Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG-13 (Adult Concepts, Violence, Really Scary Carnival Workers)
Why: Although a novel about a crazy messed up society where books are burned remains Ray Bradbury’s most popular novel, Something Wicked this Way Comes is our favorite. Additionally, the novel owns the distinction for having the two best names of any evil carnival villain: Monsieur Guillotine and Mr. Electro. If nothing else, this novel will make you think twice before sending your children off to the carnival (not sure if state or county fairs would be included too?).
Teetering between a career as a magician or a writer, Bradbury himself had a harrowing experience at a carnival that inspired him to choose the latter career. The air inside Something Wicked This Way Comes is filled with something much more sinister than cotton candy when the traveling carnival comes to town. There’s a cast of menacing characters in this dark fantasy, including a witch who navigates an ominous hot air balloon. In a slightly less than epic battle between good and evil a father and his son are left to unmask the carnival and rescue the town from unspeakable acts of dread (Not to be confused with the plot of every Scooby Doo episode ever created).
Admittedly, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a little out there. But who isn’t a little out there? Plus, how will you not know that you won’t like it in less you actually read the story (how’s that for some sound logic)?