Friday, October 15, 2010

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

What if someone knew your secret dream, that one great wish you would give anything for? And what if that person suddenly makes your dream come true--before you learn the price you have to pay...
Something Wicked This Way Comes is Ray Bradbury's stunning masterwork of dark fantasy. It is the story of two boys who encounter the sinister wonders of Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show. They will soon discover the show's awful mystery--a mystery that will change the life of every person it touches.
Being the huge Bradbury fan that I am (I'm fairly sure I'm the only ninth grader who enjoyed being forced to read Fahrenheit 451), I grabbed this book when I saw it in a book swap. I was expecting a lot, and as I've come to expect with Bradbury, it went above and beyond every expectation. Will, the innocent, hopeful best friend of Jim, the dark one, the wanting one, and Mr. Halloway form the defensive cast, up against Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger. The Shadow Show carnival that arrives in Will and Jim's small hometown is every kind of scary and mysterious. And the mystery only grows as strange occurrences grow more frequent; the drama and anticipation that are built up make this novel just that much better. I loved Jim's character, especially his struggle to remain uncorrupted; Will's good heart and steady confidence in his father built up tension as the stakes were raised, and more than anything, questions were left unanswered, making the pages turn faster and faster. Don't get me wrong, this book isn't for everyone. The book is bleak, without much closure at the end; the subject matter is confusing and questionable with a lot left up to your own conclusions; and the writing is very descriptive, almost to the point of being purple prose, but I love every inch of every page. Now I sound like an overly excited mom. Well, Something Wicked This Way Comes is definitely one of my favorite reads, even though it is one of the darkest books I've read.
I'll give it 5 stars, even though it deserves a hundred times that. Recommended to fans of dark fantasy and mild horror. Also to anyone into reading classics; this book is (or at least should be) considered a classic.


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