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I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas Hardcover – November 2, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vituperative standup comedian Black (Me of Little Faith) delivers a caustic Christmas diatribe. Warning readers to ignore the book if they have a deep attachment to Christmastime, he notes, "This book contains, like the celebration of Christmas, only 2 percent religion. Think of it as the yuletide equivalent of low-fat milk." After recalling how he argued with the editor who urged him to write a Christmas book, Black delivers a full-scale Scrooge-styled screed. With chapters such as "Meditations of a Jewish Santa," "The Hooker at Rockefeller Center," and "The Carol from Hell," he rips into such seasonal traditions as Christmas cards, dinners, toys, advertising ("a primal scream of sales"), shopping ("Why don't you folks wait until the 26th of December when things are the cheapest?"), trees ("something magical about a Christmas tree all dazzled up in lights... almost as breathtaking as a hooker gone wild in spangles"), carols ("A shower is a place for singing, and on Christmas, it's where you should be caroling"), and gifts: "At Chanukah we get nothing. We don't even get stockings." With digressions on the human comedy and his personal life, Black spews forth much invective, but successfully exposes societal truths with riotous ripostes. (Nov.) (c)
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Review

"[With] plenty of Black's trademark rants."
New York magazine

"[A] sweet and surprising take on the yuletide season."
USA Today

"Riotous."
Publishers Weekly

"That's some endearing sh*t there."
—Punchline Magazine --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books; First Edition edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594487758
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594487750
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If are a fan a Lewis Black, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Unlike his classic "Me Of Little Faith" (which ranks in my top 5 of all-time) -- Black Christmas offers a very personal side to Lewis with of course a mix of his impression on the yuletide season. It's a fast read, it is extremely funny in spots but most of all -- the reader gets a glimpse of the real Lewis Black.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Lewis Black but this book is not one of his best efforts. I try to read one or two of his books a year and this comes off more as a contractual obligation to me. He's done some really terrific writing but this isn't up to his usual standards. Still worth a read however if you enjoy Mr. Black.
He better start writing again as I've about run out of his books. ;-)

Me of Little Faith is by far and away one of the best books he's written. Not simply because it's funny but more because it gives you some insight into how the man thinks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lewis Black is the popular comedian who appears on The Daily Show; he has also done specials such as Surviving the Holidays with Lewis Black.

He prefaces this 2010 book by saying, "I want you to know that for those of you who have a deep attachment to the season that runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas, or an emotional connection to stores that sell Christmas stuff all year round, don't read this book... This book has nothing to do with you, or with those of you for whom this holiday is one of the cornerstones you rest your life on. You'll just make harrumphy noises when you read it. You won't laugh. And you'll end up hating me. I don't need that. This book is really for the rest of us." (Pg. 9)

Noting that he is Jewish, he states, "I may have been brought into Christian households to celebrate the festivities, but I am not a part of them. Christians don't seem to get it why [Jewish people] don't just embrace Christmas. Well, it's because WE DON'T BUY THE STORY! We don't believe a special infant was born and that he was the Son of God, and that story is the reason all of you Christians aren't Jews. So we are put off a little by all of the hoopla, which is perfectly understandable when you people do it, but it still makes us cringe a little." (Pg. 17-18)

He says, "I admit that there is something magical about a Christmas tree dazzled up in lights... It gets to me. Maybe it's just that having a Christmas tree makes a living room just a little cozier. But I think it goes deeper than that. Maybe it's the sense of rebirth that the lights give to a very dead (or very artificial) tree.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Believe it or not, Lewis is actually a happy guy. He expounds upon his anger on stage, and multiplies it for us to laugh. This book is proof. Not to say he's not funny anymore (he still is), but this rare (ok, since it's published, it's not really rare) look into his personal life. He frets about not having kids to further his genealogy into the unknown, and the sad tale of his ex-wife (!) who strung him along thinking he actually HAD a kid!

But Christmas, whether we like it or not, "has become a beast that cannot be fed." And I join his grumblings about how much of the calendar it's eaten up (hear it on "Anticipation"), and how people go insane on Black Friday. I could go on, but if you read the book, you might convert too ;-)

Regarding his USO tour with Lance Armstrong, he had this to say when he stopped in DeKalb IL a short while ago: Lance is a pr*ck, end of story. I'm summarising, of course, but you get the gist of it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lewis Black, I'll have to admit, isn't for everybody. He can nettle your nerves, if you let him. For me, he's right on. I love his sarcasm, and the way he presents each of his reactions to everything. He's one of the best at good, digging sarcasm, and I enjoy him to the max.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You're either a Louis Black fan or you don't get it. He's funny but also lampoons the system of politics and current events. A man of many talents, he speaks his mind no holding back. Read one book or watch one of his live DVDs and you'll want more. That is if you don't have your head up your butt
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Format: Paperback
For those expecting Lewis Black's take on the Christmas holiday filled with the rage that usually billows from this mouth, you may be disappointed. More than anything, this is a travelogue of Christmas Day for Black. There is nothing wrong with this presentation as it is wildly entertaining. On the other hand, it is not a "Black Christmas" so much as "Black's Christmas".

From the opening pages, readers will follow the author as he is convinced to write this book. Because the author is Jewish, the perspective is unique. Appropriately, the story begins with Black's apathy for Thanksgiving and continues the momentum until he reaches Christmas day. Wonderful meals fill the void in the life of a man without children of his own. Any why buy presents? This makes more sense than anything the author says in the book, which is not to say everything else is nonsense. Non-traditional families are documented as celebrating the holiday as well as any Christmas card picture.

The final pages follow Black's moving experience as he visits the troops in Iraq during the holiday season. First, it proves that you need not support the war to support the troops. Second, it seems it is in these pages that Black accidently catches a bit of the Christmas spirit.
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