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The Halloween Tree | [Ray Bradbury]

The Halloween Tree

On a Halloween night, eight boys are led on an incredible journey into the past by the mysterious “spirit” Moundshroud. Riding a dark autumn wind from ancient Egypt to the land of the Celtic druids, from Mexico to a cathedral in Paris, they will witness the haunting beginnings of the holiday called Halloween.
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Publisher's Summary

On a Halloween night, eight boys are led on an incredible journey into the past by the mysterious “spirit” Moundshroud. Riding a dark autumn wind from ancient Egypt to the land of the Celtic druids, from Mexico to a cathedral in Paris, they will witness the haunting beginnings of the holiday called Halloween.

Ray Bradbury’s evocative prose and imagery will send shivers of delight—and spine-chilling terror—through listeners young and old, long after the last candle has died in your jack-o’-lantern.

©1972 2000 by Ray Bradbury (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“There is a great treat in Bradbury’s frenetic imagery.” (New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (90 )
5 star
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4.2 (78 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Old Man Parker Kailua-Kona, HI, United States 10-06-12
    Old Man Parker Kailua-Kona, HI, United States 10-06-12 Member Since 2009

    Me am Pop-Surrealist Tiki-Artist living and making Art on the active volcanic "Big Island" of Hawaii. Aloha.

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    "The Ultimate Mystery History of Halloween!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Halloween Tree the most enjoyable?

    Oh so much Darker and vastly richer than Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas", Bradbury shows he is the true KING OF HALLOWEEN in this tour of the weirdest holiday of the world. And, as the most frightening tour guide takes you on a ghost train ride through the million nights of man kind's yearning to understand what goes bump in the night, and why we fear and celebrate it all in one pumpkin flaming eve.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Bradbury is at the top of his game, and every sentence, every word is a juicy Halloween treat to be savored. One of his very best. Nearly a poem, his love for this tale roars out in every word. This is the book Bradbury was supposed to write, and only Bradbury could write. A national treasure. If you have any love of Halloween, you MUST read or listen to this masterpiece.


    What does Bronson Pinchot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A good read. I could wish for Vincent Price, but listen to Bronson through head phones -- he gives a lovely, dark and sometimes whispering, sometimes dangerous growls - a haunting read.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    OH YES. You are caught and locked into this dark night, and scene after scene of ancient Halloween lay out before you, till you are lost in this "follow the Pumpkin Brick Road" to see the Wicked Witch in the Halloween city.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Halloween. You' love this. If you Love Halloween , you will be caught in a dark bliss, you'll re-listen to every year. If you wondered why we celebrate Halloween, you NEED to listen to this story. The Mystery History and the History Mystery of All Hallows Eve! You'll love this weird tale of the strangest and most reverse-holiday of all time. But, yes, it's a intimate read, I suggest head phones. In a dark room. At night. Maybe a jack-o-lantern for company.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Whittier, CA 10-12-12
    Dave Whittier, CA 10-12-12 Member Since 2010

    I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.

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    "An October Essential!"

    If you’re looking for a fun story to listen to this Halloween, look no further. Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree is about as essential to October as Linus and the Great Pumpkin. After listening to it, I’m kind of surprised there isn’t a stop motion film from Henry Selick in the works yet.

    One fateful Halloween night, a group of boys are taken on a journey by a mysterious prankster named Moundshroud in order to save their friend Pipkin’s life. They travel across the world and through history, exploring the origins and influences of Halloween from ancient Egypt to Celtic Druids, to the Day of the Dead. It’s both breezy and spooky, like you’re taking a train ride through Halloween country, and Bradbury is the conductor and tour guide, and it’s near impossible not to be infected with his joy for the holiday.

    Pinchot’s narration is an excellent match for Bradbury’s lush prose, sometimes all boyish excitement, and other times completely haunting. There are times when he whispers, and if you’re in a noisy environment, it would be inaudible. But if you’re in a quiet, and hopefully dark place, listening by the light of Jack O’ Lanterns, it’ll send shivers up your spine.

    This is one of Bradbury’s October masterpieces, not quite as terrifying or as well-plotted as Something Wicked This Way Comes, but still an incomparable listening experience. If you’re looking for a short book with as much emphasis on fun as on spooky, The Halloween Tree is about as perfect of a Halloween listen you could hope for.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Marcellus, NY, United States 11-22-11
    Gail Marcellus, NY, United States 11-22-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Good Halloween Treat"

    I would recommend this book as a nice Halloween read but, it isn't one of Ray Bradbury's best works. The performance was excellent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 08-27-13
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 08-27-13 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

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    "Deserves a more thoughtful performance."

    This might be the most poetic interesting book ever written about Halloween. It goes straight to the core of feelings and tradtions, without ever travellogging or being didactic. The performance, with it's odd volumn issues, does not add to the book.Too much whispering, then full volumn. It's not constructive to the text,
    It's still an astonishing read.And still my favorite Halloween story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Waynesburg, PA, United States 10-07-12
    Keith Waynesburg, PA, United States 10-07-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Ray Bradbury, but not at his best."

    This is a good concept, but the writing style is a little dated. It's a good story, but not his best. He is very much worth the read at when he's on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    zoomcity Canton, MI 10-09-11
    zoomcity Canton, MI 10-09-11 Member Since 2006
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    "What did you say?"
    What disappointed you about The Halloween Tree?

    I need to be able to hear the story, even when the narrator whispers. If I have to turn the volume all the way up just to be able to almost hear the whispering, that's a very bad performance and production. You can imagine what happens: after the whispering, the normal narration blasts your ears away like a horrible commercial. I also didn't like the characterization of Mr. Moundshroud. He sounded bored. I've never considered Mr. Moundshroud to be bored by the


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    It was a complete disappointment. I hoped to have fun with my son listeining to a Halloween story we both enjoy. This was not to be. Perhaps the dramatized version available on Audible is better. The old cartoon from the early '90's definitely is.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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    Richard Daniel Fort Worth, TX USA 08-07-11
    Richard Daniel Fort Worth, TX USA 08-07-11 Member Since 2008
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    "I've been waiting for this audiobook"

    The story starts as a group start off trick-or-treating only to discover that one of their group is gone. I have read this short book several time, generally around Halloween. This isn't a life changing book, but is a good Halloween period yarn. I may be a little easier to follow as a book because of all of the characters, but the narration is excellent.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deedra United States 05-12-13
    Deedra United States 05-12-13 Member Since 2013

    ddbug4

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    "The Halloween Tree"
    Would you listen to The Halloween Tree again? Why?

    I LOVED this book!The story was full of mystery ,suspense and education.


    Have you listened to any of Bronson Pinchot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    Any additional comments?

    I think everyone should read this book.It gives a great overview of the history of Halloween while telling a spellbinding story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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