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The Halloween Tree [Kindle Edition]

Ray Bradbury
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.56
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Book Description

One of Ray Bradbury’s classic stories – available in ebook for the first time.

On Halloween night, eight trick-or-treaters gather at the haunted house by the edge of town, ready for adventure. But when Something whisks their friend Pip away, only one man – the sinister Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud – can help the boys find him.

A classic tale of horror and adventure from the master of storytelling, Ray Bradbury.



Product Description

Amazon Review

Somewhere inside Ray Bradbury's head is a place where it's always golden autumn, in 1920s midwest America, and every night is Halloween. He has a gift for evoking childhood thrills where joy and terror come heart-stoppingly close. Here eight kids dressed as horrors for Halloween go hunting darkness and find it:
... one hundred million tons of night all crammed in that huge dark pit, that dank cellar, that deliciously frightening ravine.
Awaiting them is the comic-sinister trickster Moundshroud, who whirls the boys on a tour through time that shows them the roots of Halloween--cavemen trembling from the dark, Egyptians whose lives revolved around death, Druids appeasing their terrible gods, and so on to the grim carnival of Mexico's Day of the Dead. It's full of poetic flashes, as when "all the old beasts, all the old tales, all the old nightmares, all the unused demons-put- by" are summoned from every corner of Europe to become gargoyles in the newly-built Notre Dame Cathedral.

Bradbury's theme of celebrating life by celebrating death is underlined by fleeting appearances of the gang's missing ninth boy, the one we soon realise is gravely ill and may not last the night. But Moundshroud, who is more than he seems, offers a deal ... The Halloween Tree is written as though for children, with lashings of exclamation marks--but, just as in a fairground, adults too can let their hair down and enjoy the wild roller- coaster ride. --David Langford


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1844 KB
  • Print Length: 145 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (5 Dec. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GLGXNO2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,658 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

One of the greatest writers of science fiction and fantasy, Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1920.

He published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was just twenty years old. Among his many famous works are Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a typical Bradbury, more like a fairy tale 30 Aug. 2014
By Brian Clegg TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a huge Bradbury fan, and while revisiting some of my old favourites, I noticed this book, which I had never read. It's a strange one. Set on Halloween it takes the classic group of Bradbury circa 11-year-old boys on a whirlwind tour around the world and through time to understand the background of Halloween, and to save their lost friend.

It starts much as you would expect, reminiscent in some ways of Bradbury's utter classic Something Wicked This Way Comes with the boys gathering for the Halloween fun, enjoying scaring themselves. But then it turns into Bradbury on a drug trip. Where Something Wicked is essentially real world fantasy - so a normal environment that becomes distorted by the dark magic of the carnival - here reality goes out of the window and we have something closer to a fairy tale or a dream. To be honest, it's not really my kind of thing, even though I inevitably appreciated Bradbury's wonderful way with words, extended to its extreme.

Also, I did find Bradbury's effusive description of the missing boy, with the unlikely name Pipkin, more than a little cringe making.

All Bradbury is worth reading, but this is, for me, is not one of the best.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical and scary fantasy 15 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I remember getting this from the library about fifteen years ago, at the age of 10. And then reading it again and again and again, unwilling to leave the frightening yet safe world of childhood evoked by the author (the same world as described in "Something wicked this way comes"). As soon as I saw it had been republished I ordered the book - and as I did so all the images of the two boys and their vividly drawn experiences came flooding back. If you are a Bradbury fan, and haven't read this one yet, then buy it. If you aren't a Bradbury fan, and want a taster - then you can't go far wrong with this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a Halloween classic! 5 Oct. 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The Halloween Tree is an exceptional book filled the mystery of autumn and the intrigue of childhood. Written in the classic Bradbury style, this book is must read for me every Holloween season and a story I readily share with the children in my family.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Halloween Classic 6 Nov. 2008
Format:Hardcover
"Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked."
-- The Halloween Tree, p. 4

Why do we dress up on Halloween? How did the tradition of trick-or-treating begin? Why are witches, skeletons and ghosts associated with Halloween? The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury takes the reader on an incredible journey through the history of Halloween.

It's Halloween night, and for 13-year-old Tom Skelton and his friends, it's the most exciting evening of the year. But when they meet up to go trick-or-treating together, they realize that one of their friends is missing - Joe Pipkin, "the greatest boy who ever lived." When they arrive at Pipkin's house, Pip emerges, his face deathly pale. He says that he's not feeling well but he'll catch up with his friends at a house at the edge of town.

The boys arrive at the house to find an incredible sight: a giant tree filled with jack-o-lanterns, the Halloween Tree. There they meet the mysterious Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud, the sinister yet genial owner of the home. When he questions the boys about the significance of their costumes, the boys, dressed as a Skeleton, Mummy, Witch, Ghost, Gargoyle, etc. all realize that they don't know the stories behind their Halloween costumes. Mr. Moundshroud offers to help them discover the history of All Hallows' Eve, but the boys know they have to wait for Pip. When Pip appears, his friends call to him, but as Pip approaches, he stumbles and vanishes into the darkness. Mr.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Halloween Tree (1972) 14 April 2015
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
***Spoiler Alert***
The Halloween Tree (1972) by Ray Bradbury is a fantasy novel that is centred around the festival of Samhain and Halloween, and follows the adventures of eight boys (led by Tom Skelton) whilst out trick-or-treating. They discover that another friend, Pipkin, has been taken on a journey that could result in the end of his life; they understand he has vanished for they can no longer feel his presence. The boys track their friend through different times and places, including Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, into Celtic times when the Druids ruled, onto Medieval Notre Dame, and even reach Mexico for the Day of the Dead festival. The boys are assisted by the strange Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud. Throughout the story they come to understand the true meaning of Halloween, the supernatural, and how death itself plays a significant role in our varying cultures ... and the Halloween Tree is used as a metaphor for the joining of all of these diverse cultures and traditions.

There are many conflicts within the story: a battle against the Celtic God of the Dead, Samhain, in the British Isles; another inside an Ancient Egyptian tomb; the Notre Dame conflict; and the Mexican catacomb conflict. These and other conflicts lead the boys to eventually understand that you must always be ready and willing to learn something new in life and it is this understanding in itself that inevitably helps them to save the life of Pipkin. Saving their friend is the biggest conflict they will have to face throughout the story. Each branch of the Halloween Tree holds a jack-O'-lantern, each one representing a stage in their journey, the lanterns together representing the convergence of each part of time and space they encounter. In the end the boys are provided with a full understanding of their favourite tradition, Halloween. Bradbury scripted an animated version, The Halloween Tree (1993) which features the voices of Bradbury, Leonard Nimoy, and Lindsay Crouse.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great stuff.
Typical Bradbury Journey, great stuff.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars good
typical Ray Bradbury fare. good value
Published 3 months ago by hardy
5.0 out of 5 stars bliss!
I used to eat chocolate.....a LOT of chocolate! Much of it was "dairy milk" or "galaxy", cheap and milky-sweet and very pleasant. Read more
Published 3 months ago by b roberts
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good spooky story for kids
Published 4 months ago by julie turpin
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Did not like it one bit
Published 5 months ago by Ron Davies
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Halloween Read...
I bought this book as a Halloween read. It is quite short and I read it in a couple of sittings. I would describe it a 'The Christmas Carol' for Halloween, and the story follows a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Chris
2.0 out of 5 stars Messy
The start of this book with the description of the wind in trees and the atmosphere was special. He certainly has gift with words, but very soon the book becomes messy and surreal. Read more
Published 7 months ago by j n n richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Tale on the Origins of Halloween.
Having never read a Ray Bradbury book before I had no idea what to expect, however I was not quite expecting this. This book is absolutely awesome. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Traffic
4.0 out of 5 stars Where does Halloween come from?
I think this had gone out of print when I reached my teenage period of avidly reading all I could find by Bradbury. Read more
Published 10 months ago by YeahYeahNoh
5.0 out of 5 stars A thing of beauty
This is one of the most magical books you're ever likely to come across in a lifetime of reading. Wonderful beyond words, it will stay with you long after you've read it. Read more
Published on 31 Aug. 2010 by Avid reader
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