“Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury BOOK REVIEW

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Publication Date: 17th September 1962

Publisher: Gollancz

ISBN: 9781473212046

Genre: Fantasy

Strong Point: The creepy atmosphere that Bradbury creates, and a set of characters that intensifies that atmosphere. 

Weak Point: The story somehow was uninteresting for me and it didn’t attract my attention. Sometimes it was quite complicated to follow…

Books on Tour Rating: Books on Tour LogoBooks on Tour Logo(3/5)

Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.92/5)

Read book blurb here


“Evil has only the power that we give it”.

“SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES”

I must say this book has left me quite confused.

I knew, before start reading it, that it is considered a classic of the fantasy genre. Furthermore, some years ago I read one of the most beloved books by Bradbury, “Fahrenheit 451” and it became one of my favourite books ever.

So, my expectations were quite high. 

However, although I enjoyed the book, I was somehow disappointed by it. 

In addition, it has taken me forever to finish this review, as I felt somehow sad I didn’t enjoy the story so much as I expected…

THE STORY

“Something Wicked this Way Comes” tells the story of James Nightshade and William Halloway, two teenager friends who live next to each other in Green Town, Illinois. 

The whole town is excited because a carnival is coming. However, there is something strange about it because it is quite late in the year for that, as it is already October.

Will has a bad feeling and thinks something quite awful is going to happen. He is scared when he sees the Carnival being assembled, while his friend Jim feels attracted by it. 

A CAROUSEL AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

Perhaps the most creepy part of all is the Carousel that comes with the Carnival.

The way it works and what it does to people (I don’t want to spoil anything by saying too much!) was quite shocking and just the thought of it made my hair stand on end. 

In fact, all the members of the carnival are going to live in my mind from now on, as well as Mr. Halloway, Jill’s father, whose appearances are memorable. 

The feeling I had while reading about the carousel is that it represents life. You live in the present, but in the carousel you can go ahead to the future or go back to the past. However, any of the two ways ends up well.

For this reason, it is always better to live in the present time, out of the carousel. It is more desirable to enjoy or embrace what is happening to us right now, and do not worry too much about past or present.

FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT “SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES”

What I really enjoyed from the book is Bradbury’s style. Its lyricism adds intensity to the narration and wraps the story like a warm blanket. I sometimes had the feeling that I was reading a prose poem. 

However, sometimes the story felt quite chaotic and all over the place. Characters appear and disappear without much sense and I had the feeling a couple of times that I didn’t totally understand what was going on.

In addition to this, I felt as if I were an outsider all the time. I could not get inside the narration because I kept getting confused with what I was reading. 

On the contrary, I really appreciated the ode to friendship that Bradbury shows us in the book by means of the relationship between Will and Jim. The bond between the two of them must remain strong, no matter what happens. This bond will protect the two boys and help them fight the “wickedness” that has arrived to the city. 

In addition, I also enjoyed how the image that Will had of his father at the beginning of the book was improving as the story developed. At the end of it, he sees his father with new eyes, what makes him grow enormously as a character. Will is finally proud of his father.  

To sump up, as it is a very intriguing book, and in spite of all what I have said, I would strongly recommend the reading of “Something Wicked this Way Comes”. It is absolutely not a bad book at all, and I know that many people enjoy it. Perhaps you, dear reader, are one of those who do.

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