Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

One of Ray Bradbury’s best-known and most popular novels, Something Wicked This Way Comes, now featuring a new introduction and material about its longstanding influence on culture and genre.

For those who still dream and remember, for those yet to experience the hypnotic power of its dark poetry, step inside. The show is about to begin. Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. A calliope’s shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes...and the stuff of nightmares.

Few novels have endured in the heart and memory as has Ray Bradbury’s unparalleled literary masterpiece Something Wicked This Way Comes. Scary and suspenseful, it is a timeless classic in the American canon.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433210808
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 10/28/2007
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 1
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Ray Bradbury (1920–2012) was the author of more than three dozen books, including Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes, as well as hundreds of short stories. He wrote for the theater, cinema, and TV, including the screenplay for John Huston’s Moby Dick and the Emmy Award–winning teleplay The Halloween Tree, and adapted for television sixty-five of his stories for The Ray Bradbury Theater. He was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, and numerous other honors.


Los Angeles, California

Date of Birth:

August 22, 1920

Place of Birth:

Waukegan, Illinois


Attended schools in Waukegan, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California

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Something Wicked This Way Comes 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 180 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like fiction, friendship, mystery and suspense I strongly recommend for you to read Something Wicked This Way Comes. I enjoyed this book so much. When you think something is going to happen, something else actually happens.They setting took place in strange and various places. The setting I most enjoyed was the carnival. All the spooky things going t on there were nice to read.Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway are the main characters followed by Charles Halloway, Mr. Dark, and Mr. Cooger. While you read this book you will find out about other characters that during the story they oddly disappear. Jim and Will face the most unpredictable things you have ever seen. My favorite character in the story is Jim because he is brave, older than Will, and always wants to know more in everything he sees or does. The plot is full of suspense. The author, Ray Bradbury did a great job explaining it. The most important plot took place at the carousel. The carousel is where the most important events take place and where the mysterious things happen. My favorite setting of the plot was in the library. That is where Jim and Will are hiding from Mr. Dark because Mr. Dark found out something about them.The book might get kind of weird and freaky, but you will really enjoy it. I really like this book. There is a lot of exciting things that go on in this book and I know you would not want to miss them. I hardly recommend it!
dj46 More than 1 year ago
Donovan Berry Per: 5/ Sautner 9/15/09 Book review Something Wicked This Way Comes Ray Bradbury is an amazing author and his book Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of his most impressive books. The story is about a carnival that comes to Green Town, Illinois. Two boys whom live there, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway have a bad feeling about the carnival and its owners, Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger, however they can't prove it to anyone and no one is listening to them. They eventually tell Will's dad, a janitor at the local library, and he believes them. The three of them fearing that if they don't do something soon the carnival will take over Green Town and its inhabitants, must fight the carnival and its owners. Ray Bradbury does an amazing job of keeping the suspense in this book and making you want to read more. On the other hand the book can get confusing at parts and is sometimes difficult to read. I liked the book for its suspense and for the fact that it makes people look inside themselves to discover if they could in essence be like Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger. I believe the message to take from this book is that life is full of obstacles and it's just a matter of overcoming them. I also believe that the author is trying to tell us that there is a way to overcome any challenge and that you can never give up or you won't succeed. I will take away from this book the message that just because you don't think you can do something doesn't mean you can't and it is important to keep on going. "By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes." I believe ray Bradbury did an amazing job writing this book and I encourage all people to read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like something creepy, out of the ordinary, scary, freaks and freak shows, and complicated books, then you are going to like Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. This book is pretty interesting but really complicated at the same time!!!!!!! It takes place in Greentown, Illinois 'a smallish town', somewhere in the present around October, the time of Halloween! The author describes the setting really good that it actually makes you believe you are experiencing the same thing all of the characters are at the same time, which sometimes can be a little bit confusing¿..he also uses a lot of metaphors in the whole book!!! The book it¿s mainly about the issues Jim and Will, the main characters, have, and yes everything has to do with ¿freak shows¿ and its ¿freaks¿ they are called ¿Mr. Dark and Mr. Crooger¿ a freak show parade that comes into town and its Will¿s and Jim¿s problem resource. This book it¿s also about saving a precious friendship and the lives these two boys love the most and really care about. Even the verse in Proverbs 4:16-17 describes the plot pretty good¿ says ¿They sleep not, except they have done mischief, and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness. And drink the wine of violence.¿ I know this is kind of confusing but if you don¿t understand this then please don¿t, please don¿t read this book because this is the kind of complicated Im talking about. Now if you do like this kind of books then I totally recommend it to you!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bradbury began his career (and his paychecks as a writer) with an emphasis on horror - see The October Country - and this wonderful novel can be considered the apex of his early work. It weaves into the horror the strong nostalgic thread of his boyhood memories - see Dandelion Wine. I read this book when I was 10, now I'm 50 and this is the 4th or 5th time I'm reading this magical tale.
Jennifer24 More than 1 year ago
Creepy, compelling, and all-in-all a good read. Highly recommend.
san_carlos_skater More than 1 year ago
My favorite chapter in Something Wicked This Way Comes is chapter 54. I liked this chapter because it is sad, shocking, suspenseful, and a little scary. The author uses a lot of imagery throughout the entire book. I liked this because it gave you a real feel for everything going on. It helped you feel what the characters were feeling in the book. The author, Ray Bradbury, didn't do a lot that I didn't like in this book. It wasn't my favorite book, but it was a good read. I liked this book. It has a very unique style, and it made me want to keep reading. I think this book is appropriate for ages 14 and up.
No-Hair-Man More than 1 year ago
Perhaps the best book of its kind ever written. It is just plain spooky without the violence like you see in so many horor book today (such as Stephen King e.g)
Guest More than 1 year ago
The plot of Something Wicked This Way Comes is about two boys that know about a haunted carnival. The carnival kills anyone who rides any of the rides. It turns them younger and they eventually die. The two boys which are Will and Jim have to stop Mr. Dark, the evil carnival owner, from causing chaos around the town. The setting of the book seems to be a while back because in this book carnivals are very popular and there isn¿t as much technology as we have today. The three main characters of Something Wicked This Way Comes are Jim, Will, and Mr. Dark. Jim and Will get involved with Mr. Darks¿ carnival because they wanted to get on a ride. There was a man that went up first and when he did Jim and Will started to see him turn younger and younger. At first Jim and Will were too afraid to face Mr. Dark and his freak show, but after the fear went away they tried as hard as they could to stop Mr. Darks plan. I enjoyed this book because I¿m the type of person that really likes mystery books that have a lot of fiction. I don¿t really know what the message was in the book but since I had to read a book for the summer then I had to get something that I liked reading. When I first read this book I thought to myself ¿wow, it¿s just another book¿ but when I got further into the reading I couldn¿t stop. It was a really good book and I would recommend this book to people that like reading fictional stories about ghosts. I liked the book a lot but it was kind of difficult for me to comprehend. It was difficult because the characters were very different then I am so I couldn¿t really find any connections. I connected my friends to some of the characters which really helped me out with the book. In conclusion this book was really fun to read. The mood throughout the story was whimsical. It made the book a lot more enjoyable to read and I didn¿t get bored of the book. It was a really good book for me since I had to read it I chose this because I thought I might enjoy it and I did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Peer Book Review Will, James, and Charles are the stars in this fiction and mystery packed tall. James and Will are best friends and have been for ever. Charles Halloway (Will¿s dad) joins them in their action packed adventure and helps defeat the evil Mr. Dark. Ray Bradbury really made Something Wicked This Way Comes a very excellent fantasy book. He emphasized Will and James friendship. They acted like twin brothers and could never leave each others sight. I can relate to that because I have a twin sister that I could never let out of my sight, but now that she is gone to a boarding school in Dallas, I have gotten used to it. I like this book and would give it and 4 out of 5. If you like reading about historical facts and biographies or journals, this book is not for you. This is more of an adventure book. This text is not that difficult at the end but I was a little confused at the beginning. This is a great book and I give it a TWO THUMBS UP!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every fall I read this novel... a must read for all ages! Iia
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to this book as an assignment in my English class. Most of the students thought this book to be boring, I believe it to be exact opposite. Everything Bradbury writes about he explains it in much detail. Although, I wouldn't recomend this to anyone because I'm selfish and like to keep works of art to myself. But truely worth a read.
ryanseanoreilly More than 1 year ago
With purple prose Bradbury waxes nostalgic about childhood bogeymen, wonderfully creepy. This book is part of Bradbury’s loosely constructed Green Town trilogy (there’s also a collection of related short stories). A sort of classic tale in its telling, the story unfolds as a nostalgic coming of age yarn mixed with horror involving two young boys. The main struggle explored by the author is that of desire and temptation. Chiefly this evolves between the contrasting main characters. The protagonists, Will and Jim, are best friends, with the main difference being that Will is a bit more cautious and Jim is a bit more adventurous with a slightly edgier worldview than his friend. Will’s father (another main character), is old—to put it simply. Charles has come into fatherhood later in life and doesn’t know how to make amends with that, as the youth of his son seems only to be a constant reminder of how aged he is. This dynamic sets the stage for things to come. Enter the horror. Bradbury’s language is flowery, purple-colored prose from an older time. In looking at other reviews, it seems that this style is off-putting to some readers. Bradbury does not take a “window pane” approach to describing things (as author Brandon Sanderson might describe the style). His words fall from the abstract and are more akin to poetry. The author paints the scene with notes and chords and melody. The wording is thick and may take some chewing, depending on your mood or frame of reference. It’s is rife with allusion. That’s not to say that the story is not there—nor is it boring or stylized. There is real tension and suspense. But, Bradbury coats the story in vivid hues to invoke tone, mood and perhaps the nostalgia he must have been thinking of when he wrote this. Indeed, the story itself is inspired by the author’s own real life childhood experience from when a carnival came to his hometown. Still, no matter the author’s style, there is a clear framework of a story. At times, it may seem a bit long—but not much. It’s easy to see how other authors (like Stephen King for instance) were inspired by someone like Bradbury, when you have scenes involving sewer hideaways and sideshow freaks stalking through town on ill intent missions to find the two pesky young boys. Each time the protagonists escape the clutches of the Carnival, a new struggle ensues with solid reversals of fortune. And there is also the ever-present worry, that nobody will ever believe what is really go on here. Another thing to note of Bradbury’s style is his use of the language to construct scenes. His prose may be purpled—but it is not so verbose. He has a wonderful way of describing these evil things lurking about the town as they tangle with the protagonists, and he does this without resorting to overwrought, visceral descriptions of violence. I felt particularly creeped out by the Dust Witch, Mr. Dark and even the eviscerated Mr. Electro who drolled out stoic declarations like a half-dead toad. All the characters of this dark Carnival had a presence, though not described in complete physical detail–I still had a sense of them. I could feel the mood, the fear they put into the protagonists. The story is a tad romanticized, and perhaps the voice of the young boys feels out of age at times. Yet, it pretty much works. All the capers the two get into seem realistic enough and appropriate for their age. The evil of the Carnival provides a stark contrast to the idyllic air around the boys, which keeps the nostalgia from going overboard. Also wonderful is the way that Bradbury creates problems between the boys, who are the best of friends in every sense of the word (at times they seem like they are right out of a 1950’s sitcom). However, the absence of Jim’s father coupled with his curious and more daring side give him a darker edge and we are genuinely worried about him—just as Will is. This also rings true for Charles (Will’s father) who starts off as a nice fellow, but weak. We get to know Charles and understand his feeling of helplessness and struggle through this with him as he must put aside all his neurotic worrying about getting old, embrace life, and understand that his age is what it is (and that it is not even close to as bad as he has convinced himself it is). This story started out as a short story first (check out the slightly darker version called “Black Ferris”) and then morphed into a screenplay which Bradbury hoped his friend Gene Kelly would produce. That never happened so Bradbury took the time to turn the treatment into a full novel—which is what we have here. The book is a story of boyish adventure, yet Bradbury’s style makes the stakes much grander. The Carnival is not just some group of street criminals meant to rip off the good townspeople. There is something more sinister at work. Jim, Will, Charles and the citizens of Greentown come face to face with the physical manifestations of evil of the world and learn that even their small idyllic town is not safe. The struggle is eternal, for today’s struggle will be yesterday’s battle. The war lasts a lifetime. Yet, it’s not so heavy as all that, when the protagonists learn that they must trust to life’s good graces to keep evil at bay. They find the necessary strength within themselves to arm against the evil “Autumn People” of the world. Lastly, the elixir of life plot device, which Bradbury plays with in this story, is also refreshingly simple and yet a wonderfully unique take on this common trope. What dangerous consequences lie behind the glorious promises of a fountain of youth? Read and find out. A heartfelt tale through and through. Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: "No Deodorant In Outer Space". The podcast is available on iTunes or our website.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, wonderful fantasy by one of the grandest wordsmith and storyteller of recent time. Great to read aloud!
KC72 More than 1 year ago
For any Bradbury fan. I was totally hooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ray Bradbury's book, Something Wicked This Way Comes, is one of the most mysterious and suspenseful, yet confusing book I have ever read. Although, it takes many unexpected twists and turns. It is about two boys, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, from the town of Green Town, Illinois. They live right next door to one another, and Will was born a minute before midnight, while Jim was born one minute after midnight on Halloween day. In one day of October, a carnival came to their town. The carnival is an ordinary fun park with many attractions such as the merry-go-round, a mirror maze, and many side show tents. Soon people they knew started vanishing just days after the arrival of the carnival. Along with the mysterious vanishings, some people that go on the attractions start seeing things as they. Jim and Will start noticing something weird going on. So, just as every teenager would do, they had to figure out what was going on. They discover more than what they bargained for. The carnival freaks, as they are called, find out about the deeds of the teenage investigators, and they too know that they have been discovered. The boys must now find their ways out of the mess they have gotten themselves into. With the carnival people looking at every corner of the town, they must use the intelligence of Will's father to help with their problem. But when the boys are captured, Will's dad is to get them back with his intelligence. You just have to pick this book up and read it. Something Wicked This Way Comes was a very interesting book for me and was written well. In my opinion, it was a very confusing book filled with many big words for any person that wants a challenging read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, this isn't a short book, but I read it in one day. I loved it. First of all, any book about Halloween is good, so this was excellent. The way Bradbury writes is a spell-binding. It's a blend of metaphoric poetry and thoughts of the youthful conscience. Anyone should read this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not really sure if I like this book or not. I can see how it might have shocked people in the time of The Cold War, and can see its allagorical nature. It was written in 1962( I was 6) It's basic good vs. evil. However, in my opinion, it can also be seen as a maturity saga. Young carefree boys on the cusp of walking into big bad adulthood, one with no mentor, the other has one he almost doesn't recognize. A librarian I know called it "an insignificant work by a significant author". I can see why it was wandering around in "The Bookseller", but I never would've cared enough to have read it otherwise
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best thing ive ever read!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand 3 times repost this on 3difrentbooks then look under your pillow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A movie was out in 1984 starring Jason Robards as Jim's dad. I never thought about reading the book until I got out of high school and I have read the book twicesince I have seen the movie. The movie is pretty good and stays close to the plot of the story. Both are worth a watch and a read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best horror books ever. The writing style can be aggrevating, but the story is original and brilliant. Any horror story with children as the main protaganists is almost always a hit.