Monday, September 24, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Book Review

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.

This book was introduced to me by my husband. By my husband checking it out. Who checked it out and started reading it.

Who started reading it, but didn't finish it.

Not a stellar endorsement, if you ask me.

But an introduction it was.

And then I mentioned the book to some friends at work. And they endorsed it.

They gave it a strong, positive endorsement.

That was good enough for me.

I knew only that it was dark and about a circus. That's all, really. But I had just finished a book about a circus. I didn't really know what to expect from Bradbury's circus, but I didn't want to read the two books too close together in time.

So I read other things. And then, finally, I couldn't find anything else I wanted.

Time to get it.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

This is a novel about a dark circus. Dark, as in evil. Dark, as in scary. Dark, as in disturbing.

The circus comes to town in the deepest hours of the night. But immediately, we know that it hasn't come to bring joy and rollicking good fun to the townspeople. Strange things start to happen. And two teenage boys just have to be at the center of it.

This novel is poetic from start to finish. It is unending poetry as prose. It is hard to read, yet easy to read. The poetic nature of the prose slowed me down. I have never been one with poetry. Here, I can appreciate it, but it doesn't keep my mind flowing along as fluidly as normal prose. I need to pause more, think more, digest more. Easy or not, it is written masterfully.

Out of nowhere, one secondary character delivers a few soliloquies that left me mesmerized. How does Bradbury write like that?

That is what makes him a master.

Master storyteller. Master poet. Master writer. Master creator. Master illusionist. Master author.

No cookie cutter stories here. No formula fiction here.

Creative genius? Maybe. How many of his books have you read?

Fahrenheit 451?

Dandelion Wine?

The Martian Chronicles?

The Illustrated Man?

"Something Wicked" is only the third book of Bradbury's that I have read. None of those three books are even remotely similar to each other.

I have always thought of Bradbury as a science fiction author. Yet, I couldn't see how this book would be categorized as science fiction. It really doesn't seem like science fiction. So, I asked a librarian.

He hadn't read it, so he looked it up. The catalog has it listed as horror.

Horror. Really? But I think we all think of Bradbury as a science fiction writer. And a fantasy writer.

But horror?

It certainly was eery. It certainly was disturbing. It certainly left me unsettled.

Yes, I guess it could be categorized as horror, and still be from a science fiction author.

Such variety. Such diversity. Such creativity.

I think it is time to add a couple more of Bradbury's books to my reading list. Maybe it is time to fill in the science fiction category a bit more....

Creative genius?

You decide.

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