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Something Wicked this Way Comes


Summary of "Something Wicked This Way Comes" by Ray Bradbury


"Something Wicked This Way Comes" is a novel by Ray Bradbury, set in the small town of Green Town, Illinois. The story unfolds in October, a time of transition and mystery, especially for two young boys on the brink of adolescence, William Halloway and James Nightshade&#8203

Main Characters

  1. William Halloway: A thirteen-year-old boy with a bright and clear demeanor, characterized by his blond-white hair. He is introspective and drawn to the allure of the library​【oaicite:6】​.
  2. James Nightshade: William's best friend, also thirteen, with wild, thick hair and green eyes. He has a darker, more adventurous spirit and is intrigued by books about outlandish and dangerous subjects​【oaicite:5】​.
  3. Charles Halloway: William's father, who works at the town's library. He is a reflective character, often found deep in thought and aware of the strange happenings in Green Town​【oaicite:4】​.

Plot Highlights

  • The story begins with the arrival of a lightning-rod salesman in Green Town, foreshadowing an impending storm. He interacts with William and James, sensing something unusual about the boys and the town​【oaicite:3】​.
  • William and James spend their time exploring the town and its library, a place full of imagination and stories, where they feel a sense of wonder and possibility​【oaicite:2】​.
  • The boys' curiosity is piqued by the arrival of a mysterious carnival in town. It's an unusual event for that time of the year, sparking interest and apprehension among the townsfolk​【oaicite:1】​.
  • Charles Halloway encounters a man with a carnival poster, which includes a mention of the "most beautiful woman in the world," a statement that intrigues him and hints at the enchanting but possibly sinister nature of the carnival​【oaicite:0】​.


  1. Transition from Childhood to Adulthood: The novel captures the essence of the boys' transition from childhood innocence to a more complex understanding of the world.
  2. The Lure of Mystery and Danger: The arrival of the carnival brings a sense of the unknown, attracting and alarming the boys and the town.
  3. Reflection on Time and Aging: Charles Halloway's character embodies a contemplative view on life, aging, and the passage of time.


Ray Bradbury's narrative is rich in metaphor and imagery, creating a vivid and somewhat eerie depiction of a small town facing the unknown. The story balances the innocence of childhood with the darker undercurrents of adult fears and desires.