Loren's Reviews > The Halloween Tree

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
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Apr 05, 2010

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Read in April, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I adored this book when I was a kid. I thought my daughter, who is inclined to the dark side, would enjoy it, too, but upon re-reading it, have decided it might be a little much for her yet. I'd forgotten that the incident that sends the boys on their quest for the origins of Halloween is that (spoiler alert) their friend Pip is dying from a burst appendix.

There are many things I still love about the book: the mummies of Guanajuato, the family feasts of Dia de los Muertos, the prowl under the Egyptian pyramid. Other parts struck me as painfully dated, especially the dismissal of all practitioners of folk religions in Europe as fools.

Also, I had to laugh aloud when the Sphinx was described as a woman-lion. Oops. There must have been encyclopedias even in the misty days of the book's first publication in 1972. Some editor along the line could have caught that. Coming so early in the book, the error threw everything that followed into question for me.

I still adore Ray Bradbury, but I no longer think this is one of his best books.
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