My Goodreads review of this book says: "I wish I could go back in time and not read this book or spend any money on it. Worst Christmas story ever. No plot, no point, and the writing was unbearable to read."
Needless to say, this review will probably be short, because that up there? The best review I can give for this book.
I picked it up for two reasons:
1) I wanted to read a Christmas story around Christmas. I knew I was going to be reading A Christmas Carol by Dickens, but I wanted something a little more modern - and the only modernish Christmas stories out there seem to be romance novels. And that's not what I was looking for.
2) The cover said it was a satirical version of A Christmas Carol. Some even went as far to say as it made Dickens' classic seem unimaginative. If I were British I would say: "bollocks!" But, since I'm not, and saying that would be quite pretentious of me, I'll just go with: "bull!"
Long story short: James Sparrow is a young, rich man who hates Christmas. His wife loves Christmas. They live in a sky rise apartment in Chicago. James also fails completely at life: he failed at all of his ambitions, his current job is about to meet a particularly rocky end, and his wife wants to see the Nutcracker (despite being completely stricken with the flu) while James wants to hide from Christmas in Hawaii. James receives a call that his favorite Uncle is dying, so he flies out to South Dakota to spend time with the man. He finds himself trapped in SD with his crazy relatives amidst a huge snowstorm. Intelligently, instead of staying at a relative's house, he opts to stay in an old fishing shack that belonged to his deceased brother-in-law. Cue a bunch of figures who usher him towards an epiphany about the season.
Sounds good, doesn't it?
Yeah, I thought so too. A nice, simple, grumpy Scrooge learns the meaning of Christmas.
But, really, not.
This book was awful and I nearly put it down for good a number of times. (Times like these make me wish I didn't have a compulsion to finish every book I start. I always hope the ones I don't like early on will have some sort of redeeming quality by the end.) The writing was atrocious. Keillor tried to be flashy, verbose, and controversial - but failed most of the times. It was just a boring book, predictable, with no real plot or point.
Like I said earlier, I wish I could go back in time and tell my former self not to waste my money.
Title: A Christmas Blizzard
Author: Garrison Keillor
Date Read: 4 December 2012
First Line: It was an old familiar nightmare, the one about men in black hoods chasing him through tall grass toward the precipice overlooking jagged rocks and great greenish waves rolling and crashing in the abyss where sharks with chainsaw teeth awaited and the great black buzzards hung in the air and there he was sliding sliding toward extinction and then Mr. Sparrow woke up to a song emanating from somewhere close to the bed - "When he plays his drum, pa-rum-pum-pum-pum, Let's break his thumbs."
Recommended: Not really. Not at all. Read at your own risk.
Recommended For: Fans of Garrison Keillor
Source: Purchased, December 2012