Wednesday, June 24, 2020

89. Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes. Ray Bradbury. 1962. 293 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren't rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn't begun yet. July, well, July's really fine: there's no chance in the world for school. June, no doubting it, June's best of all, for the school doors spring wide and September's a billion years away.

Premise/plot: Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade are best, best, best, best friends. One born a minute before midnight on October 30; one born a minute after midnight on October 31. They've lived side by side and done practically everything together. Still there's a wild recklessness that beckons to Jim now and again. In Something Wicked This Way Comes, a carnival comes to town bringing strange, strange, strange people and mysterious dangers. There is something alluring and tempting about the carnival, but also unsettling and disturbing. The boys have free tickets to ride...but will they risk their souls for fun?

The carnival poses some risk to the whole town, for it's not just kids or the young at heart with a sense of adventure and longing hearts. But for Jim and Will it poses extra danger because of their snooping.

My thoughts: I would recommend Something Wicked This Way Comes to those that love atmospheric reads with thrills and spooks.

It is well written. I didn't love, love, love, love it. But I definitely liked it.
The trouble with Jim was he looked at the world and could not look away. And when you never look away all your life, by the time you are thirteen you have done twenty years taking in the laundry of the world. (40)
A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if, half an hour before, you spent just tent minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know, is bad, or amoral at least. You can't act if you don't know. Acting without knowing takes you right off the cliff. (198)
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
So vague, yet so immense. He did not want to live with it. Yet he knew that, during this night, unless he lived with it very well, he might have to live with it all the rest of his life. (186)

© 2020 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Lark said...

I love Bradbury's writing...and the whole mysterious carnival thing in this one. :)

Gretchen said...

I read this when I was about 13. At that age it was quite creepy. But I remember not being able to stop reading it!