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.
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.
Yes, but only to those not easily offended by profanity.
The book is a collection of short stories, so there wasn't a grand finale.
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.
Each of the stories had their own charms. The famous "leg lamp" story and the "Easter ham" are my favorites.
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.
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.
Funny - heart-warming - characters you can identify with
the famous leg lamp, of course
He really helps the story come to life; you can clearly picture each scene.
If you like the movie you'll love the book!...there is some language so not appropriate for little ears.
A classic. If you liked the movie, you will love this audiobook. Dick Cavett seemed, at first, to be an odd choice, but he does a marvelous job. Highly recommended!
This is a great listen. It is not the movie, but the performance by Dick Cavett is destined to be a legend in "kiddom." The subtle sound effects add a dimension to this that will delight both young and old. The book is a group of short stories that cover several types of special occasions; the "dogs stealing the holiday meal" incident is much funny in the book. Jean Shepherd is a superb writer. At 3 hours it makes a great Christmas Eve listen. Turn off the TV and the lights and listen while your own family Holiday magic surrounds you.
The book is a group of short stories so you don't have to listen to them all and you don't have to listen to them in order. The "Red Rider BB Gun Story," is first.
I found this gave me a greater appreciation for the film because the essence of each story is wove into one story in the film. I use it when teaching adaptation in my screenwriting classes because it's so well done.
Listen to a sample and I know you'll want to download it.
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