somethingwickedthiswaycome36579_fI feel as if I have been reading this book forever; that isn’t a criticism of the book itself, just that I started it before my hiatus and have only just finished it today so it has been with me for what seems like a very long time.

I have to say upfront that I was intrigued about how I was going to react to Something Wicked This Way Comes, because I saw the film adaptation many, many years ago, and although it was only one viewing it has stuck with me ever since. As suspected the film and the book are different in a number of ways, but both are equally enjoyable.

This is the story of two boys, Jim Nightshade and Will Halloway, and how they get drawn into the sinister world of Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show when it turns up in their Illinois hometown. The carnival, and particularly its proprietor Mr Dark, is incredibly sinister and it becomes clear very quickly that all is not as it seems.

This story deals with so many themes – the desire to grow up, the lure of temptation, disappointment, the power of goodness – that it’s difficult to know where to start. I found it wonderfully atmospheric and quite chilling, and the characters – Mr Dark, Charles Halloway, the Witch – really memorable. It is interesting to me that my favourite character in the book (as in the film where he is played by the wonderful Jason Robards) is Charles Halloway, the older father of a young son wondering what he had a achieved with his life.

I think that this is definitely one that I will come back to in the future – if you haven’t tried Bradbury before this is a good place to start. And isn’t it a great cover?