Thursday, October 25, 2007

all hallows'

Do you ever look at your bookshelves and realize you own many books that you don't especially like? And yet you don't own many of your favorites? Today I went to B&B and bought The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury. I have loved this book ever since 7th grade and have frequently checked it out of the library. For me, this book is Halloween. As the Boston Globe says, "At last someone has written a book about Halloween that is tricky and scary, ghostly and windy, deathly and clammy. ... If you want to know what Halloween is, or if you simply want an eerie adventure, take this mystery-history trip." One reason I love this book is that Day of the Dead figures prominently. I also love the evocative language and thrilling original illustrations by Joseph Mugnaini.

I really dislike Halloween at the Mall of America. Of course I've never been, but the idea of it is like nails on the chalkboard. I don't even like the lame trunk or treats put on by our church. For me, Halloween is about the thrill you get when you're walking down a dark street with a pack of friends and you feel like anything could happen. You're all wearing masks. You could liven up the neighborhood a little. You could suspend belief.

Maybe we can't have that anymore in our safety-obsessed society, but at least I can read about it and dream.

Two scary films:

"The Innocents." Just watched this the other night for the first time. It's based on the short story "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James. I'll give it a 7 out of 10. Deborah Kerr is very good in it as are the child actors. Very, very suspenseful. It's about innocence and corruption, good and evil, love and selfishness. (Oh, that reminds me. The other night G was trying to determine the theme of a book she'd read for English. J's advice: "If you can't figure out the theme, just put 'good v. evil' or 'overcoming adversity' and you're safe.")

"The Night of the Hunter." 9/10. I have never watched a scarier, more suspenseful movie. It might tie with another Robert Mitchum, the 1962 "Cape Fear," which is about 100 times scarier than the remake. Just thinking about "The Night of the Hunter" gives me the willies. It's been awhile since I saw it but I think there is a Halloween part if I remember right.


ML said...

J's advice to G makes me think of "Miss Congeniality" where they tell her that the answer to all the beauty contestant questions is "World peace."
The scariest movie I ever saw was Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" when I was at BYU and I will never ever watch it again. My favorite Halloweenie-type movie is "Arsenic and Old Lace."

ave said...

I just watched Hocus Pocus with JW the other night. I was sad to see that the movie was much more hilarious and fun when I was 15. Throughout the flic we kept looking at each other and rolling our eyes because it was so dated. oh well, maybe we'll try Cape Fear.

Michelle said...

What ages is Bradbury's book appropriate for?

And I'm really happy that we're in a neighborhood where we can take the kids out trick or treating. We've been in places where that just hasn't worked until now.

And by the way, the party at the church, although different than other trick or treating, was perfect. Not a lot of structure, just the right length of time. What really made it for me was to see all the ingenuity and amazing effort by the ward members (compared with our complete non-contribution). The game room/RS room was awesome and we lingered there for a while.

Calandria said...

I think the Bradbury book could interest young children and I don't remember anything very scary. I would guess that if they looked through the book at the illustrations and found those interesting than the book would be appropriate.

I was amazed at how well the Halloween party went. There were a few people, like the Ds in the R.S. room, the mad scientist, and a couple others who really made it cool. The witch in charge did a great job too. :-) I have to admit that my contribution to this one was negligible because I had a bad attitude about it.

athena said...

love the artwork on that book. i should see if we have it at our library.

dave said...

that just reminds me of a favorite book of mine, bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. the movie is good too, but i remember the book with great fondness.