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Skipping Christmas: Christmas with The Kranks [Paperback]

John Grisham
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

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Skipping Christmas: Christmas with The Kranks Skipping Christmas: Christmas with The Kranks 3.9 out of 5 stars (135)
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Book Description

4 Nov 2004

Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shops, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That's just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they'll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on the street without a rooftop Frosty the snowman; they won't be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren't even going to have a tree. They won't need one, because come December 25 they're setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences - and isn't half as easy as they'd imagined.

A classic tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that has become part of our holiday tradition.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; Film tie-in edition edition (4 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099481685
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099481683
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 338,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby--writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career--and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, and The Associate) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 250 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books' protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500--the biggest verdict of his career.

When he's not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

Product Description

Amazon Review

John Grisham has turned a satirical eye on the overblown ritual of the festive 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 suddenly realise 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. An accountant, Luther quickly estimates that "a year earlier, the Luther Krank family had spent $6,100 on Christmas", and had "precious little to show for it". Luther makes an executive decision, telling his wife, friends and neighbours that "we won't do Christmas". Instead, Luther books a 10-day Caribbean cruise. All goes well until people get wind of the Kranks' subversive scheme. Everyone, from Christmas card salesmen to horrified neighbours, besieges the couple with questions; what about the Christmas party, carols and the erection of Frosty the Snowman? Things start to turn nasty in the local neighbourhood.

Grisham builds up a funny but increasingly terrifying picture of how the tightknit community turn on the Kranks, who find themselves under increasing pressure to conform. As the tension mounts, will they ever manage to board their plane on December 25? Skipping Christmas is Grisham-lite, with none of the serious drama of earlier books such as The Pelican Brief, but a funny poke at the craziness of Christmas. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Grisham may well be the best American storyteller writing today" (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Grisham is an absolute master" (The Washington Post)

"You can take the adventure out of Grisham, but you can't take Grisham out of his adventures . . . an impressive read" (The Observer)

"A great story-teller" (Daily Telegraph)

"A giant of the thriller genre" (Time Out)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, New Look At The Spirit of Christmas. 4 Feb 2002
Format:Hardcover
An excellent read.
I've read almost all of John's books, and enjoyed most of them. This is a real breath of fresh air.
The humour is subtle, and John really captures the feeling of Christmas.
Peace, is something the Luther Krank seeks, when he is faced with Christmas, so he decides to "Skip Christmas" completely, but, in a very entertaining chain of events he slowly realises that Christmas isn't just about tinsel, candles, presents, lights, fixtures, fittings and big bank balances, and that there is far more than that involved. A simple phone call completely turns his plans upside down, and he finds himself at the "mercy" of those he was avoiding.
I read this book, "post Christmas" and found I could really relate to some of the feelings conveyed.
A VERY GOOD READ!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful!! 23 Mar 2006
By clrussl
Format:Paperback
I have to say that this must be one of my favourite books. It is so easy to read and the main characters come alive, with all their weaknesses and silliness. You can't help smiling at some of the incidents and the twist in the tale ...... well, it takes your breath away!
Brilliant as a present, but buy it first for yourself.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, must be read before Christmas!! 14 Nov 2001
Format:Hardcover
This is a very different story for John Grisham. Must be read before Christmas. I really enjoyed this book, it made me laugh and the story has stayed in my mind long after finishing the book. A very good read, I highly recommend it!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic feel-good Christmas read 26 July 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Skipping Christmas is a wonderful little book to get you in the holiday spirit. It offers a comical and also cynical glimpse into the stress of the run up to Christmas. Throughout the book you will laugh out load then shed a tear at the end.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Christmas Is All About...Unfortunately 6 Sep 2003
Format:Hardcover
In a good way this book makes you cringe. Why? Because we have all been there at CHristmas time. The stress of the planning,the cost of it all. So as we have all thought at times, the characters in this book decide to escape and instead of spending all their hard earned money on gifts and food decide to escape on a cruise. The cringe moments come when the whole street is decorating their houses and theirs is the only one without so much as a bit of tinsel. It is typical of how we are always looking at what the neighbours are doing and what they will think fi we dont celebrate Christmas the traditional way. The pressure is piled on to them to conform and as the stress levels increase as a reader the scenes that are set become more hilarious. Defenitely worth a read and a good diversion from the heavy legal bound usual writings.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars somewhat disappointing 23 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Sorry to say that I didn't really enjoy this. I am such a fan of Grisham, and did enjoy painted house. But Skipping Christmas was a let down. It was too simple, too twee, and I found it difficult to keep my interest and read through to the end. It read like a long short story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Grisham Lite" hits the spot 13 Jan 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is great fun. Grisham really isn't trying too hard as he points the finger at the excesses and social paranoia that dominate Christmas. It's an enjoyable read that is little more than a long short story. Grisham's well practiced, easy style, zips along at a comfortable pace with some neat, wry observations about suburban behaviours. Read it and then give to friends to read next year.
One small gripe - Grisham loses his nerve and goes for the Disney ending when something a little more Grimm would have been far more satisfying. Shame.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A real turkey of a book 26 Jan 2002
Format:Hardcover
I bought this on the back of all other John Grisham novels, however, I have noticed that his plots are becomming a little tired!. This was one my holiday reading material over christmas and quite frankly I could not believe it was written by the same man who bought us The partner, A time to kill and The Firm. Its a daft story and an even dafter ending. I will wait for reviews on his new book before I buy any more of his novels, because his last three books leave alot to be desired. I think this guy has lost the plot!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent light read
I loved the detail of the book, I really would like to skip Christmas as a result it has a lovely flow to it and makes a great holiday read
Published 9 days ago by Paul M
5.0 out of 5 stars unusual Grisham
Different and enjoyable
Published 21 days ago by Marion Aspel
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect John Grisham's usual standard
Awful Not up to John Grisham's standard. I have read many of his books and am just reading Rainmaker now and find it difficult to put it down - very enjoyable read.
Published 2 months ago by customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly awful
Having just read Sycamore Row which I liked, I thought I would give this a go. It's American slapstick at its worst, simplistic, sentimental and completely unfunny. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars More like Tyler than Grisham
I’ve only briefly dipped into John Grisham’s work prior to this. Legal thrillers don’t interest me, but this looked different. As, indeed, it turned out to be. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sue
4.0 out of 5 stars A ridiculous idea
We all know it is crazy but this is a very funny reminder of why we all do Christmas and the thought of skipping it is a ridiculous idea
Published 2 months ago by Gill Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I would highly recommend this book - especially if his usual subject matter of the legal world is not your taste as this is completely different. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Lindy
4.0 out of 5 stars Skipping Christmas
A good story line. A pleasant change from the usual law based tales. A story that keeps you guessing until the bitter end.
Published 3 months ago by M D FACEY
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing short novel
We ALWAYS skip Christmas and have done for over 20 years. I highly recommend it. It goes a lot better for us than for this hapless couple. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alison
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch the film instead
It's very different to anything you might expect from john Grisham.. I prefer the film, and I don't say that very often!
Published 4 months ago by Melissa
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