Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: 'Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween'

With a publication date of October 31, Lisa Morton’s Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween is arriving a little late to enjoy this Samhain. That’s too bad, because this study of our favorite holiday is neat seasonal reading. She tracks Halloween from its Celtic roots to its modern place in the cinema, the TV set, and the aisles of Spirit Halloween Stores. Though compact, Trick or Treat presents a satisfying bagful of trivia about the origins of our most enduring seasonal icons (scarecrows, black cats, devils, bats, etc.) and our least enduring (the Halloween horse? Decorations of brown, yellow, and white? Jack-o-Lanterns carved in cucumbers? No thanks!). She also goes deep into the worldwide appropriation of Halloween, as well as tangentially related celebrations such as Guy Fawkes Day and Dias de los Muertos. The book is perhaps a bit too academic for its deliriously fun subject matter, but Morton’s love of the holiday still creeps through.

Get Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween at Amazon.com here:

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