December 09, 2003
"A Christmas Story": The Book

Here's something for your Christmas list this year.

If you're shopping for a stocking stuffer or an early Christmas present for yourself, you could do a lot worse than a new little book called A Christmas Story.

That's A Christmas Story as in the now-classic movie, which was released 20 years ago.

The book isn't the screenplay, though, and it includes only one movie photo -- a dust-jacket shot of Ralphie, the kid whose wish for a Red Ryder BB gun meets the universal warning, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

Better than that, however, it collects the source material by Jean Shepherd, the movie's narrator, co-producer and screenwriter, who has a cameo role as a grouch in a department-store Santa line.

It's described on the cover as "the book that inspired the hilarious classic film," and the introductory publisher's note describes Shepherd's work as "autobiographical essays."

As the article notes, those two statements aren't exactly accurate, but no matter. The book has all of the source material for the movie, and that's good enough for me. Check it out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 09, 2003 to Books | TrackBack

If I remember correctly, the book is surprisingly dark. It concentrates quite a bit on their poverty. It's still funny, but it's not sweet; the author remembers his childhood with a considerable distance.

Posted by: Ted Barlow on December 9, 2003 12:28 PM

Gah, happenned to see the movie last year, after friends raved over what a classic it was. What a letdown: boring, saccharine, twerpy little kid, and the worst voice-over I've ever heard. Keep avoiding it if you've managed to so far.

Posted by: TM on December 9, 2003 12:44 PM

I've had several catalogs appear in my mailbox featuring the leg lamp on the cover (pricy, pricy!), but better yet, if you're handy, are the instructions to build one of those lamps, which you can find a link to here.

Posted by: Linkmeister on December 9, 2003 5:42 PM

If you can't see the charm and nostalgia, in the
classic movie "A Christmas Story", a time when
everything was right and safe in the world, when
christmas and childhood was special and being a
kid with hopes and dreams was fun, I feel sorry for you Mr.Barlow. Or is that Mr.Grinch !!

Posted by: M D M on August 9, 2004 3:52 PM