something wicked this way comes

My friend Anthony and I were at a library book sale last summer, saw two copies of Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes for a dollar, and decided to have ourselves a little readalong. One year later, Anthony is preparing to move to Canada and we finally decided to get on it! From Goodreads:

A masterpiece of modern Gothic literature, Something Wicked This Way Comes is the memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a “dark carnival” one Autumn midnight. How these two innocents, both age 13, save the souls of the town (as well as their own), makes for compelling reading on timeless themes. What would youdo if your secret wishes could be granted by the mysterious ringmaster Mr. Dark? Bradbury excels in revealing the dark side that exists in us all, teaching us ultimately to celebrate the shadows rather than fear them. In many ways, this is a companion piece to his joyful, nostalgia-drenchedDandelion Wine, in which Bradbury presented us with one perfect summer as seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old. In Something Wicked This Way Comes, he deftly explores the fearsome delights of one perfectly terrifying, unforgettable autumn.

lt’s , featuring the most ridiculous hashtag ever! We had a lot of fun on Twitter and then a great discussion last week after we were both finished. I’ll let the tweets speak for themselves:

Final consensus: It was a fun, action-packed story, but I thought I might have been more into it back when I was around 13 years old (of course, I was reading Orwell’s 1984 then… so maybe not so much) and Anthony would recommend The Martian Chronicles to someone new to Bradbury instead. I had only read his Fahrenheit 451 before this, so I couldn’t really say, but I liked 451 better. According to my copy, there is a 1983 film version of Something Wicked; I watched the preview on IMDB and GOOD LORD that music is terrible. But I bet the story translates to film very well. Fun times! Thanks, Anthony!

Read from June 30 to July 5, 2014.

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