Christmas Stories – Everyman’s Pocket Classics

 Christmas Stories - Everyman's Pocket Classics cover

Christmas Stories – Everyman’s Pocket Classics is a compilation of twenty short stories by an eclectic mixture of authors beginning with Charles Dickens and The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton and ending with Richard Ford and Creche. In between are:

Nikolai Gogol (The Night Before Christmas)
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Blue Carbuncle)
Anthony Trollope (Christmas at Thompson Hall)
Leo Tolstoy (Where Love is, God is)
Anton Chekov (Vanka)
Willa Cather (The Burglar’s Christmas)
O. Henry (A Chapparal Christmas Gift)
Saki /H.H. Munro (Reginald’s Christmas Revel)
Vladimir Nabokov (Christmas)
Damon Runyon (Dancing Dan’s Christmas)
Evelyn Waugh (Bella Fleace Gave a Party)
Elizabeth Bowen (Green Holly)
John Cheever (Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor)
Truman Capote (A Christmas Memory)
John Updike ( The Carol Sing)
Muriel Spark (Christmas Fugue)
Grace Paley (The Loudest Voice)
Alice Munro (The Turkey Season)

I like to read some Christmas themed books around this time of the year to help me get into the swing of things but this isn’t the sort of book that’s going to help with that. Most of the stories have very little to do with Christmas at all, even when the word is in the title, and quite a few of them are fairly miserable. In fact I’m beginning to wonder if writing and getting a ‘Christmas’ short story published, presumably in a magazine was a sort of equivalent of the Christmas number one in the pop charts.

There were a few that were enjoyable though, particularly Saki’s Reginald’s Christmas Revel which is very short indeed but is amusing.