"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
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.
Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...
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.
amazon fan in portland
Modern Scholar Series. those have all been great, and have purchase quite a few.
Good range of voices.
All the characters just seemed cardboard to prop up the gimmicks of time machines and houses of mirrors, etc.
I probably will stick to non-fiction or historical fiction from now on.
I tried to finish this audio book to find out how it ended, but I couldn't. I might have been able to finish a print version, but the combination of the whiny Will, as the reader portrayed one of the boys in the story, and the short, choppy, writing style the author used in writing this story combined to make me absolutely hate this audio book. If I could have got my hands around Will's throat, I would have throttled him to shut him up.
We spend so much time inside Will's head and inside his father's head, that it's easy to forget what the story is all about. I like stories about kids; I like SF fiction and fantasy; and I've read stories by Ray Bradbury I liked; but I hated this one.
Maybe, when my revulsion for this story has ebbed somewhat, I'll listen to the last chapter so see what happens; but on second thought...
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