Title: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Author: Ray Bradbury
On the Shelves: Fiction> Horror/Fantasy
It’s the week before Hallowe’en, and Cooger and Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois. The siren song of the calliope entices all with promises of youth regained and dreams fulfilled… as two boys trembling on the brink of manhood set out to explore the mysteries of the dark carnival’s smoke, mazes and mirrors, they will also discover the true price of innermost wishes… (Goodreads 2014)
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“Too late, I found you can’t wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.”
Something Wicked This Way Comes is the second book by Bradbury which I read. I chose to read it because that wonderfully creepy cover caught my eye and I thought I would read it as my “Halloween Book” in 2013. I’m so glad I chose this book.
Bradbury’s tale is one of traditional Horror. The genre of “Horror” has become something entirely different since the 1990s. Since then all you really see in material deemed as “Horror” is blood and gore. A lot of it at that. But prior to this, in the style of Hitchcock, the idea of “horror” and terrifying your audience came not from what you could see, but rather what you could not see. Because if you can’t see the horror, you can’t begin to explain it. And that which you cannot explain, is truly terrifying.
That is what I felt while reading this book. The seemingly harmless fairground is not what it seems as the two boys slowly get sucked into a much darker chain of events than they ever imagined would happen at this fair. I will admit that for some of this book, I felt like I wasn’t understanding entirely what was actually occurring, but I didn’t mind because Bradbury’s writing sucked me in and built such a truly “creepy” environment. I just really cannot think of a better word to describe this book other than “creepy”. When you look at a circus or a fair, you immediately associate those images with happiness and smiles and somehow, you do feel safe in that environment, at least to some degree. But this “Shadow Show” is not your usual fairground.
“Death doesn’t exist. It never did, it never will. But we’ve drawn so many pictures of it, so many years, trying to pin it down, comprehend it, we’ve got to thinking of it as an entity, strangely alive and greedy. All it is, however, is a stopped watch, a loss, an end, a darkness. Nothing. “