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A Christmas Story Book

December 17, 2009 - Amy Phelps
I found a hardcover copy of "A Christmas Story" by Jean Shepherd, a collection of the stories that Shepherd used in the movie, at our local bookstore for the bargain price of $2.99. These stories, published in magazines and then in Shepherd's collections, "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" and "Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters," contain many of the memorable scenes from the movie.

"Duel in the Snow, Or Red Ryder Nails The Cleveland Street Kid" - contains every Red Ryder bit - "You'll shoot your eye out," but also the multi-layering winter clothes, the Old Man versus the furnace, a Christmas theme, the creepy Santa moment, the pink nightmare (here just slippers), the zeppelin and the icicle lie. "The Counterfeit Secret Circle Member Gets The Message, Or the Asp Strikes Again" deals solely with the Ovaltine. And "My Old Man and the Lascivious Special Award That Heralded The Birth of Pop Art" goes into greater detail about the events surrounding the major award, and explains just why a leg lamp. "Grover Dill and the Tasmanian Devil" is solely the bully incident and finally there's "The Grandstand Passion Play of Delbert and the Bumpus Hounds" in which the dogs make off with not the Christmas turkey, but the Easter ham and the family goes out for "chop suey" instead.

Having not read any of Shepherd's other works, I really enjoyed his writing style and wondered where my other favorite scenes from the movie came from. What about the "Oh, Fudge" incident? Or Flick sticking his tongue on the flagpole? Are these in other books or just written for the movie?

For the "A Christmas Story" fanatic, this would be a great stocking-stuffer.


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