Something Wicked This Way Comes Review (Dark Fantasy)

Title: Something Wicked This Way Comes |Series: Green Town #2 | Author: Ray Bradbury | Pub. Date: 09/26/2006 (Originally Published: 1962) | Pages: 293 | ISBN13: 9780380729401 | Genre: Dark Fantasy | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Self Purchased

Something Wicked This Way Comes

A carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliope’s shrill siren song 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 inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show’s smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes – and the stuff of nightmare. – Goodreads

Something Wicked This Way Comes 

“By the pricking of my thumbs something”…boring this way comes. The first time I read anything by Ray Bradbury it was The Playground. And I hated it. So I was a bit leery on Something Wicked This Way Comes. Then I watched the movie for it and liked that so I thought I’d give it a shot.

The one thing I can definitively say about Bradbury (at least my experience with him), is that he likes words with his words and then more words with those. Rather than just a straight, somewhat descriptive sentence the sentences get so twisty-turny confusing that once or twice I actually had to re-read a sentence and I normally don’t have to do that.

There are some really great and exciting passages that kept Something Wicked This Way Comes from totally tanking with me though. The descriptions of the carnival and the side-show were great, When the descriptions are on point they are great, like the description of the train whistle.The two main villains of the book are Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger. Mr. Cooger, however, is side-lined fairly early and not much of a threat in the book and not very scary. Mr. Dark, on the other hand, was a great villain who was scary but also debonair with awesome tattoos. Maybe a bit of a stereotype but really the book is a basic Good vs. Evil tale so I’m pretty ok with that.

The main fault I had with Something Wicked This Way Comes was the dialogue and the pacing. For a book that’s so short some parts just seemed to drag out forever. Some interesting things that were brought up were dropped. Like The Theater. It sounds interesting and sinister. The more so because it didn’t come with the carnival but already seemed to be in the town itself. My thoughts were that maybe it was a brothel of some sort but either way it doesn’t matter because it’s dropped and never mentioned again. The dialogue seemed unnatural. The boys sometimes spoke like twelve year old kids would but when the author wanted to make a point or a deep observation then all of a sudden they spoke like they were older adults. The effect was a bit uneven.

The climax is written well. Once it starts it doesn’t slacken until the end and is very engrossing and thought out well. I loved the confrontation between Mr. Halloway and Mr. Dark in the library. In my humble opinion it was one of the best parts of the book.

All in all it’s an okay read that I probably will tuck away and not really read again. At least for quite a while. I see that it’s part of a series but I don’t think I’m going to search out the rest of them. Maybe his science-fiction is better?

3 out of  5 Skulls


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