Saturday, 21 June 2014
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
I don't know that I've ever read Ray Bradbury before - certainly not a full length work. So this fascinated me. Of course the evil carnival coming to town is nowadays a standard, even hackneyed, trope of American fantasy fiction, but I suspect Bradbury was first in the field, albeit with just a nod to Tod Browning's movie Freaks. The writing itself is startling, so textured, gnarled, yet impactful. I liked very much the role of Dad, much older than the usual dad, maybe an echo of Clark Kent's foster father. I liked that he thought it through, based his plan on research in the library where he works - then discovered the true answer by accident. The boys themselves, Will and Jim, were wholly convincing and well differentiated. Stephen King tends to distinguish his boys by contrasting types but Will and Jim are cut from the same cloth but subtly different, hence Jim's fascination with what might be called the Magic Roundabout, which Will shuns. Something Wicked is, quite simply, a masterpiece in its field.