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The Halloween Tree (1972)

by Ray Bradbury

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,986665,670 (3.86)117
A group of children and a "spirit" go back through time to discover the beginnings of Halloween.

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» See also 117 mentions

English (65)  Spanish (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Eight brave little boys
saving a friend with candy
one sweet victory. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
Mr. Moundshroud proves to be a delightfully light (read leaves on the wind) Virgil as he takes a group of kids on a roaring fast ride through time on Hallow's Eve to give us the "real" rundown on mummies, witches, druids, and all the creepy crawlies of history, summing things up with a quintessential Bradburian moral *and* prosaic reveal.

It's perfect for what it is: a totally fast YA ride that might get even better justice as a full production Spielberg production with a gazillion dollars behind it, with Disney and Lucasfilms playing a big role, with Neil Gaiman providing about a thousand hours worth of consultancy to boot.

Sound good? Yep! It needs a lot of firepower to amp it up and make it look absolutely spectacular and feel like it has the depth of ages. It feels like Mary Poppins and Bednobs and Broomsticks would if they were actually good movies. And maybe it could be an excellent movie, too!

But for me, I feel like I should have loved this long before I ever watched Nightmare Before Christmas.

It's all about timing. At my late age, I want to start taking exception to some of the conclusions that Bradbury makes, nitpick about the history, complain about the lack of girls, and give a horribly injust condemnation to the book because it lacks the whole modern Halloween and horror awesomeness that us moderns have to offer.

For shame! Shame on me!

But then, that's also the reason why I mentioned bringing in a bunch of the heavy hitters of today to update the tale. I'm sure THIS is one of those old books that could be turned into something special again for a whole new generation. It already has magic. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Fun seasonal read, though it was on the confusing side at times. It often seemed the plot took a back seat to the imagery -- though don't get me wrong, Bradbury was a master at evocative prose.

The illustrations by Gris Grimley were also superb. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 20, 2020 |
Prefer the movie but still pretty good. ( )
  Fortunesdearest | Apr 10, 2020 |
I listened to this story so as to participate in the Literary Horror Group's October read. I have long been planning to read more of Ray Bradbury's work, so I jumped on this opportunity. (Mostly thanks to Edward Lorn through whose contest I won the audiobook version. Thanks again, Ed!)

I enjoyed this fanciful tale even though it wasn't a bit scary. In fact, I would categorize this as more of a dark fantasy, though labels are just labels, in the end. As was true of the 2 other Bradbury stories I've read, the prose was flat out amazing. The man knew how to string words together in the most fantastic of ways.

That being said, I wasn't that impressed with the tale itself. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but I felt that it was written more for pre-teens or teenagers than adults. It seemed to have a purpose behind it that would have made it a perfect read for junior high school. I know that Mr. Moundshroud would have fascinated me as a teenager. He fascinated me, even now.

Bronson Pinchot's narration did the story justice, I believe, especially where Moundshroud's voice was concerned.

All in all, I would recommend this story-most especially to younger readers and to readers that are still young at heart. There is a message here to be learned, but even if you don't "get" the moral, you still have a wildly imaginative tale to enjoy. ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bradbury, Rayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mugnaini, JosephIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinchot, BronsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Folio SF (525)
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Dedication
With love for MADAME MAN'HA GARREAU-DOMBASLE met twenty-seven years ago in the graveyard at midnight on the Island of Janitzio at Lake Patzcuaro, Mexico, and remembered on each anniversary of the Day of the Dead.
First words
It was a small town by a small river and a small lake in a small northern part of a Midwest state.
Quotations
Night came out from under each tree and spread. [3]
The tall man shut up his smile like a bright pocketknife. [21]
"The Undiscovered Country. Out there. Look long, look deep, make a feast. The Past, boys, the Past. Oh, it's dark, yes, and full of nightmare. Everything that Halloween ever was lies buried there. Will you dig for bones, boys? Do you have the stuff?" [32]
But in that instant of darkness, the night swept in. A great wing folded over the abyss. Many owls hooted. Many mice scampered and slithered in the shadows. A million tiny murders happened somewhere.

The clouds, like gauzy scenes, were pulled away to set a clean sky. The moon was there, a great eye. [38]
The scythe fell and lay in the grass like a lost smile. [45]
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