In the sideshow tent you will witness the wonders – and horrors – of Ray Bradbury’s dark fantasy masterpiece. Described by Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451) himself as the book he loved ‘best of all the things I have written’, Something Wicked This Way Comes is a timeless classic of fantasy horror. For this, the first illustrated edition, Tim McDonagh has created seven spectacular colour illustrations dripping with carnivalesque menace. The eerie inhabitants of Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show are lit with the gaudy yellow and red lights of the funfair, while Mr Dark leers from the midst of his attractions, the faces of his victims tattooed across his palms.
Like Bradbury’s prose, the images in this special Folio edition invite the reader to venture a little deeper into that dark tent, promising wonders and horrors and everything in between. Comedian and actor Frank Skinner lists the book as amongst his favourites, and in his incisive and affectionate introduction to this edition he examines the many delicious flavours of fear in a novel layered with meaning and portents.
In his introduction, Skinner writes: “I want to tell you why I love this book but in a way that doesn’t diminish your personal encounter with it. I want, rather, to enhance the experience you are about to have. More foreplay than foreword. Let me be your ramp.”
A darkly poetic tale of temptation and lost innocence, Something Wicked This Way Comes continues to influence the modern masters of horror. Echoes of the sinister carousel move through the heart of Neil Gaiman’s award-winning American Gods, while Stephen King, who wrote extensively about the book in his non-fiction work Danse Macabre, advises that it is: “one of those books about childhood … that adults should take down once in a while…”
The Folio Society edition of Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, introduced by Frank Skinner and illustrated by Tim McDonagh, is available exclusively from The Folio Society.