Extended Audio Sample

Download A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film Audiobook, by Jean Shepherd Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00146198830409 out of 54.00146198830409 out of 54.00146198830409 out of 54.00146198830409 out of 54.00146198830409 out of 5 4.00 (684 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jean Shepherd Narrator: Dick Cavett Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2004 ISBN: 9780739316757
Regular Price: $8.48 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $7.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

The holiday film A Christmas Story, first released in 1983, has become a bona fide Christmas perennial, gaining in stature and fame with each succeeding year. Its affectionate, wacky, and wryly realistic portrayal of an American family’s typical Christmas joys and travails in small-town Depression-era Indiana has entered our imagination and our hearts with a force equal to It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.

This edition of A Christmas Story gathers together in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. Here is young Ralphie Parker’s shocking discovery that his decoder ring is really a device to promote Ovaltine; his mother and father’s pitched battle over the fate of a lascivious leg lamp; the unleashed and unnerving savagery of Ralphie’s duel in the show with the odious bullies Scut Farkas and Grover Dill; and, most crucially, Ralphie’s unstoppable campaign to get Santa—or anyone else—to give him a Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle. Who cares that the whole adult world is telling him, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid”?

The pieces that comprise A Christmas Story, previously published in the larger collections In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories, coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.

Download and start listening now!

BK_LILI_000201

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tlnorz | 2/17/2014

    " This is a collection of Jean Shepherd short stories, the stories that form the bulk of the all-time best movie about being a kid at Christmas, "A Christmas Story." One thing I like about this book is the differences between the movie and the book. The movie was based on the book but is different enough that the book and the movie can stand on their own. I enjoyed reading this book at Christmastime and know that I will read it multiple times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Don Murphy | 2/16/2014

    " Drop dead funny. Read it in a day, and couldn't stop laughing. Most of the essays in this were used for the movie, and the transition from page to screen is near-perfect. If you love the movie, this is a must read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Willis | 2/11/2014

    " I really liked all but one of these short stories. For the most part they were funny, well-written, and inventive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Iesha laile | 1/23/2014

    " it was a good book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jayme(the ghost reader) | 1/17/2014

    " This book overall was okay. The stories didn't all take place during a Christmas vacation. That kind of threw me. I did really like the story about the Bumpusses and their dogs eating the ham. That's another thing that changed too. I overall prefer the movie to the book. At least I can say I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 1/9/2014

    " This was a lot of fun, considering how we watch this movie many, many times each Christmas. It is a collection of essays that the movie was drawn from, so there are a few favorite scenes from the movie you won't find in the book and some scenes from the movie more fleshed out in the book. You could even pinpoint some of the great lines from the movie. The best part was the chapter on the Bumpuses which went into much more detail than the movie. The aftermath of the Lamp Incident had me in stitches literally (especially that sink--and there's no way that would have quite translated into film.) The writing style was unique though occasionally hard to follow. Overall, lots of fun and a great commentary on childhood during the Depression (not that I'd know personally, but it seems pretty good to me.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 rytr_1 | 1/6/2014

    " Well, that was a lot of fun, as I knew it would be. I listened to the unabridged audiobook, read by Dick Cavett, who did a great job with it. This is not a scene-by-scene adaptation of the 1983 movie, but a selection of short stories that formed the basis of it. You get the Red Ryder air rifle, the fight with the bully, the parental battle over the lamp, and more. The sound effects and music are a nice touch, complementing the narrative without intruding upon it. Only regret: there is no sign of Flick getting his tongue stuck to the frozen flagpole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 12/31/2013

    " I highly recommend this collection of short stories by Jean Shepherd, which most were originally published in Play Boy during the 1960's. The stories are all found in A Christmas Story, but of course there's a bit more detail and only one took place during Christmas. I enjoyed reading about the famous leg lamp because I learned about the popularity of puzzles and contests back in the 1930's, which brought to life a small piece of Americana. The last story about the Bumpus's (and their dogs) was very entertaining as well. I highly recommend this for some enjoyable, light reading and for a chance to travel back into the 1930's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 12/30/2013

    " Great book ... Nostalgic and funny. Everything that the movie is and more. Some language not suitable for little ones, but a great Christmas read nonetheless! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 11/14/2013

    " If you love the movie as much as I do, you have to read this book. It's so cool to see how true to the actual essays the movie was and the four in this book are the basis for the entire movie. I read it every Christmas time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 11/12/2013

    " I love this story. I read it during a month of December every year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colin | 6/18/2013

    " I'll definitely be reading more of Jean Shepherd's work! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 12/21/2012

    " This movie was a classic in my family growing up and the book brings even more to the table. I especially loved the last section about the Bumpus family. A nice escape book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carrie | 12/2/2012

    " For some reason, the movie was sooo much funnier than the book. Maybe it's because I love Jean Shepherd's voice so much. Still a fun little read. Some profanity. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca (everyday reader) | 9/5/2012

    " Ralphie and his flashbacks of the Christmas season when he was 9. Funny!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregandemy | 8/7/2012

    " not as good as the movie, but still a fun Christmas read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg | 5/16/2012

    " I am definitely going to read more from Jean Shepherd! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angie Bollard | 3/5/2012

    " I liked this book, but I don't love it. Most of the salient points in this book are represented in "A Christmas Story". So none of it was new and there's only so many times you can watch the movie and be reading the book at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mack Oliver | 11/3/2011

    " Gutbustingly funny, nostalgic, and wildly witty. The last story, however, was so bothersome! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Hill | 7/28/2011

    " Added new insight and laughs to one of my favorite Christmas traditions--watching A Christmas Story, and laughing all the way through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 1/31/2011

    " Interesting to see how they pulled bits of these short stories to make the movie. It was entertaining! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 1/15/2011

    " Even if you loved the movie, the book is still better- hilarious! This book has all the source material for the movie & more. A terrific read, but unlike many books, is also actually funnier on audio. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 1/7/2011

    " I prefer the movie! These were some of the short stories that became themes in the movie. It was a pretty good read, but didn't capture me that much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles | 12/19/2010

    " Not near as amazing as the movie, but a good read for the Holidays. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 12/14/2010

    " I love this movie and the book is even funnier! Excellent, lighthearted Christmas reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gregandemy | 12/11/2010

    " not as good as the movie, but still a fun Christmas read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 12/11/2010

    " This is a 3.5 star book if there ever was one. It's really short- I read it in a couple hours. It was fun to read, perfect for the time of year, pretty funny, kind of cute and probably fairly forgettable except I'm about to watch the movie and the stage production. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rainey | 12/5/2010

    " a charming collection of short stories. The juxtaposition of the child of the stories and the adult narrator makes for an intriguing internal dynamic. I've recommended this collection to everyone this holiday season. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lee Anne | 11/16/2010

    " Very funny stories, and much grittier than the beloved holiday movie. A quick and easy read; it only lasted a week for me because I'm so exhausted from working at this time of year. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kaylam | 10/15/2010

    " well its good right now its good.......:) "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
For many years, a cult radio and cabaret personality in New York City, Jean Shepherd was the creator of the popular film A Christmas Story, which is based on his novels In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories, and which has become a holiday tradition on the Turner Network. Jean Shepherd passed away in 1999.
About the Narrator


Dick Cavett was the host of The Dick Cavett Show on ABC and PBS, and he also hosted talk shows on the USA, HBO, and CNBC cable networks. He appears frequently on stage, screen, and new media, and he was nominated for his most recent Emmy Award in 2012. He is the author of Talk Show and the coauthor of Cavett and Eye on Cavett, and he writes an online opinion column for The New York Times. He lives in New York City and Montauk, New York.