Friday, July 29, 2016

Book Note: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Bradbury, Ray. Something Wicked This Way Comes. New York: Avon Books, 1997.

The search for additional resources for my Modern Shakespearean Fiction class leads me on the occasional wild goose chase. In this case, I ended up an ally that might be called "Novels Whose Titles Come from Shakespeare."

Ray Bradbury's classic novel in the genre . . . the genre—well, I suppose the genre is youth carnival horror science fiction fantasy—gets its title from one of the speeches by one of the Wëird Sisters. A quick glance at a Wikipedia disambiguation page shows that the quote has been used extensively for a wide range of novels, episodes of television shows, albums, and songs.

The line is wonderfully eerie and evocative, and, by those standards, Bradbury's novel lives up to it.

The part of the novel I enjoyed most involves the direct consideration of that line.

The images below contain the full chapter in which it's contained. The father of one of our two adolescent protagonists is starting to realize the immensity of the evil that has come to the small town with the carnival. Click on the images below to enlarge them:



"So vague, yet so immense" (187) gives a good sense of the line from Shakespeare and the appeal it has for entities as otherwise widely separated as Ray Bradbury, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and Ugly Betty.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2016 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest