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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A deserved classic, January 21, 2007
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This review is from: In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash (Paperback)
New York-based writer Ralph Parker is sent back to his hometown of Hohman, Indiana, to write an article about small-town life. Instead, he winds up in a bar run by a childhood friend, trading stories and reminiscing about what it was like to grow up in Hohman during the Great Depression, warts and all. Most of you are probably already familiar with at least parts of this book, even if you don't realize it. Several of the stories in this book were pieced together to make the script for the classic movie A Christmas Story. Those stories are just as entertaining here in their original form.

But in addition to the stories of the Red Ryder BB Gun, Ralphie's battle with the school bully, and the tale of the Old Man's still legendary Major Award, Jean Shepherd provides us with over a dozen other stories of life in Hohman -- the trip to the top of Magic Mountain, Ralph's attempt to impress his teacher by writing a book report on the biggest book he can find and the climactic tale of a movie theater promotion gone wrong all come together to make this a truly wonderful book. It isn't quite a novel, but more a collection of short stories with a framing sequence. It's clearly autobiographical, wonderfully satirical and at turns even a little heartwarming. This is the sort of book that really makes a writer's reputation, and it certainly elevated Shepherd to the status of one of the greatest satirists in American literature.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 14, 2011 4:10:55 PM PST
Although referred to as Hohman, Indiana in the text the town is actually named Hammond, Indiana. While "Hohman" is actually the City's downtown area. www.hhs59.com/hohman50s.htm (good photo resources on this town)
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