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70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2004
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
As a devoted fan of Christmas novels, I savor each new one that comes my way. Not only did I absolutely love this one, but yesterday I bought copies to give to all the booklovers on my Christmas list. It's wonderful, magical, and uplifting. Having read all of Fannie Flagg's novels, I can only say how much she amazes me with each new book. Her keen insight into what makees small-town America tick is definitely true, refreshingly rewarding, and a pure delight to share with other readers.

Oswald T. Campbell, hapless orphan named after the can of tomato soup his mother left behind when she desserted him, feels life has just not been fair. He's never had a break, never a lucky streak, not even a fair-to-middlin' streak. And now his doctor has told him this Christmas will most likely be his last. Emphysema and Chicago winters are not a good match, and Oswald's drinking has not helped. An out-of-date brochure the doctor gives him leads Oswald to a better climate in Lost River, Alabama. The fictional city is located near Elberta, Lillian, and Mobile, but represents the small towns everywhere that the brilliant Ms. Flagg has immortalized in her wonderful work.

This one is definitely hard to put down, so save it for when you have a spare afternoon or evening, if there is such a thing. You will be caught up at once in Oswald's life and his meeting with Jack, the redbird who lives at the neighborhood grocery store. The store's proprieter Roy, along with Frances, Mildred, Betty, Dottie, and even the infamous Julian LaPonde will have you spellbound and quickly turning the pages to see what happens next. But it is Patsy, the young, cripped child whose bond with Jack transcends reality that elevates this book to a league of its own.

If you've ever wondered whether it's better to be an accordion player or an alcoholic, or wondered why so many people love to get in group pictures, you will be laughing out loud at this one. So grab a cup of Christmas cheer and prepare to experience a Christmas miracle.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Having read all of Ms. Flagg's novels, she is without a doubt my favorite author. I only wish she had more books out there for me to read. So when I saw this book had been released, I was ecstatic! This is a touching Christmas tale about a man (Oswald T. Campbell) and the wonderful little town of Lost River Alabama (a place I wish existed, cause I'd move there in a heartbeat!).

Oswald is told by his doctor that he must leave the Chicago cold for the warmer temperatures of the south for serious health reasons. Lost River has been recommended to him as an ideal place to go, so he packs up, and heads down there, thinking he'll just be there for the winter. But as time goes on, Oswald falls in love with the little town, and all it's residence, including one very special redbird, Jack, and one precious little girl, Patsy.

Of course I absolutely recommend this book for people of all ages, it's such a sweet Christmas story that I can't give enough praise to. Hopefully I won't have to wait so long for Ms. Flaggs next novel, but I'm confident it'll be just as wonderful as this one and all the others she has given us.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Fanny Flagg delivers a Christmas tale to delight even the Grinch (and Scrooge too) - why even my sister loved it! With slush in his shoes and a life that lacks color, Oswald T. Campbell bids farewell to a bleak and wintry Chicago after the doctor delivers an unexpected death sentence. A very old brochure magically directs Oswald to Lost River, Baldwin County, Alabama, for his last months. As Oswald settles in, life suddenly becomes Technicolor and the kind of "family is where you find it" interaction gives all the characters of Lost River a reason to live and love. Jack, the redbird, is conniving little pest who knits the disparate characters into a wonderful whole.

This is an easy recommendation for ALL ages. About halfway through the book, my reading slowed down, I savored each page, and knew that more enchantment would appear but that it would eventually end. Sigh. Mamalinda has already bought several copies for gifts.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2005
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
And that was one of the best things about Redbird Christmas -- recipes. Another "best thing" was the tone of the novel, which is homey and cozy -- you can smell and touch the lushness of the atmosphere with your mind, like a Barry Levinson movie that takes a town like Baltimore and turns it into Avalon.

Unfortunately, the characters and the writing come in second place to the tone of this book; in fact, the plot is fairly easy to suss out once you get going. But that didn't seem to matter to me as I read along. I enjoyed these people very much. So what if the do-good ladies' groups sound too much like the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. The attempt is to create a special Christmas world where people get along nicely, in spite of differences of opinion, and eccentricity is not only tolerated, but encouraged. The book succeeds here and I finished it in record time -- not hard, it's a small book.

I have enjoyed Fannie Flagg since the old Candid Camera TV show (when she was, what? 10?!) I had no idea she was such an accomplished and talented writer. Overall, "A Redbird Christmas" made me feel warm and cozy over the holidays. I passed it on to my sister, who I know will like it even more than I did. I can see this book easily becoming a Christmas classic, where, year after year, children ask for it to be read to them at the Holidays.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Since I first watched "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" as a movie here in England on TV (I later bought the book and the DVD from Amazon!) and became appreciative of Fannie Flagg's other wonderful works, I was convinced that nothing could surpass that amusing and exciting story of long-lost times in `The South.' It was always evident that the author was in love with that region of the United States and her descriptive passages may be relied upon to evoke the very special atmosphere and feelings of `small-town' Southern locations and their inhabitants. Her latest offering - "A Redbird Christmas" - is in the same vein, but also very different, in that, whilst mainly again set in `The South,' it is a delightfully charming and moving tale that falls firmly into the `couldn't put it down' category. It is a short book (only 207 pages) and I read it in one long evening, but I just loved it for its portrayal of the very best of human nature and for its restoring of my faith in fundamental decency. The characters are not `larger than life': they are all too real and with many inherent human faults, but their qualities and the exceptional writing shine in a manner that leaves the reader happy and joyful. "A Redbird Christmas" is well up there with Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol" and would be a steal at double the price: I cannot wait for more triumphant tomes from Fannie Flagg!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have to say this is one of the best books I've read in AGES! I laughed, I cried & enjoyed every page. This is such a heartwarming story & not just for the holidays. Oswald, Patsy, Jack & the folks of 'Lost River' will charm you any day of the year. I highly recommend this book for gift-giving or to treat yourself, you won't be disappointed!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Oswald T. Campbell from cold city of Chicago, was told by his doctor that he must move to a warmer climate for health reasons. He was given an old brochure for a small town in Alabama called Lost River that was to have the perfect conditions for his ailments. Lost River was not Oswalds first choice but it fit into his limited budget so he packed up a few valuables and headed south.

Oswald, who never really fit in anywhere, slowly warmed up to the little town and its residents and found himself right where he needed to be.

A Redbird Christmas is being marketed as a holiday book but it is so much more. It is a story about love, friendship, a sense of belonging, and of miracles.

Fannie Flagg is a wonderful author that has the ability to tell us a story in simple form that is a pleasure to sit and read. I only wish she would write more books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
My bookclub (12 members) read this book in December and it gave us all a lift over the holidays. Fannie Flagg (as usual) wrote about this town and characters with such delight that we all wanted to move there and go to the annual events in town. It was just so uplifting and genuine. Treat yourself and read this little book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2006
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was such a fun read. It is a touching story about a man from Chicago who moves to a small southern town...actually going there to live out his last days. He finds a quirky fun loving group of townsfolk who welcome him. Perhaps the redbird in the store is the central character but many others will warm you heart as well.

It is a great book, once I read it, I ordered four more copies to give away as Christmas gifts. Fannie Flagg knows how to create characters that move your heart. You find yourself laughing and crying and being changed by spending a little time with them.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Fanny Flagg is a master of characterization and die-hard fans won't be disappointed with Redbird. This simple, but engaging tale, is great entertainment for a rainy afternoon. Flagg, always adept at pulling all of the plot details and pieces together into a satisfying whole, accomplishes this again in Redbird.
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