Customer Reviews


16 Reviews
5 star:
 (11)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story with a large feel good factor
The Santa Shop is a nice little story that leaves you feeling good after finishing it.

In this first person narrative, we get acquainted with Skip, a man who after the tragic loss of his wife and baby son ends up living on the streets of Albany. Filled with remorse and guilt about the death of his family, he decides that he can't go on living anymore. While...
Published on 29 May 2011 by Maria Staal

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The Santa Shop
Could not really get into this book, being quite honest. I have now reached the stage that unless a book grips me, I do not continue, as I have so many other books in paper form waiting for me, and little time in my life. Sorry.
Published 8 months ago by English murdered


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story with a large feel good factor, 29 May 2011
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The Santa Shop is a nice little story that leaves you feeling good after finishing it.

In this first person narrative, we get acquainted with Skip, a man who after the tragic loss of his wife and baby son ends up living on the streets of Albany. Filled with remorse and guilt about the death of his family, he decides that he can't go on living anymore. While working out how to take his own life, he meets another homeless man, who tells him of a special bridge that people use to say farewell to their earthly existence.
On hearing this Skip decides that jumping off the bridge is a good way to go and he sets out to find this bridge, in the hope of reaching it before Christmas Eve.

As we follow Skip on his journey, we get a realistic idea of what he is going through. His desire to die is well told and easy to sympathise with. The people he meets along the way are nicely described. Most of them he meets only once, but they are believable and real. Some of the characters that jump out are Father Johnston, a priest who lets Skip sleep in the chapel for a night, Barwood Stone, the homeless guy who tells him about the bridge and Jenny, owner of a corner store.

The Santa Shop is not a very long story - probably not more than 10.000 words. But it doesn't need to be longer. It is a well written story that has a good structure and keeps you wanting to read on. Ultimately you feel empathy for the main character Skip and although you don't want him to die, are willing to follow him on his journey to a better and happier life.
The conspiracy that engulfs Skip is not a transparent one. It is a good conspiracy anyway, which leaves you to think that the world really can be a better place if more conspiracies like this happened more often.

I recommend The Santa Shop to anyone who is in need of a feel good story. Especially one that can be read curled up on the couch on a cold winter afternoon.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and uplifting, 24 Jun 2011
By 
mountainmama "Shirley Hicks" (Charleston, West Virginia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
The Santa Shop by Tim Greaton was a poignant and uplifting story about one man's journey from the depths of despair and despondency to the dawn of redemption and recovery. Skip Ralstat lost his family in a fire. He blames himself for not being there to save them, and his guilt leads him to plan his own suicide by jumping from a bridge called Christmas Leap. Along the way his plot gets hijacked by the "Santa Conspiracy".

Well written and edited, Mr. Greaton has a wonderful talent for making his characters real, the dialog believable, and the locations familiar. You feel his pain and grief, you stand on the bridge with him, and you experience his awakening and hope. A beautiful story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional story that will stay with you, 31 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I normally have a set outline for reviews, but this book has left such an impression on me that I felt compelled to deviate from that format. There is a good reason for this and I will explain. This story is about a man who had a horrible Christmas experience that brought him to a suicidal state one year after that tragic incident. For me, I have never been suicidal, but Christmas has always been an emotional time for me due to similar reasons. My mother died just two weeks before Christmas when I was nine years old. The doctors knew she wouldn't make it and warned my family to prepare for her upcoming death. Brain cancer had left her in a very weakened state, but she wanted to see me and my younger brother open our gifts one last time. So we celebrated early with her that year. Then just a few days later, the cancer won the battle and took her from us. When the actual time for Christmas arrived, my father, brother, and I were in a rather depressed state. A few small, cheap gifts were exchanged. My father was trying, in his own way, but he wasn't our mother who did Christmas in a big way. Also, despite medical insurance, the cost of cancer had left us nearly destitute.

We tried to hang in there that first year. My father attempted to play the dual role of mom and dad, but eventually his depression caught up with him. Alcohol became his alternative and what money we had went toward feeding that need in him to drown out his sorrows. Our Christmas' became a decorated tree with little or nothing under them. Every year, I would cry myself to sleep and mourn the loss of my mother who had always known how to make holidays so special. By the time I had reached fourteen, it became too much. I planned ahead and saved every dollar I had, usually it wasn't much, maybe twenty or thirty total. Then, just a couple days before Christmas, I would go to whatever store was within walking distance to purchase little gifts for my brother and father. I wrapped these meager offerings up and placed them under the tree with the order they not be opened until the appropriate time.

Once Christmas eve had arrived, I would drag my brother to the living room and awaken my father from his drunken stupor. Under my supervising eye, they would open those gifts and each might give a smile. It wasn't much, but somehow I had to make the holiday better for them. They had both fallen to depression, drinking, and other things by this time and I was the only one hanging on. In some way, I was trying to give them a bit of happiness. Then, after the wrapping was cleaned up, my father passed out again, and my brother back in his room, I would go off alone to cry. I had done what I could. All the holidays until I left home seemed to pass this way with only one or two minor exceptions.

That first Christmas when I was eighteen years old was spent in Army barracks in North Carolina. I had just arrived at my unit two months before and only the soldiers who had been in the unit longer were given leave to go home. Perhaps not more than a dozen or so of us were left and I didn't know the others. I sat in my barracks room with its ugly cinder-block walls, once again depressed and even more alone than ever before. Then someone started pounding on all the doors, ordering us out into the hallway. We stumbled out, it was perhaps around 7pm so most hadn't gone to sleep, yet it was dark outside already. They told us all to go to the barracks entrance steps. I didn't want to and argued against it, but they told me it wasn't an option. To my surprise, upon reaching the entrance, a gathering of families were outside singing Christmas carols for us. It was a very cold night, yet they braved it to give us a little cheer. We even received cookies as a small gift. The children smiled so happily, knowing us soldiers needed that extra lift for the holiday. For ten minutes they stood there, just singing in chorus, in the cold, before moving on to the next building. It touched my heart to see people who selflessly came out on their holiday evening to show that they remembered us. The soldiers who sat alone in the dreary old barracks. Maybe they will never know how grateful I was for that kindness, but I hope they did.

So you are probably wondering why I related my story to you. Well, if it touched you at all, then this book will as well. It is about depression, Christmas miracles, and people giving out of the goodness of their hearts. I couldn't read this all in one sitting. It brought out my own memories and caused tears to pour forth from my eyes. I had to walk away from it a couple of times, but always felt compelled to come back and read more. It touched me deeply and I'm glad I read it. For this reason, I'm giving it five stars. Any author that can write a story that pulls so deeply at my heart is truly talented. You will not be sorry for having read this story. It is truly a beautiful tale.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 23 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Downloaded this book to my Kindle last Friday. I started reading it during a lull on a visit to an elderly relative, I had intended only to read a few pages, but the story drew me in so completely that before I knew it I'd read the whole thing. I loved the unexpected twist at the end, really clever. Truly a very emotive story, brilliantly crafted. I whole-heartedly recommend this to everyone...and not just for Christmas reading. This is a great book for any time of year.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 15 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this story but was very disappointed with it's abrupt ending. I believe there is a another,longer version so I may read that, but I would have preferred to read it all in one go.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Santa shop, 12 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Thoroughly enjoyed this thought provoking story, which certainly makes one think differently about the Christmas season. I look forward to reading more from Tim Greaton, especially this series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 21 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Just a good read full of great values and moral codes without being cheesy . Was a quick read that left me deleting ok about being human and reminding me about the power of just being kind for no selfish agenda and how that can impact on others around us. Small acts of altruism do count.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars The Santa Shop, 31 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Could not really get into this book, being quite honest. I have now reached the stage that unless a book grips me, I do not continue, as I have so many other books in paper form waiting for me, and little time in my life. Sorry.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT FEEL GOOD SHORT STORY, 28 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is a great short story which leaves you with a feel good feeling by the time that you have finished with it.

The book starts with a couple leaving and signing over their house and workshop over to someone but it doesn't say why.

The 2nd chapter starts with a homeless man Skip who feels so down as he blames himself for the death of his wife and baby son even though it was a dope head neighbour who caused the fire which tore through the apartments killing other neighbours as well. Skip had gone to a works christmas party and he felt that he should have been home to save them.

Skip comes across a priest who takes him in for the night and gives him some breakfast the following morning. Skip see the priest speaking to what appears to be another homeless person.

Skip says he goodbyes to the priest and sets off on his way and determines that he has to pay the ultimate price for the death of his family by taking his own. As he wanders around considering what and how he should do this he nearly gets run over by a train but is pulled back by someone. Who was this person who saved him? Skip thinks it was the other homeless person he had seen the priest talking to earlier that morning. He shouts and catches up with him and the man tells him a story about Santas Leap.

Skip says his goodbyes to the homeless man and decides there and then that he is going to go there but needs money to get there which is $50 which he ends up getting.

He finally arrives at Gray and looks for the bridge where Santa's Leap is.

I won't say anymore as it will spoil the plot but a great read at this time of year.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely short read., 17 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Santa Shop (The Samaritans Conspiracy Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this festive story. It made you stop and think and be thankful for what you have. It's up lifting and thought provoking.
A lovely story about the magic of Christmas as you are taken on a journey of a man's despair and loneliness as he comes to terms with losing his wife and son. Well worth reading : )
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews