Saturday 9 January 2016

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury

Title: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Author: Ray Bradbury
Genre: Horror
Published: 1962
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon UK
The Book Depository

“Something Wicked This Way Comes” is a dark fantasy tale written by Ray Bradbury which follows the adventures of Jim & Will, two teenage boys who live next door to each other in a run of the mill small town. When a carnival comes to town, their initial excitement soon leads to trepidation as there is a sinister felling which pervades the carnival and its owner Mr Dark. When the boys witness some magical aspects of the merry go round their lives are put under threat as they try to avoid Mr Dark and his rather eerie “employees” who are hunting them down.

The plot itself is reasonably enjoyable, nothing truly remarkable but it was at times mildly creepy and entertaining. The real selling point however is the focus the novel gives to the theme of aging. It takes an intriguing look at people’s psyche in regards how adolescents dream of being older whilst the middle-aged wish for youth. It takes a gentle swipe at how humanity can sometimes put too much stock in their age and therefore miss out on what they can and should be enjoying each day.

There were a couple of issues that I did note regarding the writing itself. First up the prose used hasn’t aged very well and it was very obvious to me that the book was written many decades ago which does limit the ability of a reader to get fully immersed in the story. On its own I probably wouldn’t have noticed this that much except for the fact that Bradbury loves to use a fair amount of poetic and descriptive imagery. This just slowed the plot down to the point that I found some of these extended descriptions to be rather tedious. If you enjoy reading books that are written in pretty and lyrical styles like this then I am sure you will love it, but to me it was just a distraction.

Overall, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” is a reasonably entertaining novel that takes an interesting look at humanity’s obsession with aging. However, Bradbury’s style of writing with its description and dated prose could be a little bit too much for some readers.


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