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Something Wicked This Way Comes Paperback – 3 Aug 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (3 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067101790X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671017903
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,255,670 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the greatest writers of science fiction and fantasy, Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1920.

He published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was just twenty years old. Among his many famous works are Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.

Product Description

Book Description

One of the Terror Eight titles: dark reads for hot summer nights! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) wrote more than 500 short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts and poems. Lauded as one of America's most elegant and poetic writers, acclaimed by many to be the inventer of dark fantasy, he won many major awards, including the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and being named a Nebula Grandmaster. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Quicksilver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I was in my local Waterstones (again) when an amazing cover caught my eye. The neon green on black cover of this reissue certainly has appeal. I picked it up and read the first line.

'The seller of lightning rods arrived just ahead of the storm.'

Wham! What a way to start a novel. One line and I was hooked; desperate for more. I think it might be the finest opening line of all time. Being a sensible thrifty chap, I resisted the temptation to purchase there and then. Instead I added it to 'the list', promising myself I would return soon. When I arrived home, the news was just in. Ray Bradbury had died.

My mind reeled, was this just coincidence or had I inadvertently caused the death of one of science fiction's greatest authors? OK, he was ninety-one, but did I have that sort of power? Well obviously not, but even now a small part of me wonders whether I should have checked out Jedward's biography whilst I was there.

In honour of the great man's passing I bought the book.

It takes as its subject that stalwart of gothic fiction, the carnival troupe. Like clowns, carnivals are something that are supposed to entertain children and adults alike, yet in reality they are macabre and scary. There is something other-worldly about them, with their freak-shows, bunko artists and silver-tongued magicians. Bradbury adds a touch of the supernatural and a pinch of wish fulfilment to produce something truly terrifying.

The prose in 'Something Wicked...' is stylised, and has its own mystical quality. Bradbury's evocative description manages to be rambling, yet feels as though not a single word is redundant. Fans of modern horror may not find the style to their liking. Contemporary writers of the genre tend to use more direct, visceral prose.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JK TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
'Something Wicked This Way Comes' was originally published in 1962 and probably the first 'horror' I read.

The plot centres around two teenage boys, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, and follows their experiences as they become much too deeply involved with the mysterious 'Mr Dark' and his travelling carnival/fair. This is quite a morality tale, themes of good versus evil, with 'Mr. Dark' cast in the role of traditional demon tempting souls with a promise of fulfilling their darkest desire. Is there a cost?. Not everyone desires what's bad. Someone here is drawing much too close to the shadowy 'Mr Dark' with the best of intentions but; possibly dreadful consequences.

There's a lot of play on the idea of time with themes of life, death, youth, age and the need for people to transform, be reborn, in order to go back and make things better but; that's not easy when dealing with Mr Dark and his hauntingly realistic tattoos of the faces of the damned, or soon to be!.

'Something Wicked' is not a hard hitting contemporary horror. In fact the horror elements are quite gentle by modern standards. The strength of the novel comes in the creation of the characters, eerie atmosphere, incredible stage setting and an excellent mix of fantasy versus reality.

Happy to recommend.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an enchanting and terrifying tale of a nightmarish carnival that comes to the town where two boys live. The two 13 year old boys are best friends who were born just minutes apart from each other at Halloween time.

The boys are excited about the carnival but things soon take on a terrifying twist when they discover the dark secret behind the carrousel. The ride can change a person's age. Ride it forward, and with each revolution you age one year. Ride it backwards, and you become younger. We hear how the boys have to do battle with evil, in order to save themselves from a horrific fate and I could really feel their terror as they tried to outwit the carnival owners. This book was a gripping page-turner that absolutely enthralled me. It is a book to be savored for the glorious prose that Bradbury skillfully uses and deserves to be read, and then read again
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By E. Quintrell on 8 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
Ray Bradbury is perhaps most known for his science fiction, notably his collection of short stories "The Martian Chronicles", but "Something Wicked This Way Comes" remains his best regarded and most loved piece of work.

A clear (and acknowledged) influence on the work of Stephen King, this tale of an nightmarish carnival coming to town, and the two boys who stand against it, is one of the great American fantasy stories. Equally enchanting, terrifying and heartbreaking, this is one of those books that once read, is never forgotten.

Scandalously out of print until now, if you're a Ray Bradbury fan, then buy this immediately. If you like classic Stephen King, then buy this immediately. In fact, whatever your tastes, just get this book immediately. you won't regret it...
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Julian Middleton on 22 Nov. 2004
Format: Paperback
Technically speaking, his Fahrenheit 451 may be a better novel, but for me this later work represents Bradbury's imaginative and narrative powers at their peak. Two boys trembling on the edge of adolescence in a small Illinois town in the earlier part of the twentieth century are drawn into the mystery of the dark carnival that arrives in the depths of a summer night. Written in a vividly poetic - and occasional over the top - style, this rich fantasy explores the wild and magical dream that is childhood in Bradbury's fiction and its necessary rupturing by adult awareness, the inevitable loss of innocence that accompanies this and the suggestion that this process is one of corruption. Cooger and Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show offers unwary customers their hearts' desires - only to horribly twist and distort them, in a way that paradoxically could never be in the 'real' world but only within the imaginative realm that children inhabit. Bradbury's narration is colourful and nostalgic, sentimental and richly descriptive as he unleashes his astonishing tale of wide-eyed youngsters, world-weary adults, freaks, nightmares, and gothic revelation. An impossible book to pin down, perhaps due to its own dreamlike structure and narrative, it surely contains the wonders of youth and horrors of maturity presented in Bradbury's fantastical symbolism, and as such represents his most vividly realised work.
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