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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.
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Critic Reviews

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

Most Helpful

By Dave on 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.

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36 of 36 people found this review helpful


By Old Man Parker on 10-06-12

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.

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20 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By MR L. on 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. .

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Diane on 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.

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