Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes

eBook - 1998
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Two small boys and an old caretaker are all that stand between the people of their town and the hypnotic attraction of the Dark Carnival.
Publisher: New York : Avon Books, 1998, c1962
ISBN: 9780062242174
Characteristics: 1 online resource (293 p.)


From Library Staff

First published in 1962.

When Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show arrives in Green Town, Illinois to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery, two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors and learn all too well the cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmare.

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AndreaG_KCMO Oct 15, 2020

A magnificently written but terrifying reflection on good, evil, and the passing of time--set in a nightmarish carnival just before Halloween. MUCH scarier than Halloween Tree.

FPL_RachelR Aug 15, 2020

I’ve read this several times after I saw the movie and loved it. A dark circus in a small town makes an eerie setting for a coming-of-age story. Creepy and suspenseful – a perfect October read!

Aug 09, 2020

I read this because my dad used to quote the title when I was younger. The plot is spot on and it's fairy creepy.

Jan 10, 2020

A wonderfully written book. Timeless.

Jul 23, 2019

Beautifully written and wonderfully creepy. This book may surprise readers who are only familiar with his science fiction.

IndyPL_SteveB Jun 30, 2019

Acclaimed by some reviewers as Bradbury’s masterwork, by others as a disappointment, *Something Wicked This Way Comes* was Bradbury’s first true novel. When I read it back in the 60’s I thought of it as a novel about teenage boys. Today I see it as a novel that is at least as much about fear, aging, and death. It’s funny how 50 years will change your point of view.

14-year old best friends Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway discover that a mysterious carnival has come into town overnight, “Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show.” Soon after the circus opens, three townspeople go missing, and the boys are suspicious that the circus *changes* people. The two friends become especially terrified when they sneak in after hours and see the carousel that appears to make people younger when it goes in reverse and older when it goes forward. Mr. Dark, the real owner of the circus, appears to want to quiet the boys by adding them to his collection of freaks.

I love the plot, the bizarre characters, and the deeply spooky sense of dread. The writing is poetry disguised as prose, hard to get used to, but then the poetry seems to stick in your brain longer. But I got impatient with some of the rambling speeches Will’s father gives as he explains to the boys what is going on with Dark and the circus and what is important about life, and talks himself into the bravery and love for his son needed to confront the evil of the circus.

Jan 31, 2019

This is one of my favorite books ever, Bradbury has a great deal to say on what it means to be a dad, he uses beautiful, descriptive language to write a timeless tale about two best friends and a father. Even if you hate horror novels - read it (it shouldn't even be called a "horror" novel).

Jan 22, 2019

One of the best books ever written. Do yourself a favor and read it!!! Read it as a young adult and then read it again in college and then again when you are older. You will get something different out of it every time.

Aug 15, 2018

The story blends classic Americana with horror story elements to create a unique tale that is both terrifying and heartwarming. It is a tale of two childhood friends who are starting to mature, and worried about growing apart. It is a tale of a father who feels he is too old to connect with his son. It is a tale of an evil carnival that descends upon a small town, and uses magic to prey upon townspeople's fear. Bradbury's style and descriptive language at times makes the reader work through the page, but does provide rich imagery.

Aug 08, 2018

The book, Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, is considered a classic. And, after reading it I think I would have known that even if no one had told me. I like the quote that was used for the title a lot "By the picking of my thumbs/Something wicked this way comes", but since I'm not into horror books (even classic horror books), I think that some parts weren't so great. But, I love the way it ends! (3 out of 5 stars)
- @Redibis of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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FavouriteFiction Oct 14, 2009

Two boys, James Nightshade and William Holloway, must save the souls of the people in their small town when an evil carnival arrives at Halloween.

SqueeGirl Oct 14, 2009

Two boys, James Nightshade and William Holloway, must save the souls of the people in their small town when an evil carnival arrives at Halloween.


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Dec 16, 2011

Need, want, desire, we burn those in our fluids, oxidize those in our souls, which jet streams out lips, nostrils, eyes, ears, broadcasts from antennae-fingers, long or short wave, God only knows, but the freak-masters perceive Itches and come crab-clustering to Scratch. It's traveled a long way on an easy map, with people handy by every crossroad to lend it lustful pints of agony to power it on.


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