(CCLaP publishes mini-reviews of both books and movies on a regular basis, none lasting more than a few hundred words. Click here for the full list.)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (book; 1962)
By Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury has never sat comfortably in the world of literature, nor with me; considered a "genre writer" by some and meant as an insult, a "serious writer" by others and meant as a compliment, it seems that I am always going back and forth about his merits in my head too, especially the farther away we get from many of the books' original publication dates. That said, how can you not love Something Wicked This Way Comes, which the older it gets the more can actually be appreciated as a historical document, instead of as a fantastical tale? A pastiche of horror story and childhood recollection of traveling county fairs, Bradbury paints such a vivid picture of a now-lost bucolic rural life here as to be almost heartbreaking to contemporary readers; oh yeah, and there's a horror story too, old enough now that its main twists have become well-worn cliches. This is always the problem with reading Bradbury in modern times, after all; he's been so influential, almost none of his story elements hold any surprise anymore, not to mention being written in a sometimes clunky way. A story that holds up better than, for example, "The Martian Chronicles," because of the historical small-town elements, or at least in my opinion.
Out of 10: 8.8