June 28, 2014

Book review: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

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The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And 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 nightmare.
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

One of the things I like about reading challenges is that I have a good reason to read books that I've been meaning to read all my life but never got around to doing so. Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of those books, and I get to cross off the "Try a Classic" square in my Reading Outside the Box challenge too.

When I was a young boy, I was a fan of classic sci fi stories, those written by the greats like Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury. However, I never read Something Wicked This Way Comes, probably because it didn't qualify as sci fi. When I read it now as an adult, it brought me back to those innocent days of my youth, when kids often played on the streets without adult supervision or concern for their safety.

This is a classic story of good vs. evil, well-written in a way that paints vivid pictures of the scenes in the stories. However, given that the book was originally published over 50 years ago, the changing times caused it to lose some of its power. As a result, I didn't connect with the characters as much as I would've liked to, and for a horror story, I didn't find it scary. Although it's still good now, I think that if I had read Something Wicked This Way Comes when I was younger, I would have enjoyed it more.

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