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 Christmas joys and travails in small-town Depression-era Indiana has entered our imagination and our hearts with a force equal to It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. This audio prodcution of A Christmas Story gathers together in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. Here is young Ralphie Parker's shocking discovery that his decoder ring is really a device to promote Ovaltine; his mother and father's pitched battle over the fate of a lascivious leg lamp; the unleashed and unnerving savagery of Ralphie's duel in the snow with the odious bullies Scut Farkas and Grover Dill; and, most crucially, Ralphie's unstoppable campaign to get Santa, or anyone else, to give him a Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle. Who cares that the whole adult world is telling him, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid"?
The pieces that comprise A Christmas Story, previously published in the larger collections In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories, coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.
(P)2004 Random House Inc. Random House Audio, a divison of Random House, Inc.
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5 out of 5 stars
By Jimmy on 28-05-11

Poor Jean Shepherd

I guess Jean Shepherd and J.K. Rowling have something in common -- the movies are never quite like the book. I love the "Christmas Story" movie and watch it ritually every Christmas season. I have to admit, I like the movie better than the book -- but like with Harry Potter, that is probably not a fair comparison -- directors take too much license with these stories. This is a great story. Shepherd writes in such a descriptive manner -- I almost feel as if I lived in that house and fought the Bumpuses dogs. I probably listened to the audiobook six times last Christmas season, and will probably do so again next season. It is just that good!

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By ktkat1949 on 26-12-12

Totally wrong narrator for this book

I guess I am too used to the movie where the narrator is the author Jean Shepherd. The book needed someone with a warm deep voice and Cavett's is too light and almost 'girly'.I never got the impression he enjoyed what he was doing and there was never any change in his inflection no matter what was happening in the story. I had my doubts before I bought and I should have stayed with my instincts and not purchased this. If you are a real fan of the movie don't buy this. You will be disappointed. I gave up after the first chapter.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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