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The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog
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The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,382 ratings  ·  289 reviews
Have a very Barry Christmas!

In this ?hilarious? (USA Today) national bestseller, Pulitzer Prize?winning humorist Dave Barry pens one of the warmest, most delightful Christmas stories ever. The year is 1960, and the Christmas pageant at St. John?s Episcopal Church is a very big deal. Doug Barnes is a shepherd this year, which is better than being a Three King, because you
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Berkley Trade (first published July 7th 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,234)
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Jenny
Apr 25, 2008 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody.
Shelves: favorites, audiobook
This is a funny, charming, sweet, nostalgic Christmas story. I laughed - I cried. Get the audio version (read by Dave himself) for everyone on your Christmas list!
Thomas Holbrook
I was looking for a “new” Christmas story that would be read aloud as annual Christmas event. When I saw this book reviewed (it has been published for several years) it seemed this was the book for which I had been looking. Having read some of Mr. Barry’s work, I expected good writing, an easily believed story and moments of such hilarity as to leave me breathless. I was not disappointed.
The setting for this yarn is December 1960 in Asquont, New York. Doug Barnes is a shepherd in the St. John’
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Michael
Dave Barry's attempt to mimic what Jean Sheppard did with "A Christmas Story."

It has its moments but overall isn't quite as heartfelt or warm as the Sheppard story.

Part of this stems from the fact that Barry has to bring in a lot of plot threads for the wacky climax to the story, including the lead characters crush on the girl playing Mary, a church steeple full of bat guano and a new dog for Doug Barnes (the narrator) and his family.

I wonder if hearing Barry read the story might improve thin
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Sarah
I saved this one for our drive to and from the Christmas Tree Farm...and it worked out perfectly! (just one CD) The boys LOVED it, (David included) and I really liked it too, even moreso w/them all laughing and enjoying it! (Owen asked if it was a series...good idea!)

It's about a kid, Douglas, his family, and friends and their church's annual Christmas play production. I liked that it was written that Doug is telling the story and while he was still a kid (not as a grown up). There are many funn
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Marilyn Fontane
Dave Barry takes us back to the simple life of 1960 in his light, fluffy Christmas story. His young narrator, Dave Barnes, is playing the role of a shepherd in the St. John's Episcopal Church Christmas pageant in Asquont, New York. He tells funny stories about other events at the church, last year's Christmas play, an Easter service when the bats came out of the bell tower, before narrating this year's events. But this year Frank, the family dog, died just before they left for the program, and D ...more
Lisa
What a hoot! We read this while traveling to our church mission trip in Kentucky. A quick read, a bit off-color, but heart-warming as well as humorous! A nice Christmas read - could be done in one hour, out-loud. The author takes you back to family in the 60s, small town, small church experiences, as well as the central role family pets play in a child's life.
Stephanie
This is a fun Christmas read. Dave Barry is, as always, hilarious. The story is a cross between "A Christmas Story" and "The Best Christmas Pageant ever." I read it aloud to my 9-year old (just skipped a page about girls and bras), and he loved it. The characters and events and intermittent vintage photos were endearing.
Audra Marvin
Not much to say about this book; just recording it for posterity. My dad handed me this book a few days ago because I said I wanted to finish a couple more books before the end of 2014. He said this one was funny and would not take me very long.

He was right. It took me between 30 and 45 minutes to read it, and it was very funny. Honestly, it reminded me of the book I used to read as a kid, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, except this story was a LOT more wholesome than that one, or at least the
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Heather
Dec 04, 2008 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: my-favorites
This book had me in tears from laughing so hard! My husband said it was funny to hear me giggle. This is a must read, especially if you are stressed from the holidays. Quick and Witty read.
Audrey
Very funny and sweet. The best part were the great vintage photos--loved them! It's a fun, quick read for December when you just need a good laugh, in an hour or less.
Michael Kane
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie Tatton
If The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and A Christmas Story had a baby, The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog would be it. Dave Barry tells the story of a middle school-age boy, the family dog, the yearly Christmas pageant and the mayhem that ensues. The story is charming and funny and moves along quickly. I'm sure my ten year old boys would like this one.
Carol
I needed something to make me smile, so I picked up this book - you cannot read Dave Barry's stuff and not be amused (in my opinion).

It's Christmas pageant time. Now, last year there was a little incident during the pageant thanks to Doug, Phil and Mike - great friends who happened to be the three wise men at the time. So this year, after parental lectures and evil looks from the pageant director, the three found themselves cast as shepherds. All they had to do was wait for their cue, leave the
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Shazza Maddog
I have always been fond of Dave Barry stories (though a little goes a long way for me). I spotted this book on the holiday shelf at the library and grabbed it up. Whether it is an actual memoir or a fantasized memoir remains to the reader, but it is quite full of Barryisms, and also sweet.

Doug Barnes is going to play a Shepherd in his church's play this year, rather than one of the Three Kings as he did last year. He and his friends, Mike and Pete, are on the director's short list, though, beca
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Beth
Not very memorable.
Tahleen
What do a Christmas pageant, kids who like to goof around, the loss of a pet and the gain of a new one have in common? They're all key parts to this funny and sweet Christmas tale told in the signature voice of humorist Dave Barry. It's 1960, and Doug is cast in his church's Christmas pageant as a shepherd. But on Christmas Eve, things don't go quite as planned—all I'll say is that a dog and bat poop are involved.

This book takes maybe about an hour to read. It's quick, hilarious, and touching al
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Cheryl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel
In the 1960 St. John's Episcopal Church's Christmas pageant, Doug Barnes is going to play one of the shepherds, which is cool because he gets to carry a stick. He has to be on his best behavior as he and his friends are already on thin ice with the pageant director on account of their goofing around at the 1959 pageant, which resulted in the Three Kings presenting the baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense, and a Rolodex. Meanwhile, Doug has a crush on the girl playing the Virgin Mary who o ...more
Ines Prodan
„Mă numesc Doug Barnes, și treaba asta s-a întâmplat de Ajunul Crăciunului, în orășelul meu, care este Asquont, New York. După spusele domnului Purcell, profesorul meu de Studii Sociale, Asquont este un nume indian, care înseamnă o chestie indiană precum „Locul de vânătoare din Pădurea Verde”, dar câteodată mă gândesc că a fost doar o glumă de-a indienilor ca să-i facă pe albi să spună „Asquont”.”
Donna
In December because people are busier than usual the reading group I meet with reads a seasonal and usually lighter book. This December it is Dave Barry's The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog. Told by Doug, a junior-high schooler in 1960, it is humorous and sweet. In addition to the story there were plenty of pictures throughout the book that brought back fond memories.
Melanie
Dave Berry has a way of writing that makes you laugh, smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside! This is a Christmas story from the 1960's told from the point of view of a middle school boy. He tells of his own adventures and those of his family. It makes you long for the days when things were so much simpler and family seemed to be so much more emphasized.
Te Gobble
My friend that recommended this thought it was hilarious but I just didn't. There was one part especially I was shocked was in a humor book. I personally didn't think it in particular was funny at all. I don't want to tell because it would spoil part of the story. It was an easy, fast read. It is about a boy, his family, his church and their dog.
Ruth Ann
This laugh-out-loud funny story of an unusual Christmas Pageant gives new meaning to "being with Jesus".
Set in the 60s, it has nostalgia and small-town charm. It will soon become a favorite Christmas story of Methodists, Catholics, and Episcopalians alike, and will stand right alongside the classic tale, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
Robert Palmer
This is really a short story,but a very funny Christmas story never the less, could be a movie such as "A Christmas story" the book written by Jean Shepherd ti titled "In God we trust,all others pay cash"---reading this book will for sure bring back memory's of something funny happening at a Christmas in your own past.
Melissa
I LOVED this book! I really loved that I could read it to my 6 year old son and he could enjoy it with me. There were some seriously funny moments that had us giggling out loud. The message is great too. This book is great for kids and adults of all ages, and it's Christmas too!
Maggie
If you get a chance to listen to this one - do so! You don't even have to like dogs to enjoy this short account of a Christmas remembered. Dave Barry makes me laugh and can make me cry all within the same minute.

Charlotte
A reasonably cute, pleasant, and immediately forgettable Christmas story told in classic Dave Barry style. It only took me about half an hour to read as there are lots of photos and the print is very large. (The Barry family photos and vintage advertisements were much more entertaining than the actual story.) I don't mean to be a Grinch, but the whole time I was reading it, I was picturing the conversation between Dave Barry and his agent: "Dave, how about doing a Christmas book this year?" "Nah ...more
Allison Horton
Love this book - brightens the holidays with its nostalgic humor. If you were a kid in the 60's you've got to read it. And if, like me, you have a middle school aged son - you should read it to/with him!!!
Heidi
So when I say quick read, I mean quick read. Sometimes I don't trust when people say that because I'm a little slow sometimes, but this was really quick. Anyway, the first chapter was a bit sacrilegious--I would have to agree with the prudes he depicts on that one. But the rest was all right, a bit sweet and kind of funny, but mostly corny.
Doris
Although the story was written in a rather choppy way, and had a rather improbable ending, it was still a heartwarming story of what happens when love surrounds us.
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Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.
Dave has also written a total of 30 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as
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More about Dave Barry...
Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, #1) Peter and the Shadow Thieves (Peter and the Starcatchers, #2) Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (Peter and the Starcatchers, #3) Big Trouble Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Peter and the Starcatchers, #4)

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