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Something Wicked this Way Comes
by Ray Bradbury

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A masterpiece of modern Gothic literature, Something Wicked This Way Comes is the memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one Autumn midnight. How these two innocents, both age 13, save the souls of the town (as well as their own), makes for compelling reading on timeless themes. What would you do if your secret wishes could be granted by the mysterious ringmaster Mr. Dark? Bradbury excels in revealing the dark side that exists in us all, teaching us ultimately to celebrate the shadows rather than fear them. In many ways, this is a companion piece to his joyful, nostalgia-drenched Dandelion Wine, in which Bradbury presented us with one perfect summer as seen through the eyes of a 12-year-old. In Something Wicked This Way Comes, he deftly explores the fearsome delights of one perfectly terrifying, unforgettable autumn. --Stanley Wiater


Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1 of 18), Read 33 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Sherry Keller (shkell@earthlink.net) Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000 11:40 AM Bradbury’s prose induces a kind of languor in me. He creates landscapes that are sweet and thick and heavily scented. His rhythms are hypnotic. I’m in some other world which is familiar, almost like the one I know, but different enough for me to yearn to be there. Something Wicked This Way Comes just begs to be read aloud. I read it differently than most books. I allowed myself to hear each word individually in my head, to let the sentences roll around and become a kind of poetry and song. This is the best kind of fairy tale. One that scares you and makes you think and connects you to the dark side and the bright side of you inner self. Sherry
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (2 of 18), Read 27 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000 12:09 PM Sherry, I just started it a little while ago. It brings back the 50s for me--almost tangibly. I could smell the purple-stamped ink in the library book and hear the leaves rustling down the street. I haven't always enjoyed the Bradbury I've read before but so far this one's 'got' me. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (3 of 18), Read 20 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Kay Dugan (okaychatt@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000 06:37 PM I loved his references and descriptions of books and libraries. You're right - it's a terrific fairy tale. He writes the innocence of young boys on an adventure very well, doesn't he? Their world, gradually spinning out of control reminded me of the mood set in A Boy's Life.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (4 of 18), Read 24 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Kay Dugan (okaychatt@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000 06:40 PM One thing bothered me, though. I didn't think that Jim's pull to the carousel was adequately explained. Did it have to do with him being the one that "saw it all" as opposed to Will taking life as it came? That makes the most sense to me, but not enough to explain the draw adequately.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (5 of 18), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000 08:42 PM sorry, I'm confused, is this the next book? For some reason I wrote down The Alchemist. And now can't find list and dates here. thanks Candy
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (6 of 18), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Diane Freeman (dfreeman@jeffco.k12.co.us) Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000 09:27 PM Bradbury turns out to be a master of terror. I have read "horror" books that were not nearly as horrifying as this one. The scene with Will fending off the witch in the balloon was tense as any I've read. I was not able to figure out the lightning rod salesman's role. He seemed to have singled out Jim to give the free one to. Why give any away? How did he choose Jim? Was he already a member of the carnival who could morph like "the nephew", sort of an advance scout, rather than a victim after their arrival? I think I must have missed something (or probably lots of things as I follow the discussion!) Diane
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (7 of 18), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Kay Dugan (okaychatt@mindspring.com) Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000 10:39 PM I was confused by the lightning rod fellow as well. He seemed evil, but then at one point, Bradbury says he's the kind of person that prepares people for evil, but runs before they actually have to face it. He merely predicts/worries about the future. The rod he offers Jim sounds like something to ward off evil to me. "The metal thing was hammered and shaped half-crescent, half-cross. Around the rim of the main rod little curlicues and doohingies had been soldered on, later. The entire surface of the rod was finely scratched and etched with strange languages, names that could tie the tongue or break the jaw, numerals that added to incomprehensible sums, pictographs of insect-animals all bristle, chaff, and claw." He goes on to warn the boys to be on guard against the "wind." That sounds as if he's familiar with what goes on in the world. So why does he succumb to the lure of the merry go round?
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (8 of 18), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Sunday, October 15, 2000 11:11 PM You know, I think we read something about lightning rod salesmen recently hereabouts. What was that...? The Chilbained Lawyer
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (9 of 18), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 02:10 AM Dick -- you're absolutely right -- but I have the same problem you have -- now what was that? Dottie -- wondering if it was a short story ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (10 of 18), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 02:37 AM Dick -- Is it possible it was actually Bradbury? And that the title was actually as straightforward as The Lightning Rod Man? This was my first thought which I dismissed but to which I now have committed -- anyone want to confirm it? Dottie -- thinking perhaps she should have left well-enough alone ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (11 of 18), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 08:50 AM I didn't have any trouble understanding the lure of the carousel to Jim. This is something of a coming-of-age story. Jim is hungry to grow up. Even though he is still a boy, he has been "the man of the family" since his father left. (I must confess that though I've read this book dozens of times, the excellent movie adaptation has colored how I see the characters.) I'm still unpacking books from the move and haven't yet unearthed Something Wicked This Way comes. I'm hoping to find it in time to read before Halloween. This is one of my all-time favorite books and I often reread it right before Halloween. :-) I had a discussion with a friend many years ago in which we threw out titles of books that would be good candidates for The Great American Novel. Something Wicked This Way Comes was one of the books I suggested. He was horrified; he considered it to be a very light-weight novel. Needless to say I disagreed. ;-) ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (12 of 18), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Sherry Keller (shkell@earthlink.net) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 08:57 AM Dick, it was the short story by Melville with a lightning-rod salesman in it. Candy, I always have a note in "The Next Book" thread around the first of the month reiterating what our next few books are. Then there is the webpage with all the books on there: log off, go to the Book List page and go to the 2000 list page. http://constantreader.com/20list1.htm As to the question as to why Jim is so drawn to the "ride". The two boys seem to make up one whole boy. One part plays it safe and saves money and can really tell good from evil. The other dares, is drawn to scary things and wants to grow up so bad he hurts. I think that's the reason. He is absolutely thrilled by the unknown. And it kills him that he has to restrain himself. Sherry
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (13 of 18), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Sherry Keller (shkell@earthlink.net) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 08:58 AM Susan, we were posting at the same time. I agree about Jim, and I had forgotten he was the "man" of the family. That would add to his impatience. Sherry
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (14 of 18), Read 17 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 09:01 AM Sherry -- thank you! okay Melville and I think the title was simply The Lightning Rod Man, but once someone else verifies the title we'll have the info -- how many CRs will it take to think we can go check on the webpage -- chuckling to myself here! Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (15 of 18), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Kay Dugan (okaychatt@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 11:27 AM Susan- You're right about Jim and Will being two halves of the same boy. And, I see your point about being impatient to grow up, as most children are. My confusion came when Jim continued to be drawn to the carousel, even after he had seen the evil it could do. That made no sense to me. This was a fun read, with beautiful prose in places. But I would not rank it as a Great American Novel.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (16 of 18), Read 18 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 11:29 AM Thanks Sherry, I must have written them down mixed up. That was a great page, and not where I first got the list when I came on to this site. Thanks again, excuse my confusion! Candy so much for reading The Alchemist last week!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (17 of 18), Read 16 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 11:47 AM Candy -- sounds like one of my tricks -- but you are now ahead of us for Cohelo's turn! I haven't started any new CR books yet so -- hopefully I'll get going soon. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (18 of 18), Read 2 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Mary Anne Papale (mapreads@aol.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 08:01 PM Kay, sometime that "pull" is irresistible, even when we know that it is risky. That is, perhaps, a working definition of adolescence. The temptation of gaining a few extra years on the carousel was just too great for Jim. Also, Will has a father to work thing through with, but Jim has to experience life on his own. Metaphors be with you... MAP
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (19 of 29), Read 64 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Kay Dugan (okaychatt@mindspring.com) Date: Monday, October 16, 2000 10:20 PM I know, and I do understand. However, it's one thing to feel an almost irresistible pull, and another to make the choice, *knowing* that the carousel is evil, and has caused so much heartbreak. But, as a wise therapist once said, "People are gonna do what they're gonna do." And, perhaps, Jim's need was greater than his ability to reason. I like Jim, and understand his need to grow older, as a way of coping with his situation. It's not just Jim, but all those adults, as well. Bradbury offers such a beautiful coping mechanism. I hope to resist the temptations of the carousel by enjoying today.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (20 of 29), Read 55 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Jane Niemeier (jniemeie@hotmail.com) Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 09:08 PM Sherry, I liked your note about Jim and Will being two halves of the same boy. One of my favorite chapters is the arrival of the carnival. Chapter 12 Sometimes you see a kite so high, so wise it almost knows the wind. It travels, then chooses to land in one spot and no other and no matter how hard you yank, run this way or that, it will simply break its cord, seek its resting place and bring you, blood-mouthed running. "Jim! Wait for me!" So now Jim was the kite, the wild twine cut, and whatever wisdom was his taking him away from Will who could run, earthbound, after one so high and dark silent and suddenly strange. That seems to tell a lot about why Jim is so attracted to the carousel. It is like people who are attracted to drugs even though they know that they are destructive. It is the moment that counts, and Jim seems like that kind of boy. Jane, who has always been a Will
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (21 of 29), Read 37 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Kay Dugan (okaychatt@mindspring.com) Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 07:48 AM Jane- Your tag line is something I identify with. I've also always been a Will, and have looked admiringly at the Jims, who live with such exuberance, until they take one risk too many. Then, I'm glad I'm more of a Will. I know I'm sounding cranky here, and I don't really mean to. It's just that care-free risk taking exuberance is so foreign to my dry, analytical approach. , who will now try to lighten up.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (22 of 29), Read 39 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Sherry Keller (shkell@earthlink.net) Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 08:24 AM My favorite parts of the book were Jim discovering his father. I liked that somebody as "old" as fifty-four could grow and become a better person. I also liked the scenes inside the library. You can really see Bradbury's love of books and reading shining through. Sherry
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (23 of 29), Read 20 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 09:02 PM I felt the first few chapters set the mood well. Did he change or was it 'too much' of the same thing? I haven't read Bradbury in a long time and what I read before I didn't like (Martian Chronicles). To me this book is really filled with overblown prose. I think it had charm for a couple chapters (the length of a short story) but I'm sick of it and I'm not even half way through! Am I the only one having this problem? The other thing that bothers me is the carnival/carousel/sideshow/circus theme which seems to be one that's overused in horror. I'm waiting for the evil clown to jump out next. And since I feel like I should say *something* positive :) I found the image at the end of chapter 22 when Jim and Will are chasing the 'evil nephew' was great. "And so they ran, three animals in starlight. A black otter. A tomcat. A rabbit. Me, thought Will, I'm the rabbit. And he was white, and much afraid." Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (24 of 29), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2000 09:49 PM Ack. I am still without this book. I didn't buy it with the big CR order last February because our library listed it. Ha. It's still listed, but it's out. Due back, Dec 3, 1999. Sigh. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (25 of 29), Read 22 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000 02:18 AM Ruth -- I'd loan you mine -- secondhand with fluorescent highlighting in several colors (I use that word very loosely here) and markered designs and names on the edges of the pages -- courtesy of my husband's shopping who always growls at me for marking in my own books (with pencil or black ink) -- think he is telling me something? I want to wear my gloves almost -- it is repulsive to look at -- used yes -- but this is way beyond that and is so far keeping me from reading this. {G} Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (26 of 29), Read 22 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Lynn Isvik (washualum@yahoo.com) Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000 04:58 AM I just finally found time to finish this last night. Bo, I too was affected by the style of prose -- at first I enjoyed it, then it seemed to put me to sleep, but I guess I finally got used to it because I didn't notice it as much during the last half of the book. What surprised me more, though, was that I kept hearing a religious nature in the "message" in the book. There was a thread throughout of subtle and not-so-subtle references to saviors and the evil nature of the carnival was clearly tied to Christian religion in the old tract about the "Autumn people". While I think every discussion of good and evil can be viewed as having a religious nature, Bradbury has never struck me as an author who would focus on that aspect. Like several here, I watched with fascination as Jim was drawn to the carousel over and over, even after seeing its effects. I finally decided, though, that part of it was Mr. Dark's ability to overcome some individuals' will to do what they knew was right. For instance, he was able to control both boys totally when he took them from the library back to the carnival. It seemed to me that it was the force of Will's father's love that finally broke him out of Dark's control (there are those religious messages again). Jim didn't have a father, so it was the force of Will's love that finally broke him free. The best part of the book for me, though, was the development of Will's father as a character and the growth of his relationship with Will. He went from almost being an object of pity -- a simple library janitor, who worries that he's too old to be the kind of father Will needs -- to a really strong, insightful man who finally finds the key to overcoming the evil. He was also clever enough to see that the evil would return -- that it's always there waiting to take advantage of a weakness. I enjoyed reading this, especially so close to Halloween, but I have to agree.... Bradbury does horror much more effectively than I had anticipated! I hope I don't spend a few nights fending off visions of the Dust Witch! Lynn
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (27 of 29), Read 24 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000 05:14 AM Lynn -- I haven't opened it yet but will gulp it soon -- what a delightful post -- I am glad you had some surprises from this -- and look forward to more input from you and comments after I've read this. Dottie -- reading only her second ever Bradbury --yes, GASP -- I agree! ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (28 of 29), Read 14 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000 12:14 PM I love the prose style; it's perfect for the book. As for the evil carnival theme being too often done---check the copyright on this book! Sure we get evil carnivals and clowns in a lot of horror now, but it's just ripping off Bradbury. He created a classic with this theme and horror writers and movie makers have been copycatting him ever since. I too, loved the way Will's father is portrayed and developed. His story is one of the things that gives this book poignancy and depth. ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (29 of 29), Read 17 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Katie Kleczka (pkleczka@uwm.edu) Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000 08:59 PM This is without a doubt one of my favourite novels and for oh, so many reasons. If there were ever a type of book that I am drawn to it is one in which the protagonist is a 12-year old boy. McCammon's, as already mentioned, novel is another prime example. But this one is special. Through seemingly simple and unpretentious prose I am struck with terror as deep as the yearning I feel to ride that carousel. And do I remember many lines from the books I read? No, but I know the opening sentence to this one by heart. I haven't re-read it yet for this year (a yearly delight for me) as I'll tackle it on or around the 31st. Has anyone caught the movie? It is of course not as good as the book, but neither is it bad. Katie "Everything in moderation, EXCEPT for reading."
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (30 of 34), Read 23 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Friday, October 20, 2000 08:08 PM Hi, I finally finished a few minutes ago. I picked up a couple books about Bradbury at the library (both written in 1980) and each has a bit about this book in it. I have to say that I wasn't aware that this was one of the Green Town, Illinois books, Dandelion Wine being the first. It makes sense to me that so many of you read and liked DW and that this would be a 'continuation' for you. If I hadn't read the commentary I'd have missed a lot of the symbolism. DW is apparently a 'summer' book and SWTWC is an 'autumn' book. I noticed quite a bit in the second half of the book that Mr. Halloway refers to them as 'summer people' etc. In regards to Will and Jim being two halves of the same boy, I totally missed the symbolism of their names: Halloway (hallowed way) and Nightshade. A bit obvious now that I 'see' it. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (31 of 34), Read 23 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Jane Niemeier (jniemeie@hotmail.com) Date: Friday, October 20, 2000 09:13 PM Hi, I don't know that I agree that this is a Christian book. Did you notice that when Mr. Dark came into the library, Will's father held up the Bible? Mr. Dark grabbed the Bible and threw it into the trash, and he said that he was not afraid of the Bible. Jim conquered Mr. Dark with his human nature, his smile and good will. Jane
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (32 of 34), Read 28 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Friday, October 20, 2000 09:57 PM Lynn, >>but I guess I finally got used to it because I didn't notice it as much during the last half of the book. Right after I complained I flipped over to Book II and the prose style changed quite dramatically. I'm sure you could send the Punctuation Police after me, particularly the Comma Division, but I had a hard time seeing every other sentence filled with ellipses, emdashes and semicolons! I admire him that he could successfully place 6 semicolons in one sentence but hey, I found this more than a little distracting. (As I did the piles of hyphenated words!)*end of rant* Whoever said that it would be good to read aloud was right. I read some of these overblown sentences aloud to Eddie and it had a much heavier effect. Actually, I'm glad I didn't listen to it because some of it was depressing enough as it was! >>What surprised me more, though, was that I kept hearing a religious nature in the "message" in the book. There was a thread throughout of subtle and not-so-subtle references to saviors and the evil nature I noticed this too, particularly at the end when Will and Jim hid in churches etc. They did say something like they didn't know if it would be safer there but it felt that way. Almost as though there was an emotional 'comfort' to religion. (Didn't see this as Bradbury critiquing religion but that the feeling was genuine. I'll have to look up his background.) >>Like several here, I watched with fascination as Jim was drawn to the carousel over and over, even after seeing its effects. What I found particularly powerful was the end where Jim, Will and Mr. Halloway ALL felt the desire to give it 'one more try' and then saw the evil within themselves and destroyed the carousel. >>seemed to me that it was the force of Will's father's love that finally broke him out of Dark's control (there are those religious messages again). Jim didn't I thought at that point that Mr. Halloway had figured out 'the secret' of laughter vs. negative stuff from his encounter with the witch at the library and used that positive force to free Will and kill the witch. I can see the "love of the father" message here but I saw it as more of a family than religious message. >>The best part of the book for me, though, was the development of Will's father as a character and the growth of his relationship with Will. He went from This is where the story changed for me from a bunch of 'horror stuff' to a story. I felt that he was in many ways the main character or at least the character around which things revolved. (Yeah, savior image but I did like him saving the day.) >>Halloween, but I have to agree.... Bradbury does horror much more effectively than I had anticipated! In one of the book about Bradbury I glanced at one of the authors talked about Bradbury's style of horror. They said that he didn't use the supernatural but learned much of his style from watching magicians etc. as a kid. I'm not sure that I totally agree with that but it did get me thinking about what kind of horror this was and why I didn't care for it. I think I prefer a more supernatural type of story. Or one with a more 'unknown' twist. The two comparisons that come to mind are The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and The Dreaming Jewels (also known as The Synthetic Man) by Theodore Sturgeon. The Jackson story had more of a supernatural element. The Sturgeon story more of a twist. And in both cases I liked their writing style a LOT more! Different taste in horror. Bo P.S. I have to say, though, that this story was complete in that it was emotionally satisfying at the end. It had a beginning, middle and end which all worked together to a complete whole.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (33 of 34), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Saturday, October 21, 2000 09:28 AM I'm still trying to comprehend the fact that it's really been 37 years since I read SOMETHING WICKED. I remembered it dimly as a darn good tale, though it gets confused in my memory with DANDELION WINE and some of Bradbury's stories, probably because the year I discovered him I straightaway inhaled everything he'd written. For my taste, some of Bradbury's stories have aged much better than others, and I was afraid I'd be disappointed in SOMETHING WICKED. About a third of the way through, though, I have to say I'm absolutely blown away. It's much better than I remembered, and has much more to say on human nature (reckon the perspective of 37 years could have anything to do with that?{G}). All in all, the combination of innocence, sincerity, and intensity strikes me as overwhelmingly beautiful. I agree some of it is "over the top," but so is Cormac McCarthy at times. And Eugene O'Neill. And Beethoven. And... >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (34 of 34), Read 20 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Lynn Isvik (washualum@yahoo.com) Date: Saturday, October 21, 2000 10:03 AM I'm in the middle of rereading Dandelion Wine as a followup to SWTC and found that my copy has an interesting intro by Bradbury, written in 1974. He addresses his writing process, includes an interesting poem he wrote on the same subject, and closes with this bit that addresses his use of opposing sides of one thing (e.g. Jim and Will being two halves of one boy). "Here is my celebration, then, of death as well as life, dark as well as light, old as well as young, smart and dumb combined, sheer joy as well as complete terror written by a boy who once hung upside down in trees, dressed in his bat costume with candy fangs in his mouth, who finally fell out of the trees when he was twelve and went and found a toy-dial typewriter and wrote his first "novel"." Lynn
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (35 of 55), Read 24 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 01:17 PM In the "small world" department, an E-mail quote/joke service I subscribe to has this segment today: "If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down." -Ray Bradbury >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (36 of 55), Read 24 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Lynn Isvik (washualum@yahoo.com) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 01:20 PM Dale, I love this quote! I must agree with his philosophy a bit, since I seem to be continually jumping off cliffs without my parachute and hoping those 'wings' will kick in at some point. Lynn
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (37 of 55), Read 27 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 01:34 PM Lynn: I'm a congenital cliff-jumper too. At least 50% of the time, those wings kick in, usually at the last minute. The rest of the time...ouch. I have to lick my wounds and recuperate awhile before climbing back up for another go. {G} >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (38 of 55), Read 30 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 02:02 PM I finished this one up last night. Although I'm not generally a fantasy or SF reader, Dandelion Wine is one of my all-time favorites. However, Something Wicked fell flat for me. In DW, the focus was so real, so grounded, that the flights of fancy worked. I felt the balance tipped in this book---way over to the fantasy side, so much so that I got bored with it. As I did with Bradbury's writing. It was just all too much at level 10 on the fantasy/purpleprose/wordtwisting scale. Like an opera star singing high C all the time. I needed some relief, something grounded, something for this kind of writing to play off of. If everything's at a fever-pitch all the time, how do you know when it's a real fever? I found myself skimming towards the end. But wow, that Dust-Witch, she's the creepiest figure I have ever encountered. Long wraiths of fingers oozing out into every nook and cranny, like an amoeba. Shiver. I hope I don't dream about her. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (39 of 55), Read 28 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Lynn Isvik (washualum@yahoo.com) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 02:07 PM Dale, I had to laugh out loud at that -- it is so true! The amazing thing is that, no matter how many times we have to lick our wounds, we keep climbing back up there and trying it again... Lynn
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (40 of 55), Read 30 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 02:08 PM Not me. I'm a Will...all the way. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (41 of 55), Read 24 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 04:29 PM Ruth: So it's true, then, what I've heard all my life? Where there's a Will, there's a way? Aaaaarghhh. Sorry. (Not) {G} >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (42 of 55), Read 33 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 04:32 PM Are you both blushing now -- tsk, such -- GREAT punsters! Aaarrrrggghhh! Groans for both of you! Dottie -- rolling her eyes and shaking her head over here in Hasselt ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (43 of 55), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 04:40 PM Dottie: Thanks for your groans. They're very useful, as it's not long till Halloween here. I'm downloading them to distribute (along with healthful (?) carob bars) to our trick-or-treaters. {G} >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (44 of 55), Read 18 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Monday, October 23, 2000 08:17 PM Ruth, Glad to see that someone else found his style tedious. I'm surprised that you liked DW and not this since they were both supposed to be rather autobiographical. (I haven't even looked at DW since it was described as being like SWTWC except without a plot.) :) Don't judge SF/Fantasy by this book! In fact, many people don't consider much of Bradbury to be SF. (One of those endless debates.) This book to me was more gothic horror. But then in the new lingo it's "dark fantasy". PLEEZE. These categories get ridiculous after awhile. Wordtwisting is an apt way to describe much of what I didn't like. I didn't want to try to decipher what he meant in every sentence since he had so many words used in different ways: 3 or 4 nouns strung together defining another noun, hyphenated words, etc. I like wordsmithing. I enjoy it when someone cleverly uses a word in a new way. But this was overkill to me. If he'd used 1/3 as many, I think it would have been more effective. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (45 of 55), Read 16 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 12:59 AM Bo, don't worry,altho I'm generally not an SF reader, I'm not completely virginal in that genre. And don't let the fact that you didn't like this book put you off on Dandelion Wine. No, there's not much of a plot, but I wouldn't even put it in the same classification as SWTWC. To me, it's more of a nostalgic revisiting of what it was like to be a small boy in a small midwest town in the early part of the 20th century---with just soupcon of fantasy thrown in. The writing is definitely not over-the-top like it is in SWTWC. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (46 of 55), Read 14 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 02:04 AM Bo -- Ruth has this absolutely on target as far as the Dandelion Wine description -- don't let SWTWC influence whether you tackle DW!! Dottie -- JUST starting Something Wicked today but -- since I have a long day to myself -- maybe it'll just be a one gulp reading. One never knows when I'm given such a chance. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (47 of 55), Read 13 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 02:33 AM Ruth, Dottie, OK. I actually have something like a dozen of Bradbury's books on the shelf here. And, DW is one of them. I promise I'll at least look. No promises on actually reading it, though. (Never like to lie to people. :) Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (48 of 55), Read 10 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Kay Dugan (okaychatt@mindspring.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 09:21 AM Bo- I was not enamored of SWTWC either, and made myself finish it so I could try to understand why folks admire Bradbury so much. I have to admit I'm still confused about that, but thought it might be that I just don't enjoy fantasy. I did enjoy his descriptions of books and the library, though. Dottie and Ruth- I want to give Dandelion Wine a try eventually. I may enjoy the premise more if it's a coming of age kind of story.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (49 of 55), Read 9 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 09:37 AM Okay -- I'm twenty chapters in -- and he is spooking me plenty already -- the Cooger kid is shivery. How did I know the minute she said it that that nephew Robert was not real somehow. And boy! The mirrors? Some sort of preparation for a backward ride, maybe? Will's Dad - wow - something going on there. Please note that even though I have skimmed the thread as it came on that I didn't pin sown info and am not going back to reference -- thought I'd just plop down reactions and such and let things fill in from there. Even this lousy copy of the book isn't hurting my reading any -- if anything it's so oddball that it seems to be adding to the creepy, chill-chasing effects. Okay -- here's the first major section which really got to me -- what writing: "Three..." "Three in the morning, thought Charles Halloway, seated on the edge of his bed. Why did the train come in at that hour? For, he thought, it's a special hour. Women never wake then, do they? They sleep the sleep of babes and children. But men in middle age? They know that hour well. Oh God, midnight's not bad, you toss but sleep again. Five or six in the morning,, there's hope, for dawn's just under the horizon. But three, now, Christ, three A.M.! Doctors say the body's at low tide then. The soul is out. The blood moves slow. You're the nearest to dead that you'll ever be save dying. Sleep is a patch of death, but three in the morn, full wide-eyed staring, is living death! You dream with your eyes open. God, if you had strength to rouse up, you'd slaughter your half-dreams with buckshot! But no, you lie pinned to a deep well-bottom that's burned dry. The moon rolls by to look at you down there, with its idiot face. It's a long way back to sunset, a far way on to dawn, so you summon all the fool things of your life, the stupid lovely things done with people known so very well who are now so very dead --- And wasn't it true, had he read it somewhere, more people in hospitals die at Three A.M. than at any other time...? Stop!he cried silently. "Charlie?" his wife said in her sleep. Slowly, he took off the other shoe. His wife smiled in her sleep. Why? She's immortal. She has a son. Your son, too! But what father ever really believes it? He carries no burden, he feels no pain. What man, like woman, lies down in darkness and gets up with child? The gentle, smiling ones own the good secret. Oh, what strange and wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that hold fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of Time when you are Time, and shape the universal moments, as they pass, into warmth and action? How men envy and often hate these warm clocks, these wives,who know they will live forever. So what do we do? We men turn terribly mean, because we can't hold to the world or ourselves or anything. We are blind to continuity, all breaks down, falls, melts, stops, rots, or runs away. So, since we cannot shape Time, where does that leave men? Sleepless. Staring. Three A.M. That's our reward. Three in the morn. the soul's midnight. The tide goes out, the soul ebbs. And a train arrives at an hour of despair.....Why? "Charlie...?" His wife's hand moved to his. "You...all right...Charlie?" She drowsed. He did not answer. He could not tell her how he was. This passage really got me down -- I want to ask how the rest of you feel about his definitions here -- about the differentiations he makes between men and women here -- does one gender have a heavier investment in "the midnight of the soul" and if so does he have it attributed to the correct gender? What reaction /comment is there on this definition of women as Time and clocks and awareness of women to the continuity of things in life and death? As I said -- I'm getting willy-nillys already! Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (50 of 55), Read 8 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 09:41 AM Dottie: This section you quote is the precise one that most knocked me out, coming back to the book 37 years later. I'm sure these musings went totally over my head at 13, but now I think they're tremendously insightful and, in my own experience at least, right on the money. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (51 of 55), Read 9 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 09:49 AM Dale -- no, probably wouldn't mean much to an adolescent but I got really grabbed and teary and as I said, downright spooked here. So -- what about it -- no thoughts that his division of these things might go both ways -- that women may feel that Three A.M. -- soul gone out and body not able to go grab reality back? Are these things really so cut and divided as this seems to say? I found myself relating very heavily to that Three A.N. midnight of the soul and the way it's so even to go back to life at either end -- the sunset of yesterday or the dawn of the new day ahead. The thoughts of all "the stupid lovely things done with people known so very well who are now so very dead---" that phrase makes my throat close up and shivers run down my spine. Maybe I've just been to this spot too recently and so this is talking louder to me. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (52 of 55), Read 9 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 09:58 AM Dottie: I'm sure the 3 a.m. syndrome is not totally a franchise of one gender, but Bradbury's reflections seem generally true from my male point of view, at least. Some writer (Goethe? I forget...) once called 3 a.m. "The Wolf Hour," because the brain seems to feed on itself and its worst fears. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (53 of 55), Read 11 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 10:02 AM Dale -- wow -- rather apt I think -- Wolves eating their paws off to escape traps -- people feeding on their own fears -- escaping from traps of their own making. Thanks, Dale. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (54 of 55), Read 11 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 10:01 AM Also -- Kay and Bo -- I don't usually get this crazy about a book. I have a few, oh, maybe about a half dozen, about which I feel as I feel about Dandelion Wine. I am not a science fiction , fantasy or horror fan in any way though I have read selected bits of all of them. SO -- let me tell you -- there is very little in DW and when I read it, it jangled me -- but not so much that it said this is horror or sci-fi and made me put the book down. It's gentle and it tells me something about the characters in DW. I fell absolutely in love with this book. I can't say it any other way. As for SWTWC compared to DW -- in the first twenty chapters that I've read there's an immeasurably larger amount of the odd, supernatural kind of feel than in the whole of DW -- at least that's my feeling thus far. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (55 of 55), Read 9 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 10:30 AM Another bit here which rang some bells for me and set off alarms -- When the boys find the lightning rod man's bag near the carnival site: "People," said Jim,"don't leave their whole life lying around. This is everything that old man owned. Something important---"Jim breathed soft fire---"made him forget. So he just walked off and left this here." "What? What's so important you forgeteverything?" "Why---" Jim examine his friend, curiously, twilight in his face--"no one can tell you. You find out yourself. Mysteries and mysteries. Storm salesman. Storm salesman's bag. If we don't looknow, we might never know." And of course Will follows Jim and they stay and see what happens in the closed down time at the carnival -- but this knowing of Jim's -- that no one tells you or can tell you what is important enough to make you/any person leave everything/one's "whole life" unnerved me very nicely. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (56 of 63), Read 15 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 02:17 PM Kay, I hope you won't judge all fantastic lit by this book. If I had to pidgeonhole it, I'd called it gothic horror which is very atmospheric. Bradbury does this very well. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (57 of 63), Read 17 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 02:36 PM Bo -- Don't know about Kay but I said elsewhere that this one is sitting in the back corners of the gray matter (like a lump of food sits in your tummy only this is giving me a tummyache in my brain) and I have decided not to say any more till I've thought about it some more -- I WILL say that the characters are what saved it for me, otherwise I might have tossed it -- have only read Dandelion Wine and this one. I really think that once I let it simmer, I may be okay with more of it than I feel I am right now -- and maybe I rushed it too much -- only a couple of days -- I should have slowed down and taken things in slower perhaps as I knew I have difficulty with this kind of tale. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (58 of 63), Read 18 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 02:40 PM The way I took that wonderful "3am" passage quoted in one of the messages above was not that there really is a specific difference between men and women in this respect. Plenty of women feel mortal and desolate at 3 am. The way I took the passage is that it articulated how he felt, that making this distinction was just emphasizing his sense of being totally alone in the universe, alone with his misgivings, his life and his fears. We all have moments in which we feel like no one could possibly understand what we are going through. I think for him it was sort of a "dark night of the soul" thing which if I remember correctly is a state spiritual aridity and seeming isolation which precedes a time of peace, light and communion with God. It's always darkest before the dawn. :-) ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (59 of 63), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 02:52 PM Susan -- I like your take on this -- yes, I guess I was trying to generalize the whole thing a bit. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (60 of 63), Read 14 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 07:13 PM Dottie, I like the book a lot more now that I'm done with it. :) This is a rare thing with me but sometimes I don't actually enjoy reading a book but find that it sorta mellows with age. I am glad I read it. I think the overall effect is quite powerful. Today is a perfect day here to be reading it---most of the leaves are off the trees, a storm is blowing in, the air has that October chill and we know that soon it's going to be dark very early! Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (61 of 63), Read 15 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 07:26 PM Bo -- Part of my problem here is that I realize now I didn't put aside my strong personal feelings concerning matters which are key to the entire story of SWTWC -- Halloween and carnivals. I'm not big on either of these -- even as a child -- I went trick or treating in our little town but it was greed -- I just wanted that candy and all the other cool stuff to eat (which in those days was not contaminated and/or tossed in case of such). Maybe not even that -- cause half the time my mother says she'd find my candy in some toy or other container in the toychest all gone to yuck after a month or so. I don't know. As I say -- maybe I let my own thinking get in the way of this. SO letting it percolate a while may help. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (62 of 63), Read 5 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Mary Anne Papale (mapreads@aol.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 10:25 PM I have this "thing" about wondering why and how authors choose the titles of their works. In this case, Bradbury gives the Shakespeare quote, which includes the title, in Chapter 37. To take this a few steps further, it is from Act IV, Scene 1 of Macbeth, generally considered the most terrifying of all of Shakespeare's plays. The comment is made by one of the witches just prior to Macbeth's entry. But so much evil has already occurred that the audience is generally ready to cry for mercy. In this book, the passage is remembered by Charles Halloway, as he is preparing for his encounter in the library with the Dust Witch and Mr. Dark. In this context, it seems like the only thing to consider. "So vague, yet so immense." On another note, I loved Chapter 31: "Nothing much else happened, all the rest of that night." Metaphors be with you... MAP
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (63 of 63), Read 3 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 11:34 PM I have really enjoyed reading all the comments here. It is difficult for me to be rational about this book as it was a HUGE story for me when I was young. I picked it up today, and just got so into the boys and their world. How he describes boys running!!! I remember running like that with my sister and our friends...ahhh...in this book I feel the wind as a kid I feel ideas as a I did when I was a kid. I can see how it might not have aged well, I wonder if kids even read it now(although I think kids who like Harry Potter might like this? but I hardly begin to know what 10 and 11 year olds read anymore, do they read ha ha)and I think this is about the age I would recommend to read this book. Yeah, about 10 or 11. I also have found parts of it tricky and uncomfortable to read...but I remember when I was young reading this and my feeling was all these associations and images blending into one another. I do feel very afraid when I am reading this...even all these years later I still feel so afraid in this book. There have been parts where I smiled because of the memory of how I felt reading certain ideas and descriptions I think there are some very cool bits in here. Like:"Lightning unraveled itself over the sweated outflung boys, delivered flame to the silent horse stampede to light their way around, around with the figure lying on the platform no longer a boy no longer a man but more than a man and even more and even more, much more than that, around, around." I don't know, it's weird yes and maybe too heavy handed, but something about it really cranks up my imagination, it's almost primal some of the ways he has written little passages in this. Somehow hitting a part of my mind. I don't know, just gets me in a weird way. Um I agree Bo, this would not be science fiction, but gothic horror. It's like 60's version of H.P. Lovecraft. I love that part that you pulled out Dottie. I see as so insightful. By the way, I sleep only four hours a night. I wake up every day between 3;15 and 3;30. I absolutely love that time of the day. Everything is quiet and I find my cup of tea and I check my e mail or read for a couple of hours watch the sun rise, then I write for a couple of hours. When the rest of the world wakes up or gets to work I am already been busy for a few hours in my imagination...
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (64 of 72), Read 22 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Friday, October 27, 2000 01:54 AM MAP -- Candy -- you are getting me started on this "lump" and it looks as though it will wind up right up there with Dandelion Wine. You helped remind me of all the descriptive and humorous stretches in this -- and yes, there is an innocence to the running --as in my own past. Lots to think of -- my own reaction is I think from stretching what I am reading and notes such as these are why it helps me to stretch my reading boundaries here on CR in some instances at least. Dottie -- mulling this one over and thinking perhaps MacBeth is a good next step ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (65 of 72), Read 15 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Diane Freeman (dfreeman@jeffco.k12.co.us) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 12:52 AM Much as I enjoyed this book and found the tension near terrifying, I was bothered by Bradbury's dismissive if not downright misogynistic tendencies toward women. The 3 a.m. quote was one of the places where I felt this. Women do not figure in his other works that I have read, except perhaps Montag's wife in Fahrenheit 451 and that is certainly very unflattering. Diane
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (66 of 72), Read 17 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 03:30 AM Diane -- having read only SWTWC and Dandelion Wine I'm not sure I can answer this -- oh, and F451 years and years ago so even your possible good example escapes memory. I don't recall feeling this way in DW and even my quibble with the three AM thing here in this discussion was the only place I felt this tilted view came through in SWTWC. I will look for this when rereading or reading new (to me) Bradbury in the future though. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (67 of 72), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 05:46 AM Well, here it is the 'wolf hour'...that is on the west coast... again, this is the time I feel the exact opposite of the descriptions regarding this time period in SWTWC. It feels all mellow and cosy and ready for the sun to come up... Interesting comments Diane, but somehow I thought that section was more critical of men's anxieties than women being able to sleep through the night without panic attacks.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (68 of 72), Read 23 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 10:25 AM I get the 3 am jangles in spades. Absolute worst time to be awake. I'm alone in the world and nobody even cares about all my troubles, which at that time of night are all waiting with bared fangs to gobble me up. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (69 of 72), Read 20 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Pres Lancaster (plancast@slip.net) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 11:24 AM Yeah. I noticed you had all those tooth marks on your arms and legs. {G} FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (70 of 72), Read 23 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 01:39 PM When I was a teenager my mother gave me one of 'those lectures' which pretty said that anyone out or up until 3 am was a tramp. I've always been a night owl and I'm sure this has disappointed her. :) 3 am, or actually late night in general has always been a comforting time for me. I seldom feel lonely but if I do it's more likely to hit me during daylight hours than in the middle of the night. A number of years ago I had some health problems and I had a hard time keeping to a 24 hour sleep schedule. I slept when I could and it ended up being 26-28 hours a night. This means that for about a year I slept "around the clock". It was really an interesting sociological experience because I could experience ALL the different parts of the day from different perspectives. I could get to places when they opened first thing in the morning (not something I normally experience) or go grocery shopping at 3 am. Every part of the day has its own charm when you see it that way. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (71 of 72), Read 14 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 11:31 PM Its true evey part of the day has it's charms, thats probably why I liketo stay awake for most of a day. I hate to miss anything.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (72 of 72), Read 10 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000 01:46 AM Picked up a few tidbits about Bradbury in this new book, About the Author (see posting in CR). Did someone already post his webpage? http://www.brookingbook.com/bradbury And, Dale, you might want to try Bradbury Himself Reads 19 Complete Stories. http://www.audiopartners.com Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (73 of 79), Read 84 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Diane Freeman (dfreeman@jeffco.k12.co.us) Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000 12:01 PM Ooops, there's a little typo in the link to the Ray Bradbury page (needs an s in the middle). I think this one will work http://www.brookingsbook.com/bradbury/ Diane
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (74 of 79), Read 85 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000 01:31 PM Thanks, Diane. My typing is exceptionally bad today. I'm glad for the spellchecker. As I just mentioned to you over in CR there's a ton of Bradbury info on the Bookwebsites.com site. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do the URL. Go through the menus: author>genre>scifi>B>Bradbury Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (75 of 79), Read 88 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Jane Niemeier (jniemeie@hotmail.com) Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000 08:33 PM I agree with Diane about Bradbury's portraits of women in this book, especially the portraits of the mothers. They might as well not be there. They are mentioned only a couple of times, and Jim's mother is in the book once. They are cardboard characters. The only interesting woman is the witch and she is filled with sawdust. Jane
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (76 of 79), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Katie Kleczka (pkleczka@uwm.edu) Date: Monday, October 30, 2000 05:44 PM Jane et al: About the treatment of women in SWTWC, I've often thought that a clear focus on women and relationships with women/mothers is mostly irrelevant to the kind of story that Bradbury is telling. In my experience of the narrative, our main concern is with boys and the relationships (or absence thereof) between them and their fathers/father figures (like it or not, our venerable and evil carnival bigwig has a paternal influence...at least for Jim). I guess the question I'm now asking myself is "what advantage would there be to focusing more on the female characters?" Just a thought. Katie "Everything in moderation, EXCEPT for reading."
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (77 of 79), Read 22 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Monday, October 30, 2000 05:54 PM I think I'm in agreement with Katie. The only thing that rubbed me a little wrong was that bit about women being so different from men and having some big dark biological secret. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (78 of 79), Read 20 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 01:28 AM Ruth -- THAT part about the biological secret and all that was what made me not worry about the lack of more on the mothers -- I felt he was saying mothers/women had these connections more built in and did a better job of connecting whether or not they were mothers. It was the #AM thing that bothered me and now I think it may have bothered me for the very reason that it MISreads these female "secret" and connections thing which he seemed to do so well with elsewhere. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (79 of 79), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 09:06 AM Dottie, I agree with Kay that women were not part of the story, and that they needn't have been part of the story. It was about fathers and sons. But I was bothered by the "female secrets" thing because I thought it was not insightful, but merely bought into cliche. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (80 of 106), Read 36 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Thursday, November 02, 2000 12:34 PM I don't understand why everyone seems to be so fixated on the whole male female thing. It really has no bearing on the story whatsoever. This is a "boys' story", a coming of age story, the story of a father and a son, (and a story of best friends). It's perfectly legitimate for people to write about male relationships, for goodness sake. I really think you all are making a mountain out of a molehill by obsessing about an off-the-cuff remark on the difference between men and women. More interesting to me is the symbolism in this story and the underlying significance of certain moments. For instance, I've never been able to understand the significance of Mr. Dark singing "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day" while he puts up posters for the carnival. And what about that moment early on when Will's father when they are talking about alcohol being the elixir Of Life and Will's father says, 'I don't need it, but someone inside me does.'...So he drank, eyes shut, listening to hear if that thing inside turned over again, rustling inside the deep bons that were stacked for burning but never burned." That always made me wonder if there was a wild kid like *Jim* inside Mr. Halloway. Did the passage refer to his lost youth, or did it referred to a long suppressed yearning to run wild and do dangerous things (like Jim). Then there are the questions raised about the lightening rod salesman. I have always thought of him as a prophet. But why did he fall to the lure of the carnival? Surely he knew? Maybe he was a prophet of only vague vision. He could see the storms, smell the coming evil in the air, he could tell who was ripe for being struck, but he did not know his own heart; he was not introspective and did not realize that he was ripe for plucking or that the storm that he feared and that he always stayed ahead of would not look like a storm, but would look like beauty if he lingered long enough to see it. A man of gifts, but limited gifts and the short-sightedness of his vision was his doom. There are many interesting moments in this book, fascinating glimpses into human nature and questions the author leaves with us rather than answering. This is a meaty book. I've been sort of disappointed that the discussion hasn't really sunk it's teeth into the meat, but instead picks at peripheral things. I'd love for someone to come up with a good explanation of the "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day" moment. That has puzzled me for years! :-) It seems significant, but a such a weird choice for Mr. Dark to sing that I've never been able to fathom what's behind it. ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (81 of 106), Read 42 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Thursday, November 02, 2000 01:12 PM Susan, >>I heard the Bells on Christmas Day" while he puts up posters for the carnival. Someone mentioned the religious allusions in the book. I guess I saw this as a 'good vs. evil' thing with evil *thinking* it was winning. (Mr. Dark making fun of a religious type thing.) >>And what about that moment early on when Will's father when they are talking about alcohol being the elixir Of Life and Will's father says, 'I don't need it, but someone inside me does.'...So he drank, eyes shut, listening to hear if that thing inside turned over again, rustling inside the deep bons that were stacked for burning but never burned." That always made me wonder if there was a wild kid like *Jim* inside Mr. Halloway. Did the passage refer to his lost youth, or did it referred to a long suppressed yearning to run wild and do dangerous things (like Jim). I saw it as the latter. I think that near the end there are a number of places where Mr. Halloway and the others are *pulled* towards evil. The part I liked best was when they were all tempted to go on the carosel--each seeing what it might do for them. I see the passage you quoted as a lead-up to that passage. Showing how everyone is vulnerable to evil--even in this case, the 'hero' of the story. >>Then there are the questions raised about the lightening rod salesman. I have always thought of him as a prophet. But why did he fall to the lure of the carnival? I saw it as him not being as strong as Mr. Halloway---giving in to that temptation. It WAS strong, afterall. >>This is a meaty book. I've been sort of disappointed that the discussion hasn't really sunk it's teeth into the meat, but instead picks at peripheral things. Keep bringing them up. I'll try. ;) Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (82 of 106), Read 34 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Friday, November 03, 2000 02:42 PM Susan -- it was YOUR turn to bring the "main dish" to the discussion obviously {G} -- I think I set off all that man and woman stuff and though I did have the reaction to it that I've outlined -- sorry if it drew the talk off on a tangent. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (83 of 106), Read 35 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Edd Houghton (eddh@pacbell.net) Date: Friday, November 03, 2000 07:45 PM Well, I think it's a great American novel. Maybe not the greatest, but right up there. While some may think of the writing as "flowery", I am enthralled with the way the words sound, how they react in the few gray cells remaining between my ears, and mostly for the reaction in the pit of my stomach. The dust witch, for instance, has a special way of speaking: "Tell you your husbands. Tell you your wives. Tell you your fortunes. Tell you your lives. See me. I know. See me at the show. Tell you the color of his eyes. Tell you the color of her lies. Tell you the color of his goal. Tell you the color of her soul. Come now, don't go. See me, see me at the show." And why didn't Mr Bradbury choose to print the dust witch's lines in poetic form. He could have. The words are the same, but do they have more impact if the rhythm is hidden from the eye, and only enters the consciousness indirectly. Sort of a stealth poetry. The same words: "Tell you your husbands. Tell you your wives. Tell you your fortunes. Tell you your lives. See me. I know. See me at the show. Tell you the color of his eyes. Tell you the color of her lies. Tell you the color of his goal. Tell you the color of her soul. Come now, don't go. See me at the show. EDD
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (84 of 106), Read 34 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Sherry Keller (shkell@earthlink.net) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 06:39 AM I love your idea of "stealth poetry", Edd. Sherry trying not to post too much because I'm tying up my mother's phone line.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (85 of 106), Read 36 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 08:01 AM Bo, Sorry but I can't buy your "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" explanation. :-) There's nothing in the text to indicate that Dr. Dark was mocking Christianity. He wasn't even singing the lyrics; he was whistling. The focus of the moment seems to be Halloway's reaction to hearing the song. Given the lyrics printed between paragraphs I think we are supposed to think he is sort of hearing the lyrics in his head along with the whistling. But I don't really understand his reaction to hearing the song. It was a tune from another season, one that never ceased making Charles Halloway sad when he heard it. The song was incongruous for October, but immensely moving, overwhelming, no matter what day or what month it was sung: I heard the bells on Chirstmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet Their words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men! Charles Halloway shivered. Suddenly there was the old sense of terrified elation, of wanting to laugh and cry together when he saw the innocents of the earth wandering the snowy streets the day before Christmas among all the tired men and women whose faces were dirty with guilt, unwashed of sin and smashed like small windows by life that hit without warning. Ran, hid, came back and hit again. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, not doth he sleep! The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men. I don't understand why it always makes him sad, why it makes him think of people beaten down by sin and life. (Are the innocents he refers to Will and Jim?) If we assume some sort of omniscience on the part of Mr. Dark we might assume that he chose that song because it would make Charles Halloway feel melancholy, but while that answered the immediate question of why Dark would chose such an uplifting (and prophetic!) religious song, it evades the question of why Halloway feels that way about an uplifting song. I still find the passage strange...and I have a hard time visualizing Mr. Dark humming a Christmas carol that in effect says that he cannot succeed in his quest to get souls. ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (86 of 106), Read 36 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Katie Kleczka (pkleczka@uwm.edu) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 08:50 AM Susan wrote: "If we assume some sort of omniscience on the part of Mr. Dark we might assume that he chose that song because it would make Charles Halloway feel melancholy, but while that answered the immediate question of why Dark would chose such an uplifting (and prophetic!) religious song, it evades the question of why Halloway feels that way about an uplifting song. I still find the passage strange...and I have a hard time visualizing Mr. Dark humming a Christmas carol that in effect says that he cannot succeed in his quest to get souls." Susan, A couple of thoughts came to mind when I read your post. First, I don't personally find it odd that Halloway would feel saddened by the uplifting Christmas song. There is a part of of Christmas that always makes me feel sad, a lonely quality that especially the brightest, happiest songs and lyrics can underscore. But Halloway is dealing with so much more. Yearning for youth, yet possessing the vast wisdom of age...and experience (we are encouraged to believe that he knows Dark quite well), I think Halloway also possesses an omniscient quality which leaves him with an acute understanding of man's dark side. Think about it this way perhaps: Halloway is being portrayed as Dark's nemesis and this relationship is representative of the good we find juxtaposed against the bad (Halloway=Hallowed Way? Why not?) :) So, Halloway's wisdom, experience, and knowledge of man's inner demons (he has an intimate association with this aspect judging from his own inner life!), adversely affects his experience of the whistled carol. Another idea. The tune is like a mask for Dark in the vein of a wolf in sheep's clothing. He evokes images of gifts and happy times with that tune in potential "customers," but Halloway can see through that mask and hence his reaction. Dark's use of the tune? Well, in addition to it masking his baser nature, I think he is flaunting his arrogance and perceived power by singing a religious song. After all, the devil is often portrayed as an "in God's face" kind of entity (you hold up the cross as your shield and the devil laughs mockingly; that sort of thing). And so in this instance, he isn't saying that he cannot succeed in taking souls. Rather, he is taunting God and trivializing His power to protect you. A bit rambling, but understandable, I hope. :) Katie "Everything in moderation, EXCEPT for reading."
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (87 of 106), Read 37 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 11:06 AM I think it is very much about Halloway in wolf's clothing. And his name definitely references Hallowed Way. He is like a fallen angel who knows both sides of evil and good. He plays people. I can not listen to many Xmas songs without getting weepy(this also goes for Springsteen songs these days too! all sentimental to me now) and with a mixture of emotions. I also cry at those hokey 'phone home' commercials too yike. I thought innocents were all the children on the streets. How when we get to be tired men and women from when once we ran through the snow and rain as kids/innocents playing and silly. Halloways grasp on people is he gets them when they are tired too, without joy we are weak as grownups.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (88 of 106), Read 38 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 12:18 PM Whew -- I had no difficulty at all with the sad reaction to this Christmas song -- this is one of my own very favorites and I often play it louder and more frequently if I am having a particularly blue season of holidays -- because it makes me weep even in a high and happy holiday season so why not just let it wash things well away in a depressed one? And that last verse -- the one where God is not dead nor does He sleep -- beats into one over and over and eventually the mood lifts. There are others -- can't pinpoint specifics -- but melancholy at the state of humanity when Christmas is before us -- it can get bleak -- why else is it suicide season? EDD -- Something Wicked is growing on me -- I just had to let it percolate longer -- should have SIPPED it rather than gulped it. It is gaining on Dandelion Wine -- and will wind up just a bit behind as I am sure that will forever be my favorite -- and not because it was the first of the Bradbury I read. Dottie -- who is thinking about revisiting this one sooner than later ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (89 of 106), Read 39 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 12:35 PM Dottie, you just put your finger on one of the big charms of this place. While reading everyone's comments, you find that books which you may have originally dismissed, in fact growing on you. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (90 of 106), Read 41 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 01:13 PM Ruth -- This fantasy or whatever stuff is always hard for me and -- in truth I have read little of it but always wind up having it work through and sit okay -- but this one I went into with a bad case of -- I'm reading this and the faster the better and I am probably not going to like it much so just see what happens. I gulped it down and DARED Bradbury to make me like it -- because even the tiny bit of not really within the realm of reality that sat in Dandelion Wine almost threw me and you may recall how entirely enthralled I really was with that one. ANYWAY -- I knew I hadn't given this a fair reading -- hadn't gone into it at all fairmindedly to start with -- and so have been thinking as I read the thread and giving myself time to take in what I SHOULD have done for myself as I read slowly. That's what CR is for as you say! Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (91 of 106), Read 30 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 06:29 PM Susan, >>Sorry but I can't buy your "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" explanation. :-) Good, discussion! :) I had a bear of a time finding this quote. I thought it was near the end of the book. It's actually near the beginning of the book where we get the 'set up' for Charles Halloway. The part right before the section you quoted, I think sets it up somewhat-- "the gray hairs on the back of his hand, like antennae, had felt something beyond slide by in the October night." (This is the beginning of chapter 5) and the 'icy' feel he has represents the darkness that Mr. Dark is bringing. I think this is a good foreshadowing of things to come. Christmas here may well be a sign of that iciness. Each of the seasons tend to have signficance for Bradbury and I'm sure this was no accident. Those first few paragraphs of that chapter really are GRIM--end of the world type grim. >>There's nothing in the text to indicate that Dr. Dark was mocking Christianity. He wasn't even singing the lyrics; I guess I was thinking about later near the end of the book where he takes the Bible and reads from it to 'show' that it has no effect on him in talisman-type fashion. >> But I don't really understand his reaction to hearing the song. Right before the second refrain he sees innocents and guilty all hit with the horrible things of life and then hit again. Bradbury uses the phrase "terrified elation". I think this describes the conflict between hope in God and fear of being squashed by evil that's going on inside and around Halloway at this point. >>incongruous for October, but immensely moving, overwhelming, no matter what day or what month it was sung: And later if you read past the second refrain---Charles is 'flushed with summer heat'. >>I don't understand why it always makes him sad, why it makes him think of people beaten down by sin and life. (Are the innocents he refers to Will and Jim?) I see the song as a song of plaintiveness to God about how terrible conditions are and then reaffirmation of faith that God isn't going to let him rot as he fears. Bradbury only used the first & third verses. I'll see if I can type this out (my typing isn't the best). Maybe it'll make more sense if you get the whole song. (Apologies to those not interested in this.) This is written by Longfellow, btw, and maybe there's a longer version somewhere. This is from Worship and Service hymnal. I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet Their words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men! I thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along th'unbroken song Of peace on earth, good will to men And in despair, I bowed my head; "There is no peace on earth," I said, "For hate is strong, and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men." Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, not doth he sleep! The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men. Till, ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, Of peace on earth, good will to men. Susan, I see verse 3 as the pivotal one in the hymn. I think of that contrast when I think of it. It's kind of a "things are terrible but right triumphs in the end" kinda song. I'm stretching here but Mr. Dark might be playing on the despair part or as others have said, the melancholy. Most of all, though, I see this as a preview of what's to come--the fight between good and evil that's going to happen later in the book. I think Katie said it well. Dottie, When I read: "-- Something Wicked is growing on me -- I just had to let it percolate longer"-- I just laughed. I knew what you meant but it sounded like you were going over to the dark side. :) Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (92 of 106), Read 32 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 06:59 PM Sheesh, it does kinda read that way, doesn't it, Bo? LOL! Dottie -- getting a new perspective on Something Wicked as she slogs through the last miles in the Paris sewers with Jean Valjean in Les Mis ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (93 of 106), Read 35 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 12:09 AM An interesting interview with Ray Bradbury in this week's New York Times Magazine: http://www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/20001105mag-qa-bradbury.html Dick, The Friendly Lawyer
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (94 of 106), Read 32 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 11:39 AM What a riot! And his photo!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (95 of 106), Read 31 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 12:16 PM BTW, remember the fellow who came on touting DW, the musical? We have tickets for it in a couple of weeks. It'll be interesting. I'm not generally much for musicals, but friends have season tickets to that theater and enticed us into going with. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (96 of 106), Read 30 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 04:54 PM We will be waiting for your review, Ruth, I would think it would lend itself to the musical format but then again there are other things about the book which I'd feel belonged to an straightforward presentation. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (97 of 106), Read 27 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 06:41 PM pres, I knew other people didn't consider Bradbury to be a SF writer, I didn't know that he didn't consider himself to be one either. With that said, I thought that the interviewer was pretty inept bringing it up CONSISTENTLY in the interview! Obviously a pre-planned interview with no versatility. I was just reading an article in Locus that mentioned that Bradbury was a technophobe. The interview reinforced that. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (98 of 106), Read 19 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 10:30 AM Interesting discussion on the song! :-) I think I'm finally beginning to get a handle on it. Bradbury didn't make it easy for us by eliminating the 3rd verse, which really evokes exactly what Halloway is feeling (that passage about the downtrodden sinners and innocents on the streets). OTOH, if he had put in the 3rd verse the whole passage might have seemed too heavy-handed. Halloway is world-weary and wise; he would gladly give up all that he knows of the world to return to the innocence of youth. He can't go back; he knows all about sin, guilt, death and sorrow and he cannot "unknow it". I think part of his sadness throughout the book is that he realizes in his longing for lost youth and lost innocence that if he could, go back and be unknowing of the hard heavy weight of life, unknowing of the bad things, that it would not solve his problem: evil would still be out there. Being unaware of it does not diminish it. Unlike his fellow townsmen, he has thought this through deeper and he knows that going back to the blissful state of youth is a hollow victory; it's amnesia, cowardice, avoidance of unpleasant realities. The carousel is a superficial solution. I think he longs for youth and the innocence of youth and that his sadness and disquiet is not onlybecause he cannot have it, but because he knows that it is an illusion. We can't return to Eden. The genie is out of the bottle, Pandora out of the box...the world of sin and death exists...children just aren't aware of it. What he really wants is for the world to be a different, better place; he is longing for heaven where there is no sickness or death. Childhood may be idyllic, but it is not divine. :-) ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (99 of 106), Read 22 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Sherry Keller (shkell@earthlink.net) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 12:31 PM Great note, Susan. Sherry
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (100 of 106), Read 20 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 03:12 PM Susan: Amen. Beautifully put. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (101 of 106), Read 24 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 03:36 PM Susan, >Interesting discussion on the song! :-) I think I'm finally beginning to get a handle on it. Bradbury didn't make it easy for us by eliminating the 3rd verse, which I'm wondering if because this was written in 1962 when churchgoing was a bit more popular if he just assumed that his audience would be familiar with the song and its nuances. >passage about the downtrodden sinners and innocents on the streets). OTOH, if he had put in the 3rd verse the whole passage might have seemed too heavy-handed. True. I honestly didn't realize that he didn't put the whole thing in there until you quoted it. I remembered that contrast. >>Halloway is world-weary and wise; he would gladly give up all that he knows of the world to return to the innocence of youth. Your note is a real good summary of the book. I thought particularly of the time when he's sitting in the library reading over the old newspaper clippings and REALIZING what's happening and what he and the town are up against. >Childhood may be idyllic, but it is not divine. :-) And it certainly wasn't that way for the two kids in the book. They were up against it as much as he was. He just had more at his disposal to help combat the evil at hand. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (102 of 106), Read 21 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 03:53 PM This may seem out of it or obvious but doesn't this book seem to be a huge influence on Stephen King?
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (103 of 106), Read 24 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 04:39 PM Candy -- I kept thinking IT as I read this one but I don't read King and cringe at the scenes from the movie which I still see when I think of it. Long story -- not worth repeating -- but I won't watch it again or read the book just to compare it to Bradbury! Had enough trouble with Something Wicked! Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (104 of 106), Read 25 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Katie Kleczka (pkleczka@uwm.edu) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 05:26 PM Just as a side note, King listed Something Wicked This Way Comes as one of the top 10 scariest books he had ever read. I would say Bradbury is definitely one of his influences because of that and other similarities to Bradbury's short story style. Katie "Everything in moderation, EXCEPT for reading."
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (105 of 106), Read 27 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 06:13 PM Okay, I wondered about that...there is something there. I think SWTWCs is one of the scariest books I've ever read too. I live alone and can't read Stephen King because I get SO scared.(I've read two of his books and that was so scary) But I think he may have said something about Bradbury in his On Writing(which is very good and entertaining ) but I didn't add it up since I read it a month or so ago...thanks...
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (106 of 106), Read 24 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Pres Lancaster (plancast@slip.net) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 05:04 PM The Ray Bradbury interview is great fun. He certainly has his head screwed on and his feet on the ground. Makes you wonder if the best fantasy writers are more in this world than out of it. FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (1 of 52), Read 44 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Pres Lancaster (plancast@neteze.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 05:04 PM The Ray Bradbury interview is great fun. He certainly has his head screwed on and his feet on the ground. Makes you wonder if the best fantasy writers are more in this world than out of it. FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (2 of 52), Read 33 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Thursday, November 09, 2000 11:25 PM I had to put this down for a bit, but am just about at the last few pages. Then just now as I was looking at my notes I flipped to the front and re-read the quotes. I love that feeling, I always find that I forget what they were in novels that have a quote at the beginning and what a treat almost done to look back on them. (btw, the book I have here is from 1979Bantam sci-fi edition) One brought tears...man is in love, and love is what vanishes Yeats. and the other...by Stubb in Moby Dick I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go laughing. (and the Proverbs is just so powerful and scary) Sherry about your post and the feeling of loss of youth. It's so sad because what I think the dad knows is somehow we don't have to lose the feelings of youth and joy but it gets left behind, it fades and the world lets us and then the dark feeds on the ones who don't have that youth/joy/love and happiness. we can so often only see it in kids. this goes back to the quote/wisdom of approaching life laughing because laughter is an armour! it wards off the vampires of the world the blood suckers that bring empty crap to weigh us down if we let go the laugh... some bits I found primal...Mr.Dark wants the boys names. It hints at the idea that and it's an old idea, if you know someones name you know the whole them. That you may have power over them can control them. The boys and the dad seem to know this or feel this. The dad does not give the boys whole names.(I think in the sewer scene) There is gum that goes down the grate of sewer and th kid tries to get it who dropped it...Later this line describes the boys hiding as gummed up against the wall...then hugging each other in the "gum-wrapper,tobacco littered pit" Just say that out loud, it sounds so wonderful. I think the first post here or so said how this book sounds so good read out loud. It's delicious out loud. This circus reminds me a little of strange surgically altered characters in William Gibson and the genetically and drug altered characters in Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. Only the meanings of each are so polar so reversed... there is some kind of mixture between strength and weakness in the circus and freak show world... a few more pages to go...
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (3 of 52), Read 121 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 02:17 PM Kay, I hope you won't judge all fantastic lit by this book. If I had to pidgeonhole it, I'd called it gothic horror which is very atmospheric. Bradbury does this very well. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (4 of 52), Read 124 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 02:36 PM Bo -- Don't know about Kay but I said elsewhere that this one is sitting in the back corners of the gray matter (like a lump of food sits in your tummy only this is giving me a tummyache in my brain) and I have decided not to say any more till I've thought about it some more -- I WILL say that the characters are what saved it for me, otherwise I might have tossed it -- have only read Dandelion Wine and this one. I really think that once I let it simmer, I may be okay with more of it than I feel I am right now -- and maybe I rushed it too much -- only a couple of days -- I should have slowed down and taken things in slower perhaps as I knew I have difficulty with this kind of tale. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (5 of 52), Read 126 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 02:40 PM The way I took that wonderful "3am" passage quoted in one of the messages above was not that there really is a specific difference between men and women in this respect. Plenty of women feel mortal and desolate at 3 am. The way I took the passage is that it articulated how he felt, that making this distinction was just emphasizing his sense of being totally alone in the universe, alone with his misgivings, his life and his fears. We all have moments in which we feel like no one could possibly understand what we are going through. I think for him it was sort of a "dark night of the soul" thing which if I remember correctly is a state spiritual aridity and seeming isolation which precedes a time of peace, light and communion with God. It's always darkest before the dawn. :-) ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (6 of 52), Read 129 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 02:52 PM Susan -- I like your take on this -- yes, I guess I was trying to generalize the whole thing a bit. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (7 of 52), Read 127 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 07:13 PM Dottie, I like the book a lot more now that I'm done with it. :) This is a rare thing with me but sometimes I don't actually enjoy reading a book but find that it sorta mellows with age. I am glad I read it. I think the overall effect is quite powerful. Today is a perfect day here to be reading it---most of the leaves are off the trees, a storm is blowing in, the air has that October chill and we know that soon it's going to be dark very early! Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (8 of 52), Read 129 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 07:26 PM Bo -- Part of my problem here is that I realize now I didn't put aside my strong personal feelings concerning matters which are key to the entire story of SWTWC -- Halloween and carnivals. I'm not big on either of these -- even as a child -- I went trick or treating in our little town but it was greed -- I just wanted that candy and all the other cool stuff to eat (which in those days was not contaminated and/or tossed in case of such). Maybe not even that -- cause half the time my mother says she'd find my candy in some toy or other container in the toychest all gone to yuck after a month or so. I don't know. As I say -- maybe I let my own thinking get in the way of this. SO letting it percolate a while may help. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (9 of 52), Read 127 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Mary Anne Papale (mapreads@aol.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 10:25 PM I have this "thing" about wondering why and how authors choose the titles of their works. In this case, Bradbury gives the Shakespeare quote, which includes the title, in Chapter 37. To take this a few steps further, it is from Act IV, Scene 1 of Macbeth, generally considered the most terrifying of all of Shakespeare's plays. The comment is made by one of the witches just prior to Macbeth's entry. But so much evil has already occurred that the audience is generally ready to cry for mercy. In this book, the passage is remembered by Charles Halloway, as he is preparing for his encounter in the library with the Dust Witch and Mr. Dark. In this context, it seems like the only thing to consider. "So vague, yet so immense." On another note, I loved Chapter 31: "Nothing much else happened, all the rest of that night." Metaphors be with you... MAP
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (10 of 52), Read 130 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Thursday, October 26, 2000 11:34 PM I have really enjoyed reading all the comments here. It is difficult for me to be rational about this book as it was a HUGE story for me when I was young. I picked it up today, and just got so into the boys and their world. How he describes boys running!!! I remember running like that with my sister and our friends...ahhh...in this book I feel the wind as a kid I feel ideas as a I did when I was a kid. I can see how it might not have aged well, I wonder if kids even read it now(although I think kids who like Harry Potter might like this? but I hardly begin to know what 10 and 11 year olds read anymore, do they read ha ha)and I think this is about the age I would recommend to read this book. Yeah, about 10 or 11. I also have found parts of it tricky and uncomfortable to read...but I remember when I was young reading this and my feeling was all these associations and images blending into one another. I do feel very afraid when I am reading this...even all these years later I still feel so afraid in this book. There have been parts where I smiled because of the memory of how I felt reading certain ideas and descriptions I think there are some very cool bits in here. Like:"Lightning unraveled itself over the sweated outflung boys, delivered flame to the silent horse stampede to light their way around, around with the figure lying on the platform no longer a boy no longer a man but more than a man and even more and even more, much more than that, around, around." I don't know, it's weird yes and maybe too heavy handed, but something about it really cranks up my imagination, it's almost primal some of the ways he has written little passages in this. Somehow hitting a part of my mind. I don't know, just gets me in a weird way. Um I agree Bo, this would not be science fiction, but gothic horror. It's like 60's version of H.P. Lovecraft. I love that part that you pulled out Dottie. I see as so insightful. By the way, I sleep only four hours a night. I wake up every day between 3;15 and 3;30. I absolutely love that time of the day. Everything is quiet and I find my cup of tea and I check my e mail or read for a couple of hours watch the sun rise, then I write for a couple of hours. When the rest of the world wakes up or gets to work I am already been busy for a few hours in my imagination...
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (11 of 52), Read 131 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Friday, October 27, 2000 01:54 AM MAP -- Candy -- you are getting me started on this "lump" and it looks as though it will wind up right up there with Dandelion Wine. You helped remind me of all the descriptive and humorous stretches in this -- and yes, there is an innocence to the running --as in my own past. Lots to think of -- my own reaction is I think from stretching what I am reading and notes such as these are why it helps me to stretch my reading boundaries here on CR in some instances at least. Dottie -- mulling this one over and thinking perhaps MacBeth is a good next step ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (12 of 52), Read 126 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Diane Freeman (dfreeman@jeffco.k12.co.us) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 12:52 AM Much as I enjoyed this book and found the tension near terrifying, I was bothered by Bradbury's dismissive if not downright misogynistic tendencies toward women. The 3 a.m. quote was one of the places where I felt this. Women do not figure in his other works that I have read, except perhaps Montag's wife in Fahrenheit 451 and that is certainly very unflattering. Diane
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (13 of 52), Read 128 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 03:30 AM Diane -- having read only SWTWC and Dandelion Wine I'm not sure I can answer this -- oh, and F451 years and years ago so even your possible good example escapes memory. I don't recall feeling this way in DW and even my quibble with the three AM thing here in this discussion was the only place I felt this tilted view came through in SWTWC. I will look for this when rereading or reading new (to me) Bradbury in the future though. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (14 of 52), Read 132 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 05:46 AM Well, here it is the 'wolf hour'...that is on the west coast... again, this is the time I feel the exact opposite of the descriptions regarding this time period in SWTWC. It feels all mellow and cosy and ready for the sun to come up... Interesting comments Diane, but somehow I thought that section was more critical of men's anxieties than women being able to sleep through the night without panic attacks.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (15 of 52), Read 135 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 10:25 AM I get the 3 am jangles in spades. Absolute worst time to be awake. I'm alone in the world and nobody even cares about all my troubles, which at that time of night are all waiting with bared fangs to gobble me up. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (16 of 52), Read 132 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Pres Lancaster (plancast@neteze.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 11:24 AM Yeah. I noticed you had all those tooth marks on your arms and legs. {G} FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (17 of 52), Read 135 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 01:39 PM When I was a teenager my mother gave me one of 'those lectures' which pretty said that anyone out or up until 3 am was a tramp. I've always been a night owl and I'm sure this has disappointed her. :) 3 am, or actually late night in general has always been a comforting time for me. I seldom feel lonely but if I do it's more likely to hit me during daylight hours than in the middle of the night. A number of years ago I had some health problems and I had a hard time keeping to a 24 hour sleep schedule. I slept when I could and it ended up being 26-28 hours a night. This means that for about a year I slept "around the clock". It was really an interesting sociological experience because I could experience ALL the different parts of the day from different perspectives. I could get to places when they opened first thing in the morning (not something I normally experience) or go grocery shopping at 3 am. Every part of the day has its own charm when you see it that way. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (18 of 52), Read 129 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Saturday, October 28, 2000 11:31 PM Its true evey part of the day has it's charms, thats probably why I liketo stay awake for most of a day. I hate to miss anything.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (19 of 52), Read 129 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000 01:46 AM Picked up a few tidbits about Bradbury in this new book, About the Author (see posting in CR). Did someone already post his webpage? http://www.brookingbook.com/bradbury And, Dale, you might want to try Bradbury Himself Reads 19 Complete Stories. http://www.audiopartners.com Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (20 of 52), Read 125 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Diane Freeman (dfreeman@jeffco.k12.co.us) Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000 12:01 PM Ooops, there's a little typo in the link to the Ray Bradbury page (needs an s in the middle). I think this one will work http://www.brookingsbook.com/bradbury/ Diane
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (21 of 52), Read 126 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000 01:31 PM Thanks, Diane. My typing is exceptionally bad today. I'm glad for the spellchecker. As I just mentioned to you over in CR there's a ton of Bradbury info on the Bookwebsites.com site. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to do the URL. Go through the menus: author>genre>scifi>B>Bradbury Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (22 of 52), Read 129 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Jane Niemeier (jniemeie@hotmail.com) Date: Sunday, October 29, 2000 08:33 PM I agree with Diane about Bradbury's portraits of women in this book, especially the portraits of the mothers. They might as well not be there. They are mentioned only a couple of times, and Jim's mother is in the book once. They are cardboard characters. The only interesting woman is the witch and she is filled with sawdust. Jane
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (23 of 52), Read 61 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Katie Kleczka (pkleczka@uwm.edu) Date: Monday, October 30, 2000 05:44 PM Jane et al: About the treatment of women in SWTWC, I've often thought that a clear focus on women and relationships with women/mothers is mostly irrelevant to the kind of story that Bradbury is telling. In my experience of the narrative, our main concern is with boys and the relationships (or absence thereof) between them and their fathers/father figures (like it or not, our venerable and evil carnival bigwig has a paternal influence...at least for Jim). I guess the question I'm now asking myself is "what advantage would there be to focusing more on the female characters?" Just a thought. Katie "Everything in moderation, EXCEPT for reading."
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (24 of 52), Read 65 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Monday, October 30, 2000 05:54 PM I think I'm in agreement with Katie. The only thing that rubbed me a little wrong was that bit about women being so different from men and having some big dark biological secret. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (25 of 52), Read 63 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 01:28 AM Ruth -- THAT part about the biological secret and all that was what made me not worry about the lack of more on the mothers -- I felt he was saying mothers/women had these connections more built in and did a better job of connecting whether or not they were mothers. It was the #AM thing that bothered me and now I think it may have bothered me for the very reason that it MISreads these female "secret" and connections thing which he seemed to do so well with elsewhere. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (26 of 52), Read 64 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 09:06 AM Dottie, I agree with Kay that women were not part of the story, and that they needn't have been part of the story. It was about fathers and sons. But I was bothered by the "female secrets" thing because I thought it was not insightful, but merely bought into cliche. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (27 of 52), Read 61 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Thursday, November 02, 2000 12:34 PM I don't understand why everyone seems to be so fixated on the whole male female thing. It really has no bearing on the story whatsoever. This is a "boys' story", a coming of age story, the story of a father and a son, (and a story of best friends). It's perfectly legitimate for people to write about male relationships, for goodness sake. I really think you all are making a mountain out of a molehill by obsessing about an off-the-cuff remark on the difference between men and women. More interesting to me is the symbolism in this story and the underlying significance of certain moments. For instance, I've never been able to understand the significance of Mr. Dark singing "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day" while he puts up posters for the carnival. And what about that moment early on when Will's father when they are talking about alcohol being the elixir Of Life and Will's father says, 'I don't need it, but someone inside me does.'...So he drank, eyes shut, listening to hear if that thing inside turned over again, rustling inside the deep bons that were stacked for burning but never burned." That always made me wonder if there was a wild kid like *Jim* inside Mr. Halloway. Did the passage refer to his lost youth, or did it referred to a long suppressed yearning to run wild and do dangerous things (like Jim). Then there are the questions raised about the lightening rod salesman. I have always thought of him as a prophet. But why did he fall to the lure of the carnival? Surely he knew? Maybe he was a prophet of only vague vision. He could see the storms, smell the coming evil in the air, he could tell who was ripe for being struck, but he did not know his own heart; he was not introspective and did not realize that he was ripe for plucking or that the storm that he feared and that he always stayed ahead of would not look like a storm, but would look like beauty if he lingered long enough to see it. A man of gifts, but limited gifts and the short-sightedness of his vision was his doom. There are many interesting moments in this book, fascinating glimpses into human nature and questions the author leaves with us rather than answering. This is a meaty book. I've been sort of disappointed that the discussion hasn't really sunk it's teeth into the meat, but instead picks at peripheral things. I'd love for someone to come up with a good explanation of the "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day" moment. That has puzzled me for years! :-) It seems significant, but a such a weird choice for Mr. Dark to sing that I've never been able to fathom what's behind it. ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (28 of 52), Read 67 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Thursday, November 02, 2000 01:12 PM Susan, >>I heard the Bells on Christmas Day" while he puts up posters for the carnival. Someone mentioned the religious allusions in the book. I guess I saw this as a 'good vs. evil' thing with evil *thinking* it was winning. (Mr. Dark making fun of a religious type thing.) >>And what about that moment early on when Will's father when they are talking about alcohol being the elixir Of Life and Will's father says, 'I don't need it, but someone inside me does.'...So he drank, eyes shut, listening to hear if that thing inside turned over again, rustling inside the deep bons that were stacked for burning but never burned." That always made me wonder if there was a wild kid like *Jim* inside Mr. Halloway. Did the passage refer to his lost youth, or did it referred to a long suppressed yearning to run wild and do dangerous things (like Jim). I saw it as the latter. I think that near the end there are a number of places where Mr. Halloway and the others are *pulled* towards evil. The part I liked best was when they were all tempted to go on the carosel--each seeing what it might do for them. I see the passage you quoted as a lead-up to that passage. Showing how everyone is vulnerable to evil--even in this case, the 'hero' of the story. >>Then there are the questions raised about the lightening rod salesman. I have always thought of him as a prophet. But why did he fall to the lure of the carnival? I saw it as him not being as strong as Mr. Halloway---giving in to that temptation. It WAS strong, afterall. >>This is a meaty book. I've been sort of disappointed that the discussion hasn't really sunk it's teeth into the meat, but instead picks at peripheral things. Keep bringing them up. I'll try. ;) Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (29 of 52), Read 59 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Friday, November 03, 2000 02:42 PM Susan -- it was YOUR turn to bring the "main dish" to the discussion obviously {G} -- I think I set off all that man and woman stuff and though I did have the reaction to it that I've outlined -- sorry if it drew the talk off on a tangent. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (30 of 52), Read 65 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Edd Houghton (eddh@pacbell.net) Date: Friday, November 03, 2000 07:45 PM Well, I think it's a great American novel. Maybe not the greatest, but right up there. While some may think of the writing as "flowery", I am enthralled with the way the words sound, how they react in the few gray cells remaining between my ears, and mostly for the reaction in the pit of my stomach. The dust witch, for instance, has a special way of speaking: "Tell you your husbands. Tell you your wives. Tell you your fortunes. Tell you your lives. See me. I know. See me at the show. Tell you the color of his eyes. Tell you the color of her lies. Tell you the color of his goal. Tell you the color of her soul. Come now, don't go. See me, see me at the show." And why didn't Mr Bradbury choose to print the dust witch's lines in poetic form. He could have. The words are the same, but do they have more impact if the rhythm is hidden from the eye, and only enters the consciousness indirectly. Sort of a stealth poetry. The same words: "Tell you your husbands. Tell you your wives. Tell you your fortunes. Tell you your lives. See me. I know. See me at the show. Tell you the color of his eyes. Tell you the color of her lies. Tell you the color of his goal. Tell you the color of her soul. Come now, don't go. See me at the show. EDD
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (31 of 52), Read 69 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Sherry Keller (shkell@earthlink.net) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 06:39 AM I love your idea of "stealth poetry", Edd. Sherry trying not to post too much because I'm tying up my mother's phone line.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (32 of 52), Read 71 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 08:01 AM Bo, Sorry but I can't buy your "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" explanation. :-) There's nothing in the text to indicate that Dr. Dark was mocking Christianity. He wasn't even singing the lyrics; he was whistling. The focus of the moment seems to be Halloway's reaction to hearing the song. Given the lyrics printed between paragraphs I think we are supposed to think he is sort of hearing the lyrics in his head along with the whistling. But I don't really understand his reaction to hearing the song. It was a tune from another season, one that never ceased making Charles Halloway sad when he heard it. The song was incongruous for October, but immensely moving, overwhelming, no matter what day or what month it was sung: I heard the bells on Chirstmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet Their words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men! Charles Halloway shivered. Suddenly there was the old sense of terrified elation, of wanting to laugh and cry together when he saw the innocents of the earth wandering the snowy streets the day before Christmas among all the tired men and women whose faces were dirty with guilt, unwashed of sin and smashed like small windows by life that hit without warning. Ran, hid, came back and hit again. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, not doth he sleep! The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men. I don't understand why it always makes him sad, why it makes him think of people beaten down by sin and life. (Are the innocents he refers to Will and Jim?) If we assume some sort of omniscience on the part of Mr. Dark we might assume that he chose that song because it would make Charles Halloway feel melancholy, but while that answered the immediate question of why Dark would chose such an uplifting (and prophetic!) religious song, it evades the question of why Halloway feels that way about an uplifting song. I still find the passage strange...and I have a hard time visualizing Mr. Dark humming a Christmas carol that in effect says that he cannot succeed in his quest to get souls. ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (33 of 52), Read 71 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Katie Kleczka (pkleczka@uwm.edu) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 08:50 AM Susan wrote: "If we assume some sort of omniscience on the part of Mr. Dark we might assume that he chose that song because it would make Charles Halloway feel melancholy, but while that answered the immediate question of why Dark would chose such an uplifting (and prophetic!) religious song, it evades the question of why Halloway feels that way about an uplifting song. I still find the passage strange...and I have a hard time visualizing Mr. Dark humming a Christmas carol that in effect says that he cannot succeed in his quest to get souls." Susan, A couple of thoughts came to mind when I read your post. First, I don't personally find it odd that Halloway would feel saddened by the uplifting Christmas song. There is a part of of Christmas that always makes me feel sad, a lonely quality that especially the brightest, happiest songs and lyrics can underscore. But Halloway is dealing with so much more. Yearning for youth, yet possessing the vast wisdom of age...and experience (we are encouraged to believe that he knows Dark quite well), I think Halloway also possesses an omniscient quality which leaves him with an acute understanding of man's dark side. Think about it this way perhaps: Halloway is being portrayed as Dark's nemesis and this relationship is representative of the good we find juxtaposed against the bad (Halloway=Hallowed Way? Why not?) :) So, Halloway's wisdom, experience, and knowledge of man's inner demons (he has an intimate association with this aspect judging from his own inner life!), adversely affects his experience of the whistled carol. Another idea. The tune is like a mask for Dark in the vein of a wolf in sheep's clothing. He evokes images of gifts and happy times with that tune in potential "customers," but Halloway can see through that mask and hence his reaction. Dark's use of the tune? Well, in addition to it masking his baser nature, I think he is flaunting his arrogance and perceived power by singing a religious song. After all, the devil is often portrayed as an "in God's face" kind of entity (you hold up the cross as your shield and the devil laughs mockingly; that sort of thing). And so in this instance, he isn't saying that he cannot succeed in taking souls. Rather, he is taunting God and trivializing His power to protect you. A bit rambling, but understandable, I hope. :) Katie "Everything in moderation, EXCEPT for reading."
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (34 of 52), Read 72 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 11:06 AM I think it is very much about Halloway in wolf's clothing. And his name definitely references Hallowed Way. He is like a fallen angel who knows both sides of evil and good. He plays people. I can not listen to many Xmas songs without getting weepy(this also goes for Springsteen songs these days too! all sentimental to me now) and with a mixture of emotions. I also cry at those hokey 'phone home' commercials too yike. I thought innocents were all the children on the streets. How when we get to be tired men and women from when once we ran through the snow and rain as kids/innocents playing and silly. Halloways grasp on people is he gets them when they are tired too, without joy we are weak as grownups.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (35 of 52), Read 78 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 12:18 PM Whew -- I had no difficulty at all with the sad reaction to this Christmas song -- this is one of my own very favorites and I often play it louder and more frequently if I am having a particularly blue season of holidays -- because it makes me weep even in a high and happy holiday season so why not just let it wash things well away in a depressed one? And that last verse -- the one where God is not dead nor does He sleep -- beats into one over and over and eventually the mood lifts. There are others -- can't pinpoint specifics -- but melancholy at the state of humanity when Christmas is before us -- it can get bleak -- why else is it suicide season? EDD -- Something Wicked is growing on me -- I just had to let it percolate longer -- should have SIPPED it rather than gulped it. It is gaining on Dandelion Wine -- and will wind up just a bit behind as I am sure that will forever be my favorite -- and not because it was the first of the Bradbury I read. Dottie -- who is thinking about revisiting this one sooner than later ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (36 of 52), Read 79 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 12:35 PM Dottie, you just put your finger on one of the big charms of this place. While reading everyone's comments, you find that books which you may have originally dismissed, in fact growing on you. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (37 of 52), Read 81 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 01:13 PM Ruth -- This fantasy or whatever stuff is always hard for me and -- in truth I have read little of it but always wind up having it work through and sit okay -- but this one I went into with a bad case of -- I'm reading this and the faster the better and I am probably not going to like it much so just see what happens. I gulped it down and DARED Bradbury to make me like it -- because even the tiny bit of not really within the realm of reality that sat in Dandelion Wine almost threw me and you may recall how entirely enthralled I really was with that one. ANYWAY -- I knew I hadn't given this a fair reading -- hadn't gone into it at all fairmindedly to start with -- and so have been thinking as I read the thread and giving myself time to take in what I SHOULD have done for myself as I read slowly. That's what CR is for as you say! Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (38 of 52), Read 70 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 06:29 PM Susan, >>Sorry but I can't buy your "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" explanation. :-) Good, discussion! :) I had a bear of a time finding this quote. I thought it was near the end of the book. It's actually near the beginning of the book where we get the 'set up' for Charles Halloway. The part right before the section you quoted, I think sets it up somewhat-- "the gray hairs on the back of his hand, like antennae, had felt something beyond slide by in the October night." (This is the beginning of chapter 5) and the 'icy' feel he has represents the darkness that Mr. Dark is bringing. I think this is a good foreshadowing of things to come. Christmas here may well be a sign of that iciness. Each of the seasons tend to have signficance for Bradbury and I'm sure this was no accident. Those first few paragraphs of that chapter really are GRIM--end of the world type grim. >>There's nothing in the text to indicate that Dr. Dark was mocking Christianity. He wasn't even singing the lyrics; I guess I was thinking about later near the end of the book where he takes the Bible and reads from it to 'show' that it has no effect on him in talisman-type fashion. >> But I don't really understand his reaction to hearing the song. Right before the second refrain he sees innocents and guilty all hit with the horrible things of life and then hit again. Bradbury uses the phrase "terrified elation". I think this describes the conflict between hope in God and fear of being squashed by evil that's going on inside and around Halloway at this point. >>incongruous for October, but immensely moving, overwhelming, no matter what day or what month it was sung: And later if you read past the second refrain---Charles is 'flushed with summer heat'. >>I don't understand why it always makes him sad, why it makes him think of people beaten down by sin and life. (Are the innocents he refers to Will and Jim?) I see the song as a song of plaintiveness to God about how terrible conditions are and then reaffirmation of faith that God isn't going to let him rot as he fears. Bradbury only used the first & third verses. I'll see if I can type this out (my typing isn't the best). Maybe it'll make more sense if you get the whole song. (Apologies to those not interested in this.) This is written by Longfellow, btw, and maybe there's a longer version somewhere. This is from Worship and Service hymnal. I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet Their words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men! I thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along th'unbroken song Of peace on earth, good will to men And in despair, I bowed my head; "There is no peace on earth," I said, "For hate is strong, and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men." Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, not doth he sleep! The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men. Till, ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, Of peace on earth, good will to men. Susan, I see verse 3 as the pivotal one in the hymn. I think of that contrast when I think of it. It's kind of a "things are terrible but right triumphs in the end" kinda song. I'm stretching here but Mr. Dark might be playing on the despair part or as others have said, the melancholy. Most of all, though, I see this as a preview of what's to come--the fight between good and evil that's going to happen later in the book. I think Katie said it well. Dottie, When I read: "-- Something Wicked is growing on me -- I just had to let it percolate longer"-- I just laughed. I knew what you meant but it sounded like you were going over to the dark side. :) Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (39 of 52), Read 72 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Saturday, November 04, 2000 06:59 PM Sheesh, it does kinda read that way, doesn't it, Bo? LOL! Dottie -- getting a new perspective on Something Wicked as she slogs through the last miles in the Paris sewers with Jean Valjean in Les Mis ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (40 of 52), Read 75 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dick Haggart (law@haggart.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 12:09 AM An interesting interview with Ray Bradbury in this week's New York Times Magazine: http://www.nytimes.com/library/magazine/home/20001105mag-qa-bradbury.html Dick, The Friendly Lawyer
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (41 of 52), Read 72 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 11:39 AM What a riot! And his photo!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (42 of 52), Read 71 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: R Bavetta (rbavetta@prodigy.net) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 12:16 PM BTW, remember the fellow who came on touting DW, the musical? We have tickets for it in a couple of weeks. It'll be interesting. I'm not generally much for musicals, but friends have season tickets to that theater and enticed us into going with. Ruth
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (43 of 52), Read 70 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 04:54 PM We will be waiting for your review, Ruth, I would think it would lend itself to the musical format but then again there are other things about the book which I'd feel belonged to an straightforward presentation. Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (44 of 52), Read 68 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Sunday, November 05, 2000 06:41 PM pres, I knew other people didn't consider Bradbury to be a SF writer, I didn't know that he didn't consider himself to be one either. With that said, I thought that the interviewer was pretty inept bringing it up CONSISTENTLY in the interview! Obviously a pre-planned interview with no versatility. I was just reading an article in Locus that mentioned that Bradbury was a technophobe. The interview reinforced that. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (45 of 52), Read 62 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Susan Strahan (tales@1001knights.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 10:30 AM Interesting discussion on the song! :-) I think I'm finally beginning to get a handle on it. Bradbury didn't make it easy for us by eliminating the 3rd verse, which really evokes exactly what Halloway is feeling (that passage about the downtrodden sinners and innocents on the streets). OTOH, if he had put in the 3rd verse the whole passage might have seemed too heavy-handed. Halloway is world-weary and wise; he would gladly give up all that he knows of the world to return to the innocence of youth. He can't go back; he knows all about sin, guilt, death and sorrow and he cannot "unknow it". I think part of his sadness throughout the book is that he realizes in his longing for lost youth and lost innocence that if he could, go back and be unknowing of the hard heavy weight of life, unknowing of the bad things, that it would not solve his problem: evil would still be out there. Being unaware of it does not diminish it. Unlike his fellow townsmen, he has thought this through deeper and he knows that going back to the blissful state of youth is a hollow victory; it's amnesia, cowardice, avoidance of unpleasant realities. The carousel is a superficial solution. I think he longs for youth and the innocence of youth and that his sadness and disquiet is not onlybecause he cannot have it, but because he knows that it is an illusion. We can't return to Eden. The genie is out of the bottle, Pandora out of the box...the world of sin and death exists...children just aren't aware of it. What he really wants is for the world to be a different, better place; he is longing for heaven where there is no sickness or death. Childhood may be idyllic, but it is not divine. :-) ~~Susan~~ "Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness?" ---Winnie The Pooh
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (46 of 52), Read 66 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Sherry Keller (shkell@earthlink.net) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 12:31 PM Great note, Susan. Sherry
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (47 of 52), Read 65 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dale Short (dshort5005@aol.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 03:12 PM Susan: Amen. Beautifully put. >>Dale in Ala.
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (48 of 52), Read 70 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: S. Bohinka (bohinka@riconnect.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 03:36 PM Susan, >Interesting discussion on the song! :-) I think I'm finally beginning to get a handle on it. Bradbury didn't make it easy for us by eliminating the 3rd verse, which I'm wondering if because this was written in 1962 when churchgoing was a bit more popular if he just assumed that his audience would be familiar with the song and its nuances. >passage about the downtrodden sinners and innocents on the streets). OTOH, if he had put in the 3rd verse the whole passage might have seemed too heavy-handed. True. I honestly didn't realize that he didn't put the whole thing in there until you quoted it. I remembered that contrast. >>Halloway is world-weary and wise; he would gladly give up all that he knows of the world to return to the innocence of youth. Your note is a real good summary of the book. I thought particularly of the time when he's sitting in the library reading over the old newspaper clippings and REALIZING what's happening and what he and the town are up against. >Childhood may be idyllic, but it is not divine. :-) And it certainly wasn't that way for the two kids in the book. They were up against it as much as he was. He just had more at his disposal to help combat the evil at hand. Bo
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (49 of 52), Read 68 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 03:53 PM This may seem out of it or obvious but doesn't this book seem to be a huge influence on Stephen King?
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (50 of 52), Read 72 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Dottie Randall (randallj@ix.netcom.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 04:39 PM Candy -- I kept thinking IT as I read this one but I don't read King and cringe at the scenes from the movie which I still see when I think of it. Long story -- not worth repeating -- but I won't watch it again or read the book just to compare it to Bradbury! Had enough trouble with Something Wicked! Dottie ID is an oxymoron!
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (51 of 52), Read 74 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Katie Kleczka (pkleczka@uwm.edu) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 05:26 PM Just as a side note, King listed Something Wicked This Way Comes as one of the top 10 scariest books he had ever read. I would say Bradbury is definitely one of his influences because of that and other similarities to Bradbury's short story style. Katie "Everything in moderation, EXCEPT for reading."
Topic: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (52 of 52), Read 77 times Conf: READING LIST BOOKS From: Candy Minx (candyminx@hotmail.com) Date: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 06:13 PM Okay, I wondered about that...there is something there. I think SWTWCs is one of the scariest books I've ever read too. I live alone and can't read Stephen King because I get SO scared.(I've read two of his books and that was so scary) But I think he may have said something about Bradbury in his On Writing(which is very good and entertaining ) but I didn't add it up since I read it a month or so ago...thanks...

 
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