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A Christmas Story

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,163 ratings  ·  505 reviews
A beloved, bestselling classic of humorous and nostalgic Americana—the book that inspired the equally classic Yuletide film.

The holiday film A Christmas Story, first released in 1983, has become a bona fide Christmas perennial, gaining in stature and fame with each succeeding year. Its affectionate, wacky, and wryly realistic portrayal of an American family’s typical Chris
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 1983)
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The Christmas Story by Jean Shepard – narrated by Dick Cavett- is a 2004 RH audio publication. (Read from the book, published in 1983)

I knew the movie, which we have all seen ad nauseum every Christmas, was based on a book, but I’d never read it. The movie version is adorable, but I’ve seen it so many times I can almost quote it verbatim. I decided to stop watching it for a while because It was in danger of losing all its charm, due to the marathon showings of it on television.

But this year I c
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Only within the last year or two did I realize that the 1983 holiday film, A Christmas Story, was based on a series of short stories penned by radio personality Jean Shepherd. The short pieces contained here and from which the movie was based were originally published in two other Shepherd collections – "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" and "Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories." The movie has become a tradition in many American households, although I personally must admit to seeing this ...more
Jason Koivu
Sep 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy, holidays, humor
When it comes to holiday comedies, for me, it doesn't get much better than A Christmas Story.

Now, up to this point I'd only ever seen the movie version of Jean Shepherd's book. Finally, after all these years, I decided it was time to check out the real thing!

That movie version doesn't deviate much from A Christmas Story the book. The reader gets a pinch of the narrator's adult life, but the biggest deviation from the movie is the elaboration on the Bumpuses, the inbred, backwoods hicks that move
Jun 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The essays used as the basis for A CHRISTMAS STORY, as howlingly funny as anything in the film. A great little Christmas read, for fans of the film or simply for fans of great comic writing.

Reread, 2014: 6yo daughter has watched the movie every day since Thanksgiving, so I busted out the book in a day. Every year I think, I need to get his other books!

Reread 2016: A quick and always delightful reread!
For many people, Christmas isn't Christmas unless you sit down to watch the "A Christmas Story" on TBS on Christmas Eve. We all know the classic lines: "You'll shoot your eye out, kid." "Oh, fuuuddgge!" "He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny!" "I triple-DOG dare ya!" You might be surprised that only one of these phrases actually came from this book.

The book, like the movie, is the quintessential look at life in Depression-era Upper Midwest America. Back before the internet invaded our lives, bac
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved the stories, but not so much the narrator because it seemed to fast to me. Still 4 stars!
Please note that I gave this book 3.5 stars and rounded it up to 4 stars on Goodreads.

Who hasn't seen "A Christmas Story?" I have been watching this movie since I was 6 years old and it's been a holiday tradition in my family that every year we watch this. Heck, I am not going home this year, but my brothers, sister, and I are still going to watch it and group chat. My favorite scene hands down is always watching how proud the Old Man was watching Ralphie playing with his BB gun that he wanted
Stephanie Anze
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Ralphie Parker and his family live in Indiana during the Depression Era. Their day to day life varies. Wether there is a battle between the parents over the placement of a quite peculiar lamp, the neighbours are wrecking havoc (again) or Ralphie's plot to get the BB gun for Christmas is not going well, there is never a dull moment. Through humour and laughter, the Parker family navigate their life in their own unique style.

Christmas is almost upon us and this title kept coming up on my GR feed s
Dec 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas, bio-memoir
Every scene of the 1983 holiday film A Christmas Story is so thoroughly etched in my mind that I thought reading the story would be a bit of a letdown. Usually I'll read the book and skip the movie - such is not the case here - the movie finds its way into everyone's heart. "You'll shoot your eye out, kid," rings as clear as Ebeneezer Scrooge's "Bah, Humbug." Or maybe you just need to be a kid from the 50's to appreciate the pull of the Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range-model air rifle.

I p
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, coming-of-age
This is even better then the movie, even better then listening to Shep tell the story yearly on his radio show. If you enjoyed the movie you really owe it to yourself to give this a read.

The fight

I had woven a tapestry of obscenity that as far as I know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan. And my mother had heard!


Every evening immediately after supper we would pile into the car and drive downtown for that great annual folk rite, that most ecstatic, golden, tinseled, quivering tim
Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition
Dick Cavert is brilliant as the narrator, with his dry wit. I absolutely loved listening while on my commute to & from work with a smile on my face and an occasional yelp of laughter!
I also listened to this book while making a 3 hour drive to and from relatives in PA last weekend and it was very enjoyable - some reviewers said they didn't like Dick Cavett's narration, but I thought he was great - I've always loved him.
I love Jean Shepherd's reminiscences on his childhood in the steel mill country of northern Indiana. This grouping of stories, originally published in In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, were cobbled together to create the script for the classic 1983 movie A Christmas Story. Watching this has become an annual ritual for many of us. Shepherd's humor is laugh out loud and his writing is so vivid that you can picture the scene even if you've never seen the movie. If you are a fan of the movie, re ...more
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Every Christmas the husbeast puts this movie on for all to see, on replay, all day.
So, when no one had a December pick for our book club: Ralphie to the rescue!

Or not.

Ralphie's rolling narration fills the house with background noise as we go about our day until I cry "Uncle, Uncle!" and we get to listen to something else.
I do enjoy the movie, a leg lamp (a, blessedly, smaller version that is) sits in our living room during the holiday season.
The book was, sadly, a bit of a miss for me. This di
 Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Schu
I grew up watching the classic movie and found so much humor in the story.
This year, one of my groups, voted to read Jean Shepherd's classic holiday tale. And, what a tale! Shepherd brings his story to life with such vivid imagery! A sampling or two of how he brings his story to life:

"First Nighters packed ear-muff to earmuff, their steamy breath clouding up the sparkling plate glass, jostled in rapt admiration before a golden, tinkling panoply of mechanized, electronic joy."

"Every evening immed
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
When I found out that A Christmas Story, one of my favorite Christmas movies, was based on books written by Jean Shepherd I immediately went to my library and checked one out. I loved reading about the hijinks of his childhood. This book got me thinking about the quirkiness of all families and made me think about viewing some of my own family quirks (like our Norwegian Code of Silence) with humor instead of annoyance, embarrassment, etc. Kind of weird that I got a lesson out of a book that is me ...more
SheriC (PM)
Had I read the book before seeing the movie, I might have enjoyed this more fully. It helps tremendously that it’s read by Dick Cavett, who captures that wry tone of voice that Jean Shepherd used in narrating the movie. The primary difference between the two is that the events in the book are more a disconnected set of stories, rather than events woven together to make it flow. But still, an entertaining story and worth 3 ½ hours spent listening to it.

Audio version, via Audible.
Madeline  Worrell
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I hate to admit this, but I think "A Christmas Story"the movie, is better than the book. I know, quite a rarity, but in my humble opinion, true.

Jean Shepherd wrote these five unrelated novellas. Someone then took them, poured them all into a bowl, stirred them around, and out popped a heck of a good movie.
Such a funny book! I have watched this movie every Christmas for years but never read the book! Even though I think the movie was better I still think this was great, so glad I finally read it!
Erin Cataldi
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stout-stories
Simply the best Christmas tale. Why did I wait so long to read this?! I grew up loving the movie and being proud that it was written by a Hoosier who lovingly wrote about where I grew up (the "region"). Reading this collection of short stories (taken from another short story collection by Jean Shepherd) that inspired the cult classic Christmas movie, I was in awe of how truly funny it was. I literally laughed out loud on multiple occasions much to the annoyance of my cats. I can't praise it enou ...more
Juliette Simpson
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A Christmas Story, by Jean Shepherd is a funny book about a boy named Ralph.

Ralph just wants to have fun. This Christmas, he thinks, I will get a red rider BB gun. When he finds out that there is no possible way he'll get it, he tries harder and harder. Through funny mistakes and possibilities Ralph makes his way to Christmas morning, hoping for the best.

I loved the movie, so when I saw this book I just needed it. Although some scenes or moments seemed out of place, I still loved it. I recommend
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marvelous! I had never read Jean Shepherd. I've barely SEEN the movie A Christmas Story. I knew it involved a BB gun, a leg lamp, and "shooting your eye out." This is actually a series of short stories about Shepherd's childhood with his gruff father, stay-at-home mom, and younger brother.
Shepherd's writing is so rich with description. I loved this. Maybe I'll start a new Christmas tradition of listening to these delightful stories.
Oh, and the narrator was Dick Cavett. His reading added just the
I'm reading this again for the holidays. I love this book! ...more

Dick Cavett does a fine narration of this set of semi-autobiographical stories. Despite the title, only the first story is related to Christmas.
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea the movie A Christmas Story was based on a book until I saw this while scrolling through Scribd.

If you love the movie, you'll love this book. There are a few differences from the movie (dogs ate the Easter Ham instead of the Christmas Turkey. It's very well written and I enjoyed consuming the same story in a different medium.
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny-books, essays
Most of you will recognize this title as one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. Okay, some of you might not agree with it being one of the greatest, since I know there are people out there who don't like it. But in my family it is a classic and we always have whatever channel is playing it for 24 hours on when we open presents on Christmas morning. I could quote it all day.

Even if you don't LIKE it, you are probably familiar with the story. 9-year-old Ralphie Parker wants an official
Sarah Sammis
Oct 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A Christmas Story is a series of semi-autobiographical short stories by humorist Jean Shepherd. They were first published in Playboy in the mid 1960s. These stories were later put together to make the very funny film of the same title in 1983. The book in its current form was published posthumously in 2003.

The short stories which now act as chapters are:

* "Duel in the Snow, or the Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid"
* "The Counterfeit Secret Circle Member Gets the Message, or the
Dec 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was a lot of fun, considering how we watch this movie many, many times each Christmas. It is a collection of essays that the movie was drawn from, so there are a few favorite scenes from the movie you won't find in the book and some scenes from the movie more fleshed out in the book. You could even pinpoint some of the great lines from the movie. The best part was the chapter on the Bumpuses which went into much more detail than the movie. The aftermath of the Lamp Incident had me in stitch ...more
Julie Graves
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
The movie was better!
It may seem strange to listen to the audio book of "A Christmas Story" in January. Chalk it up to my learning a lesson from "A Christmas Carol" and keeping the spirit of Christmas in my heart all the year round. Or more to the fact that it was in at the library and I've alway been kind of curious to read/hear the original material that served as the basis for the popular Christmas movie.

It's always interesting to go back to the source material for something after becoming familar with it in anot
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm a huge fan of the movie, it's an integral part of my Christmas tradition, so I was happy to read this book.

Shepherd's writing style is lovely, a combination of comfortable and sarcastic. The movie stuck pretty closely to the book, with a couple of minor changes to make it more holiday specific, so a lot was very familiar.

There wasn't a lot of character development, but I saw this more as almost sketch writing rather than story-telling, so that's OK. His language and descriptions however, we
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Books2Movies Club: A Christmas Story 2 6 Dec 18, 2016 02:21PM  

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Was an American raconteur, radio and TV personality, writer and actor who was often referred to by the nickname Shep. With a career that spanned decades, Shepherd is best known to modern audiences for the film A Christmas Story (1983), which he narrated and co-scripted, based on his own semi-autobiographical stories.

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