Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Review of Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

Book:  Skipping Christmas
Author:  John Grisham
Published By:  Arrow
Pages:  177

From GoodreadsJohn Grisham turns a satirical eye on the overblown ritual of the festive holiday season, and the result is Skipping Christmas, a modest but funny novel about the tyranny of December 25. Grisham's story revolves around a typical middle-aged American couple, Luther and Nora Krank. On the first Sunday after Thanksgiving they wave their daughter Blair off to Peru to work for the Peace Corps, and they suddenly realize that "for the first time in her young and sheltered life Blair would spend Christmas away from home."
Luther Krank sees his daughter's Christmas absence as an opportunity. He estimates that "a year earlier, the Luther Krank family had spent $6,100 on Christmas," and have "precious little to show for it." So he makes an executive decision, telling his wife, friends, and neighbors that "we won't do Christmas." Instead, Luther books a 10-day Caribbean cruise. But things start to turn nasty when horrified neighbors get wind of the Krank's subversive scheme and besiege the couple with questions about their decision.

I read this as my final novel for the Holiday Reading Challenge hosted by All About {n}.

At first I really liked this novel.  I agree with Luther Krank that some people blow Christmas way out of proportion.  I mean who would really spend over $300 on custom Christmas card and over $6,000 total on Christmas?  I think sometimes it's nice to take a break from all the commercialized aspects of Christmas.  They one thing I was worried about in this novel was that by forgetting Christmas in general, that the Krank's would forget the real meaning of Christmas also.  I liked the part where Nora sat down with their priest and explained that they still believe in Christmas and what it stands for but they are just not celebrating the Halmark Holiday version of it.

I also liked the end of the book (which I won't go into in case anyone wants to read it), but overall I didn't feel like the first part of the book and the second part of the book fit together.  I feel that Grisham was trying to get two conflicting points across and it didn't flow together for me.

As for characters I actually like Luther Krank, but did not like his wife Nora.  I felt that she was a coward a times and very whiny.  Also some of the other characters in the book were rude and pushy.  I definitely wouldn't want to live in that neighborhood.

Overall I'd give this book:  ★★★  


  1. The neighbors being pushy does seem a bit off if the Krank could spend $6k on Christmas, he's not likely to live in a small town.

    Thanks for the review ^.^

    Sniffly Kitty
    Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books

  2. I liked what you said in your review. I actually listened to the audio version of this book several years ago. My husband and I shared long commutes into Dallas for many years. He liked it about the same as you. I loved it.. I thought it was funny and I think the narrator probably really added to my enjoyment of the story, too. I also liked that it was so very different from Grisham's normal writing. :)


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