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Hark: A Christmas Collection by [Justin Bog]

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Hark: A Christmas Collection Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


San Francisco Book Review:
  • Christmas is generally thought of as a time of year spent with family and friends celebrating good fortune, love, and giving. In Hark : A Christmas Collection by author Justin Bog, you will find six Christmas stories that do not follow the norm. Instead of stories geared towards children that can be read by the fire, this is a collection of unconventional Christmas stories that are meant for an adult audience and are heartfelt as well as thought provoking. In each of his six stories, Bog shares the tale of a different person or set of people and what Christmas has come to mean to them over the years. Not are all doom and gloom, nor are they all sugar plums and cookies; however, each will make readers think again about the meaning of Christmas.
  • Hark is a word that means "to listen," and it is a perfect title for Justin Bog's collection of Christmas stories. While not your typical Christmas story collection, Hark: A Christmas Collection offers the view and feelings towards the Christmas season from the perspective of several different people and how they carry this feeling from year to year. From anger, regret, longing, and hope, Bog has created a collection of stories that has the potential to do two things for his readers. Readers can come away from this book more thankful for the things that they are blessed with in their lives. They may also come away with this book with a new perspective about the people around them, both known and unknown, and what they may be going through during this holiday season. A 5-star holiday book that will open the minds, eyes, and hearts of those who are lucky enough to read it. Well done!
Reviewed By:  Amy Synoracki
  • Manhattan Book Review:
Hark: A Christmas Collection is not the traditional set of heartwarming holiday tales. Though our favorite holiday movies and songs on the radio tell us this time of year is cheerful, bright, and full of love, the reality is that it's not possible for everyone's holiday to be as holly jolly as the song suggests. This collection is an exploration into the perspectives of those people - the ones who are coping with loss, misery, hurt, and even problems as serious as homelessness and long-term illness during the "most wonderful time of the year." 

"Hark" follows the story of a former police officer who is left spinning his wheels; "Seducing Santa" explores the mind of a woman who wants something a little extra this Christmas; "Bracelet" follows an aging schoolteacher still mourning the death of her husband; "Everyone Wants Me To" depicts a violently dysfunctional family from three perspectives; "Snow Globe" portrays a man in transition stuck at an unbearable party; and "The Heralds" shows a couple whose bad news has recently been turned into good news, with a few extra consequences. 

Each character experiences a serious problem or setback but not in the cutesy, conveniently inconvenient trope of holiday "meet the family" films where everything ultimately turns out for the best. The problems of these characters aren't resolved in ninety minutes of screen time - these dark and personal demons, such as loss, alienation, and fear, persist even as one of the most joyous holiday seasons comes upon them. 

It's not all doom and gloom. The reality Bog has created for his characters is sometimes brutal, but his stories do not lack the whimsy and nostalgia that are ever-present in the Christmas season. The stories are peppered with humor: "Seducing Santa," for example, brings in a slinky, salacious tone that breaks up the melancholy of some of the other tales. 

The stories are flavored with the personalities and atmospheres of the many places Bog has spent time living and working - the University of Michigan and the Great Lakes, the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, and the San Juan Islands in Washington State, creating a uniquely American backdrop. 

The stories are short, highly readable, and entertaining in sheer variety. Bog's approach is a creative twist on the traditional Christmas story genre - one that captures the story of the many people in this world who undoubtedly do not have a picture-perfect Hollywood-ending Christmas, but who go on living, pushing ahead and hoping in spite of it.
Reviewed by Jackie Bussjaeger

About the Author

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island. Justin was Editor and Pop Culture Correspondent for In Classic Style. He is an experimental cook, a lawn mower, and master to two long coat German shepherds, Zippy and Kipling, and two barn cats, Ajax The Gray and Eartha Kitt’n. Find Justin at and on Facebook at Justin Bog. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01M2DMMFN
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ The Author's Advocate; 2nd edition (November 3, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 3, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 550 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage ‏ : ‎ Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 209 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 098547517X
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 28 ratings

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Justin Bog is a member of the ITW: International Thriller Writers

Justin Bog lives in the Pacific Northwest on Fidalgo Island, and author of psychological horror and suspense tales.

Wake Me Up won Foreword Silver INDIES Book Award for LGBT novels!

Wake Me Up won First Place Somerset Book Award!

Sandcastle and Other Stories was a Finalist for the Ohioana Book Awards 2014 and also named Best Suspense Anthology of 2013 by Suspense Magazine.

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
28 global ratings

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