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Claus: Legend of the Fat Man

(Claus #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,539 ratings  ·  345 reviews
The Christmas story you never heard.

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 are adapted to life
Kindle Edition, 327 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by DeadPixel Publications
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  1,539 ratings  ·  345 reviews

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Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Kynthos-the-Archer (Kyn)

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
Tony Bertauski
Jul 18, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Get 3 full-length novels and 1 novella…Just tell me where to send them.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not what you would call a lover of Christmas. I'm probably just one "bah-humbug" away from being considered Scrooge. Even still, when all the houses were decorated and the mall trees were lit (even though it was still November), I started feeling a bit of spirit. I decided that I would take this opportunity to delve into Bertauski's Claus series. I've read Bertauski before so I knew it would be good and I knew he wouldn't be shoving Christmas down my throat. It turned out to be perfect. Exac ...more
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
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
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
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
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
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
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, I really did. But, there were parts that just seemed predictable and I couldn't get past the fact that nothing in the book screamed early 1800s to me from their technology to their speech. I found some of the characters endearing but yet the main characters were a little one dimensional with hardly any backstory to give them life. I had hoped for a big finish but that too was predictable.

However, there was a lot of creativity to the story and I enjoyed all the clever
Clare O'Beara
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is set at the North Pole, as three crew aboard an early Polar expedition ship get off at Greenland and walk. They encounter a strange race adapted to life in ice caves, with their own technology, something like a Jules Verne story. However the antagonist is one Jack Frost who seeks to bring all the polar realm under his control and he has evil plans for the warmbloods.

I am fine with the concept that this might be how Nicholas and family got to the Pole and started legends. I just foun
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG What an amazing take on the Santa legend. It was wonderful.
An emotional roller coaster taking you deep into a fantastical world.
Yzabel Ginsberg
I must admit I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other one I read from the author. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable in its own right, and proved a gripping read.

It was also a somewhat weird novel, in that some things in it that might have thrown me off-course actually proved palatable in the end. The idea of the elves as a science-based civilization is so different than the usual take on the whole North Pole/Santa Claus/elves vision that even though it seemed weird at first, it very soon left
Jane McBride
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Susan Hawthorne
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Claire Robinson
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
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
Aug 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was sent a copy of this book for free to review. After reading the synopsis I was immediately interested in this book. This was a really fun, fantasy/sci-fi christmassy book - but thats not to say it can only be read at christmas time, this book is a great read all year round.
I thought the sic-fi/futuristic aspect of the book was really original, technologically advanced elves in the north pole is not a storyline you often hear about. I particularly liked the fact that the characters in the b
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to thank Tony for giving me the opportunity to read and review Claus: Legend of the Fat Man. I really enjoyed his take on the becoming of Santa Claus. I do have some pro's and con's of the book. The pro's are that the way everything was described from the elven living quarters to the way Nicholas, Jessica, and Jon transformed to survive in the north pole was very creative and well thought out. I really felt connected to the character's and their issue's. I rooted for the good guy's to win ...more
I am a sucker for retold fairy tales, and while this isn't a traditional fairy tale (like Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast), Santa Claus definitely fits in this general category.

Nicholas, Jessica, and Jon Santa were declared lost after a trip to the Arctic Ocean. What no one knew is that they were not lost - instead they went on their own expedition, one to find the North Pole. But someone else found them instead.

Weaving in some familiar Santa Claus elements, Jack Frost, elves, and highly adva
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an unusual take on the Santa Claus Story. Set in 1819 the story took me a bit by surprise with it's very contemporary language and with a bad guy who was straight out batman. Aside from that this is a very imaginative story on the origins of the red, bearded and jolly fat me we call 'Santa Claus'.

Rebecca McNutt
Not bad; Claus: Legend of the Fat Man presents a whole new, very imaginative and original backstory to everyone's favorite holiday figure in the red suit and sleigh.
Lora Milton
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
I didn't actually expect much from this one after getting it free, then I started reading and got caught up in it pretty much immediately.

It made me stretch my imagination and continually surprised me with some very original fantasy elements. I found it very interesting at first, but it began to lag around 19%. Too much gloating from the villain, obvious plot points dragging out. That sort of thing. I began feeling like I just wanted to get it finished to complete this year's Christmas reads bef
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
I thought, well its the Christmas season so why not read a book about Santa, you know the fat guy who comes down the chimney and leaves gifts for good boys and girls. Well its about a guy called Santa, and there's elves, reindeer and an uprising. Oh and let's not forget about Jack Frost.
I enjoyed this new, weird and wonderful tale about Santa in the North Pole, and did I mention the reindeer. Love the reindeer. Reindeer are awesome, especial Rudolph, but his called Ronin in this story. Enjoy and
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a sci-fi/fantasy story that's a little campy, but creative and unique. It's about how Santa Claus came to be the fat, jolly fellow at the North Pole with a contingent of elves and flying reindeer. I found it a bit uneven with some parts very dark, other parts a little lighter. The advanced technology coupled with fantasy elements were a little disjointed and sometimes confusing or hard to picture.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a delightful read! Very engaging and fun and with a warm and happy ending!
I really enjoyed it. Would recommend to everyone over 10! Might be scary for little ones with Jack freezing everyone and everything. I could imagine Jim Carey as Jack if this was ever made into a movie.
Jul 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Tracey Mccall
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I picked this book up on a friend's word,I'm glad I did. What's fabulously written story with amazing characters. The story tells of woven in the North Pole and 3 assemblies trekking to the North. The three Santa's looking for an adventure in the attic found what they were looking for. They found home and a purpose with the Elven. Looking forward to the next book
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, favorites, 2013
From The Page Walker

I'll bet it's safe to assume that almost everyone in the world knows this guy. You know the guy who has been keeping tabs if we have been naughty or nice? Well, we don’t really have to wait for Christmas to get reacquainted with the guy. Tony Bertauski has given us a chance to know the Fat Man behind the red suit. No, dear, not Superman. We are talking about Santa Claus here.

The setting was in the late 1800’s. Nicholas Santa, with his wife (Jennifer) and son (Jon), decided t
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He grew up in the Midwest where the land is flat and the corn is tall. The winters are bleak and cold. He hated winters.

He always wanted to write. But writing was hard. And he wasn’t very disciplined. The cold had nothing to do with that, but it didn’t help. That changed in grad school.

After several attempts at a proposal, his ma

Other books in the series

Claus (5 books)
  • Jack: The Tale of Frost (Claus, #2)
  • Flury: Journey of a Snowman (Claus, #3)
  • Humbug: The Unwinding of Ebenezer Scrooge (Claus, #4)
  • Claus (Rise of the Miser): A Science Fiction Adventure

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