Something Wicked This Way Comes Group Read SPOILER Thread

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Something Wicked This Way Comes Group Read SPOILER Thread

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1JPB
jun 8, 2012, 9:01 pm

Post comments that SPOIL the book here.

2maggie1944
jun 14, 2012, 8:19 pm

Bump

Any one?

I am reading it for the first time tonight, and hope to have some comments tomorrow....

3AHS-Wolfy
jun 15, 2012, 1:02 am

Took me a while to get into. The overall story was good but surprisingly the execution was a little off for me.

4ronincats
jun 15, 2012, 1:06 am

I reread it last year, so am just waiting for some discussion to start.

5streamsong
jun 15, 2012, 8:37 am

I'm in the last chapter or so......

6maggie1944
jun 17, 2012, 12:11 am

Well, I've finished read it and have several thoughts. Firstly, Bradbury's style is definitely a character in this book. I alternated between being enchanted by the poetry of it, and how it seemed to roll, and then on the other hand, there were times when the style became thick like mud, and muck, and I had a hard time making myself stay with the book.

I liked the story but felt I had to work hard at pulling its bones out of the verbiage. The father finally finding it in himself to engage with his boy, and the boy's best friend, was very moving and I loved the ending where he is willing to dash in a race with the boys, his weak heart be damned.

I found the magic of the carnival a bit thick and hard to manage. Was it all metaphor?

7streamsong
Redigerat: jun 17, 2012, 5:34 pm

I've finished it, too.

I liked it and rated it 3.75 stars (4 for LT).

It's the first Bradbury I've read. For you that have read others, is the style typical?

I've enjoyed what everyone has said about the verbage here and on the non-spoilers thread. I absolutely loved some of the descriptions. At others times, I felt the pillows and billows of words got in the way of a knife-edged horror story.

My favorite moment was when the father stepped up with the rifle. I definitely had flashbacks of Atticus Finch stepping up to shoot the rabid dog.

Or maybe I'm just rooting for the middle aged hero.

8maggie1944
jun 17, 2012, 6:29 pm

No, I don't think so. I think that was the high point of the story, top of the arc, as it were.

9millhold
Redigerat: jun 19, 2012, 11:34 am

I finished it last night. Like some others, at first I had a hard time sticking with it, and finally just made myself get on with it. Yes, I agree that there were long stretches of poetic wonderfulness. However, I found the book overall oppressive. Then it dawned on me that was probably what he was going for, as that situation would certainly be oppressive.

ETA~~I also loved the Dad. Mr. Halloway was my favorite character.

10MrsLee
jun 26, 2012, 11:36 am

Here is my review:
A story of two boys who stand between their town and eternal damnation which comes in the shape of a carnival. Or something. This is like reading an epic poem, only without the rhymes. The wording and phrases are a wonder to behold. Bradbury carefully stretches, pulls and mashes his character's character into shape right before your very eyes. He draws pictures, paints sets and creates a world for you to step into, full of atmosphere and life. If I had any beef with the writing, it would be that occasionally, when he has me sitting on the edge of my seat because of the suspense, he will wander down the passages of a characters mind, meandering here and there while he explores all the possibilities. Frustrating.

Let me be very clear. I love Charles Halloway. I love the whole father-son developing relationship. I've seen this older father and younger son thing in a friend's family, and enjoy the son's wonder at discovering his father is more than just an "old man." The respect that blooms and the growth that occurs for both of them.

As for the style, I've only read Fahrenheit 451, but I would say this style of word, using words to plumb the depths of a character's thoughts, is Bradbury's style. He is a poet.

My favorite quotes:
This one for the downright creepiness factor,
"Its horses, goats, antelopes, zebras, speared through their spines with brass javelins, hung contorted as in a death rictus, asking mercy with their fright-colored eyes, seeking revenge with their panic-colored teeth."

Does that describe a merry-go-round, or what? Especially the old ones, the ones with a calliope at the center.

This one for its truth,
"Good is no guarantee for your body. It's mainly for peace of mind."

I rather like that the moms were almost entirely absent in this father/son story. Moms have their own stories to tell and live with their sons, but this one was about the dad.

11maggie1944
jun 26, 2012, 5:59 pm

Nice review. Gives me a new perspective on the book. I also loved the father son relationship developing.

12MrsLee
Redigerat: jun 26, 2012, 11:44 pm

Thanks, maggie. I would like to hear JPBs thoughts on the book. His insights are always interesting. I also have to go track down Wolfy's thread. I avoided it until I finished the book.

ETA: Some thoughts that are bouncing in my head.
Almost all of us have said that we had to put it down repeatedly until we pushed through at the end. Mr. Bradbury surely knew how to write compelling stories, so did he do this to us on purpose? Did he want us to stop and ponder the significance of growing old before our time or staying younger than we aught? Did he want us to stop and consider what joy does in our lives each day, and the power of it and of love for good in us?

He dedicated this to Gene Kelly and wrote the screenplay for him. I haven't seen the movie. Is it a musical? I think I can just see Kelly as Halloway, but I would see Spencer Tracy in the role better.

13maggie1944
jun 27, 2012, 8:26 am

oh, Spencer Tracy would be perfect IMHO

14clamairy
jul 5, 2012, 1:29 pm

Yeesh. This took me forever to wade through. In some ways I appreciated it more than when I read it as a 20-something year old, but in other ways not so much. I agree with maggie's 'mud' comment. 0.0 So, over-all it was a thumbs up, but certainly a mixed bag for me. The Suck Fairy was hovering like a hungry mosquito, but luckily she didn't get a chance to bite.

Where the devil is PeaBee?

15JPB
Redigerat: jul 9, 2012, 9:26 am

To be perfectly honest, I only got about forty pages into it before doing a 'let me page through this for an hour, read the ending, and be done with it.' Been there. Done that.

As I have said in other threads, at this point in my life I hate being told what to think - be it a suggestion from political pundit, an author, or a friend, I just can't stand it. Bradbury's prose, even early on, makes that mistake. "Ain't Fury a great name for a lightning rod salesman?" or some such - argh.

Putting this one current annoyance of mine aside, Bradbury's descriptions are poetic and beautifully written.

But they take too damned much time to read for the little plot one gets out of them.

Perhaps I am getting cranky as I age. For me, at my point in life, I need the prose i read to be at least one of the following, the more the better: Moving. Brief. Funny. Sexy. Comforting. Informative. Thought-provoking. Bradbury is descriptive, but didn't move me. He is rarely funny. This book, is never comforting, and is certainly not sexy (nor should it be.) It never caused me to think about anything I didn't already think about by age twenty, and it taught me nothing in the brief portion I read.

I can see why I liked it when I was younger. It is impressive prose, and your mind does cartwheels taking in the complexity. But some of the details rang really false. The brutish caveman doesn't look with kindness on his mate and children because he senses the darkness in them and their brief span of life in an infinity of death. I've never felt that looking at my wife as she slept. I think many things, from the sublime to the carnal, but never that.

Further, the descriptions create vision. It's a book a child who loves film and television should use as a gateway to reading, as it is halfway to a detailed screenplay that attempts to describe every character's motion, leaving nothing to the imagination.

And that's perhaps what I hated most of all about Bradbury's prose. He leaves nothing to my imagination. He describes everything. The best books take me on a journey, but I fill out lots of the details.

Bradbury left me with nothing to do but read.

16MrsLee
jul 9, 2012, 10:36 am

It was my first time reading this book, so some of the prose did move me a lot, as I said above, but that passage about the caveman made me scratch my head too. Made me wonder if he was married at this point in his life (I think he was) and what his wife thought when she read it. :)

17maggie1944
jul 9, 2012, 1:36 pm

I do find it fascinating that this book stimulates a wide variety of responses. I personally did not like it, for reasons already mentioned here and elsewhere, but at the end I did like the ending. Funny, that.

18Bookmarque
jul 9, 2012, 3:31 pm

I liked it less on my first readings, but when the full horror of it flowered in my brain on the last reading (I think it took that long for the dense prose to become like music instead of words in spots) I came to love it. What people were willing to do and how much of their lives they regretted came home in that last reading. The horror of wasted and unfulfilled lives and the way Dark is poised to take advantage, drain them fully, twist and reshape and use them forever...well that's just brilliant. Oh and the Dust Witch. She was great.