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Claus: Legend of the Fat Man (Claus #1)

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  556 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Some legends are forged in fire.
Others are born in snow.

In the early 1800s, Nicholas, Jessica and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole and stumble upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age. They are short, fat and hairy. They slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean.

The elven ar
Kindle Edition, 1, 329 pages
Published July 20th 2012 (first published June 19th 2012)
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The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Elves by David ShockleyRudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Shook HazenIt's Not about You Mr. Santa Claus by Soraya Diase CoffeltLetters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nick
15th out of 47 books — 75 voters
The Golden Compass by Philip PullmanThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottWuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Winter Reads
154th out of 393 books — 351 voters

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Community Reviews

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4 Stars for this Bone-Freezing yet Heartwarming Book.

Nearly freeze my butt off reading this one. Felt like I have just gone through sub-zero in the North Pole. I was effectively transported to the Arctic experiencing blinding white snow and bone-deep chills. Besides that the reindeer rides almost ripped my poor acrophobic heart out. No amount of preparation could have calm my heart enough for such a rough ride. The World's Top Rollercoaster ride would simply be kiddie rides in comparison.

The st
This was a wonderful YA novel about the origin of Santa Claus. Take the myth, mix it with some reality, a dash of fantasy, a splash of SF & we wind up with a fun romp. I'd love to see this made into a cartoon or something like the claymation Rudolf that we used to watch every year. It's seriously that much fun & good.
Tony Bertauski
May 18, 2015 Tony Bertauski added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Get 3 full-length novels and 1 novella…Just tell me where to send them.
The author sent me a copy of this book for review, although I almost wish he hadn’t. People might assume that skewed this review in his favor. Little secret — I was going to buy it anyway. (Sorry, Mr. Bertauski) I had recently discovered this author on my own after downloading The Annihilation of Foreverland on Amazon. I loved that book enough that this one was already on my reading list. Add in the embarrassing fact that I am the ultimate Christmas geek — we’re the house on the block that blows ...more
We have all grown up with stories of Christmas, of Santa coming to give us treats at the dead of the night, Rudolph's nose leading the way - but how many of us have seen, or read about the evolution of this legend?

Tony Bertauski's novel gives a whole new take on the children's fantasy. And I loved it!

The main theme
The Santa family, consisting of Nick Santa, his wife Jessica and their son Jon are left to die in the frigid temperatures of the North Pole. They have little hope left, and they only w
Christmas is one of my two favorite holidays and I am always looking for a good Christmas book to read in December. Last December I found this one. I especially like ones that are different than the norm and this one is definitely that.

It has tons of action, the good brother vs the bad brother (when done right, it can never get old), highs and lows - there were several times that I actually caught myself holding my breath as I read, worried about what was going to happen next.

And the story beh
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a review. It didn't influence my opinion either way.

I've thought all afternoon about how to start this review and I guess the best way is wow.

My first exposure to this author was by reading The Annihilation of Foreverland and when I started this one I kind of expected similarities. I didn't get any. I mean, sure, they were both sci-fi. But that's about where the similarities ended.

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man takes famil
Sherry Fundin
At the North Pole, Nicholas couldn't believe the Inuits had left them, taking all their gear and food. He left Jessica and Jon in the tent and went to investigate their disappearance. He had tied a rope around himself so he could find his way back. When it wrapped around his feet and tripped him, he realized it had been cut. He turned to walk back and fell through the ice.

Back at the tent, Jessica reeled in the empty line. When she stuck her head out of the tent to see if she could catch a glimp
Donald Armfield
Two twin brothers born minutes apart grow together but one is different "cold" as in cold hearted. As Jack grows he is picked on by others even his own brother. They go their separate ways.

Nicolas Santa and his wife are on a voyage in the Arctic regions near the north pole when a horrible storm tears them apart. The search for their warm embrace to be together once again.

A race called Elven are found they are hundreds of years old they are short little people with beards. With their help will hu
Susan Hawthorne
Nov 19, 2012 Susan Hawthorne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Susan by: Tony Bertauski
I discovered Tony Bertauski and his books when I stumbled over The Annihilation of Foreverland and read it. That was a very interesting book so I gave a review. Mr Bertauski then asked me if I would care to read Claus: Legend of the Fat Man.

I was quite happy to take him up on that offer :) I'd like to mention I only review books I REALLY like and having enjoyed Foreverland I assumed this would be similar and as enjoyable.

What I wasn't expecting was such a completely different book! It's a whol
Think you know all about Santa Claus, or Father Christmas, or the elves? Well, think again. Tony Bartauski creates a whole new myth for the modern age out of elements of the old. All the usual suspects are there—Santa, Jack Frost, the reindeer and more. But the story’s filled with a satisfying sense of intrigue, gentle touches of history and science, wry humor, and a message for the ages, pleasingly tooled for the adults and children of today.

“Magic is what you call something you don’t understan
Claire Robinson
Wow what a change from the usual Father Christmas stories that we all know and love. I have to admit what interested me about this book was the synopsis and how it was totally different from the usual and legendary stories that we all know and love.

Nick and his family are left to die in the North Pole, however their story does not end there, and we are taken on the adventure, and believe me it is definitely an adventure you will want to go on.

The reader is given a completely different take on th
Jane McBride
If you have stopped believing in Santa simply because the whole thing is just too incredible, then this is the book for you. After all, how on earth could the little fat man get around the world in one night, able to reach every kid? If you're one of those people who needs scientific proof of everything, then, here you go! Well written, fabulous tale of a guy in 1818 (your average, ordinary warmblood) who goes on an amazing adventure with his wife and son-to find the North Pole. That story alone ...more
Donald Hoffman
A wonderfully original take on the origin of Santa Claus! Mr. Bertauski knows how to bring life to his characters and make you care about how they are doing. This story takes all the Santa lore of old, mixes it up with scientific explanations for most of the phenomena and spits out one of the best Santa stories I have ever read. We now know how Santa is able to see every child in the world in a single night, how all the stuff fits into his sack, how he is able to squeeze into chimneys, why we pu ...more
What a fascinatingly odd interpretation of how Santa Claus came to be. The era is set in the 1800's for us warmbloods, however, the elven are technically advanced, comparable to today's technology. The elven are advanced in tech, but everything else about them comes across somewhat old fashioned. So, when Jack speaks phrases such as "Yea Baby!" it brought me out of the story to think "what the heck?". For that, I - liked - the book, otherwise I would have given this 4 stars.

Lots of referencing t
I would like to thank the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.

A new take on our beloved jolly fat man, Santa Claus, the legends that have made him what he is in our eyes and the elven, which do not remind you of what you grew up believing in. The magic we have grown up to, debunked with great explanations that are creative and thought provoking. The relationship between Claus and Jack has a w
Here's an original and creative take on the origin of the Santa Claus myth. I liked the characters, some more than others, but thought the best part of the writing was in the description of the settings. And it's cold everywhere. Really cold. I felt cold reading it!

I loved the idea of the elven evolving as a separate race from the humans. That made their longevity and scientific advancement plausible for the purpose of the story. The elven as a group are charming; serious and focused on their wo
Nicholas, Jessica and Jon set out to reach the North Pole. It is something that as adventurers and explorers they want to do even knowing the danger and risk that could await them. When their guides desert them and a freak snow storm causes them to be separated, the true story of the North Pole begins.
The 3 are found by Elven's but not together. The Elven have fractioned, one group following Jocah across the frozen arctic, while the other group is subject to Jack. Claus and Jack are brothers, tw
So it’s that time of year again and I wanted to squeeze in a holiday read but wasn’t interested in a “Lifetime Movie” romance. Although I haven’t exactly been blown away by “freebie” books for Kindle in the past, I downloaded this story back in November and it sounded just like what I had in mind.

The title gives you an obvious clue as to the plot, but you really have no idea what you’re in for. (Forgive my vagueness. I don’t like to be a “spoiler.”) An adventurous family of three set out on a tr
Dec 31, 2012 Mareena rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fantasy
Recommended to Mareena by: Tony Bertauski
In the early 1800's, a family of explorers, Nicholas, Jessica and Jon Santa attempt the first human trek to the North Pole. The family stumbles upon an ancient race of people left over from the Ice Age. They are short, fat and hairy, slide across the ice on scaly soles and carve their homes in the ice that floats on the Arctic Ocean. The elven race has adapted to life in the extreme cold. They are as wise as they are ancient.

Their scientific advancements have yielded many great inventions - time
Jul 22, 2012 -RadioActiveBookWorm- rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to read an awesome book about Santa. lol.
Recommended to -RadioActiveBookWorm- by: Tony Bertauski
To be honest, I'm not really sure what shelves to put this in... So I'll just pick some random ones. lol. What do you classify a fantasy book about santa as anyways? lol. Anyways, It's so much more than just that. It's an adventure. An awesome adventure, filled with pokemon-like abominable snowmen, (which were awesome by the way,) and weird gmo'd reindeer, and much more. I never thought elves would have blubber, though it makes sense now that I think about it. When I was reading this, I used Gim ...more
Thank you Tony Bertauski for sending me an ebook copy of this great book.

This was a very unique, compelling, original story that I enjoyed reading till the end. Who would've imagined that we didn't discover some of the technology we have, right? As I was reading the book I had to stop and say where did the author get this???? Seriously, there were a lot of things that I had not heard at all, ANYWHERE. I haven't even seen it in movies and believe me I have seen a mega load of Christmas movies. W
Shelby Young (The Haunted Rose)
Jul 06, 2012 Shelby Young (The Haunted Rose) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Ya readers
Recommended to Shelby by: Tony Bertauski
Cover Thoughts-
Matches the frozen tundra setting of the book perfect. :) I'm not sure what the man is carrying to make those tracks but it looks cool and enticing to read.

First Thought-
I have never ever heard of anything like this. Sci-fi? Santa? This has got to be a must read.

What I liked-
The originality and creativity was endless. It took a classic old tale of Santa Claus and Jack Frost and pushed it aside and made a whole new outlook. I sincerely loved it. My absolute overall favorite scene w
Eustacia Tan
I thought I knew all the variations of Santa Claus. I mean, how original can you get about the big fat man in red? While, I'm evidently wrong, as seen by Claus.

Last year, I reviewed The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski. And he was kind enough to think of me when he published Claus. And I was not very easy to work with.

The first time I tried to read the book, there was something wrong with the formatting because there weren't any paragraphs. So I ended up complaining and yay, it got
When I started this book I had no idea what to expect, I loved Tony's Annihilation of Foreverland, but doubted a story about Santa Claus could be that dark, and I was really hoping that this wouldn't be a cheesy Hallmark Christmas story. Tony did not disappoint me!

This is a totally unique telling of the origins of that famous fat guy in red. I saw roots from many of my favorite Christmas stories woven into this story in a way that would make any one (young or old) believe that this is the true s

Tony Bertauski’s novel follows the adventures of the Santa family, Nicholas, Jessica and their son Jon, at the North Pole.

And that is as far as your familiarity with the classic Christmas tale will get you.
There’s no Nutcracker here (and if there is, you’d better watch out!). This is a twisted version of Santa Claus.

It is 1818, and the Santa family has boarded the Alexander, the ship which, with the Isabella, under the command of Captain John Ross, was tasked with finding the hoped-for Nor
Chrissy (The Every Free Chance Reader)
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. It is quite different but an interesting read nonetheless. It was fun and hard to put down.

Claus: Legend of the Fat Man gives you a very different telling of how Santa Claus came to be. Who would have thought that Claus and Jack (Frost) were twin brothers? Who would have thought that Jack had some serious issues? Who would have thought that the elven people were so technologically advanced? Tony Bertauski, that's who. How his mind came up with this i
Dec 04, 2012 Therese rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in Santa and other Christmas legends
Shelves: christmas, fantasy, sci-fi

Nicholas, Jessica, and Jon want to be the first humans to trek to the North Pole in the early 1800s when they leave their ship and get off at Greenland. The Inuit people helped them for a little bit, and then the family is basically left for dead during an unspeakable snowstorm, but are rescued by the Elven people who have inhabited the Arctic since the last Ice Age approximately 40,000 years ago. They have adapted to the cold climate, and their intelligence and technology have far surpassed
Brenda Rezk
This was a creative reinvention of the origins of Santa Claus

Elven are a scientifically-advanced group of people, who evolved from a group of isolated humans living around the North Pole. They split into two factions about 150 years before this story begins, because the evil, tyranical Jack, as in Jack Frost, seized power from his benevolent, inventive twin brother, Claus. Their mother lead a group of elves into hiding, but Claus stayed behind to try to help those who stayed behind out of fear.
Nov 12, 2013 Kristi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Fantastic! Amazing! The perfect book for me! A must read - for all those with my tastes in books! Why do I like it? --

A new perspective on the legend of Santa Claus. Wow, ingenious! You will be amazed as you follow the story and begin to piece together what is going to happen in the ending. Here we have the characters of Nicholas Santa and his family who seek for the adventure of discovering the North Pole. Then you meet the scientist (or is he something much more) by the name of Claus who is fo
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My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated b
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Other Books in the Series

Claus (3 books)
  • Jack: The Tale of Frost (Claus, #2)
  • Flury: Journey of a Snowman

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