Jean Shepherd

A Christmas Story

If the classic film A Christmas Story (1983) seems a bit episodic, that’s because it was pieced together from four of 15 autobiographical essays by Jean Shepherd originally published as In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash (1966). These four are featured in this new release, A Christmas Story (2003), which includes a fifth bonus essay from another Shepherd collection that chronicles the tale of the Bumpuses’ dogs, who actually steal an Easter ham, not the Christmas turkey. This collection makes a nice addition to family fun time during the holidays. What could be cozier than lounging around the fire while Mom or Dad reads aloud, with or without the eight glasses of wine consumed by little Ralphie Parker’s father. These tales are just as funny, poignant and identifiable as the classic film that garners 24-hour airplay on some cable channels every year, and the book is broken up in pieces small enough to capture the attention of the original MTV babies who made the film so much a part of our pop-cultural landscape.