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Something Wicked This Way Comes Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380729407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380729401
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (370 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.'

Customer Reviews

I was reading this book every time I had a chance.
T.
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!
Will Culp
The characters are interesting and the story is engaging.
Charlie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on 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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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "jag128" on 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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58 of 66 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Researcher on June 28, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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.
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