Ray Bradbury’s, Something Wicked This Way Comes, is a chilling and suspenseful thriller, making a boy’s secret dream come true right before his own eyes and that of his friend’s too. The story in this book continually jumps back and forth between three characters; two which are always together and the other the library janitor and father of the one.
Bradbury’s style keeps the book flowing smoothly throughout all of his hopping and skipping around. He seems to be a mastermind of writing as the story develops before your eyes and you get drawn in never wanting to leave, until the book is over and you know the ending. I felt like I was sitting right there on the clouds watching all of this take place. Bradbury pulls you into the book and makes it “our place, too.” All of this starts off quite interesting. It is October, the month of Halloween, and in this strange year Halloween came early. A lightning rod salesman, come to the town predicting a humongous storm that is coming this way. The clouds speak their own words, telling the same. Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, neighbors and best friends, one born a minute before October thirtieth and one born a minute after October thirtieth, both lay there in Jim’s front yard. The salesman stopped and told them that the storm was coming and it was coming for them.
One of their houses would get struck by lightning and who was to say which one. “This,” said the salesman, “is the one.” He had been talking about Jim’s house, his was the one to get struck. Will’s father, a janitor for the town library, knew the storm was coming too. He had never sensed one quite like this, so fierce and strong. As the kids arrived to get their books, he smiled and whispered, “Just a storm, nothing but a storm.” He helped Will and Jim get their books then sent them home quickly and then followed soon after. Both Jim and Will, and Will’s father had seen the signs of the carnival to come, but in the month of October. Either way the boys were excited. That night the train came at three in the morning. Jim and will both heard it and both sat up at the same time. They opened their windows looked at each other and then looked at the train out of town. They asked themselves why three in the morning and why that strange music knowing the other was doing the same. They both got dressed and raced out to the hilltop above the field to watch them set up and see what they both sensed was wrong. The clouds of the sky dropped in low so that they couldn’t see. When they rose again the skeleton frame was already set up.
They could only see one person, the rest were on the train. As they watched, poles of the tent started pulling the clouds onto them and spinning them into canvas to form the top and sides of the tent. This just couldn’t be. They got up and ran as fast as they could home. As they were running the finally realized what was wrong with the music. It was being played backwards, but there was no one playing the calliope that was putting forth the music. Will’s father saw the two shadows running back towards the houses as he walked home. He had heard the music too through the open window of the library. “Three in the morning, thought Charles Halloway, seated on the edge of his bed. Why did the train come at that hour?” This book is a very good one even if you don’t like adventure or fantasies. It keeps you interested in the book at all times and it reads very smoothly.
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