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Something Wicked This Way Comes Paperback – 1970
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Readers familiar with any Bradbury story, there are always twists and turns within each page from short stories to novels as well as lessons to be learned in the aftermath. Something Wicked This Way Comes is that type of story, which begins with a quaint backdrop in small town America and what appears to be quite normal, two young boys Jim and Will that happen to enjoy the outdoors and adventure. It so happens that on October 24, their Halloween comes early when the carnival comes to town. And with any carnival, fun and excitement awaits, especially for Jim and Will but little do they know what is in store for them; readers must keep in mind that the story is set well before technology took off during the 1950s and TV soon become a popular medium over radio, and to go to the carnival or circus was a big a deal to see the most unusual occurrences that sparked anyone’s imagination to the point that it brought joy as well as fear, especially for the young. Bradbury does an exceptional job with striking surprise for the reader and capturing the imagination of the characters and those reading each page at the edge of their seat; plenty of atmosphere and setting the stage of fantasy and mystery within the experience of a psychological drama. And by the end of the story, there is no doubt that the boys will have aged beyond their 13 years, 11 months, and 24 days old.
One suggestion, it may be best to read the novel before watching the film adaptation in order to experience the extremely descriptive and vivid imagery of Ray Bradbury’s writing.
This is the umpteenth time that I have read ‘Something Wicked this way Comes’. I love almost all of Bradbury’s books but this by far is my favorite. This was the first time that I have read it on one of my devices which did not take away from the story one spit.
The first time I read this book I was 13 years old and it bowled me over. I have probably read again about every five years since then and each time it is a new and awesome experience. I had never ever read anything like it before when I was 13 years old.
The only other book that I have read about youth that is near its equal is McCammon’s ‘Boy’s Life” and his prose doesn’t even come close to Bradbury though his story is a fun and deliciously well written story. But it is Bradbury’s prose that sets his book higher than any other. I know this is not every body’s cup of tea , his style of prose but for me it was a like a ride on a roller coaster the first time I read it. His prose was new, exciting and so startlingly different it took my breath away. He made me giddy with the power of words.
I titled this review ‘Magic’. Because in my mind this is a book of Magic. In ancient times Words was associated with Magic. Words had power to create and to destroy. In some ways I believe that this is still true because Bradbury understood the power of words like no other Author I have ever read. He brought Magic to life in Something Wicked that literally vibrated with essence and depth. He made Magic Real.
I am a professional oral storyteller and I have been telling stories to audiences for over 15 years. As an oral storyteller I paint on a different kind of canvas than the writer does and I am forced to use a distinctive flavor of descriptive language to draw my audience into my world. There is magic in what I do as well but nothing can compare to the Magic of Bradbury.
Something Wicked This Way Comes as a fast paced yarn with some of life's deepest and most important questions woven tightly in. Follow Ray Bradbury into the heart of boyhood on the edge of manhood and relive your own youth; the innocence, the hope, and the fear.