Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

I decided to read one of my picks for the R.I.P. Challenge early... Carl said it was okay and I have wanted to read this book for a long time, so I went with it!

A fast-moving, eerie...tale set on Halloween night. Eight costumed boys running to meet their friend Pipkin at the haunted house outside town encounter instead the huge and cadaverous Mr. Moundshroud. As Pipkin scrambles to join them, he is swept away by a dark Something, and Moundshroud leads the boys on the tail of a kite through time and space to search the past for their friend and the meaning of Halloween. After witnessing a funeral procession in ancient Egypt, cavemen discovering fire, Druid rites, the persecution of witches in the Dark Ages, and the gargoyles of Notre Dame, they catch up with the elusive Pipkin in the catacombs of Mexico, where each boy gives one year from the end of his life to save Pipkin's. Enhanced by appropriately haunting black-and-white drawings.
The reason I wanted to read this book is because it is a movie! For years, every Halloween I have seen it on television and, more often than not, sat there and watched it! I had no idea it was a Ray Bradbury book, or I likely would've read it long before now! Anyway, I finally did find it at a second-hand bookstore and have been waiting to read it for the R.I.P. Challenge. I did not see the movie on television last year and I think I tried to find a DVD copy and did not have much luck, but at least now I have the book to read.

As I was reading the book I was, of course, comparing it to the movie. One of the big changes they made is that this is just a group of boys. In the movie there is a girl included, as well. I like that aspect a lot better. To be honest, I think I like the movie better, but it is hard to say because it has been a couple years since I had the chance to watch it. Moving on... This book is a bit like historical fantasy because the boys travel back in time to see where their Halloween costumes originated from. It is a history of Halloween book told in a fun way. Whille the book is dark, I found the movie darker. But, I might watch the movie again and find that what I remember is not actually the truth. It is hard to say!

To sum things up here. I did like this book. It is interesting to learn the history of Halloween and some of its favourite costume ideas. Instead of just droning on, though, there is a story which makes it seem less like a history lesson. Halloween has always been one of my favourite holidays, even though I am not big on the treat aspect, so I love Halloween-related books. I really need to read more of them! I have a bunch from when I was a kid... I am almost tempted to dig them out for this year...


  1. it sounds like you've joined the "crowd" who read this and loved it last year!

    and you made the number 2 spot for reviews !! lol... We're off and running!

  2. I enjoyed this one a lot, and I had no idea there was a movie! I'm going to have to try to find it, as I'm really curious now.

  3. Anonymous7:15 AM

    Sounds good, will look out for it. I read Chris' review of another book by Bradbury and figure I must read more.

  4. Nice review, I agree with your opinion that the inclusion of a girl was a little bit better. I have always loved this book because of what you said about it being like a history lesson within a story. Definitely a fun read :)

  5. I just read my first Ray Bradbury book this year and loved it. I'll have to add The Halloween Tree to my list or at least see the movie.

  6. Anonymous12:18 PM

    This is a good book and I like it so far.

  7. Anonymous12:23 PM

    i like the book


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