The Halloween Tree

The Halloween Tree

Downloadable Audiobook - 2008
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This is a superb contemporary classic by American literary treasure Ray Bradbury, best known as the author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian chronicles. The mysterious Mr. Moonshroud leads eight young boys on a journey back through the time to discover the true meaning of Halloween. Extraordinarily well acted, this story will send shivers of delight (and spine-chilling terror) through listeners young and old. You will want to take this trip many times over, long after the last candle has died in your jack-o'-lantern.
Publisher: [Ashland, Or.] : Blackstone Audio, 2008
ISBN: 9781433232190
1433232197

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K_Cub
Nov 03, 2017

The audiobook is well done and pretty entertaining. While not Bradbury's best work, it's meant for kids, and the radio theater aspect of it would likely appeal to them.

l
lexlothor
Oct 07, 2016

"The Halloween Tree" is a novelette that is aimed at young readers. The protagonists are eight boys from rural Illinois. Despite its fantasy concept it is semi-autobiographical on the part of Ray Bradbury. If taken at the level of a juvenile reader, the book and this full cast radio play adaptation work well. From an adult point of view this story is a bit shallow and condescending.

This story has all of the classic Bradbury elements: mystery, nostalgia, mood and poetry. To quote Boris Pasternak it is also petty bourgeois and self-indulgent.

I really question whether this audio version has any appeal to the intended audience. Kids today have the attention spans of fruit flies. I fear that they might easily become bored with it. There was an animated film based on this story made in the 1990's. With a few slight abridgements it picks up the action and flows more cleanly. Certain odd facts are addressed in that version. In the book one of the all-boy gang dresses as a witch for Halloween. In the animated film this character is a girl. I think that this change alone may be why my daughter loved the animated version as a child.

This audio production may however be used as excellent instructive material for 4th-8th grade classrooms.

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