For some reason this year, I felt like revisiting a book I had read ages ago. For my 14th or 15th birthday, a friend of mine got me an autographed copy of Something Wicked This Way Comes. Living in Southern California, we had access to Ray Bradbury for many years at the LA Times Festival of Books, and this felt like a great time to revisit a fall book, now that the temperature has actually started dropping.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is the story of two boys, caught between being boys and young men – anxious to be older and yet not ready to grow up. The carnival comes to town and offers an escape from their daily lives, but for a price. While the ride on the carousel could fulfill a deeply held wish, there is danger lurking in striking bargains with beings you don’t fully understand. Bradbury’s approach to fantasy is wonderful because of how much he’s willing to leave unexplained and letting the reader gather her own conclusions.
Carnie Punk is a collection of short stories by a variety of authors. With a little bit of everything, these stories are as varied as attractions at a carnival. Short story collections are always high on my to-read list, particularly when life gets busy. Each story will whisky you away to the midway for a short while. If you want to try a story without checking out the whole volume – Jennifer Estep’s Parlor Tricks is available for free on Amazon as of 10/31.