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Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters

4.6 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Dell Pub Co (January 1, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440190452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440190455
  • ASIN: B001KV4H70
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you only know Jean Shepherd from the television film that ebodies three or four of his stories (A Christmas Story), you know that his take on youth, the vagaries of circumstance, the whole process of growing up, supporting a family, simply living, is skewed, and occasionally skewered by a delicious sense of humor.

If you were lucky enough to be raised in the Greater New York City Metro area and its suburbs, then you will remember Shep's story telling, nightly, on Radio Station WOR, over whose airwaves he spun tale after tale of Ralphie, Randy, their beleagured parents, Schwartz, Flick, Scut Farkas, and the others who inhabited Depression-era middle America; you know his army experiences; you relived his skirmishes with arrogance and foolishness on the streets of New York City; above all, you knew Shep. And you loved him.
His apparently easy off-the-cuff style is, of course, anything but. His written words are fashioned with consummate skill and craft. His intuition into the building of a narrative fictional event is nonpareil. His brilliance with the carefully chosen metaphor, sentence, word, glints off every facet of his gemlike contributions to American letters. He was a terrific writer. It's that simple, but because he did not write gut-squeezing Major Literary Stuff, he will be, unfortunately, forgotten.

But not to his devotees. His stories in 'Wanda Hickey...' will force you to put down the book and laugh long, hard, and uncontrollably. His understanding of the gentleness and fragility of the human spirit comes through his stories like the sweet homey smell of your grandfather's pipe smoke wafting up to your bedroom when you are beginning to dream. Shep makes you appreciate what he was, what you were, what you are just because he chose to be a writer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have some advice for all you readers. With the dawn of the Internet sometimes we cast our books aside and spend more time playing around on the computer than we need to. I found myself neglecting books I wanted to read. Mr. Shepherd is a bit older than I am, so I can't relate to the years or events that he spoke of totally. He talks about childhood and teenage memories, and I found that with a little updating we can all relate to at least some of what he went through growing up. First, try turning off some of the brainless night-time shows and leaving the computer off a few evenings, so you can rediscover all books. Second, pick up this gem by Jean Shepherd. A few pages into it, and I laughed until I was almost in tears. I did this alot throughout the book. This book of memories left behind by Mr. Shepherd is a real treat! Thank you.
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Format: Paperback
When I was in college I used to read this book whenever I got depressed. It produced instant belly laughs when opened. My paper back copy actually wore out over the years. I had to keep taping it together or I would risk losing a page or two.
It relived depression better than Prozac.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
If you only know Jean Shepherd from the television film that ebodies three or four of his stories (A Christmas Story), you know that his take on youth, the vagaries of circumstance, the whole process of growing up, supporting a family, simply living, is skewed, and occasionally skewered by a delicious sense of humor.

If you were lucky enough to be raised in the Greater New York City Metro area and its suburbs, then you will remember Shep's story telling, nightly, on Radio Station WOR, over whose airwaves he spun tale after tale of Ralphie, Randy, their beleagured parents, Schwartz, Flick, Scut Farkas, and the others who inhabited Depression-era middle America; you know his army experiences; you relived his skirmishes with arrogance and foolishness on the streets of New York City; above all, you knew Shep. And you loved him.
His apparently easy off-the-cuff style is, of course, anything but. His written words are fashioned with consummate skill and craft. His intuition into the building of a narrative fictional event is nonpareil. His brilliance with the carefully chosen metaphor, sentence, word, glints off every facet of his gemlike contributions to American letters. He was a terrific writer. It's that simple, but because he did not write gut-squeezing Major Literary Stuff, he will be, unfortunately, forgotten.

But not to his devotees. His stories in 'Wanda Hickey...' will force you to put down the book and laugh long, hard, and uncontrollably. His understanding of the gentleness and fragility of the human spirit comes through his stories like the sweet homey smell of your grandfather's pipe smoke wafting up to your bedroom when you are beginning to dream. Shep makes you appreciate what he was, what you were, what you are just because he chose to be a writer.
Read more ›
1 Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the person who asked where Jean Shepherd is, he passed away just recently this year. There is another thing about him that has been bothering me for years: there was a TV movie or presentation or play, I don't know what you'd call it, I guess a "slice of life" vignette, in the late 60's or early 70's, called "Phantom of the Open Hearth" written by Shepherd, that had my siblings and me on the floor holding our sides when we were kids and just happened to catch it on a Sunday morning. It made "A Christmas Story" seem sobering, and basically concerned a man whose family watches him order and receive an entire house in kit form, which he proceeds to unload willy-nilly from the railroad car, as it begins to rain. That is all I remember, and I have been unable to locate or even verify the existence of it. Please, does anyone remember this little movie, or am I mis-remembering?
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