Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Twelve Terrors of Christmas
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on December 10, 2007
Bah to those who found this book slight and unfunny. This is the anti-Christmas cold pricklies for those who don't enjoy the warm fuzzies of the season (and even for those who do). This is a sarcastic, cynical look at some Christmas traditions, and I found it funny and even a little insightful. I thought the illustrations were gloomy and in keeping with the tone of the book. Ebenezer Scrooge would have kept this book on his coffee table, but he was probably too cheap to buy it. A nice gift for someone who prefers hemlock to holly and avoids mistletoe.
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on July 30, 2008
The Twelve Terrors is as demented as I'd hoped for. John Updike's prose gives Christmas the kick in the teeth it secretly wants, and Edward Gorey's illustrations are just the right wrapping paper for the beating.

I'm only disappointed that Updike isn't as good a vehicle for Gorey's illustrations as Gorey himself. I was hoping for another dose Gashlycrumb Tinies (Gorey at his best) but I set my hopes too high with this collaboration.

Twelve Terrors is a bedtime story that steers kids away from piggish consumerism, carries them through angry cynicism, and finally ushers them into thoughtful enlightenment.
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on June 1, 2007
A lovely volume of pure Gorey-esque mystique. If you are familiar with Mr. Gorey's fashion of examining the world, you will not be disappointed. If you have not tasted the decadent simplicity of evil delight that feeds the macabre monster, this, my friend, is your Christmas goose.
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on January 12, 2009
There comes a time in the "Holiday Season" when it all gets just a little cloying and maddening. Here's the antidote - "The Twelve Terrors of Christmas" - a delightfully clever and dark take on some of our most cherished traditions and unspoken fears. Kudos to Updike's witty and sightful prose and Gorey's perfectly rendered and suggestive drawings! A perfect stocking stuffer for those who need a break from the festivities (as well as curmudgeons everywhere).
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on November 27, 2008
The Twelve Terrors of Christmas--a delightful tongue-in-cheek revelation in 12 vignettes of the situations we mere mortals find ourselves while seeking the perfect, unblemished holiday--has quickly become a holiday classic. It may be anti expectations but never anti Christmas. Twelve cheers for a true winner.
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on January 9, 2007
This was a stocking stuffer that everyone in this all adult family loved. I have shown it to three neighbors who also thought it was great. How can you go wrong with John Updike and Edward Gorey?
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on January 15, 2009
This book is an utter delight! It had me laughing out loud! I am a HUGE fan of Edward Gorey and when I saw a brief review of this I knew I had to have it. It's perfect for any of us Grinchy or Scroogey types who have seen the absurdity of buying gifts for people who literally have everything (let's face it Christmas is for kids and that's what makes Christmas fun), so I recommend it for anyone who feels the whole Christmas thing is a bit forced.
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on January 8, 2015
If you like Edward Gorey, you'll like this book. Updike and Gorey make a good combination, with the cynical text offset by the slightly creepy drawings. Four stars, because I've seen better by both Gorey and Updike , but definitely a book I'm glad I added to my small, but dedicated collection of the darker side of Christmas. ;)
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on June 7, 2013
Christmas is an unsettling time -- and now I know why. Only John Updike and Edward Gorey could bring to light the true terror of what is considered by many as the "happiest" holiday of the year.

The illustrations are the reason I purchased the book, and I was not disappointed.

It's a quick read, and sure to be a holiday favorite. Insert a little fear and macabre into your tinsel-strewn home with this book. You'll be glad you did.
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on January 9, 2016
 If you're looking for a way to feel grim on a holiday, this book might just help out. The text describes various holiday scenarios and flips the script, incorporating sarcasm and dark undertones. The art work is typical Gorey which often times works better without the text! Still a must for Gorey collectors.
If you like this style of book then you might also enjoy a fairytale about a little girl and a haunted house: The Stumps of Flattop Hill
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