Where I live it is still warm, and the leaves on the trees have yet to turn. Because of that, reading books like this is how I get into the Halloween spirit. There is a certain chill in the air here, yes, but it is not quite autumnal — yet. But while I was reading this classic novel about an evil carnival that has rolled into a small town a week before Halloween, and the two young boys who must fight the darkest fears they’ve ever faced, I felt the embrace of fall. And it was magical.
Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite writers, and perhaps my biggest inspiration. He was not just a wordsmith; he was a magician, dealing in whimsy and wonder and nostalgia and fear. In none of his works are his skills more evident than in this, one of his most notable releases. I don’t know of any author (aside from Stephen King, maybe) who writes about childhood with such accurate precision — and in such minimalistic language. In Bradbury’s writing is a certain economy of language that, I am sure, is much harder to pull off than it appears. Not a word is wasted here.
Perfect for the Halloween season (or any time of year, really), this is a landmark coming-of-age tale about friendship, fear, magic, and the strange alluring wonder that comes with small town carnivals. I am so glad I capped off my Halloween Bingo reading with this!
Read for ‘Classic Horror’ in Halloween Bingo.