Skipping Christmas

[openbook booknumber=”0385505833″]


Nora and Luther Krank are sick of celebrating Christmas. Well, Luther is, and he talks Nora into his point of view. They are tired of the crass commercialism, the crowds, the yelling, the stress, and the exorbitant price ($6,100!) of celebrating Christmas. So, when their daughter Blair leaves for a year to join the Peace Corp Luther decides they are going to skip Christmas. And, to talk his wife into it, he sweetens the pot by saying that instead they will save their money and, at half the cost, go on a cruise that sets sail Christmas Day.

So while everyone else eats too much turkey, ham, duck and more the Kranks go on a diet. While everyone else is racing around the mall stressing about shopping and gifts and last minute deadlines, the Kranks take naps in tanning booths, preparing for ten long days in the Caribbean sun. While their neighbors decorate and string up lights and lug forty pound light up Frosty’s onto their roofs, the Kranks sit back in front of the fire and relax. Their neighbors are shocked and stunned, some outraged, others jealous and consequences soon start to arise. The Kranks soon discover that skipping Christmas might not be so easy to do after all.

Sounds awful.”
       “No, it’s wonderful. And it’s just for one year. Let’s take a break. Blair’s not here. she’ll be back next year and we can jump back into the Christmas chaos, if that’s what you want. Come on, Nora, please. We skip Christmas, save the money, and go splash in the Caribbean for ten days.”
       “How much will it cost?”
       “Three thousand bucks.”
       “So we save money?”
       “When do we leave?”
       “High noon, Christmas Day.”
       They stared at each other for a long time.

It has been a long time since I read a John Grisham novel and it took me awhile to get back into the swing of his gruff writing style. This is very much Christmas from a man’s point of view. Hence the “good idea” of trying to skip the whole holiday arising in the first place, I imagine. All of the characters are a little rough around the edges, but that’s what makes them more real, more likeable even in some ways. And, the dialog was smart, snappy and, down right Grinch-y. I loved it.

I will admit, I almost wasn’t sure I was going to like the book right up until the very end. I wasn’t sure where he was taking it and it was a bit like watching one of those slapstick comedy movies. The ones where you know the character is going to do the one worst thing they can in a situation and, like watching a train wreck, you almost can’t look away as they totally and completely humiliate themselves. That happens. A lot.

The neighbors were down right cruel. I almost could not believe the stunts they pulled. But, I understood why by the end, without giving too much away I will say that it will all make sense. And, as I was picturing the humorous scenes that were happening I couldn’t help but think this would make a great movie, no surprise, it was made into one!

So, Skipping Christmas turned out to be a gruff, male-centric take on Christmas that ultimately had a warm heart and a great ending. The humorous twists and turns, the by turns gruff, pathetic and down right sneaky characters, and the snarky dialogue made this a great and entertaining read. Quick too! One for the husbands, I would say. Though wives will appreciate it too, after all he gets his comeuppance. Skipping Christmas, indeed.

One Response to Skipping Christmas

  1. Veggiemomof2
    1:58 pm on December 27th, 2009

    I really liked this book, so I was excited to hear about the movie. It was a decent remake & mostly stayed true to the book. Good review!

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