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.
I had to go back and read my review to remember my thoughts on this book. I had said "vivid images have been imprinted in my mind." So I can see what you mean with the explosion of skittles!ReplyDelete
Hah! Like the Illustrated Man has things tattooed on his body :) I found your review too, going to read it now.Delete
I am definitely getting interested in Bradbury now :)ReplyDelete
I will start with The Martian Chronicles, as you suggested yesterday.
Maybe I am too biased towards the Chronicles (okay I definitely am) and I think most people would suggest to start with Fahrenheit, but so far all his works I've read have been beautiful. I will schedule The Illustrated Man for myself next.Delete
"The closest I would get to describe my reading experience would be an explosion of some colourful jelly-gummy-candies in my head."ReplyDelete
Okay that sentence RIGHT THERE has me totally dying to read this book! I wonder if I should squeeze it into my June TBR pile... Hmmm...
Well, it's a small book. I think if anyone then probably you could tackle it easily :)Delete
I've always been afraid of reading this book, because of the creepiness. Even though I LOVE Bradbury's prose style, and think he's a GREAT writer, he does have that element of horror in his work. I noticed it when I first read "The Illustrated Man", although I love that book. It was also present in "The Martian Chronicles", to some extent. I didn't find it so much in "Fahrenheit 451", although of course I was very, very sad when books got burned...ReplyDelete
Thanks for a very interesting review!! :)
I agree, the Chronicles and Fahrenheit are quite different from this book (which I think will be the most similar to The Illustrated Man). Somethine Wicked... was spooky, but also in a way very hopeful book, so I wouldn't be that scared of it :) Thanks for stopping by!Delete