiculous. My entire reading of this novel was something of a struggle, one which offered me only a few moments of satisfaction. Knowing that this is Ray Bradbury, I tried very hard to like Something Wicked This Way Comes, but for whatever reason Bradbury's magic just never had any discernible effect on me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Ray Bradbury shows the world his wonderful and imaginative writing style in Something Wicked This Way Comes. His style contrasts good and evil and being weak and courageous in times of hardships. The way Will and his father stick together to try to destroy the carnival was totally ingenious. There is no writer alive that can write with the same depth and compassion as Ray Bradbury..Anna Avitia
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kathryn wilson
I don't quite understand how this happened. I read other books by Bradbury, and enjoyed them thoroughly. This time - a flop. Every element of this book holds on its own. The plot is quite engaging. I enjoyed the philosophical ruminations about time, death, and the origins of the carnival. Even the style, considered apart from the plot, is gratifying. Yet, when all of these come together, the whole is much less than its parts. What could be scary, becomes boring. Would be poetic language verges on ridiculous. Don't get me wrong - Bradbury is a great writer, and I will keep reading his books (fortunately, many still to read). It is just this book, that, for me, was very clumsy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A masterpiece of modern 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 town with the arrival of a dark carnivalone Autumn midnight. How these two innocents, both age 13, save the souls of the town as well as their own, makes for reading on timeless themes. What would you do if your secret wishes could be granted by the mysterious ringmaster Mr. Dark? Bradbury excels in revealing the dark side that exists in us all, teaching us ultimately to celebrate the shadows rather than fear them. In many ways, this is a companion piece to his joyful, nostalgia-drenched Dandelion Wine, in which Bradbury presented us with one perfect summer as seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old. In Something Wicked This Way Comes, he deftly explores the fearsome delights of one perfectly terrifying, unforgettable autumn. O
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
graydon armstrong
I don't get it. This book is supposed to be a classic of the horror genre. Just about everyone agrees on that point. The negative reviews stick out like sore thumbs. Well, here's another sore thumb. The premise is great. An evil carnival comes to town and preys on the emotional and spiritual weaknesses of the residents. The problem is that the story gets lost in the enigmatic writing style that Bradbury chose for this book. Half the time, I didn't really know what was going on. Maybe I'm missing something. If I am, I'm missing it by a mile.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I read this book before reading the movie, which is one of the greatest decisions I've ever made. The movie is very rushed and flat in terms of the amazing imagery that the book describes. Five stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
There is a dark veil hanging over this book and it absolutely scary. Scarier than some horror movies.
Ray Bradbury is of course one of the greatest sf/fantasy writers of the 20th century and if you have never read any of his books, read this one or Fahrenheit 451.
It has many dark and mysterious themes, a traveling show with many strange characters. It is about how people can play with time and how that may affect the souls of people. It could be, and I mean this positive, a Star Trek or X-Files episode. I wonder what the movie is like...
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ashraf a azeem
Two young boys, William and Jim, are faced with quite the carnival. Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois where Will and Jim reside. Little do they know, this is more than your average carnival...
This book haunts you, it's crazy, but you enjoy almost every minute of it. Ray Bradbury is quite the story teller, every one of his books explore a different world.. very unlike ours...
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
My name is Heather and I read the story "Something Wicked This Way Comes." If you like to read about the exciting and unreal then you will absolutly love this book. I enjoyed how descriptive and how in detailed Bradbury was in this book. Although I really loved the book so far I think What I liked most about it, or atleast cought my eye at first was the saying on the cover:By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes. When I read that phrase I knew I had to read this book. If you like to believe in the idea be careful what you wish for and think sometimes things are the way they seem then again this is the perfect story for you. This was an intense story that really you could say addicts you to reading. I could not put it down.I hope the rest of the book is as good as the first 22 chapters. The begining is a little confusing but once you start getting into it it all makes sense. I hope you will read this book and enjoy it. Thanx
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeffrey rosenberg
Most of what needs to be said has been said above, but I'd like to add a word about Bradbury's lexical enthusiasm. Too many folks here knocking him for 'swallowing the thesaurus' or summat. What a dumbed-down, pathetic bunch of quasi-illiterate prats! Some folks could (can) write like that without dictionary, thesaurus, assistance or therapy. They did/do it for fun, for the sheer joy of language, for the ping-pong of Joyce, Woolf and Faullker versus Hemingway, Mailer and Co, avalanches of colour versus perfectly composed black and white. Bradbury never needed the paranoid little forewords that whinged about fantasy and sci-fi being peripheral to literature. He could write, late 50's/early 60's-style, and do it well. To judge him by the cretinous reductionism of the post-post modern is anachronistic, patronising and unfair. Sod off and complain about Moby Dick if you want to pick holes in language.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jacob oliver
Jim Nightshade and William Halloway are thirteen year old boys. They are still boys when Mr. Darks carnival, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show, comes to town. By the time the carnival leaves many of the townspeople have sold their soul in exchange of their deepest desires. Many of the village people, including Will's own father will be tempted by the offer to be young again, while Jim will find the offer of growing up fast irresistible. William can see what's going on and saves his father and then the two of them fight to save Jim and the town.

This book was thrilling, scary, and, wise in many ways. The author makes the reader understand that evil is such a powerful force not because it is so awful, but because it is so tempting. The people of the town aren't really bad people, but in their willingness to exchange their very souls for an easy chance to be something that they are not, and head down the path of evil. What Mr. Dark is offering is a temptation in every sense of the word. Will has to struggle against him in a truly heroic way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hehehe...I was reading this book one day and I really enjoyed it by the time I was done with it. I was reading it for school and it introduced me into the world of Ray Bradbury. I would recommend this book to anyone looking into a quick but fun read. This book took me about 4 hours MAX. Its better than the Martian Chronicles but not as good as the illustrated man
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mary murphy
For someone in search of a dark read, this is it. The poetic prose of Ray Bradbury swept me off of my feet and into the small town in Illinois country where the midnight carnival arrived with it's empty promises and tantalizing shows. Bradbury shows us how people can be good or evil, and that the choice remains in every person; he also provides beautiful examples of how joy and imagination triumph over fear and doubt. He uses the carnival as a symbolic representatation of what happens to people who allow themselves to drift in the past and not make progress towards future happiness. Bradbury alludes to several of his earlier writings, tying together many of his other works into this chilling novel. Even if you have never read Bradbury's work before, this book holds great insite into the world and the individual within it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Something Wicked this way comes is written by Ray Bradbury. This book is all about a mystery. The mystery starts with this weird and creepy man. Jim and Will are the two main characters in the story. They are introduced to this shadowy man early in the book. This man puts a spell on the two boys. Many things are happening to the boys all through out the story. At certain parts of the book, they are chased by a storm. This storm continues to bring many bad things to the boys. There was a special day for Jim's dad; he could not wait until his son had come home. However, the surprise that he was expecting was not what Jim had brought to him. Jim and Will had been arrested by the police. They would not tell His father where they were. At that point, of the story, I thought to my self, "What could the father be thinking of his son?" At that point, I could only feel sorrow for how he felt. This story goes on to more details and to more problems to the two boys. The story ends in a surprising ending. For more details on the book, you have to get it and read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes is a novel about mankind's struggle with temptation. The three main character's Will, Jim and Charles (Will's father) live a relatively simple life before an evil carnival comes to their town. Once it rises up in the middle of the night, people in the town start to disappear and everything goes horribly wrong. The carnival offers what every person could ever dream of but the price is too horrible to bear. The boys have to struggle with their friendship while combating the evil that has manifested in their town. Charles also has to confront the greatest challenge he has ever faced and live up to being Will's father. Bradbury goes outside the narrow-minded sphere of reality, challenging our beliefs, and forcing us to confront our deepest desires and fears. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
"Don't look back on happiness, or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today; do not let yourself be cheated out of it." ~Henry Ward Beecher

This is the book that all 10 year old boys dare each other to read. This is the first time I have read this book, I will blame it on laziness rather than lack of courage...

It's the classic tale of good versus evil. A dark carnival comes to town led by Mr. Dark, The Illustrated Man. This is no ordinary carnival. Mr. Dark is out to recruit people to a life of misery in his sideshow traveling tour. Two boys discover his secret and will be forced to decide if they are "autumn people" or "summer people". They will discover that sometimes you don't want your wishes to come true.

The book reminds you to enjoy your life regardless of your age or circumstances and that it's important to laugh every once in a while.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
victoria patterson
Dear peers,

If a peer, wants to read this book Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. I think most peers like to read fiction books and this is a fiction book, so most people would like them. This book is one of a kind, I say that because most of the times you do not read this types of novels. This book takes place in a small town with a big storm on the way and no one in town cares except two kids. This book is also about two friends, Jim and Will that have been friends since babies and do most things at the same time. These two boys find out a mystery that most people in town do not know about because it does not happen that often. This novel is interesting because thing happen that are not expected. For example, an old man in a black suit told Jim and Will that Jims house was going to be hit by a lightning, so he gave them a lightning rod to help them. Then the old man in the black suit disappeared and Will went running to the house to help but Jim stayed behind like if he did not care that his mother was not in the house. Another example is when they went to the carnival when they are parents told them not to go because something weird is going on that only. Wills dad knows but will not tell his kids. In the carnival, they found out that the marry-go-round did work but went backwards. Then they saw the people who worked in the carnival were changing figure, which was weird.

Well if you choose to know more about the novel, you should read it and if you do, I hope you like it as much as I did.


Esmeralda Castillo
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jack knight
Pandemonium Shadow Show, where evil is entertaining and funhouse mirrors reflect the beast adventurous and imaginative novel right from the first line, a foreshadowing of the trouble that begins for two boys when a very unusual train pulls into town one day: "The seller of lightningrods arrived just ahead of the storm."
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
prashant prabhu
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a horror, narrative, and mystery type novel. I say that it is a mystery type of story because it gives clues in the beginning of the book. As the characters receive the clues, they lead up to even bigger events inside the book later on. The three main characters in this novel are two boys and their father. In the story, one of the boys is the narrator of this book so that is why it is also narrative. This book is a fictional type of story.

This book begins with a sales man talking to both of the kids. The sells man tries to convince the kids to buy a product for the roof. Just like in many movies, something seems wrong to the characters. In this particular case, it is about a thunderstorm and it will burn their house roof. Sure enough, one of the kids believes him and buys the product from him. As they go up to install it on the roof, they catch a whiff of something burning in the air. If you enjoyed that chapter then maybe you should check it out yourself
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Mr. Neal Luis Peralta

English 1 9/2/03

Dear Peers,


Peer review

If you are looking for a book that has eloquent vocabulary, you should read SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury who wrote the book in a very eloquent vocabulary. If you do not like books that have, too many mysteries you should not read SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES because the book has many mysteries that need to be solve. I recommend the book to readers who like to solve mysteries and to those who want to have a good time while reading a book. The book is 293 pages long it is very long but is worth it because you get the chance to read a very cool reading book. The book has many life lessons that can teach you how to deal with daily life problems. I learned many life lessons from the book one thing that I learned was not to be naïve when people are warning you about something that could hurt you and you do not even listen to them because you do not trust them. The two main character of the book are James and Will who are two cool teenagers who are trying to solve a mystery in there home town city of Green town, Illinois. Well I hope you read SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES by Ray Bradbury because the book is fantastic.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alexia m
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury is a very interesting book. It is a fiction

story about two boys and their adventures at a carnival. If you like adventure and things that are out of this world, then you will like this book. Jim and Will (the two main characters) are very different. Will is very cautious and always thinks things through before doing them. Jim on the other hand just likes to go for things no matter what the consequences may be. The two boys go to a carnival and witness wicked stuff happening there. The book is pretty, long because of so many things that are happening at the carnival. It is fifty-four chapters long. If you are looking for something to read during your long, boring summer then read Something Wicked This Way Comes. The adventure never ends in this surprising, fiction story.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Something Wicked This Way Comes, not bad for a horror novel. im usually not into horror, but all in all it wasnt bad. the storyline was pretty original, and the writing itself was not bradbury's best, but still decent. The plot follows the escapades of two best friends, one being mischivious and curious, the other quiet and shy. Their simple life becomes greatly twisted, and I mean twisted, when a Halloween carnival arrives. An illustrated man, a blind fortune telling witch, and a dwarf are just the beginnings of trouble. oh, and there is the carousel that can change your age instantly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara arrigoni
I admit i thought this book seemed strange and somewhat corny from first reading the synopsis. But after begining to read i was imediately swept into Bradbury's vision. I could clearly see every detail and believe in the fantastic events. This book also provides a wonderful discourse on good and evil and the nature of each. As all good literature should it does not provide answers but asks deep questions.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Ray Bradbury ruined carnivals and State Fairs for me during the majority of my life. I could not attend one without thinking of this great novel and it's unforgettable characters, which will forever instill a sense of dread and fear of the carnival. While the premise itself is frightening, it is Bradbury's writing that brings the full force of fear alive and creates images difficult to forget.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I grew up reading Ray Bradbury (6th to 10th grades). So now some twenty plus years later, in a nostalgic mood, I ordered a bunch of Bradbury books. Something Wicked This Way Comes was the first book I chose to read and now I kind of wish I hadn't.
In this book, Bradbury writes shorter sentences than Hemingway. And far too many of them contain exclamations such as: "Jim!"; "Oh gosh!"; "Dad!"; "It's hopeless!"; "Boys!"; "Like Heck!"; "Cheezeit!"; "Jim!"; "Jehosophat!"; "You're evil!"; "Jim!"; "Bangity-bang!"; and the best of all, "But for cri-yi, Jim, face it, you don't really want to be twenty!"
How about this for a sequence:
"No its all right!"
"Will, yes, its ok!"
"Stand back!"
"This man is in a trance! As part of our new act I have hypnotized him! He could suffer injury if you shocked him from the spell!"
The internes shut their mouths. The police stopped moving.
"One hundred thousand volts! Yet he will come forth alive, whole in sound mind and body!"
Now that's some writing. Ed Wood himself couldn't have done that scene better.
All of this could be forgiven if there was an underlying story or even some characters worth knowing. But alas...The protagonist, Will, is a wussy. His father, Charles Halloway is dour old woman. Will's best friend, Jim, has some guts, but to Will and his father he is far too brash. The villains, such as they are, are not frightening or particularly villainous. There is a dwarf, a witch, an illustrated man--not to mention Mr. Electro. Oh my!
And what dastardly deeds come to light? Why there is a carousel that can turn a young boy into an old man and vice versa! Gasp! There is a maze of mirrors that shows people their worst fears! Shriek! There is a freak show with the implication that carnival director Mr. Dark sculpted these freaks (pinhead, sheep boy, fire eater) from ordinary folks just like Will and Jim!
As Jim would say, "I think I'm going to bawl now!"
You aren't missing much if you take a pass on this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
When Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show comes to town, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are drawn into a battle for their souls. Ray Bradbury's writing style sprinkled with half mad similes and metaphors turns a carnival into a place that breathes out wickedness and despair. There are a couple rambling philosophical sections that detract from the pace of the book, but this is one creepy page-turner!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I had to write to say do NOT listen to the many reviews of this book describing it as empty, dated, lacking creativity, etc. If you're familiar with Bradbury at all, this book will live up to your expectations of his typical high quality of writing. If you are not familiar with Bradbury, I'd personally say start with something closer to F451, Martian Chronicles, or some short stories to get a feel for Bradbury, but regardless of when you read this book, you'll be impressed. Bradbury creates suspense throughout the book, in fact, the only reason I read this book so quickly was because I simply could not put it down! There's no way to describe the magic bradbury creates, please, do yourself a favor and read this and every other Bradbury story you can get your hands on!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Ray Bradbury is a good author but this book can be really really slow at times, it took me three weeks to get thorugh it. sometimes you think, "well lets see which one is Jim and which one is Will, and who is this Mr. Dark guy anyway?" even though this book was slow it was good towards the end, read this book if you want a book that shows the power of emotions and how they can overcome evil.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
iris lane
I hate to say it...but Bradbury's writing style on this book was not for me. There were passages I skipped and I felt that the ending was way too rushed. I would have loved to learn more about the Illustrated Man and his crew - how did they get their powers? Where did they come from? The best part of novel was the library scene...otherwise, it was just OK for me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sakinah azman
I first read this when I was 13. Fortunately, I had not seen the mediocre sanitized Disney production of this, so I did not have any tainted preconceptions. This is a true Ray Bradbury masterpiece - full of all the power of his infectious sense of nostalgia, his warmth, and his terrifying and yet wondrous imagination.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura guerrant
Something Wicked This Way Comes, is one of the most amazing books ever written ever! "By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes." Every time I hear that saying I think of this book written by Ray Bradbury. Also I think that it was kind of odd how Mr. Dark used the diguise of being the lightning rod salesman, and how Jim and Will found out all the secrets of the mirors and the mazes and the fariswheel. All that Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger were trying to do were to take the peoples souls and trade them for what they (the people) wished for the most as in their sins. To all that haven't read this book should really read it because it will make you interested in it more and after page. This book is one of the best ever written and it will make you more interested in it because of all what happens it makes you wander whats going to happen to Jim and Will next, so it keeps you gessing, and it makes you wander if Will and Jim will make it out alive or dead!! Who know till you read it, so go out and read it for my sake and for yours.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
shauna hulsey
Many high schools cover this book in english classes, and though I hadn't read it in school, I've always been fond of Bradbury's short stories, so I figured I'd give it a read. I was fairly disappointed. It doesn't match his short fiction. I found the plot and characters dry and predictable. Maybe I just don't like carnies...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Great book, I was hooked from the prologue. If you enjoy fantasy, a battle between good and evil, and great writing, then you will enjoy "Something Wicked This Way Comes." You can't judge a book by its cover, but how about its title? Worked this time. Loved the title and then the book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kelly d
If you like carnivals and magic, Something Wicked is perfect for you. I was assigned to read this for school. It became so captivating that i couldn't put the book down. i would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful, captivating book
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
A good old creepy carny type story.

The wicked in the title refers to the travelling sideshow/fun fair/show or whatever you want to call it attraction that rolls into a nowheresville USA town. Bad things start happening because of this creepy joint, and two boys end up in the thick of the action trying to work out what they can do to stop all the dastardly goings-on.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ryan neely
If you are a fan of sci fi, this is considered somewhat of a classic .The book has an interesting plot, but Bradbury's prose is difficult to read. Fahrenheit 451 is a much better book, and not as verbose.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
angus nelson
Forget all the contemporary pretenders who write novels about the dark side. This is the only book that ever made me look over my shoulder; and in broad daylight. Bradbury demonstrates once again his mastery of words and images.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie lyn
This is probably one of the best written books of all time. Almost poetic in it's prose it carries you through the eyes of two young boys who witness the arrival of the dark carnival and the horrors that it brings. It is a real "good versus evil" yarn but with much more magic, suspense, imagination and atmosphere then most of it's rivals. I have read it many times over and will undoubtedly do so again. The ending is surprisingly uplifting. There is much more to this book than just a story!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
edward fredericks
"By the Pricking of my Thumbs, Something Wicked This Way comes." This Shakespearean couplet sums up one of Ray Bradbury's literary masterpieces in only two lines. Ray Bradbury is a dream worker as he writes a destined classic about one of the oldest force; good versus bad, right versus wrong. His book, Something Wicked This Way Comes, is compelling and entertaining, but more importantly leaves a lasting impact on the reader. This book is about two young boys and ones father in a war against the Autumn people, Dark and the freaks and their carnival and mirror maze, and carousel. I will never go on another Carousel as long as I live.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Ray Bradbury is an exceptional writer....and this story is like a well-written Goosebumps book. It is NOT scary for an adult brought up on Stephen King horror. However, I was fooled by reviews claiming this book "has been known to give some people nightmares".... well, those "some people" are twelve year olds. I recommend this book for pre-teens. For adults, I recommend Stephen King's Needful Things, which is vaguely similar.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leonard houx
This book is great for readers who enjoy books that make you want to question life around you. It is a fantastic way to endulge oneself in free time. This ranks way up there with the Martian Chronicles and Farenheit 451.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
william iii
Something Wicked is not a book to be read quickly, not a book just to be finished. Take time to savor Bradbury's every sentence in this masterful story about the dark side of human nature present in each of us.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This book was suggested for me to read by a friend of mine. She knew the wicked books that I have read very recently. At first, I did not want to read it, but after I read the cover of the book I was hooked. The opening pages were very interesting, I was going into the book not knowing what to expect and I was very shocked. The scene I most thoroughly enjoyed was the carousel. Most people would think that it is a very wicked part but I really enjoyed it. Most of the book was very disturbing and that they did not know what they had gotten themselves into. I really enjoyed the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is wounderful. It really got me thinking, and it made me want to get out and find some type of adventure. The best thing I can probably say about this story is: After I finished it, I couldn't sleep. For I was busy running the story through my head, over and over. I know that I will probably read this book every October for years to come. Every one should read it. Child, young adult, adult... Everyone.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I will get directly to the point, which is something the author found difficult to do in this book.

This is one of the most disjointed, incomprehensible novels I have ever tried to read. I think this book is the most clear case of an author's vanity that I have ever seen. Do you ever get the feeling (when you're reading a novel) that the author is so very proud of the colorful language he has just scattered across the page that he can scarcely help himself from trying to top his last success at articulation? That is the way this book reads, like a perfect example of an author's vanity getting away from him.

I grew up with this movie (and loved it!). This is one instance where I can honestly say that the movie was way better than the book. The book took too long to get anywhere, tried to introduce motives for characters' actions that never seemed to make any sense (to any normal person anyway), and was generally boring.

So, whatever you do, stay clear of this book. Jump, skip, skidattle-crack your way on down the road to another book (yes this is my attempt to imitate Bradbury's annoying descriptive style in this book). You will not find anything that you liked about Farenheit 451 (another book by this author) in here.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicolas upton
The best book ever. Granted, that's only an opinion, yet I would not just say that about any book. What I enjoy so much about this book is great portrayal of the common battle of good vs. evil. That's an old story, but this book is that storyline in its purest form. Additionally, the imagery is amazing. True, it can seem purple at times, but I still enjoyed it immensely. It really keeps everything interesting. Just wait until you get to the "smiling bullet." Oh yeah, and don't forget to rent the movie, the SCARIEST DISNEY MOVIE EVER.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessica smiddy
utterly comprehensable and delightful entertainment from the workings of Ray Bradbury. Another incredibly fun, yet absolutely terrifying thrillers that will leave you wanting more. After reading Something Wicked This Way Comes you will have to read the Illustrated Man, a sort of prolouge to this wonderful story of the mind. While reading this book you will find a place inside you where dreams are realized and nightmares just begin. From the title to the ending, Ray Bradbury has successfully surpassed his limits once again, twisting reality for his readers.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kelly moore
I thought the book was very interesting and in fact suspenseful in every way. You never knew what to expect. Will and Jim were two young boys with dreams and hopes like every other boy. They never expected something wicked coming for them. I personally enjoyed the book and think the movie was great as well. The movie and the novel compare and contrast in many different ways. I rate this novel a 3 becuase it is in the mid-point of a great novel. I couldn't relate to it so that's why I didn't rate it a 4. But it is an excellent book to read. When I first read the book I was very confuse about the direction it was going, but in the end it all ties up and connects to each personal character.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
trang chip
Great book, but the movie (also written by Ray Bradbury) was much better. It's probably the best Halloween (the holiday) movie I've seen.
The book can stand on its own, though, and is a great read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
OKay, so you may have read this book and you want to buy it. Why the Limited? Well, Ray Bradbury signed it for one, Peter Crowther signed it. There are 7 pages of photocopied manuscript notes with handwritten changes so you can see the thought process of the author. See the artwork both by Bradbury and Joe Mugnaini. Oh and if it wasn't mentionned before it's one heck of a story! Go for the limited!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Something wicked this way comes the movie is a mind puzzeling and an abnormal movie, because of the characters and the events that catch your eyes and mind.This story of two boys who encounter the sinister wonders of Cooger and Mr.Dark's pandemonium shadow show. They will soon discover the show's awful mystery a mystery that will change the life of every person it touches. THis movie is in my opinion one of the greatest mystery movies of all times and could capture your attenion with it's phenonaminal event's and in conclusion that is why I rate this movie 5 stars
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I found much of the book slow, perhaps because of the ornate style of prose that Mr. Bradbury employed. But perhaps he WANTED us to read it slowly, the crafty fellow! The plot was interesting, and the ending clipped along at a brisk enough pace to salvage things for me.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Recently I Read the book Something Whicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. It is a very interesting book and requires some thinking to understand this book.
It is about two boys Will and Jim. it was in the middle of October when a carnival comes to town. This is a very strange carnival. They take all the people that come to the carnivle and turn them into a part of their freak shows.
I had a good experience reading this book it was very entertaining. It took me only about a week to read this book and itwas worth the time.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
rebecca macdermott
I thought this was a really great story, but I just didn't like the writing style. At times I felt like I was reading a Dick and Jane book. The sentences seemed too choppy.
This is the second book by Bradbury I've read, and haven't been too impressed with either of them.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
This novel is a coming-of-age tale of two thirteen-year-old boys, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade. A carnival arrives at their small town during October, the wrong time of the year for a carnival. Soon, it is apparent that this is no ordinary carnival. There is a maze of mirrors that drowns people with their fears about themselves, a tempting carousel that can both increase and decrease age, and a multitude of freaks that have fallen victim to these fears and temptations. The leader of the carnival is Mr. Dark, the Illustrated Man. Charles Halloway, Will Halloway's father, becomes the hero of the tale because he finds away to defeat the freaks: smiling and laughter. The freaks feed off of negative energy, so a laugh can render them useless and even dead.

The novel started out rather slowly. The beginning discourse was intriguing, but it just didn't hold my interest through a large section. The freaks and the supernatural events were hard to believe at first. They seemed to be too easily accepted in the fabric of the story when they were first introduced. The author spends a lot of time letting Charles Halloway talk. There were times when I just wanted him to shut up and do whatever it was he needed to do.

Despite the fact that Charles Halloway talked too much, he made a lot of interesting observations. There are beautiful passages in the book. I copied some out to remember them. I liked it that the main temptation, the carousel, played on the fear of death, the most common fear in anyone.

I have mixed feelings on whether I like this book or not. I give it a 2 1/2 out of 5.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dale shaw
When I began reading Something Wicked This Way Comes, it seemed uninteresting and childish, but as I continued on, I found myself unable to put it down. Not only has Ray Bradbury created a terrifying novel, but a deeply moving story about human nature. I loved the ending. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nikita torane
This book is great! The suspense is wonderful! I'm not much of a horror/suspense fan, but being a life-long Bradbury fan, I finally read it. I wish I had read it years ago! Yes, it is horribly suspenseful - but so much more! The darkness only makes the light shine all the brighter! If you haven't read this book - that is the most horrible part of all! Do yourself a favor and get this book NOW!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cynthia timoti
"Something wicked this way comes" is a horror novel.
This story is about a carnival that alway came at oct. and turn every people ride the merry-go-round into part their show. The merry-go-round can also make people young and older, that's why many people want to ride it backward to make themselve younger. Mr. Dark the manjor of the carnival want to make Jim to be part of carnival. Thanks to Will his best friends and Will's father, together they save JIm. And ending the story in a unbelieve way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pastafarian pastaman
Ray Bradbury is more than just a sci-fiction writer. In Something Wicked this Way Comes, Bradbury uses vivid metaphors, and details to illustrate the story of two young boys coming to age. The underlying theme of this book is the battle between the good and evil on earth, and also the battle inside of all of us. This is a must read!!!!!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Something wicked did happen to Will and Jim. Two close friends about the same age wonder around and found something that changed both of their lifes. The carousel they saw by wondering around was a time machine. Both were present to see how the time machine works. They saw how the carousel took many weird people back in time according to their desires. A big disaster was the conclusion of their wondering, they were chased and tempted for looking at people and things they werent suppose to be seen.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
chandler poling
I have to admit that I just don't get it. I'm baffled as to why Ray Bradbury is considered such a genius. This book, considered one of his best, really doesn't stand out to me as anything all that special. The plot is cute, at best. It's not terribly creative; in fact, it's quite formulaic and often predictable. The characters are interesting, but not in any profound sort of way. And the writing is choppy and unrefined. I might give this book to an 11-year-old looking for a quick, easy read. But I have to believe that the past forty years have produced better material in the way of fantasy fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aleman santos
This is hands down in my opinion Bradburys best novel and my favorite story his. Who knows how many stories he has published for the last 60 years and this one I hold dear to me. I have always been a huge fan of his, especially his short stories. If you want to check out a gerat book by this famous author I could only highly recomend Something Wicked This Way Comes!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matthew reed
"Something Wicked This Way Comes" is a special book. It is a great tale of innocence, adventure, mtyh and fear. Bradburys unique style allows him to really capture the essence of boyhood and adolescent friendship. Plus the best part of the book are its truely wicked villans.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This book used a mammoth amount of undecipherable metaphors and similies, confusing and unnecssecary description. The dialog had no point and about 85% of the book was pointless. In other words dont waste your time. I was looking on this site for a full review of this awful book so i can to my ridiculously long report on this book i didnt understand.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah koz
it's obvious by looking at the other reviews that either you really understand this book or you completely don't. this is one of the best books i have ever read, but to understand it you must be able to look past the words and into what they actually mean.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book was an interoggative inquisition of the brain. Everytime you thought something, Bradbury made it into the last think your mind would allow you to think. My brain twisted and turned. Honestly I had to read a lot of it over to fully understand the signifigance of what he was saying.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
The book 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' is a book about two young boys trying to find adventure, only to realize the adventure coming to them is not what they were out looking for. I think that this book teaches a valuable lesson and when looking for adventure make sure you look up the road a little futher.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This was my second Ray Bradbury book. The first was Dandelion Wine, which I liked better. Dandelion Wine had better stories and better descriptions. That being said, this was a very entertaining book and the story line will certainly make you turn the page without effort.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura pichierri
I can't tell you how much this book has influenced my imagination. Ray is a true literary hero, an American classic. Everyone should be familiar with his work, especially this time of year =) For all Ray fans, make sure to check out THE OCTOBERS. It's a new book series that Ray would love. just go to and you can see the trailer.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kenzie winegar
When a late carnival comes to town on the heels of a storm, two boys find themselves pitted against the ominous Mr. Dark in an ancient battle against the night. Bradbury is one of my favorite authors, but I don't have much fondness for his nostalgia literature--like Something Wicked This Way Comes, or Dandelion Wine. My memories aren't made up of those landscapes or experiences, and so there's no personal fondness. I also begrudge that branch of his work its stylistic redundancy. Bradbury's science fiction has incredible atmosphere, but it's driven by a demanding premise and/or constrained to short form, and so there's less opportunity for the prose to run away with itself--instead, his emotional focus and quietude are atmospheric blessings. Something Wicked has fantastic elements, but they're powered by nostalgia--and so while it offers up some beautiful turns of phrase, those are lost within a mountain road of prose. I've read the book before, some years back, and find I remember some parts well: there's aspects of the book that I love, and Bradbury creates a veritable carnival of horrors which delight me; I see how they could make for a successful book. Bradbury portrays an intensely idealized but vibrant representation of youth and youth's confrontation with age (and with life)--and his themes, despite their lack of personal appeal, are carried through with conviction. But no matter my best intentions and my love of the author, Something Wicked isn't the book for me. I appreciate and can recommend it for what it tries to be, but I don't enjoy it.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
cass sadek
I can't believe the constant showboating of the writing in this book. The metaphors per paragraph (MPP) is just ridiculous and totally distracting from the story. Simile and metaphor are meant to communicate meaning. In this book, however, many of them, while sounding interesting or "peotic," simly don't do their real job, which is to help tell the story. Or maybe that's the problem - the story isn't very interesting so the author hopes to distract the reader from that fact with the spastic writing style. Bradbury here writes like a college kid whose only real chance of getting laid is by impressing some girl in his creative writing class. Really sad; I thought Bradbury was better that this. He apparently needed - and went without - a reasonable editor who certainly would have taken him out in the parking lot and slapped him around until he remembered what writing was supposed to sound like. Real writers use literary devices sparingly, if at all. And when they do, they make sure they are dead-on and impactful. Ray, read a little Carver or Hemingway before you write another next 70 pages of pap. If I sound irritated, I am.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
alyssa mccollum
The book is great, and the Kindle price is very low ($1.99 as I write this). However, the Kindle file is riddled with errors: typos, bad returns, sentences run together, no table of contents. There's nothing like reading a great book and having the experience marred by a terrible translation to a new medium. I would have happily paid more for a decent, readable version of the book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I was 10 years old, sneaking into my dad's Playboy collection, when I read Ray Bradbury the first time. He created in me a life long appreciation for reading in general and sci-fi specifically. This book brought back to me all the wonder and joy I remember from that initial experience.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I've only read one of Bradbury's books, but I loved it. I have only seen the movie of this book, but it was awesome. It's quite creepy and strangely keeps you hooked on every word. Go with the majority of the reviewers, this book is awesome and appropriate for all ages.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
claudia webb
I first read this book when it came out in paperback, I was probably 13. It is still to this day one of my most favorite books. The movie. however, was a big dissappointment. I'm really excited about introducing the audiobook to my wife, who is not a big reader.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
una exchange
I think this book tells a wonderful story about friendship and growth and scary things! All the Carnival thing is simply sinister!
If you like Stephen King's It or Dan Simmoms' Summer of Night then you must absolutely buy this book!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
wan eng
I read this book for school and it was really confusing. Half the book didn't make sense. I dont suggest it because its real confusing. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury is alot better. Because its easier to understand.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
danita winter
A carnival comes to a small town. Mr. Dark presides over it. He starts to spread evil over the town. Only two young boys--James Nightshade and William Halloway--are aware of it and try to save the town.
I had to read this in college. I looked forward to it. I liked Bradbury's short stories very much. Unfortunately this is virtually unreadable. Bradbury seems to like showing off how smart he is and renders most of the descriptions of places and things in flowery, overdone language. More often then not I had to reread a sentence multiple times before I understood it! This is a perfect description of the word "pretentious". The sad thing is this has all the elements of a good horror story. The description of Mr. Dark's carnival works (when you can understand it) and the Dust Witch "marking" the two kids houses is downright horrific. There's also the ferris wheel that ages a person at each spin. This is all creepy stuff but Bradbury seems more intent on showing how intelligent he is than making a coherent story. Too bad.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
lynne nikolaisen
For me to enjoy a book I have to be able to relate, on some level, to the characters and it was difficult for me to do that. It's not gender; I've read many books with male protagonists and still found them very enjoyable, but I just couldn't empathize with either of the boys' plights or thoughts or emotions. Both boys were just so unoriginal and trite.

More unforgivable than the fact that the two young boys were rather boring and cookie-cutter, is the fact that this book did not cause me to jump, feel shivers up my spine or feel my heart beat speed up in dread at all. I felt cheated of a scare. I was promised that this was a classic horror story and that I would never forget it, but unfortunately, the reason I will never forget it is because it was such a boring read.

I don't understand it - carnivals can be one of the creepiest settings for a story, yet Bradbury allows this choice backdrop to go to waste! He focuses on the carousel, which is great because that can be a pretty scary ride, what with all the bizarre colors and expressions on the animals' faces, but the reason the carousel was scary in this book just did not do it for me. When I read it, my initial reaction was "That's it? THAT'S the 'big' baddie?" I don't need my horrors to actually be physically manifested in some demonic thing or thrown into my face with no subtlety, but I do need it to actually BE scary and that was just not the case here.

There were numerous times when I had to go back and re-read passages that were convoluted just for the sake of being convoluted, that I nearly tossed the book aside in impatience. Some authors write "complicated" novels well - consider Faulkner's Light In August for example - but Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes does not fall under that category.

Doggedly I persisted and I finished this stupid thing and I wasted my time.

Despite how much people seem to laud it (and that's fine - everyone's entitled to his/her opinion) I did not enjoy this book at all, would NOT recommend it if you are looking for a good read and would advise that you turn to Bradbury's short-story collections instead. I think that Bradbury is MUCH better at writing short stories than he is at writing novels like this one.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I'm not really sure if I like this book or not. I can see how it might have shocked people in the time of The Cold War, and can see its allagorical nature. It was written in 1962( I was 6) It's basic good vs. evil. However, in my opinion, it can also be seen as a maturity saga. Young carefree boys on the cusp of walking into big bad adulthood, one with no mentor, the other has one he almost doesn't recognize.

A librarian I know called it "an insignificant work by a significant author". I can see why it was wandering around in "The Bookseller", but I never would've cared enough to have read it otherwise
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ellen peterson
Maybe it is just that this book it's style, it's prose did not translate well for me here in the UK but I cannot understand the fascination with something I do not understand. It's a coming of age novel but the language is too rich and poetic for my liking " They ran in urine smell of shadow, they ran in clean ice smell of moon. The calliope steam-throb whispered, tatted, trilled."...."in flight, in heat-spell river of wind and blaze of metal, in jog of July and August horses whose hoofs thudded the air like thrown fruit, his eyes blazed"

I thought Boy's Life by Robert McCammon truly inspiringly brilliant (in fact I find anything by McCammon brilliant) but Something Wicked This Way Comes for me had few redeeming features the richness of language made a truly boring experience and I struggled to finish...I admire those of you who found inspiration from Bradbury's words but sadly not me :((
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I tried to read this, but found Bradbury's style too distracting and confusing. There are some sentences you re-read for pleasure, thinking: 'Wow, well said!' But he doesn't reign in the mannered technique enough for you to relax and enjoy the story. It's a bad habit some authors have, akin to a playwrite walking out onstage during the middle of a performance to shout to the audience, "Hey! I wrote this! Me! Ray Bradbury!"

Obviously a talented writer, but not disciplined enough in how he uses that talent.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This is the story of two 13-year-old boys who discover the dark secrets of a carnival which came to their small provincial town on an autumn night.
The novel is supposed to be very profound and full of would be philosophical musings, and stunning descriptions, unfortunately, for me, it was boring and mostly meaningless, I think that all that rambling serves the only purpose to transform a short story into a full-blown novel and I found myself skipping great chunks just to get to the actual story which in the end wasn’t all that great either.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
drew conley
Years ago I read "Moby Dick" for the first time and found it to be one of my most hated books. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that the book that many consider one of the best ever was so low in my totem pole. When I read this book by Ray Bradbury I had a sense of deja-vu, since I had seen the praise for this book, which many consider one of the masterpieces of the Gothic genre, and I found it completely unreadable.

The reasons I did not care for this book are many. First, I could not connect with the two boys that are the main characters (particularly throughout the first half of the story). After reading for a while I could not care less about what was going on with Jim and Will. A big drawback for me was the language and prose. I am all for literary novels, but i could not help feeling that the author was using complicated phrases and language in an effort to show how smart he was. This got old really quick and seriously made it a chore to keep reading. The story was just OK, but given the aforementioned problems, it did not do anything at all for me either.

In summary, I am pretty sure that the problem is not so much with the book as with how the book affects me. I am always going to remember it as my second "Moby Dick", and I can already picture in my mind the bewildered looks I will get when the book comes up in a conversation and I explain my dissatisfaction with it. This is my first time reading Ray Bradbury, but I have decided to read "Farenheit 451" to find out if my issue is with this specific book or with the author. We will see what that one brings...
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This book was terrible!!!! I couldn't not bring myself to finish it. First things first: the plot was so confusing! Bradbury would create a plot twist, and in the middle of twisting, he would throw in a whole new plot twist, and it went on and on like this. All the different twists were just sending the book in every direction possible. It was a nightmare to read. Secondly, I don't even know the characters' names! They were so unlikable, hard to connect to, and all around bad. I couldn't tell what was going on EVER. I also felt like they were too eccentric and "original". I know that being original is a good thing, but not in this way. This leads me to the last big reason why I hated this book: Bradbury was trying too hard. You can even tell from the description from the back - he tries to use all these big and descriptive words, but it just makes his ideas go astray and his sentences sound awkward. I feel like he was trying too hard to make it descriptive and interesting, and honestly it jut made it worse. Sometimes less is more - you know? He was also trying to make everything sound poetic. It did not sound poetic - it sounded like 18 adjectives that had 18 letters in each put in a row to describe something as stupid and simple as a wall. This was a flat out terrible book! I was expecting a lot from him after reading Fahrenheit 451, but he basically crumpled up my hopes and dreams, wiped his butt with it, and threw it down the toilet.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
In this book, Bradbury's writing is so infused with his style that if you don't like his style, the book is unreadable; whereas if you do like his style, then you are almost certain to love the book. I don't like his style, but many people do. Here's a sample which illustrates the style to which I refer. It is the fourth paragraph in chapter 3:

"What's the answer, he wondered, walking through the library, putting out the lights, putting out the lights, putting out the lights, is it all in the whorls on our thumbs and fingers? Why are some people all grasshopper fiddlings, scrapings, all antennae shivering, one big ganglion eternally knotting, slip-knotting, square-knotting themselves? They stoke a furnace all their lives, sweat their lips, shine their eyes and start it all in the crib. Caesar's lean and hungry friends. They eat in the dark, who only stand and breathe."

If you like that style of writing, or at least don't consider it pretentious, self-indulgent gibberish, then you will probably be able to find a decent read in this book. I was able to make only about one-sixth of the way through before my annoyance with the style overcame my desire to read a good story.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes is a tour de force in the over-use of metaphor and simile to the point that the reader must strain to follow the actual plot without being led repeatedly astray. The author also misuses words intentionally, for effect it seems, but to no discernible advantage. However, there is genius in the creative imagination that went into the plot - no doubt grist for a successful movie - where of course the metaphors and similes fade away as the screen writers and director are forced to visually develop the plot for the viewers. In toto, an very unenjoyably read.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
I wanted to like this book. I really did. But absurd analogies, overwrought adjectives, out-of-place adverbs, and nonsensical dialogue are too much to take. Condensed to a short story, say about 50 pages, it might be readable. As it is, it's excessive dreck and lengthy (boring) scenes that lead to fantastical and unnecessary conclusions. It's like reading the prose of a coked-up ADHD kid that took pen to paper after an allnighter. Read this twice, and it was only slightly better the second time; I still disliked the same things and found my attention wandering at the same points in the novel. This novel is too self-indulgent and gawdy to be about two boys who discover things aren't as they seem at a carnival in a small Midwestern town.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
gerald fitzpatrick
If there was a rating for zero stars, this book deserves it. I've never read anything so awful. If I didn't have to read it for school, I wouldn't have gotten past the 1st chapter. Hard to understand, slow moving, and plain old boring are just a beginning of all the things I hated about this book. As for everyone else in my class, they all hate it too. I'm about to form a petition against it.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
caleb trimble
So I don't really understand why this is considered a horror novel? I feel that it was made for children and Bradbury's writing style is a little confusing at times and kind of bland. I thought of it as more of an adventure story then anything. If you want something that is scary then this is not for you. I am a huge horror book nut but this book just didn't do it for me at all.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Except for the first 5 or 10 pages, the book is a terrible read. Bradbury starts well but turns increasingly pretentious and obscure. From the third chapter on, there is at least two metaphors per paragraph, and quite a few of them are undecipherable.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jayah paz
I have read several Ray Bradbury works, I have yet to find one I like but other people rave over them and movies have been made of some of them. "Something Wicked This Way Comes" is, to me, one of his worst. The story is simple, a carnival comes to town, two boys, fast friends, visit it and discover the carousel has the ability to either age people or subtract years. The carnival owners find out the boys have this knowledge and plan to get rid of the boys. One of the boy's father comes to their aid and in doing so grows in stature in their eyes and the boys and the man rediscover themselves.In my hardcover copy it takes Bradbury 289 pages to tell this simple tale and he seems to have searched the dictionary for words that he doesn't know how to use, he groups them in awkward fashion, makes nouns into verbs, adjectives become neologisms, juxtaposes words together but making no sense thus used, repeats phrases for some reason which I am unable to detect and I think tries to make himself look greater than he is by this use of words, instead he disrupts thought, not helping the story and, frankly, making a fool of himself by his word usage. Vladimir Nabokov was a Russian who also looked to use uncommon English words in his writing, he seldom missed but his stretches could be excused since English was a second language to him. What was Bradbury's excuse?
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