Review: ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’

wicked

  • Date Finished: Aug. 21, 2014
  • Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction
  • Year: 1962
  • Project: n/a
  • Reading List: Summer 2014
  • Grade: A
  • Thoughts upon reading:

To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to like Something Wicked This Way Comes. It’s a classic science fiction story, yes, but I’m not usually a huge fan of these books. Plus, upon first starting, I found myself tied up in the prose, which is complex and looping. “This is going to be a long 300 pages,” I thought.

How wrong I was. After I got used to Bradbury’s writing, I discovered that the prose wasn’t unnecessarily complex – it was simply poetic. Beautiful, at times (as you can see by the multiple quotes I’ve posted here). At the end, I think it was one of the most beautifully written books I’ve ever read.

But I think what ultimately got me about Something Wicked This Way Comes was the story. This is truly one of the great science fiction stories, and it’s clear to see how so many well-known authors of today (including my fav, Stephen King) was heavily influenced by Bradbury.  This is a classic story of good vs. evil. It’s the evil of the supernatural, the unknown, the visitors that feed on strife, guilt and sin, pitted against what’s best in humanity – whatever innocence and good intentions we can muster up when times are hard.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but let’s just say there’s a dark carnival led by a tattooed man, dozens of sideshow freaks, two best friends, and a merry-go-round that messes with time. It’s really the perfect story, with the tension in all the right places, and the right amount of horror and heart. But again, what I love is how it serves as the foundation for what would come after it – the stories of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King.

Like I said before, I don’t normally get into “classic science fiction”. But after this, I think I could make an effort to try.

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