I’m currently reading Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes. I love Bradbury and every time I read something by him that I’ve never read before, I am regretting not reading it sooner. I bought this book at a church sale a few years ago, and this is the first Bradbury I’ve read that I have thought to myself, “Maybe I’m not old enough to really enjoy this yet.”
It’s a weird thought; knowing that I haven’t experienced enough of life to truly appreciate a book yet. It’s a horror novel for sure, but like all great literature, it’s more about human struggle than anything else. In this case, the one that stands out most for me is the conflict of Will Halloway’s dad. He is an older man, and deeply regrets the fact that he’s not a kid anymore. Watching his son sneak out and do all the things that he did as a kid is unsettling for him and casts him into a deep melancholy. As a parent, I know I am relating a tiny bit to him, but I’m not as old as him, and my kids are not as old as Will. But with the little life experience that I have, I know enough to know that this feeling is coming. I think of my dad playing catch with me out in the yard when I was a kid, walking through the woods with me, finding abandoned barns and making up silly ghost stories to scare me. All of these things must have been fun for him, but at a level where he knew that I was the one having the most. It’s sad to think about in a way.
It’s also life. It moves forward whether or not we are ready for it to. It’s an awesome premise for a book, and one of the marks of a true master to relate a deep life truth all while telling an immensely entertaining story.
As a side note, I’m not sure if I want to see the movie that’s coming out.