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30 review for Christmas Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    The proverbial curate's egg....'Good in parts'. This was a collection of twenty short stories ranging from re-reading stories written by authors well known to me, touching down in previously unread stories by other authors with whom I am familiar and then coming to rest in fables written by people of whom i had never heard. The fascinating thing was some of these unknown writers, to me at least, gave me the most joy although thinking about it, joy might not be the right word. Some of these stori The proverbial curate's egg....'Good in parts'. This was a collection of twenty short stories ranging from re-reading stories written by authors well known to me, touching down in previously unread stories by other authors with whom I am familiar and then coming to rest in fables written by people of whom i had never heard. The fascinating thing was some of these unknown writers, to me at least, gave me the most joy although thinking about it, joy might not be the right word. Some of these stories and I would, it seems, have a quite different understanding of the phrase 'season of good will'. Some of these stories were ones of heartbreak and lost love, of wasted opportunities and of failed hopes. Not the cheeriest of collections but fascinating just the same. Just to mark out a few would be churlish...but what the hell i feel like being a churl so here goes. Saki............oh come on, you can never go wrong with Saki. This was a short, understated first person account of a Christmas 'jape' not terribly well received by the rest of the party. Silly, off the wall and therefore perfect Saki. There was a beautiful story by Nabokov of a grieving father reading his son's diary....'bittersweet' might have been a word coined for this tale. Elizabeth Bowen and Muriel Spark give us ghost stories but from left of field. Bowen's reminded me a little of Flann O'Brien's 'The third policeman' and if you read her story, 'Green Holly', you would see what i mean. Spark's is fun and leaves you with an uncertain 'what the f**k happened there' type feeling and then my two lovely encounters were with Truman Capote who, although i have heard of him I have never read anything by him and Alice Munro. Capote's was called 'A Christmas Memory' and was a truly heartbreaking account of a young lad and his friendship with his eccentric Aunt. In fact I had just looked at it again and the last paragraph still made me choke a little. Absolutely lovely and sad and real. Extraordinary . Munro's was called 'the Turkey Season' and I am still not quite sure what i liked about it. Nothing particularly happens and yet a good deal does. Its is a weird feeling that something and nothing you get when you encounter a story and it makes you want to know more and follow the characters as if you see them turning a corner instead of leaving the page. One of the things i noticed about so many of the short stories here and indeed many others I have read concerning Christmas is that they are nostalgia based or at least adults looking back to an experience, not necessarily positive, undergone in childhood. I am not quite sure what this says but maybe it is another aspect of the ghost story phenomenon. Many of these accounts are not of actual ghosts but perhaps they still are of hauntings, those shady images or memories flitting around in the back of our minds remain ever possible of unnerving or indeed encouraging. Redemption comes, I suppose, when our past which is still alive in us can be transformed or at least looked at squarely and accepted.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Henderson

    Anthologies are great - you dip in and out, you like some stories and are lukewarm about others, and that's ok. Would I rave about every word in this book? No. Did I discover the unexpected, did I feel myself drawn into the lives of others, did I close the book cover with new, fresh and unusual images in my mind? Absolutely. The book achieves what it set out to do! Anthologies are great - you dip in and out, you like some stories and are lukewarm about others, and that's ok. Would I rave about every word in this book? No. Did I discover the unexpected, did I feel myself drawn into the lives of others, did I close the book cover with new, fresh and unusual images in my mind? Absolutely. The book achieves what it set out to do!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anamika Mohanta

    Stories which warm your heart, while you snuggle inside the blanket and warm your feet!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer E. Adams

    A compilation of short Christmas stories---some just seem to take place around Christmas and have little to do with the holiday. But it's something fun to pull out around the holidays when you might have little time to read a long novel. My sister gave this to me a few years back and I've pulled it out every year and read some stories more than once. Some pretty famous authors in there. A compilation of short Christmas stories---some just seem to take place around Christmas and have little to do with the holiday. But it's something fun to pull out around the holidays when you might have little time to read a long novel. My sister gave this to me a few years back and I've pulled it out every year and read some stories more than once. Some pretty famous authors in there.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Anthology of christmas short stories, a range of noted authors over a wide expanse of time. All well written. Some less cheery. Several I had not read before in other places, others I had. Not my favorite of anthologies, but is,ways like to read holiday selections at the holidays.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    A great survey featuring many of short fiction's best known and most highly regarded proponents. I'd be interested in who from more recent years would make an updated version...no one here that I know of who made a name for themselves after the 1970s/80s. A great survey featuring many of short fiction's best known and most highly regarded proponents. I'd be interested in who from more recent years would make an updated version...no one here that I know of who made a name for themselves after the 1970s/80s.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Really nice collection of Christmas-themed stories, with a strong variety from a bit of treacle (not much, though) to moving to funny, to thought-provoking.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    All the stories were good, but I wish they had not chosen one of the downers with which to end the collection.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Moya

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peggy O'Connor

  11. 5 out of 5

    Valerie F

  12. 4 out of 5

    Trudy

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Rephlo

  14. 4 out of 5

    Georgeanne

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Watkins

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chris Bing

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Harrison

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine Dove

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate Boyd

  22. 5 out of 5

    Glenda Peters

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tara

  24. 5 out of 5

    Helena

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sashapecks

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alex Burton-keeble

  27. 5 out of 5

    Janet Lambregts

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  29. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Reetz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan Zwart

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