Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Tuesday, October 13, 2009 9:00:00 PM
My dad had a lot of Ray Bradbury and Issac Asimov on the shelves when I was growing up and as a teen I devoured it all. I love Bradbury's storytelling, its almost a screenwriter's style of illustrative scenes and dialog. What comparisons the reader makes to it or the message they take from it are about the same as we would from a serial western. We were planning our annual haunted house down at the Elks, so I thought I would bone up on a little of the mystery and dark magic of childhood with this carnival themed book from my youth. It was an enjoyable re-read for me, partly because I had forgotten the ending and partly just the clean and easy to read stylings of the author.
The story deals with a mysterious autumn carnival that comes to town and how it changes the people in it. It is a dark and frightful tale, illuminated by the inner demons and desires of the adults and their yearnings for eternal youth, a second chance or simply their greed. It is a cautionary tale that dwells on the shortcomings in all our characters and urges us on towards self acceptance and the peace that comes with it. Those who fail end up with their shortcomings brought manifest as freaks in the circus, doomed to travel far and wide separated from a part of themselves that they had when they started out. It is a sad and wise book, and again focuses on the relationship between a boy and his "too old" father. In the end, evil is vanquished and the lesson learned all around.