Monday, September 15, 2008

By the Pricking of My Thumbs…

The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope 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 boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes... and the stuff of nightmare.

Title: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Author: Ray Bradbury
Start & Finished: 5/20/08-5/27/08
Published: 1962
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 290
Genre: Fantasy/ Horror

Good versus evil, dark versus light are the themes to one of Ray Bradbury’s most popular novels Something Wicked This Way Comes. A semi-autobiographical story that has places and people that the author knew, and in some cases, Bradbury himself can be seen in the pages. In several interviews, Mr. Bradbury has claimed that he got the idea for this story when he encountered a carnival run by a man named Mr. Electrico who told him to “live forever” and so he became a writer. A man whose writings have influenced many authors today and probably will continue to do so forever.

Fahrenheit 451 was the first time I read anything by this author but it wasn’t until I read The Halloween Tree that I fell in love with the semi-poetic prose combined with his spooky tale. Sure, Fahrenheit was wonderful, better than a lot of books but when it comes to reading something that embraces childhood so fondly but from a slightly different angle than most would view it, Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of the best. I think Stephen King describes this novel best in his nonfiction book Danse Macabre: “a darkly poetic tall tale set in the half-real, half-mythical community of Green Town, Illinois … [for the most part] Bradbury carries his story off with guts and beauty and panache.” (pg, 324)

Originally meant to be a short story entitled Black Ferris, Bradbury developed it into a full-length novel in the hopes that his friend Gene Kelly would direct it. Unfortunately, because of lack of funding that never did happen but there was a Disney movie adaptation made in 1983 with the author himself as the screenwriter. In an interview, he has claimed it was one of the better adaptations out of all his works. This book is dedicated to Gene Kelly.

Links: Ray Bradbury (Wikipedia), Something Wicked This Way Comes (Wikipedia),
Interview: In His Words

Picture Explanations
Ferris Wheel- A carnival comes to town
Carousel- Plays an integral part in the book
Electric Chair- Mr. Electrico's chair of choice


  1. Oh, I've heard a lot of good things about this book! I had only read one book by the author so far so I'll have to check out his other books... starting from this one. ;)

  2. I didn't know the trivia behind the book...I also thought I'd seen the movie, but the clip didn't look familiar. I don't see how I could have missed it.

  3. This is one of my favorite creepy books - way scarier than the film, although I do like the film as well. Great review - perfect for getting into that Halloween spirit! :-)

  4. Melody: He really is a great author!

    J. Kaye: I love trivia! I just thought that was especially interesting. I haven't seen the movie either but I'd like to someday soon!

    Darla D: I'm so ready for Halloween! I'm probably going to be updating my Neverland page a lot next month :)

  5. I've had this book on my TBR forever, great review!
    how cool that it is dedicated to Gene Kelly.

  6. I've always liked the title of this book. Maybe someday I will get the chance to review it. :-) I have read Fahrenheit 451 and enjoyed it, but I have yet to read anything else by Bradbury.

  7. Naida: I probably would have continued to put it off reading it if it hadn't been an online book club read lol. I thought there was no way it could be bad if it was dedicated to Kelly (thank goodness I was right).

    Wendy: Ever time I even think of the title I get the Double, Double song from Harry Potter stuck in my head :)

  8. Read that years ago. A truly wonderful writer. Love the many wonderful film adaptations of his stuff including Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 and Illustrated Man with Rod Steiger.

  9. I love this book so much. I'm glad you did too!

  10. Bradbury is one of my favorite (probably the favorite) sci-fi/fantasy authors. I'm so glad you enjoyed Something Wicked. I loved it too.

  11. SciFiGuy- The only movie adaptation I've ever seen by him was The Halloween Tree but I've been meaning to see more!

    Nymeth: It really was a good book! I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

    IceDream: He is a wonderful author!

  12. I recently bought thi as I loved Dahrenheit 451. Thanks for the review, I can't wait to get around to it now!



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