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A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film Hardcover – October 28, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
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From the Inside Flap
The holiday film "A Christmas Story, first released in 1983, has become a bona fide Christmas perennial, gaining in stature and fame with each succeeding year. Its affectionate, wacky, and wryly realistic portrayal of an American family's typical Christmas joys and travails in small-town Depression-era Indiana has entered our imagination and our hearts with a force equal to "It's a Wonderful Life and "Miracle on 34th Street.
This edition of "A Christmas Story gathers together in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. Here is young Ralphie Parker's shocking discovery that his decoder ring is really a device to promote Ovaltine; his mother and father's pitched battle over the fate of a lascivious leg lamp; the unleashed and unnerving savagery of Ralphie's duel in the show with the odious bullies Scut Farkas and Grover Dill; and, most crucially, Ralphie's unstoppable campaign to get Santa--or anyone else--to give him a Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle. Who cares that the whole adult world is telling him, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid"?
The pieces that comprise "A Christmas Story, previously published in the larger collections "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and "Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories, coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.
Top Customer Reviews
Fans of the movie A CHRISTMAS STORY, will relish in almost the exact likeness between the movie and the short stories featured in this collection. You will find yourself laughing out loud numerous times as you read about Ralphie's crazy family life, including his Old Man, Mother, younger brother, friends, family, and neighbors. A must-have this holiday season for all fans of the movie.
While all of the stories themselves didn't actually take place during Christmas, they were all woven together to make the film. Read about Ralphies quest for the Red Ryder BB gun, about the battle with bully Grover Dill, the "Old Man" winning the leg lamp, an more.
Five stories in all in this light, but funny book. It's interesting to see how the the stories were all incorporated into the movie and Shepherd himself was on the set making sure the director stayed very close to the spirit of his work.
Three Stars: for this specific publishing
Three/Four/Five Stars: for Jean Shepherd's short stories (it depends on the story)
I love the movie "A Christmas Story," and I can relate to much of Jean Shepard's writings, however, if you are looking to buy this particular book expecting it to closely parallel the movie, you may want to consider buying "In God We Trust - All Others Pay Cash".
First, the book you are looking at right now starts off with "Duel In The Snow, or Red Ryder Nails The Cleveland Street Kid," which is the story centering around Ralphie's quest for the Red Ryder bb gun, which is the core of the movie. The rest of the book has the stories about the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, the tale of the Leg Lamp, and an expose on the Bumpuses.
If you expect the movie from this book, be aware that there nothing about the 'tongue on the pole' dare, which I would bet is a lot of people's favorite bit from the movie. Indeed, Schwartz and Flick are basically mentioned in passing.
When talking about movies adapted from novels and short stories, people often bemoan the fact that 'the book was better'.
In this case, I beg to differ - even though there would have been no movie without Jean Shepherd's short stories, I still think the movie was superior to the stories, at least on the 'warm and fuzzy' level. Sure, the Old Man pulled through for Ralphie in the written story, but the film perfectly captures a father's love for his son when Darren McGavin watches as Peter Billingsley eagerly rips the wrapping off his prized gift.
Anyway, short of reading the script for the movie, if you want to read the Jean Shepherd source material, I would recommend getting "In God We Trust - All Others Pay Cash". It contains the Red Ryder and Leg Lamp tales, plus a bunch of other funny stuff.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty cool the way the way they took the individual stories and made an incredible movie!Published 1 month ago by Angel Maldonado
Jean Shepherd's stories will make you smile or laugh out loud. This collection contains the source material which was adapted into the movie "A Christmas Story", along... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Patrick J. Southam
This title is a small sample of the output of the Hammond Indiana humorist.
You may wish to stay close to your search engine in order to look up the now dated pop... Read more
The stories in this book are even better than the movie!Published 5 months ago by Mary J. Mccorts Blaine
This is not a true novel but a collection of stories from other works put together to form the stories that eventually became the classic "A Christmas Story". Read morePublished 5 months ago by K Mac
I love the movie and the book is just as great.
I was surprised that the book was the same as the movie but everything happened in different order. Read more
if you love the movie you will love the book ...an expansion on the content in the movie in so many ways ......5 stars 'nuff said !Published 5 months ago by Mary Gellott