"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." The carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour of a chill Midwestern October eve. Ushering in Halloween a week before its time, a calliope's shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. Young boyhood companions James Nightshade and Will Halloway are the first to heed its call. From a place of safety, they watch a midway come to spectral life, their emotions a riot of eagerness, trepidation, bravado, and uncertainty. For they can sense the change that's in the air; that this is the autumn in which innocence must vanish in the harsh, acrid smoke of disillusionment...and horror.
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 inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-show's mazes and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes and the stuff of nightmares. All those who still dream and remember - and those who have heard the whispering but have yet to experience its dark, poetic power - you are welcome. A shadow show like none other is about to begin...again.
©1962, 1997 Ray Bradbury (P)2010 Tantor
... but something here just made it hard to get into. I could not particularly identify any of the characters and I cannot tell if that was a flaw of the voice work our the text. As a classic novel from an influential writer I really wanted to like it more, but something just felt off.
Horrible narration! What the heck? I felt like I was a child in third grade listening to cartoon scripts being read. Or a "How To" manual of some sort. The narration for this totally fell flat. I had to stop to read the end so I could maybe understand the suspense.... But by then it was too late, story was ruined for me. My advice.....Do not listen to this one..... Read the book!
The voice the narrator uses for the children are absolutely terrible. It makes Will and Jim sound like a whiny little babies, rather than preteen boys. The rest of the narration is good, The voice for Mr. Dark is excellent.
Gripping and suspenseful story of two young boys and their experiences at the carnival Bradbury so terrifyingly created. I listened to this while driving and at times found myself gasping out loud or leaning forward in my seat. I didn't discover it was part of a series until after I read it. It was perfectly complete as a standalone book.
The cover art was nice. The narrator was OK.
Maybe. I have one other of his books in my library but I don't look forward to it.
This is the second Bradbury book I really wanted to like and the basic plot was innovative but I dislike his prose style. This is one of the few examples I can think of where the movie is better than the novel.
I've been a fan of Ray Bradbury since I first read The Martian Chronicles over 30 years ago. This book didn't work all that well for me. It's an okay story, but seemed to fall a bit short for my tastes.
I enjoyed this story greatly when I first read it in middle school. I dusted it back off this year and encouraged the entire family to read it. While I respect Bradbury's ability as a storyteller, his insistence on using twenty words where five would do begins to grate after a while.
It did not deepen my understanding of the narrative to know that a character had slid, slithered, slipped, skulked, dripped, crept, insinuated himself into a room.
All that said, the imagery conjured by this story will stay with the reader a lifetime, and arguably make the tediousness of the telling worthwhile.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
There is so much symbolism in this story that it boggles the mind. I'm pretty sure I need to read it a couple more times before I get the full impact of the meaning. But what I got was pretty clear and a little bit scary.
Sort of a side note: I happened to finish this book on the day I retired from 32 years of teaching in the public schools. As I contemplated the carousel, the centerpiece of the story, I wondered, had I the chance, would I have gotten on that carousel and gone back to the beginning of my career? The answer, after thoughtful deliberation was no. There was no guarantee that I would have met the same wonderful people, had the same incredible experiences and taken advantage of the same opportunities if I lived it over. I wouldn't want to take that chance. Although there were rough spots in those 32 years, all in all they were pretty incredible just the way they were.
I thought the narrator, Kevin Foley, was very good when he was telling the story, but his characterizations, especially of the boys, really started to get on my nerves. He had a very whiny quality to these characters that wore thin in a hurry.
My first thought is that the publishers summary made me think the book would be different than it really was. It sounded like something enjoyable to young adults, but I found myself not caring too much once I heard the narrator sounding like a 10 yr old for the young adult parts. This really put me off for most all of the book. I was beginning to think all of the events taking place were not real but just the imagination of children and I was just about to return the book when the Dad entered the scene and gave the adult perspective that I needed to the story. Maybe in print I would read the scenes differently without the whiny voice of the narrator? Finally in the last hour or so something significant happens that invokes some real terror... I can finally say I have read some Bradbury, but I would not use a credit on this knowing what you know now. Hope this helps somebody. Later.
I would recommend it for Bradbury fans. Due to nostalgia.
For its day this was a captivating story and I would not recommend any changes.
All of the scenes on the carousel were quite appealing to me.
That sounds interesting and do-able to me. I can only imagine new arising young actors as the two boys and some older popular actor like Bill Paxton as the dad. The Carnival owners could be someone like Tom Waites or Gary Oldman.
I recalled my own childhood in around this time the boys were in and can picture that kind of experience enriching my childhood.
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