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Something Wicked This Way Comes (Greentown Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Ray Bradbury
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (432 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Few American novels written this century have endured in th heart and mind as has this one-Ray Bradbury's incomparable masterwork of the dark fantastic. A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show's smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes -- and the stuff of nightmare.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A masterpiece of modern Gothic 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 Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one Autumn midnight. How these two innocents, both age 13, save the souls of the town (as well as their own), makes for compelling 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. --Stanley Wiater

From Library Journal

Something Wicked is Avon's latest installment in its ongoing series of reprints of Bradbury's works in quality yet affordable hardcover editions. Appearing in 1962, this is the story of a diabolical carnival that wreaks havoc on the lives of the people of a small Illinois town, much like the one in which Bradbury grew up. This edition also sports a new afterword by the author.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 436 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0380729407
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 23, 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C2C637I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,937 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
87 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A novel that will stay with you January 27, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Bradbury's best! February 18, 2000
Format:Hardcover
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.
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62 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Something Wicked" comes on strong August 8, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"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.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars epic struggle August 29, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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.
GRADE : A
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner... Old Time Horror!!!
Wow... Creepy!! Loved it! In the same bracket as "It"... Never going to a carnival again... Definitely NOT getting on a carousel!!! It's a barn burner!
Published 3 days ago by oklahoma4ever
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Such a great writer - what an imagination! He "paints" a vivid picture.
Published 5 days ago by Lynda Wilcox
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
I've never read Ray Bradbury before. I don't even know why. I just never got around to him. I'm so excited that I was finally able to listen to this one because it is fantastic... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Creating Serenity Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a great story to introduce young readers to SF and to ...
I have reread this book several times since my first read more than 30 years ago. It is a great story to introduce young readers to SF and to really great storytelling. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Steve Kavka
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Bradbury tale
I have been interested in fantasy/science fiction for many years and yet had never read this classic Ray Bradbury tale. It's a great one!
Published 14 days ago by Veloman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautifully written! Great characters, wonderful story.
Published 15 days ago by Randall K. McVeyy
4.0 out of 5 stars With purple prose Bradbury waxes nostalgic about childhood bogeymen,...
This book is part of Bradbury's loosely constructed Green Town trilogy (there's also a collection of related short stories). Read more
Published 21 days ago by Ryan Sean O'Reilly
5.0 out of 5 stars By the prickling of my thumbs
It doesn't get much better than Bradbury. He can paint a picture with words that will take you on a journey so vivid and rich you will feel as if you could step into the pages. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Jill
3.0 out of 5 stars The calliope music signals that the carnival has arrived...
...but the carnival itself is a host of horrors for the inhabitants of this small town.

I can sum this story up in just a few words. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Ti
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but the writing was too loose for me
A reread.

I wish I liked this book better. After the reading has passed (it's been a week) and now that my imagination has taken over, it's a good story. Read more
Published 26 days ago by DeAnna Knippling
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More About the Author

Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2012) published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was twenty years old. Among his many famous works are 'Fahrenheit 451,' 'The Illustrated Man,' and 'The Martian Chronicles.'

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