Michael's Reviews > In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash

In God We Trust by Jean Shepherd
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Dec 25, 2008

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bookshelves: fiction
Read in January, 2009

For those of you who don't know, the film "A Christmas Story" is based on parts of this book. The story arch follows Ralph as an older man, returning to his home town from where he works in New York. He works at a magazine and is writing a piece about Midwestern towns. He finds his way into a bar where Flick, his childhood pal, is the bartender. He and flick reminisce on their childhood together and we get various stories from a Depression-era Indiana childhood. The story about the bb gun is the first of these episodes. Other chapters tell the story of leg lamp and the Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Pin. Some of my favorite moments from the movie are absent, like Flick's tongue frozen to the pole and the bully Scott Farcus. While reading this book, I got the feeling I was overhearing two guys reminice, which can be incredibly funny, or can feel like I'm on the outside of an inside joke. Sometimes the structure feels strained just to provide an opportunity to tell another story, but the book is fun and worth reading, especially if you love "A Christmas Story" as much as I do.
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