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Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
The father of an autistic child dreams of a Christmas miracle in this moving short novel nominated for the World Fantasy Award—proceeds to be donated to Autism Speaks

When Brendan touches his four-year-old son, Peter screams and pulls away. He suffers from a form of autism known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder and has no idea how much his father wants to make him smile.
144 pages
Published (first published December 3rd 2013)
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☼♄Jülie 

Thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for this copy to read and review.

I found this book engaging...though for me a little perplexing at times as a lot of the story relates to things I'm not familiar with...such as TV shows and personalities of times long past, which it went into great detail over...I could'nt relate to the stories about these people and their shows, so (for me) it tended to lose a lot in the translation, I think its probably more relevant to an American audience.
Having said th
Jan 10, 2014 Honeypie rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley, 2014
2.25 Stars

I didn’t get it. Well, actually, I wasn’t able to relate that much to the story’s old-loved TV Show. I guess I was never really a TV kid when I was younger. (More like, a street child. If you know what I mean. Haha!) I don’t recall any TV shows defining my childhood. At least, the bulk of it. It has always been playing on the streets, with my friends and siblings.

(Copying the blurb on the book…)

The father of an autistic child dreams of a Christmas miracle in this moving short novel no
Wayne McCoy
Dec 26, 2013 Wayne McCoy rated it really liked it
The death of a barely remembered kid's show host named Chip Crockett starts off the novella Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol. Down on his luck has-been rock star Tony "Maroni" calls his friend Brendan with this news and asking for a place to stay. Brendan is a divorced dad struggling with an autistic son named Peter, and a disdain for Christmas. When Tony shows up, some Christmas magic shows up with him. Songs play on car radios when the cars have no keys in them and Christmas specials show up on ...more
Dec 12, 2013 Ionia rated it really liked it
I like this book. It really is as simple as that. The writing is clean and the author did an excellent job portraying what it is like not only to be a single parent, but also to be the parent of an autistic child. If you are a fan of the feel good holiday story, this book will get you right in the chest, although in a bit different way.

This book is edgy and does have some swearing and some reality filled moments that most of the "Christmas stories" don't tend to feature. I loved the 60's cultur
Beth Cato
Dec 20, 2013 Beth Cato rated it liked it
I was provided with a free reviewing copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

This caught my eye as it was being promoted online. I'm the mother of an autistic child. This novella is about the father of an autistic child. I was tempted to buy it but then I saw the proceeds go to Autism Speaks. That made me pause. They are not my charity of choice for several reasons. However, when I saw this was available on NetGalley, I was glad to have a chance to read it after all. [At the start of the novella,
Dec 14, 2013 Caitlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I try to review at least one Christmas book each holiday season. I usually turn up my nose at most of them - they tend to be so treacly - but each year I've managed to find a good one to read and review. This year it's Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol by Elizabeth Hand - a World Fantasy Award Nominee for Novella in 2003.

I love Elizabeth Hand's books - two of them are on my top 20 list - Waking the Moon and Glimmering. I like the way she plays with myth, gender, and maybe most of all the punk rock
Jan 13, 2014 Maxine rated it really liked it
“When Brendan touches his four-year-old son, Peter screams and pulls away. He suffers from a form of autism known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder and has no idea how much his father wants to make him smile. Their relationship is tortured, but Christmas is coming, and a miracle might come with it.

An unlikely harbinger of the holidays arrives in the form of Tony Kemper, Brendan’s childhood friend who’s never quite gotten over his glory days as a 1970s punk sensation. Broke, unemployed, and hom
Dec 21, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing
This is a short story about a father, Brendon, of an autistic boy, Peter, who, besides his ex with whom her shares custody of Peter, has two other friends, Tony and Kevin. In the story, Brendon is a lawyer, eking out a living in DC. Tony is a rock star, “wanna be” or has been (not really clear), looking for direction in life and obsessed with Chip Crockett, a TV Kid’s star who once entertained him and Brendon and who has recently died. Brendon is also searching for answers. His life is not ...more
Karen O'Brien-Hall
Aug 03, 2014 Karen O'Brien-Hall rated it really liked it
What a delightful book this is! As a Christmas tragic, I keep an eye put for Christmassy type writing to enjoy as the year rolls on. Although I’ve read a couple of sweet little stories, it wasn’t until reading Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol that I found a book to re-read at “Christmas future”.
I can’t give a better description of this book than the publishers note: ”When Brendan touches his four-year-old son, Peter screams and pulls away. He suffers from a form of autism known as Pervasive Devel
Julian Froment
Dec 25, 2013 Julian Froment rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
I really enjoyed this book. It was a relatively short story and a great read.

I loved reading about the relationship between the three friends Brendan, Tony and Kevin, and about the different paths that life had led them along. The story was mainly about how a single parent, Brendan, dealt with this and with his autistic son.

I felt that the main thrust of the story was how Brendan struggled to come to terms with, and deal with, the changes that he had seen in his son at an early age. How it had t
Julie Barrett
Dec 20, 2013 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it
Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol by Elizabeth Hand
I wanted to read this book because the proceeds will go towards a fund of a special education teacher that died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT a year ago. At that time I was traveling through upstate NY and when I got the call from my brother in RI I couldn't believe the tragedy and so close to Christmas.
Brendan and Teri have split up and their son Peter attends a specialized school. Brendan has Peter many nights and is able to pi
Dec 24, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
In Elizabeth Hand's touching Chip Crockett's Christmas Carol (Open Road Media, digital galley), holidays are hard for lawyer Brendan Keegan. But so are regular days -- not because he's divorced and a recovering alcoholic but because he has an autistic 4-year-old son, Peter. "One day you had a toddler who'd always been a little colicky, but who smiled when he saw you. The next day you had a changeling, a child carved of wood who screamed if you touched him and whose eyes were always fixed on some ...more
Living with autism.

I decided to read this in December, as I rarely read Christmas stories in the run-up to Christmas. However, it didn't grab me and I would have abandoned it early on if it hadn't been for the theme of Peter, an autistic 4 year-old. I was much less inspired by the theme of Sixties television shows, particularly Chip Crockett, of the title.

Peter's Dad, Brendan, is separated from his wife and they share the daunting task of raising Peter, who looks no-one in the eye and eschews al
Dec 21, 2013 Suz rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Elizabeth Hand has written a story that takes us inside the life of one father dealing with his son's diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder. For those of us who have worked with children facing with the challenges of life somewhere within the autism spectrum, we have seen glimpses of what happens when routine is disrupted or instances of the self-stimulating behaviors that may occur. But we really have no idea of what it is like to be the parent living through each day with such a child. ...more
Dec 24, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, net-galley
I received an electronic reading copy of this from the publisher via NetGalley. A perfect little holiday season tale that blends a combination of inspirations including nostalgic memories of magical childhood entertainers, the frustrations and difficulties with raising autistic children, and of course Dickens' classic Christmas tale. This novella may be considered a fantasy, but only subtly so, in fact it is far more realistic than Dickens', but just as powerful. The plot is simple and ...more
Heather Fineisen
Dec 09, 2013 Heather Fineisen rated it it was ok
Shelves: net-galley
This is a quick read that is like watching one of the Hallmark Xmas movies. Not bad if you have a couple of hours and need a shot of holiday cheer. One divorced dad with an autistic son takes in an old friend who is down on his luck at the holidays sets the stage for this "Carol". Their favorite childhood TV show puppeteer host extraordinaire, Chip Crockett, dies and the memories and strange Christmasy things begin. Autism awareness gives an extra edge and the scenes with the little boy elevate ...more
Dec 02, 2013 Marie rated it really liked it
I feel really lucky to have been asked to review this book. Its a lovely short story of Peter - a young autistic boy, his father Brendan, his mother terri and there good friends tony and Kev.
THis story mainly focuses on Tony and his obsession with a tv show character Chip Crockett. initially i found all the "booga looga" "ommba" type language a little irritating but you soon get used to it. Peter is severly Autistic and does not speak but through a relationship with his carer at school and his
Orinthia Lee
Dec 29, 2013 Orinthia Lee rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, drama, netgalley
Get ARC from Netgalley.

It's a quick read, and I like the story. I like the way the author write so clean and a very great job portraying the life of Brendan being a single parent and also to be the parent of an autistic son. This book is a sweet holiday story, giving you something warm in its own way.

I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a nice holiday story and the one not easily forget.
Sharon Chance
Dec 20, 2013 Sharon Chance rated it it was amazing
I cannot say enough good things about this book - it's amazing! It combines a trip down memory lane with the love and frustration with parenting, and all the good things that embrace the holiday! It's an e-book, and a quick read. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you happy! READ THIS!!!!
Dec 19, 2013 Malia rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
This was a fun, quick read. It's definitely a lot about nostalgia, which is a Christmastime feeling for sure. But also just about the fate of media/entertainment that we love as they get subsumed by time and new media, in particular the things that weren't a big deal in culture at large but were a big deal to you as a person. Rather thought provoking.
Jan 08, 2014 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good, solid story written in a good solid style.

I don't think it was particularly challenging or exciting. I've read a couple of Hand's works and I can say those were both. This story was convincing and enjoyable, though.
Jennifer Kelley
Jan 01, 2014 Jennifer Kelley rated it it was amazing
Lovely story. Brendan, whose son, Peter, is severely autistic, wishes for Christmas miracle in this short novel by one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Hand.
It's hard to describe, but I would really recommend this. It's a short, moving story very well told.
I received a copy via NetGalley.
Dec 31, 2013 Nathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Cory Doctorow recommended this on BoingBoing, and it was a good piece of advice. Straightforwardly written, with imperfect characters and a nice heart-tugging gimmick, it was a satisfying short read. I, in turn, recommend.
Dec 25, 2014 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first Christmas story where a main character has autism. Deals with the struggle a father has with his autistic son. Bittersweet Christmas story.
Louise Droz
Dec 22, 2013 Louise Droz rated it really liked it
Started this book last night and just finished. This book combined a very unique version of A Christmas Carol with the theme of autism. Glad that I read this one!
Dec 31, 2013 Dorothy rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book but the Christmas Carol is not as evident as one might suppose by the title.
Melita Sheppard
Feb 18, 2014 Melita Sheppard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I really enjoyed this book. Anyone who knows someone with an autistic child should read it for a better understanding. Brilliant book, well researched and cleverly written.
Rich rated it it was ok
Jan 02, 2016
Laura rated it it was amazing
Nov 29, 2013
Cathryn rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2014
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A New York Times notable and multiple award– winning author, Elizabeth Hand has written seven novels, including the cult classic Waking the Moon, and short-story collections. She is a longtime contributor to numerous publications, including the Washington Post Book World and the Village Voice Literary Supplement. She and her two children divide their time between the coast of Maine and North ...more
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“Christmas was gone. Brendan didn’t even hate it, because how could you hate something that was dead?” 0 likes
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