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Something Wicked This Way Comes | [Ray Bradbury]

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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.
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Publisher's Summary

"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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (179 )
5 star
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3.8 (134 )
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3.6 (131 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    12-22-10
    12-22-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Great Classic Come to Life"

    I would have to put this book right on par with Shadow Divers as one of the best Audible listens I've had. Ray Bradbury's story is a great coming of age tale. The vivid descriptions of people, places and feelings really helps bring the reader into the world he has created. From the first chapter when the Carnival rolls into town and the scent of cotton candy floats through the air, it's difficult not to feel yourself running along the streets with Will and Jim and experiencing all the other-worldly sights they uncover. While the premise of the book is quite sci-fi, Bradbury's writing keeps the plot believable.

    However, many a great novel has been ruined by poor narration, but in this respect, Ken Foley matches Bradbury's superb novel. The different voices used for different characters helps keep the plot clear and are excellent reflections of the characters. Jim's voice conveys a headstrong and brash young boy who acts unafraid, but is something quite different under the surface. Will is equally well played as a timid young boy who is frequently afraid but deep down inside begins to find his inner courage.

    Few books I've read have such a superb combination of excellent writing and narration as this one. It is well worth a listen!

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taichica 11-20-11
    Taichica 11-20-11 Member Since 2004

    Travlin chick

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So distracted by narration almost couldn't finish"

    This is one of my favorite books from childhood. I remember reading and getting the shivers as the story progressed. I did not get the shivers from this audio version becase the choice of narrator did not seem like a good fit with the prose and story. The narrator's voice seemed better suited to a "hard-boiled" detective story then this novel which requires a voice that can create a atmosphere of dread, longing, and mystery.
    I listened to a sample of the Steven Rudnicki version and like his intrepretation much better. I think a reader such as George Guidall, Bronson Pinchot, or even Campbell Scott would have been an excellent choice. Too bad the great Frank Mueller is no longer reading books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 02-11-12
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 02-11-12 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "Wickedly beautiful writing..."

    This was a new book for me - I delighted in the incrediable use of painted words. A classic tale of good verses evil... the power of love, laughter, courage and friendship. So glad I found it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bill Mudgee, Australia 12-26-11
    bill Mudgee, Australia 12-26-11 Member Since 2011
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    "wonderful story, poor narration"

    I read this book many many years ago and was disappointed with this recording. The narrator was flat and didn't bring Bradbury's poetry to life. There was not enough delineation in his characters as well. It's such a classic book, audible.com should re-record it with a better narrator. Sorry guys.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-15-14
    CHESTER LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 06-15-14 Member Since 2007

    Chet Yarbrough, an audio book addict, exercises two cocker spaniels twice a day with an Ipod in his pocket and earbuds in his ears. Hope these few reviews seduce the public into a similar obsession but walk safely and be aware of the unaware.

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    "SOMETHING WICKED"

    Ray Bradbury blends a mixture of miscreants, families, and carny rides to tell a story about evil, love, and laughter. He pictures life’s temporariness, wholeness, and redemption. He writes like a lyricist with words that fit a macabre fugue.

    Bradbury revives the “Illustrated Man”, a tattooed villain created in an earlier short story. In contrast to Bradbury’s short story, this tattooed villain is wholly evil. His name is Mr. Dark. He manages a carnival in “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. Like Bradbury’s earlier short story, body tattoos represent lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Marques Brasília, Brazil 01-30-14
    Douglas Marques Brasília, Brazil 01-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Amazing style!"
    Where does Something Wicked This Way Comes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was maybe the best audiobook I've ever listened.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Something Wicked This Way Comes?

    I found this book very intense. The author is tireless in his long, metaphoric descriptions, but with an enjoyable, delightful fluidity. I found his style addicting. His depicting of different ages are archetypal, but he expresses them beautifully.


    What about Kevin Foley’s performance did you like?

    The narrator is great! All the characters' voices are really good. The best ones, in my opinion, are Mr. Dark's subtly sinister voice and Will's Dad's grave voice. They matched perfectly.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Will and his father climbing together the rungs leading to Will's window was really intense. Father and son reconciling and having a deep conversation without saying a single word. Beautiful!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Racine, WI, United States 05-02-13
    Paula Racine, WI, United States 05-02-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Enjoyed it, but.."
    Any additional comments?

    I remember loving this book when I was in middle school and wanted to enjoy it again now that my children are nearly that age. While I enjoyed the memories that this book brought back I found I didn't enjoy it as much as an adult as I did when I was younger. At times the way Ray Bradbury described the boys friendship and connection which I once so enjoyed seemed to wordy and distracting. However it is still a very solid story which is well written

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben R Faus 04-16-12
    Ben R Faus 04-16-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A good Classic."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it for Bradbury fans. Due to nostalgia.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    For its day this was a captivating story and I would not recommend any changes.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    All of the scenes on the carousel were quite appealing to me.


    Could you see Something Wicked This Way Comes being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    I recalled my own childhood in around this time the boys were in and can picture that kind of experience enriching my childhood.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 05-09-13
    Jason Poteau, OK, United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2008

    Bi-Vocational Pastor/Draftsman. Full time husband and dad. Audiobooks are a staple in my life because I can read and work...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Almost Didn't Finish... Better in Print?"

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John TIGARD, OR, United States 04-06-12
    John TIGARD, OR, United States 04-06-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Couldn't finish it"

    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...

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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