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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

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,597 Ratings  ·  326 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
Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Berkley Trade (first published July 7th 2006)
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Apr 25, 2008 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  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!
Dec 08, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, christmas
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
Jul 08, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 04, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Dec 04, 2012 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
This is a very fast read and was a perfect choice for our book club to read considering it is the holidays and crazy busy! The book is about 116 pages but a bunch of those are actually photographs, so the story takes up maybe 70 pages?

I laughed throughout this book at the different antics of kids growing up in the 60's. I also thought the comment was funny about his dad being in advertising and mom saying that meant he drank martinis all day - this reminds me of the show Mad Men because it is tr
Marilyn Fontane
Jan 23, 2015 Marilyn Fontane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
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
Thomas Holbrook
Dec 09, 2014 Thomas Holbrook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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’
Dec 19, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 13, 2008 Michael rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
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
Dec 06, 2015 Cissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life happens, even when Christmas approaches. And things can get complicated.

This is a very short book, but lots of fun. I did laugh out loud, and it also made me sniffle- which means it's an excellent holiday read by my lights.

More a slice of life than a plot per se. Great characterization, including the dogs. The narrator is a middle-school boy, with his sensibilities.

I enjoyed it.
Donna Robbins
Oct 30, 2015 Donna Robbins rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Dave Berry
Recommended to Donna by: Goodreads Audiobooks group
This was a cute kid's Christmas story, featuring Dave Barry's trademark, low brow humor; ultimately a bit too sentimental for me but I'm decades older than the target audience.

I love Barry's writing, everything from memoirs, to comic novels to the short pieces published in the Funny Times; the stuff he's written for kids though, not so much. It's not that the humor is too young - heck, Barry's humor always tends (way!) towards the juvenile - rather, it's the tone; this story, like Peter and the
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 Spiven
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
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.
Sep 04, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book by Dave Barry; what's not to like? This is a bit different, a bit longer than a short story but not by much but it's got enough laughs for a novella. Funny, poignant, a story of a Christmas Pageant, a faithful dog (Frank, not Walter) and a view of the events of one Christmas. Add to this pubescent boys being silly and snarky as only pubescent boys can be, a pretty girl and a bell tower filled with bats and, as one would imagine, bat guano. What could go wrong? Don't ask, just read. And en ...more
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
Nov 01, 2007 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not very memorable.
Make sure you have Kleenex when you start. There will be sad tears and happy tears among the silent chuckling and couple laugh out loud moments as you turn the pages. I don't usually read books with dogs in them. It disturbs my inner karma... (view spoiler) Dave has some wild tales and I think I need to read more of them. What a hoot this o ...more
Jan 05, 2011 Tahleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny-books
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
Oct 08, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas, humor
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
Dec 25, 2014 Ines Prodan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
„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”.”
Dec 11, 2014 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Apr 28, 2014 Te Gobble rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
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.
Oct 22, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It's the story of a boy in 8th grade who is dealing with being in love with the girl who plays Mary in the live nativity scene while he is just a shepherd. His family dog is old and in danger of dying near the holidays. The story was light and funny, but serious enough to make it realistic. It was a quick read and I would recommend it.
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.
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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
More about Dave Barry...

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