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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.

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Dave
  • Whittier, CA
  • 10-12-12

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.

36 of 36 people found this review helpful

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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.

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Gail
  • Marcellus, NY, United States
  • 11-22-11

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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"The Halloween Tree" stands tall

Where does The Halloween Tree rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right up there.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Moundshroud. Because I am him.

Which scene was your favorite?

frozen at the ravine.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. But I practically have the book memorized.

Any additional comments?

I re-read "The Halloween Tree" each fall. I used to have some dealings with Ray Bradbury, when I asked his permission to adapt the book into a radio play. It had already been done, but he arranged for me to get a copy of the script. Sure miss him.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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wonderful.

excellent reading one man performance expressive. great story to work with of course. delight to find the sorry and this reading. certainly one I will listen to again

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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annual tradition<br />beautiful story . very well read.

Pinchot gives perfect performance to Bradury s lovely story telling.
Great for all ages to share.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Terrible

Just not a good story. Hard to follow. Whispering is aggravating. Half way through I just couldn't figure out where it was going.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • MR L.
  • 10-03-15

an evening walk

I listened to this while on a late night walk over a couple of nights in early october to get my self in the Halloween mood I recommend you do the same .

but take a torch. .

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Diane
  • 10-18-17

Amazing story, excellent narration!

I love Ray Brabury's lyrical style. And this story doesn't disappoint. This story is also edifying! I think it might even be suitable for children, especially if they like the creepy and scary. But it is not gruesome or very disturbing after all. The narrator is top notch. He truly sounded like a different person doing the speaking parts! One gripe. Editing could've been tighter. A few times there was a loooong gap between a speech and "Tom said" or something similar. It was a little jolting.