Thursday, December 10

Christmas Reading Challenge

I just finished the second of 3 books I definitely chose for the Christmas reading challenge.

I've always enjoyed A Christmas Story, a low budget film released in 1983. My first husband and I saw it while we were dating. At that time, I thought it focused too much on kids' "gimme gimme" attitude but it's grown on me over the years. I didn't realize until years later that it was based on a story written by Jean Shepherd--well, actually, a series of stories.

Because I've become so fond of the movie, I picked A Christmas Story up one year from one of the bookstores, probably Borders.

It's rare for me to say this but ... the movie was better. Here's why:

Jean Shepherd reworked three or four of his other stories to fit in with the actual Red Ryder BB gun/Christmas story piece. I thought they were all part of the same story or, at the very least, they all took place around Christmas time. Ahem. No.

Second, two of the short stories start out with occurrences that have nothing to do with the story that follows. For example, in the first one he's eating in an Automat with an elderly woman sporting a button that says "Disarm the toy industry". His conversation with her eventually leads to his look back at his obession with getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. It didn't feel right and didn't "fit" in my opinion. I thought it detracted from the story.

Third, it just wasn't as funny as the movie was. The movie really seemed to tell the story from the boy's point of view. The short stories were told by an adult. There's a big difference between the two perspectives. One is charming and one ... isn't.

Lasstly, the Christmas story piece came first in the book. That was a real let-down. After that, where do you go? Oh well ... I've still got the movie to look forward to!

I'm reading Skipping Christmas by John Grisham next. The story was also made into a movie just a few years ago, called Christmas With the Kranks. I sure hope I like the book better!

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