Reviews of Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962)
Review by enderwiggin (2009-09-11)
Ray Bradbury has proved himself to be a great author before in The Martian Chronicles. That novel had suspense, mystery, twists, and even a little horror. It was a really good book.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, though, does not live up to that high standard.
Don't get me wrong, it was a good book. But my expectations of Bradbury were a little bit higher after reading The Martian Chronicles. I liked the book, but not as much as I wanted to.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is about two boys: Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway. Jim is impulsive and can't wait to be older. Will is more practical and hesitant. They are inseparable, and the best friends in the world. Enter the carnival.
Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show, as can be guessed from the title, is a very evil and subfusc group of people. They appear normal, but strange things happen at night. Will and Jim have to fight hard to stay friends...and to stay alive.
The novel has quite a bit of horror. Darkness is everywhere at the carnival. It makes for a chilling piece, if not terribly scary.
Maybe the best part of the novel is Bradbury's style. His writing is so unconventional and different from the norm that it is perfect for the book. He makes Jim and Will truly seem like one person. The writing alone is enough for me to recommend this book to someone.
Bradbury scores another home run with this novel. If only it were a grand slam.
Review by cthulhu99 (2007-02-25)
This is one of my favorites and the first Bradbury novel I ever read. It's a great coming of age story involving the supernatural.
At times I could not decide if the book is directed towards children or adults. Then I realized that it was for everybody. It tells a lesson to live your life to the fullest and try not to look too far ahead or live in the past.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys talented story telling and an enjoyable horror story with a moral.
Review by mojosmom (2004-06-29)
Bradbury is a scary guy - you might never ride a merry-go-round after you read this one. . .
What makes Bradbury so good is the way he writes about ordinary people leading ordinary lives in ordinary places, until something extraordinary comes along. It could happen to you . . .