Something Wicked This Way Comes

Introduction

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1962 dark fantasy novel by Ray Bradbury. It is about 13-year-old best friends, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, and their nightmarish experience with a traveling carnival that comes to their Midwestern town one October, and how the boys learn about combatting fear. The carnival's leader is the mysterious "Mr. Dark," who seemingly wields the power to grant the citizenry's secret desires. In reality, Dark is a malevolent being who, like the carnival, lives off the life force of those they enslave. Mr. Dark's presence is countered by that of Will's father, Charles Halloway, who harbors his own secret fear of growing older because he feels he is too old to be Will's dad.

The novel combines elements of fantasy and horror, analyzing the conflicting natures of good and evil which exist within all individuals. Unlike many of Bradbury's other novel-length works, such as Dandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles, which are fix-ups, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a single, full-length narrative.


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