Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury, V. Tony Hauser
I was so happy - ecstatic - to get a copy of this book to read. I want to establish that everyone in the horror/weird genres holds this book up to be a sort of end-all of both, a classic that absolutely cannot go unread, and I was ready to experience it.

This book, unfortunaltely, either has not aged well or was simply never deserving of such adoration.

I could go into the specific problems, but it would all be merely underlying problems, amidst the main issue, which is one of brevity. Mr. Bradbury seems to have known, while writing this book, that it was set to become one of the most important books written in his time. That seems to be a massive part of the problem; this book seems to know that it is adored and it rolls, smugly, in its own perceived perfection. Long paragraphs are filled with Bradbury's beautific musing on childhood, small towns and even on the issues of being a library worker. It gets TEDIOUS, made worse by the fact that a lot of the "timeless" things that are mused about ad nauseum are no longer so timeless, and the effect that the boom may have once had is ruined, and I get the impression that I am reading something that may have meant a great deal to my great grandmother, but leaves me feeling removed from the whole picture that Bradbury has painted.

Ad Nauseum is the key word to this book, as everything is explained in excruciating detail, taking away from the strong effect that many parts of the book attempted to build up. It got so tedious and infuriating that I ended up stopping reading this, sometimes for days at a time, returning so I could finally get to the end.

I felt as though the ending of this story was being held hostage by the terrible tedium that wraps its long limbs around every part of this story. Hacking through the narration and the sometimes quite silly inner monologue of the characters left me feeling physically exhausted. I was relieved every time something actually important happened, and from time to time, I got the impression of what it was that other people saw in this "classic."

Creepiness and the sometimes enthralling narration are almost utterly overloaded by the bloated ego of the author, who was all too aware that he thought that he was writing a timeless classic. If only all of the little touches that Bradbury so painstakingly added left a good impression even 50% of the time, then maybe I would be able to shrug off the irritating amount of excess girth that this book wallows in.

Bottom line is that this could have been an extraordinary short story, but instead it was force fed excess dialogue and narration.