Review–Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury


Something Wicked This Way Comes

by Ray Bradbury

Summary: 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.

Source: I purchased a paperback

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I am a gigantic fan of Ray Bradbury. I absolutely love everything I read that he’s written, so I’m quite shocked that I didn’t enjoy a book that’s called Something Wicked This Way Comes when I’m reading and loving spooky books this October and was definitely in the mood for this plot.

I think the execution left a lot to be desired. The writing felt weirdly simplistic and I just couldn’t connect with Will or James at all because they were so outdated in their dialogue. I loved that Bradbury explored their different personalities and reflected about that, but I think sometimes in order to transcend time with your literature, you have to avoid making your characters too hip in their own time. Instead of adding to the boyishness that I know he was going for, it just threw me completely off in 2015. Stephen King may have this problem in the future because he sometimes does the same thing, but maybe I shouldn't bring him up because he captures eras and uses slang with no problem and I always feel like I get the kids in his books and I am hooked when he writes a character...

I felt so disconnected and I don’t think the author did a really good job of pulling me in with the descriptions of the carnival or the weird things going on because there wasn't a character I could get lost in and root for. He got me a little with the sections from Mr. Holloway’s perspective, but he didn’t quite grip me and pull me in the way I wanted. I couldn’t possibly be in a mood any more ready and accommodating. I’m in such a spooky/horror novel mode that I thought it would be a much easier and more entertaining book to read than it turned out to be. This is the first time I’m not impressed and it’s such a weird feeling. I hate that I didn’t love this one!


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