Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray BradburyA carnival rolls in sometime after the midnight hour on a chill Midwestern October eve, ushering in Halloween a week before its time. A calliopes shrill siren song beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Darks Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two inquisitive boys standing precariously on the brink of adulthood will soon discover the secret of the satanic raree-shows smoke, mazes, and mirrors, as they learn all too well the heavy cost of wishes - and the stuff of nightmare.
Something Wicked This Way Comes Summary
Sign in. Will's father Charles Halloway is an old man and the local librarian while Jim and his mother wait for the return of the return of their father and husband that will never occur. The boys know everyone in town, including their school teacher Miss Foley that misses her beauty and youth; the lonely barber Mr. Crosetti that has no girlfriend or wife; the greedy owner of a cigar store Mr. Tetley that is obsessed with money; and the bartender Ed that has severed arm and leg and dreams on being a football hero. One day, Jim buys a lightning rod from the salesman Tom Fury that tells that a storm is coming. During the night, the boys overhear a mysterious train and they run through the woods to see the arrival but they do not see a living soul.
Chapter 1 begins with the approach of Tom Fury, a lightning-rod salesman. He is somewhat less than ordinary, characterized as wearing "storm-dark clothes" and a "cloud-colored hat pulled down over his eyes. This storm, as well as any references made to it, must be carefully considered by the reader, for the impending storm is later realized to be the carnival itself. Tom Fury attempts to sell Jim and Will a strangely designed lightning rod, one etched with strange languages, pictures, and designs. This rod, the salesman declares, will protect the boys from the coming storm. He has, however, one boy specifically whom he wishes to have the lightning rod — Jim Nightshade. Only reluctantly, though, does Jim attach the rod to the roof of his home.
It is about two year-old best friends, Jim Nightshade and William Halloway, and their nightmarish experience with a traveling carnival that comes to their Midwestern town one October, and how the boys learn about combatting fear. In reality, Dark is a malevolent being who, like the carnival, lives off the life force of those they enslave. Dark's presence is countered by that of Will's father, Charles Halloway, who harbors his own secret fear of growing older because he feels he is too old to be Will's dad. The novel combines elements of fantasy and horror , analyzing the conflicting natures of good and evil which exist within all individuals. One of the events in Ray Bradbury's childhood that inspired him to become a writer was an encounter with a carnival magician named Mr.
The Prologue opens with a brief description of two thirteen-year-old boys: William Halloway and James Nightshade. They were born one minute before and one minute after midnight, respectively, and are next-door neighbors. The story begins on a lazy October afternoon. Will and Jim are lying on the front lawn when a lightning-rod salesman comes by and warns them that lightning will strike one of their houses. He points to Jim's house as the victim and leaves a lightning rod behind for him to put up. Will persuades Jim to install the rod, though Jim initially refuses, wanting to see what happens when the storm hits.
Bradbury readily admits that he has always loved carnivals, magicians, mind readers, and skeletons. Once, as a lad, he was so enthralled by a red and yellow circus banner that he fell down a window pit, shattered one of the glass panes, and crashed into a cellar barbershop. Undaunted, though, he returned to re-observe the circus banner which, for him, in spite of his catastrophe, had lost none of its excitement. Something Wicked This Way Comes evolved as a direct result of this fondness for carnivals. Here, all of his imaginative powers are unleashed to produce an eerie, even nightmarish, novel in which the powers of evil are made manifest through the arrival of the Cooger and Dark Carnival in Green Town, Illinois.