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Publisher's Summary

The heartwarming story that became the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life, now available in audio for the first time!

For almost 70 years, people the world over have fallen in love with Frank Capra’s classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life. But few of those fans know that Capra’s film was based on a short story by author Philip Van Doren Stern, which came to Stern in a dream one night.

Unable at first to find a publisher for his evocative tale about a man named George Pratt who ponders suicide until he receives an opportunity to see what the world would be like without him, Stern ultimately published the story in a small pamphlet and sent it out as his 1943 Christmas card. One of those 200 cards found its way into the hands of Frank Capra, who shared it with Jimmy Stewart, and the film that resulted became the holiday tradition we cherish today.

Now fans of It’s a Wonderful Life, or anyone who loves the spirit of Christmas, can own the story that started it all in a charming audio edition that’s perfect for holiday giving. It includes an Afterword by Stern’s daughter, Marguerite Stern Robinson, that tells the story of how her father’s Christmas card became the movie beloved by generations of people around the world.

©2014 Philip Van Doren Stern (P)2014 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story
  • Wendi
  • Oswego, IL, United States
  • 11-28-15

A must-read for any fan of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE

If you love learning about the story behind the story, this book is well worth the money (or credit). I only wish the story itself and the afterword (by the author's daughter) could have been longer!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 12-13-17

It's a Wonderful Life Primer

The story is good, even better is the afterward, when Marguerite Stern Robinson, the author's daughter, tells how the story came about, was finally published, discovered by Frank Capra and made into the movie. In a time in America when a feel-good story was greatly needed, when many people were feeling like George . . . downtrodden, a failure at life, and broken in spirit . . . along came this story. Don't miss it!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Change Your Life with "The Greatest Gift"

Would you listen to The Greatest Gift again? Why?

I listen to "The Greatest Gift" once a week--and often with a grandchild in my car.

Which character – as performed by Edward Herrmann – was your favorite?

Clarence

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

Absolutely

Any additional comments?

Make it a habit.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Hebern
  • Clinton, NC, United States
  • 12-30-15

Great for learning the story behind the movie

Any additional comments?

As a fan of It's A Wonderful Life, it was great to learn the story behind the movie. How the tale evolved and how the short story struggled to find an audience and eventually was made into one of the most popular movies of all-time.

  • Overall

fantastic

loved the movie and cherish this story. I didn't discover this u till I became a adult. but now this is a family tradition

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  • Lynn Culver
  • 09-24-17

Thought provoking

Amazing thought provoking book, I read this book at one of the most difficult and challenging times of my life it has helped me cope

Everyone should read this book

Lynn Culver
The Thrifty London Guide