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Something Wicked This Way Comes (Simon & Schuster,
1962)

Ray Bradbury authored this 1962 fantasy novel about the traveling carnival that came to a Midwestern town one October. The leader of the carnival is Mr. Dark, a malevolent being that, seemingly, grants the secret desires of the town,
but actually binds the individuals in servitude to
him.

In real life, 12-year-old Bradbury was commanded by a carnival magician named Mr. Electro to “live forever!” Fascinated by the concept of eternal life, he began to write constantly. In 1948, he wrote a short story entitled The Black Ferris. In 1955, Bradbury wanted to collaborate on a movie with his friend Gene Kelly (yes, of Singin in the Rain fame) who would direct it. The project Bradbury chose was an expansion of The Black Ferris. Kelly was unable to secure backing for the project, but, fortunately for Bradbury, the story continued to swell into a full-length novel, which became Something Wicked This Way Comes. What happened to Mr. Electro? Mr. Electro became, yep, Mr. Dark.

Something Wicked This Way Comes has been praised as a classic fantasy and horror novel and inspired the likes of Neil Gaiman, R.L. Stine and Stephen King. In 1983, the novel was adapted into a Disney film of the same name. Bradbury considered the film one of the better adaptations of his works. (He did serve as screenwriter for the film.)

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