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A Child's Christmas In Wales and Five Poems Audio CD – Unabridged, Audiobook


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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Caedmon; Unabridged edition (November 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060514671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060514679
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"December, in my memory, is as white as Lapland," Thomas recalls, reading a line from "A Child's Christmas in Wales." For the poet, December also bursts with "deadly snowballs," "blue knuckles" and snow that "grows overnight on the roofs of houses." Although phrases like these are beautiful on their own, hearing Thomas speak them adds a magnificent melancholy. He recorded these six pieces in New York City in 1952, and they've been remastered and collected into one wonderful package. In the title story, Thomas marvels at winter's quirky delights: presents and holiday sweets (including candy cigarettes), snow boots and footprints, aunts who lace their tea with rum, wind rustling through the trees, family music recitals and caroling (Thomas even sings a line or two of Good King Wenceslas). His Welsh-accented voice rises and falls as he reads the evocative tale of his own long-ago Christmas. Thomas performs the other selections-"Fern Hill," "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night," "In the White Giant's Thigh," "Ballad of the Long-Legged Bait" and "Ceremony After a Fire Raid"-with an equally vibrant and powerful voice. While they don't conjure up the same wintry images as the lead piece, they marvelously round out this lovely assemblage.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"There is so much music in his voice... enchanted by the sound of the words and the rich imagery." -- The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
89%
4 star
9%
3 star
0%
2 star
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1 star
3%
See all 35 customer reviews
This is a wonderful childrens story with beautiful illustrations.
vicspike
I've read it to myself perhaps 20 times; I've read it to my children and laughed over the pictures maybe 10 more times.
Peggy Vincent
If you have read A Child's Christmas in Wales, you know that it has to be a classic.
San Valentino

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By C. Radda on December 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Christmas so often disappoints us. And why not? How could it ever live up to the sappy and maudlin presentations it suffers so often on TV, in the movies, even in commercials! Along comes Dylan Thomas (well he came along a while ago) and captures elements of the holiday that we can still live today. There is a town shut up against the cold with the occasional hardy soul braving the elements. There are families, rich in generations, sharing a day punctuated more by the telling of tales than the exchange of gifts. There are children overcoming their own fears of the unknown to give "Good King Wenceslaus" to a spectral figure behind a closed door. And there lies, on the final page and in the final line, an ending that captures all of what is best in the holiday and, maybe, what is best in all of us. Granted, until you hear the poet himself read this work, you will never capture the full effect, but you will come close. And you may be more ready for Christmas than you have ever been before.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ms. WB on November 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had read excerpts of A Child's Christmas in Wales and loved what I had read, but it wasn't until I heard the entire tale in Dylan's voice on NPR that I completely fell in love with it. Dylan's voice is warm, deep, slightly wry, and rolling.

If you haven't read it or heard it, it's a retelling of a Christmas past to a child. And it has the same questions and interruptions as you would expect from a small listener and has the same weight of an exaggerated epic that you might expect from a favorite uncle or father telling one of their "days of yore" stories.

I've been told that Dylan's largest fan base is in the U.S., and A Child's Christmas in Wales has the same charming humor and nostalgia that Rockwell's paintings and Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon Days capture. An idealized notion of American middle class values, but a hint of self-mocking that keeps it grounded. I think he perfectly captures the expectations of Christmas and the feel of large family gatherings. A favorite bit in which he describes the Uncles who sit in the parlors and breath like dolphins and the pale little aunts that seem to accumulate at family holidays:

"Some few large men sat in the front parlors, without their collars, Uncles almost certainly, trying their new cigars, holding them out judiciously at arms' length, returning them to their mouths, coughing, then holding them out again as though waiting for the explosion; and some few small aunts, not wanted in the kitchen, nor anywhere else for that matter, sat on the very edge of their chairs, poised and brittle, afraid to break, like faded cups and saucers."

Every time I read or hear it I get some deep-rooted domestic compulsion and feel the need run out and buy eggnog, knit something (nevermind the fact that I don't know how to), or find a rocking chair to sit on in front of a fire.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Growing up, my father had a copy of the original vinyl recording of this from the 1950's. Every Christmas it came out and was played, and now I can't think of Christmas without it. After being unavailable for decades, I'm delighted to see this record once again available. Few people know that Dylan Thomas gained fame in his lifetime as a radio personality, and the dry, droll voice of his takes his fantastic prose and breathes a life into it that the simple words themselves cannot demonstrate. A classic, recommended to all.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on January 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Who hasn't read this short tale of magic about Christmas past in a village in Wales, Dylan Thomas' most beloved book? I've read it to myself perhaps 20 times; I've read it to my children and laughed over the pictures maybe 10 more times. But, till now, I've never experienced the joy of hearing the poet himself read it to me. Omigod, what a pure pleasure. Recorded in 1952, this new release is all cleaned up and is a real keeper. Thomas' cadences, inflections, emphasis, pauses, and his marvelous Welsh accent make a listener close her eyes and just get lost in the humor and love and reminiscences of a bygone era.
There are quite a few other selections in this collection - and they're good - but even if you buy it just for A Child's Christmas in Wales, it'll be money well spent.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Waldrop on October 22, 1997
Format: Audio Cassette
Every Christmas Eve, I set aside a few minutes to listen to my CD of Dylan reading "A Child's Christmas" in Wales, placing the special emphasis only he can on the frustrated Mr. Prothero trying to put out a fire in his house, the neighborhood St. Bernards who bellow "Excelsior!" over the town, and the churchgoers who, with taproom noses, go scooping over the ice. The older I get, the more I need this little piece. As friends and family are, for one reason or another, lost with the passing years, it gets harder and harder to laugh, even at Christmas, but Dylan Thomas gives me a good giggle every time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Briscoe on December 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
For me, "A Child's Christmas in Wales" is the single most beautiful piece of Christmas literature in the English language.

And once you hear the author himself reading it, you will be forever enchanted. Dylan Thomas' deep humanity is expressed in every word, and in the spaces between them, in this masterpiece.

DB
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By San Valentino on March 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you have read A Child's Christmas in Wales, you know that it has to be a classic. But you can't fully appreciate it until you have heard Dylan Thomas read it. What a deep, expressive, poetic voice. For years, I have listened to the recording on a Caedman record. It is wonderful to have it on a CD.
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