Santa Claus, my dear old friend, you are a thief, a traitor, a slanderer, a murderer, a liar, but worst of all you are a mockery of everything for which I stood. You have sung your last ho, ho, ho, for I am coming for your head.... I am coming to take back what is mine, to take back Yuletide....
The author and artist of The Child Thief returns with a modern fabulist tale of Krampus, the Lord of Yule and the dark enemy of Santa Claus.
One Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward, taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets back to earth, a magical sack that thrusts the down-on-his-luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become blurred as Jesse's new master reveals many dark secrets about the cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, including how half a millennium ago the jolly old saint imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic.
Now Santa's time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the chance to redeem himself in his family's eyes, to save his own broken dreams... and to help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished folk of Boone County.
©2012 Gerald Brom (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
His overall being
His kindness for the wolfs
His performance of Santa
Krampus of course!! How often would I get to go out to dinner with the Yule Lord?
I have heard of Yule tidings along with bits and pieces of this mythology, but never knew it could be this interesting. I live in Tennessee, born and raised. When the story started, I thought I made a mistake with the "hillbilly" slag. But after the first few chapters, the storyline started blending in with mythology, history of Christmas and everyone's present day understanding of "Santa Claus". Anyway, very interesting twist! You better bet, I will be leaving my offering in my shoes on my front deck this Christmas. And my kids? They better be good or Krampus could come and put them in his sack and beat them with a stick!
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. There are some pretty obvious parallels though I didn't really like American Gods - I think Krampus is a much more likeable guy.
The party at the bar. If only Christmas were like that! We'd have a lot less suicides.
Excellent narration, in particular Krampus' voice is perfect - worthy of an award!
The intermixing of multiple lines of differing opinions regarding the main character's motives. This is a book where the majority of characters are viewed as antagonists by some participants, but protagonists by themselves.
I loved the performer's voice acting of the Yule Lord's voice. You really got the feeling he was in a different character state of mind when voicing Krampus.
The story is very well written, and draws on less well known myths. The idea that Santa has an archenemy is fascinating. With that said this book is one of the most violent works of fiction I have ever read in my life. Krampus himself is a twisted being, and the desire to kill Santa is dark. If that doesn't bother you too much then I strongly recommend this book.
Audio narration = 5++ Kirby Heyborne does such a phenomenal job narrating this story that I would say that it was probably what I enjoyed most about the book. He brought these characters to life in such a way that I thought there were several different narrators and was surprised to find that this was not the case. I wasn't surprised to find that Heyborne also narrated parts of Cloud Atlas which was also done brilliantly. I look forward to enjoying more audio books with this narrator.
I am almost sad to say that I didn't enjoy Krampus as much as I thought I would. I loved Brom's retelling of Peter Pan in The Child Thief so much that I was anticipating the same kind of dark and disturbing storytelling in this story about a Christmas demon. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't by any means a fun, happy story, it just didn't have that element of creepiness that I expect from this author or that I anticipated with this particular subject matter. How can a story about a Christmas demon known for dragging naughty children off to Hell be anything less than terrifying? Unfortunately, there is a way.
The images of Krampus seem pretty terrifying but for some reason this story presented him as far less than intimidating, and even a little ridiculous at times with all too human-like flaws. Since Krampus is said to carry naughty children off to hell, I thought he would be a bit more imposing with less obvious weaknesses of character. There were definitely some bloody & violent moments involving The Yule Lord but I didn't find him believable as a God or descendant of Loki. Also, the background of the conflict between him and Santa was a little confusing at times, especially near the end. The way this story was resolved was even more baffling. However, an afterword explains a lot of the mythology that the author used to inspire parts of the book and does actually answer some questions.
While several aspects of this book left me less than satisfied, many others I really enjoyed. For example, exploring the origins of the Santa Claus and Krampus mythology and their relationships to the Gods Odin and Loki. I am always fascinated by the way many pagan rituals have been absorbed into Christian celebrations and I enjoyed reading about how that applied to Santa and Krampus' legends. There was also some wicked humor interspersed throughout that I found genuinely entertaining. Those moments when Krampus was attempting to function in today's world was at times amusing and at other times just sad. I would have liked to have seen this explored a bit more.
One of my favorite things about Krampus- The Yule Lord was the main character Jesse. I don't know how many of you watch the TV show "Breaking Bad" but there is also a character named Jesse in that show who consistently makes all the wrong decisions and isn't very likable but somehow has some endearing quality that makes you root for him all the same. Jesse in this novel was much the same and so, in my mind, this is who I saw playing this tale out. This and the incredible audio narration were, in my opinion, this books best qualities. But while I loved Jesse's character, sometimes I felt like what was going on with him overshadowed Krampus' story and I was left wanting more from both.
Overall, Krampus is a story I would recommend, especially for the Christmas/Yule season. There is a lot going on in this story; violence, mayhem, mythology, gods, goats, magic, thugs, domestic violence, murder, and belsnickels. You definitely won't be bored. If you are thinking of reading this, I HIGHLY recommend the audio, it is one of the best narrations I've ever listened to.
Rating - 3
Very interesting Christmas read! Not the book version of last years movie....Dark, fantastical, engrossing, but also laugh out loud funny at times. Very possible in a many ways...It will have you wondering if Krampus isn't so bad....and just how Santa came to possess so much magic. This narrator is right up there with the ranks of R.C. Bray and Duke Fontaine.
No. This book is full of potentially interesting characters that are either inconsistent, making decisions that are inexplicable or against any sort of nature that has been established for them, or they vacillate so wildly in their extremes that they are impossible to follow, let alone feel compassion for or any connection to. The premise is solid, I would say quite interesting actually, but the attempt at creating complexity in the characters comes off as creating a wild array of caricatures that are all equally off putting because they all suffer from ADD. I understand that the desire for depth is great and is a worthy goal, but depth and believably are not the same as inconsistency.
Probably not. I might give another book a try, but if the prose is similar I likely wont finish it. I had a hard time making it through this one, but I made it. Thats not the way I like to think of my book reading experiences.
Jesse, the main character was performed quite well. Mr Hayborne is a solid narrator and has a very good style that fits well with this book. He only occasionally falls out of character or runs into a character that he lacks the range for. I have enjoyed his work on other books and see his name attached to a project as a plus.
Yes, it already feels like a Hollywood production. I dont see specific actors or actresses being these characters though.
So engaging and very well written. So many feels for Krampus. Will definitely be revisiting Brom's other works!! I'm sold.
I was pleasantly surprised. A good story and fun read with an academic twist. Nice ending to a grisly tale.
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