Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

Plot: 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.

My Review:
This book was good. I really liked the mysterious spooky and appropriate halloween theme.
The book was written in the 70's so because of that I felt a little seperated from the characters. I did enjoy the characters though. I felt Tom was a very loyal friend and I was slightly scared of Mr  Moundshroud. I am still a little confused as to whether he was a good or an evil character...hmm.
I really enjoyed the plot although I did feel this book was a little more dificult to comprehend than Bradburys Fahrenheit 451. I had to re-read paragraphs in places to get the gist and general feeling of what it was saying. There was a definite sing-song aspect to Bradbury's writing in this novel that was not present in Fahrenheit 451. I felt this just added to the spooky, eerie atmosphere of the halloween themed novel.
I also did enjoy the learning aspect of the novel. It was interesting finding out where Halloween came from and all of the old Halloween traditions. My favourite scene was probably when they built notre dame. I also love the cover. The main characters making up the skull optical illusion, beautiful ! The illustrations by Joseph Mugnaini really added to the spooky story.
Overall, I enjoyed the book but I also feel that it would be better read by a younger reader...Say 12 and up. A good spooky, captivating read for Halloween.

Three and a half star book
* * * 1/2

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