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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 Ratings

Overall

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A Christmas Story

as memorable as the movie. as good as I hoped it would be. dick cavett is one of the better narrarators I've listened to. nice length.

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a great story. I laughed all the way through.

perfect narrative. It was so good to get the whole store of the family we have come to love at Christmas time.

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Charming just like the movie!

I thought this book was extremely charming and very very similar to the term in the movie version. As I own a small DVD player (no television) and did not have a DVD of this book I thought I would give the audiobook a listen. When I told my mom about the audiobook of her favorite Christmas movie she responded, "Jean Shepherd is a good writer and you will most likely enjoy it!" I have to admit that my mother was correct. I found the added sound effects really increased the charm of the story and made it feel like you were listening to an old time radio broadcast. I thought the narration was spot on. I plan on listing to this book again during the next holiday season and starting a new tradition!

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  • Debbie
  • Gloucester, VA, United States
  • 12-28-15

Enjoyed the Audiobook, but prefer the film

If you could sum up A Christmas Story in three words, what would they be?

Fun, Familiar and Enjoyable

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

The pack of dogs taking the ham right off the table, especially after the description of the long process to prepare.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I was happy to find many aspects of the film were accurate in the book version, though not in exact sequence. Dick Cavett , as great as his voice is, may not have been the top choice for the narration.

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

Sure, it was not that long and I did enjoy it.

Any additional comments?

As other reviews and also touched upon in this one, if you are looking for the exact version you see in the film, you wont find it here but you will find enough that you can picture the same kids, adults, and many other scenes that will be easily identified. Read this with that in mind and it is still a fun story.

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A Christmas Story

Fantastic performance by Dick Cavett. Nice sound effects--not too loud or overpowering. The story isn't entirely about Christmas--more like a review of quirky family moments, and it's not exactly like the movie but very enjoyable nonetheless.

  • Overall

Different

Not bad but the story is VERY much different than the movie. I not aware its was soooo different.

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Not as good as the movie, by any means

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

For many people, Christmas isn't Christmas unless you sit down to watch the "A Christmas Story" on TBS on Christmas Eve. We all know the classic lines: "You'll shoot your eye out, kid." "Oh, fuuuddgge!" "He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny!" "I triple-DOG dare ya!" You might be surprised that only one of these phrases actually came from this book.<br/><br/>The book, like the movie, is the quintessential look at life in Depression-era Upper Midwest America. Back before the internet invaded our lives, back before satellite/cable TV, heck, even before black-and-white-rabbit-ears TV, the primary means of entertainment was radio, which people listened to every evening: Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, and Red Ryder. I don't have to explain the overwhelming desire that Ralphy has for the Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle, all because of this radio show.<br/><br/>It might surprise many that the book has little in common with the Christmas movie. The book moves through five interrelated stories, starting with the BB gun story, and progressing through the months after Christmas, ending with the Bumpus Hounds stealing the EASTER ham and the family going to the "Chop Suey place" for their Easter dinner. Kind of a letdown. Shepherd wrote the screenplay to the movie, and he incorporated the stories of the secret decoder ring, the leg lamp, the bully, the Bumpus hounds, and of course, the Red Ryder BB gun, into a coherent and sensible script. I'm glad he wrote it this way; it makes for a much better Christmas tradition and taste of Americana.<br/><br/>The narration by Dick Cavett was pretty good, but there were instances in which his voice was simply overwhelmed by the sound effects. Yes, sound effects. Christmas carols, jingling bells, hounds baying, the kitchen sink gurgling, all of it got in the way. At first, it was cute, but as the book progressed, the sound effects guy got carried away.<br/><br/>I really only recommend this book (and narration) for those that are interested in where the classic Christmas movie originated. This is one of those very rare cases in which I can say, the movie is better than the book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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loved hearing this wonderful story again!

this is a must listen for me during the holidays, much like watching the movie version, rudolph, elf. a feel good story with more tales than the movie.

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  • K. L.
  • minnesota
  • 11-04-15

Review of A Christmas Story

This is a short audible book for about three hours of listening. It was very entertaining!! the reader did an excellent job telling the story!! The story itself entertained me immensely!! I thought it was fun to hear this original story that the movie is based on. The movie is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Enjoy!!

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Captivating writing and narration. Wonderful!

Jean Shepherd's writing has to be experienced to be believed. I couldn't imagine a better narrator for A Christmas Story than Dick Cavett. He captures the spirit of the tale perfectly. The other short stories in the collection are very good, as well, although none rises to the level of A Christmas Story. A truly inspired tale, every bit as charming as A Christmas Carol.