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A Christmas Story Audiobook

A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film

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Publisher's Summary

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 audio production 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 snow 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.

© Jean Shepherd; (P)2004 Random House Inc. Random House Audio, a divison of Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    1/2DHsquared 01-31-13 Member Since 2013

    hale_and_hardy

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    "Much more to it than the film ever showed"

    I didn't like the film, and was surprised that the book had a lot more in it than what was in the movie. An interesting listen for any time of year.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla Hermantown, MN, United States 01-14-13
    Carla Hermantown, MN, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great beginning"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    We listened to this book during out holiday travels. The beginning was funny, but drug on from the midpoint on.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jean Shepherd again?

    yes.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    when he shot the BB gun.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I was expecting the whole book to be funny after having heard so much about the movie. I was disappointed in the last half of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-08-13 Member Since 2011

    JB

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    "Great listen at Christmas time"

    I was born in N Indiana, and moved when I was 7. I often wondered why my parents were the way they were. I understand them better now. BBs do not always hit the eye. I do remember wearing knickers on the way to school.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Lynne Jarvis Ozark, MO United States 01-08-13
    Mary Lynne Jarvis Ozark, MO United States 01-08-13
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    "Pretty much what one would expect"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I have never been an aficionado of the movie, but wanted to hear the book to see whether maybe I was missing something. It was okay, but I don't want to listen twice. I would neither recommend nor discourage a friend to read the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WK WEST LAKE HILLS, TEXAS, United States 01-07-13
    WK WEST LAKE HILLS, TEXAS, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2011
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    6
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    Story
    "Many laughs for Christmas."
    Would you listen to A Christmas Story again? Why?

    Perhaps next Chritmas would be a good time to hear it again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ralphie is the central character, of course; but the "old man" steals a lot of scenes.


    Have you listened to any of Dick Cavett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I had not heard Cavett before on Audible. He did a good job, but Jean Shepherd's narration in the movie is hard to beat.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but I like to spread Audible books out over a few days.


    Any additional comments?

    It's hard to stop smiling (or laughing out loud) from start to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Bloomington, IN, United States 12-31-12
    Mary Bloomington, IN, United States 12-31-12 Member Since 2013
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    "I think I'd still enjoy the movie more..."

    If I had read the book, first, then saw the movie, I do think I'd enjoy the movie more. I found this book more interesting in an academic sort of way. I liked how Ralphy found the Ovaltine can, and it was neat to find out what sent him down Memory Lane to childhood Christmases. But I found the narration not what I expected.

    The events happened in a very different order as well. I thought I'd be anticipating that Ralphy would get the BB gun at the end of the book and was sort of disappointed when it happened closer to the beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Campbellford, ON, Canada 12-24-12
    Pat Campbellford, ON, Canada 12-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "If you loved the movie you will like this."

    I have watched the movie every year but this is the first book rendition encountered. A little surprising to find the book spanned a few of the seasons as compared to the movies Christmas time only. The movie combined the entire book into the Christmas Season except for a few details of the Bumbus clan and added a few things for entertainment value. I enjoyed the narration and sound effects included, enabling good visualization of the stories settings and characters. Anyone over 40 should be able to relate to the Old Man, Ralphie and the rest of the characters including the antics of the Old Man during this depression era period.
    Appealing to all ages who have had dreams, wishes and childhood memories, you can relate to Ralphies trials and tribulations of kid dom, no matter what era you grew up in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason G. Taylor Flowery Branch, GA USA 12-18-12
    Jason G. Taylor Flowery Branch, GA USA 12-18-12 Member Since 2012

    photogeek

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    "Random, but fun collection of stories"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, but only to those not easily offended by profanity.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The book is a collection of short stories, so there wasn't a grand finale.


    What does Dick Cavett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Dick has a gruff voice that takes a little bit of time to start to enjoy -- however, he voice does grow on you. The reading has background sound effect and intro music -- which does help add to the performance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Each of the stories had their own charms. The famous "leg lamp" story and the "Easter ham" are my favorites.


    Any additional comments?

    The stories are just a random collection of short recollections that have very little to do with Christmas, with the exception of the BB-gun story. I actually like the movie better -- it somehow takes most of these stories and puts them in a related order leading up to the climax of the BB-gun story finale. Also, the movie is family friendly -- but this book is laced with plenty of profanity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Libby SANDY, OR, United States 01-16-12
    Libby SANDY, OR, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A Christmas Story Doesn't Disappoint"

    These stories are familiar to anyone who loves the movie of "A Christmas Story", but what's really great about the audio book is that we find out a lot of back story for the characters and situations that were combined for the screenplay to make a 2-hour movie. Some of the original stories take place at times other than Christmas, but the screenwriter did a great job picking situations that could fit into the Christmastime storyline and adapting them; hearing them more fleshed-out enriched our memory of the movie. The long story about the Bumpasses was really fun and rather un-PC. We learn more about the background of the Dad and how he won the Major Award. It was exactly the right length for a drive down from Seattle to Portland on Christmas Day (3 hrs, 20 m), so it was perfect for us. We really enjoyed hearing it and we could run the movie in our heads. Although it's too bad there was no recording of Jean Shepherd reading it, Dick Cavett was a very good substitute.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 01-02-12
    Lisa 01-02-12
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    "A great adult Christmas read"
    If you could sum up A Christmas Story in three words, what would they be?

    Funny - heart-warming - characters you can identify with


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Christmas Story?

    the famous leg lamp, of course


    What about Dick Cavett’s performance did you like?

    He really helps the story come to life; you can clearly picture each scene.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Laugh


    Any additional comments?

    If you like the movie you'll love the book!...there is some language so not appropriate for little ears.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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