This is a story about two boys, a creepy carnival, wicked characters and power of good, all set in spooky October. Welcome to the wonderfully horrible world of Ray Bradbury.
This novel is somewhat difficult for me to write about. It is quite different from other two Bradbury books I have read, one of the best classic dystopias "Fahrenheit 451" and short story collection "The Martian Chronicles". "Something Wicked..." is a lot faster, has a lot more energy and colours; it is an excellent example of a skillful author using "show, not tell" technique.
For such a short story, it has very wide cast of most extraordinary characters. Aside from Will and Jim, the two 13-year olds living in their quiet town, Will's father and their schoolteacher there are the members of the carnival - the Illustrated Man G. M. Dark (Bradbury has another short story collection also called "The Illustrated Man"), the Dust Witch, a lightning rod salesman that turns into a dwarf, a Skeleton, etc.
|Picture from here.|
For the tents were lemon like the sun, brass like wheat fields a few weeks ago. Flags and banners bright as blue-birds snapped above lion-colored canvas. From booths painted cotton-candy colors, fine Saturday smells of bacon and eggs, hot dogs and pancakes swam the wind. /p. 61/
It makes me wanna go there and have a carousel ride, but then again, it would not be such a good idea, because from the very beginning you realise that there is something really fishy about this particular carnival.
I really liked the language, although since things were not "painted red on the wood", as we say in Estonian for something that is overly simplified, at times it was a bit difficult to keep up with all the flow and craziness. But such fun.
The closest I would get to describe my reading experience would be an explosion of some colourful jelly-gummy-candies in my head. Or Skittles. I love Skittles. Or maybe liquorice, since it is, after all, a very spooky book.
This book also reminded me that I still have Erin Morgenstern's "The Night Circus" somewhere on the shelves, and that I should really read it. Should be somewhat of a similar setting.