"library"

Another casual introduction to a site that will grow in significance as the story progresses. The boys have two reasons to swing by the library: to check out books and to say "hi" to Will's Dad, Charles Halloway, who is 52 and a janitor at the library. (Bradbury modeled Mr. Halloway on his own father.)

The library will serve as a sort of protagonist structure against the dark carnival: it provides information on the carnival's past history, and serves as a refuge for the boys, at least temporarily, when Mr. Dark and his minions come looking for them.

As a voracious reader growing up, Bradbury had spent many hours in libraries. He composed a draft of Fahrenheit 451 in nine days on a rented typewriter in the basement of UCLA's Powell Library in 1950.

The Carnegie library in his home town of Waukegan (one of more than 1,600 such libraries built across the U.S. with funding from the Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie -- nearly a thousand more were funded in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean, and Fiji -- between 1883 and 1929) served as the model for the library in Something Wicked This Way Comes.

When it came time for Disney Touchstone to film the novel in the early 1980s, the filmmakers made sure to include touches of those original Carnegie libraries in the set for the movie version, such as the green-shaded lamps and a spiral iron staircase.