“Something Wicked This Way Comes” Book Analysis

Hey guys! Today I am going to be analyzing a book. I recently thought this up, so tell me whether you like it in the comments! It was Halloween yesterday, so I will be Analyzing a scary story. I chose “Something Wicked This Way Comes” which is a great horror novel written by Ray Bradbury.


The setting is extremely important for this book, as it helps with its eerie aesthetic. The book is set in a small town in rural Illinois. It is late October, about a week before Halloween. We get a sense that everyone in the town knows each other. I enjoy the theme and as you will see it does make the book scarier.


The book begins by introducing us to our characters and the setting. The problem is, at first it seems like our characters are bland. They do not seem to have any kind of key traits and half the time I can’t tell who is who because they are so indistinguishable. Later in the book I realized why. (You will get an answer in the theme section.) Anyways, the book progresses quickly. The two main characters find out about a carnival that is coming to town, and so they decide to check it out the night before it opens. They are horrified to see that this is no normal carnival, and it’s “freaks” are actual monsters, and all the rides and +attractions are cursed. In particular, there is a carousel ride which makes you older if you ride forward and younger if you ride back. They see it used to great effect by the freaks of the show and the owners throughout the book, and are shocked by its effect every time. Eventually, the carnival realizes they have found out about it’s malevolent secrets and begins to hunt them down, using every trick at it’s disposal. The climax occurs in the end when they are battling against Mr. Dark, one of the owners of the show and eventually they realize he has turned himself younger to disguise himself and they defeat him.


The theme of this book is the most important part. It is all about how everyone wants to be a different age than they are. Kids want to mature and have the freedom of adulthood, and old people want to be young again. Now one of the boys has a dad who wants to be young and the kids want to be old and both of their chances come with this carnival. At the end after defeating Mr. Dark they face the temptation of this carousel, but in the end they decline it because they realize they will become like Mr. Dark, prolonging their lifespans constantly in fear of death. And so they all learn that you don’t have to be Physically young or Physically old, but you can be that way in spirit. The old man feels young again, and the two boys feel like men. And that is the conclusion of the story.

All in all, 8/10. It had a great plot and theme, was vivid and immersive and captured important ideas unrecognized before, but the characters were too flat. Anyways, that’s all, folks!

2 thoughts on ““Something Wicked This Way Comes” Book Analysis

  1. A great review. I hope you will do more. I first read that book when I was about 12, younger than Will and Jim who are 13 turning 14. Now I am 70: older than Will’s father.

    My only complaint is that you left out the Dust Witch. Whew! I think she’s not as scary to you young people as she is to old men like Will’s dad, and me.


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