Rating: 5 stars
Read for the Reader’s Room Tales From The Crypt reading challenge.
This is only the second book I’ve read by Ray Bradbury, and I loved it. I’m a fan of horror, fantasy, spooky Gothic, whatever you want to call books that deal with the supernatural and human fears of death. I’m more than willing to suspend my otherwise rational disbelief and be pulled into another realm if the writing is good enough, if the plot has just enough realism to make the magic feel true. Something Wicked This Way Comes worked for me. The characters were compelling, the bizarre evil of the carnival believable. There is nothing gory or gruesome or violent in the tale, but that made the underlying threat all the more unsettling. The tension starts to mount from the very first page, when a man described as clothed in the colours of storms makes a gift of a lightning conductor out of concern for the well being of one of the main protagonists. Bradbury’s prose is sheer poetry, his descriptions as elaborate as the supernatural world he is describing. For all its magic and mystery, I’d describe this as a metaphysical novel. It understands what makes the world go round, and what keeps some people awake at night. In a sentence, it’s The Wizard of Oz meets To Kill A Mockingbird via Wise Blood.
I want to read the other books in the Green Town series now, as well as some of Bradbury’s short stories.