A Bibliophile’s Book Review: A Spine-Tingling Read Edition

This infamously eerie line, “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes” from Macbeth was once written over four centuries ago by William Shakespeare and it has come back to haunt me in Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked this Way Comes. Since the season of goosebumps and fright has arrived, I figured it was time to delve into the world of Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade, two mischievous teenage boys who, along with Will’s father, Charles Halloway, save Green Town from certain doom. It all began when a carnival arrived in the middle of a stormy night one October day, the 24th to be exact, and brought Halloween early that year. Will and Charles sneak out as young boys opt to do and witness a magnificent sight: the resurrection of Mr. Cooger, one of the owners of the mysterious traveling carnival along with Mr. Dark. How does Mr. Cooger come back to life, you ask? You must allow yourself the horror of reading the book yourself! 

As Halloween approaches, I thought this would be an excellent book to start off the month of chills and bone-knocking discoveries. Bradbury possesses a rare and sought-after gift for framing the atmosphere of American small-town life and the autumnal season. Even more reputable are his magnificent breaths of nostalgia that take readers back to their own childhood experiences and late-night adventures, or if you were more of a wary rule breaker such as myself, the adventures you dreamed of having. His wickedly chilly novel captivates audiences both young and old and although, it’s not spine-tingling in the style of Stephen King, it is a tale of stretching the limits of anatomical aging and disturbing psychological revelations that we as humans can all too easily relate to. If the creepiness above has scared you off, don’t worry because the novel is still worth your while for the likes of those who enjoy superb writing. Descriptions like a “delightful pantomime of intuition” and “the silent theater haunted with black-and-white ghosts, silvery mouths opening to let moonlight smoke out” ought to draw in the timidest of readers for a peek further inside the world of Bradbury’s horrifyingly youthful story which reminds even the eldest of us to enjoy each phase in life as it is given to us.

Craving for more haunting Halloween tales or simply ready for another trip down Memory Lane? I’ve got you covered with a list of books by Bradbury and others to satisfy your reading needs!

Other Spine-Tingling Must Reads:

  1. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury- for readers who enjoy wistful journeys back to childhood and for Halloween fanatics.
  2. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury- for readers who wish to delve further into Bradbury’s writing style and the “series sticklers” as this book is the first of Bradbury’s Green Town Trilogy.
  3. The Nightmare before Christmas- for readers who need to escape the world of adulting and travel through Tim Burton’s masterfully eerie mind. Also, for those readers who cannot decide between Halloween and Christmas- you get the best of both worlds with this children’s book. (Spoiler alert: Sally and the Oogie Boogie Man do not appear because Tim Burton did not create them, Disney did).
  4. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Tales by Washington Irving - for readers who always go back to the classics. I mean it doesn’t get much better than delicious descriptions of a Halloween meal and the yearly episode of a resurrected headless horseman, does it?