Something Wicked This Way Comes

Firstly, I must confess that any review of Ray Bradbury’s work by me is going to be heavily biased as I have been hopelessly in love with his writing since I was twelve. I first discovered him through his short stories. All Summer In A Day is as perfect as a short story gets in my opinion.
When I heard of his passing I was as bereft as if I had lost a distant but beloved uncle. I wanted to write something, anything, but it all felt too sudden and I genuinely couldn’t think of anything to say. Very unlike me.
I decided instead to read his books again.
Now, there are those who say you shouldn’t go back, shouldn’t retrace the faded steps of the things you loved in your youth in case you find less than you remembered… In case all the wonder and beauty was just a product of the moment, fragments of who you once were, a person you no longer recognise and suddenly grieve a little for.
With this in mind I picked up Something Wicked This Way Comes with no little trepidation.
Oh how very beautiful his work is.
Something Wicked tells the story of two boys, friends, more than brothers, who discover that the Carnival is coming to their small town. It is out of season, late October and the seasons change as the Dark carnival steams into town under violent and stormy skies….
I won’t tell you any more of the story, you should just read it for yourself and drown in the carousel ride of the book. The elegant blade of Bradbury’s pen is deftly wielded and, behind the fearful adventure, the story cuts to the heart of what it is to be a boy. The transient whirl of youth that coils around the boys as they become caught up in the macabre carnival is at times dizzying, but always rewarding.
Bradbury is never an easy read, and I’ve read many times accusations that linguistic tangles are the master in his work over character, but sometimes beautiful things are worth the extra patience just for the glorious pleasure of it all.
Happy Halloween – treat yourself to a stroll in the maze of mirrors, but don’t be surprised if it changes you.

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