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Summary

You are about to listen to the true story of Father Christmas. It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible. If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you. Because this audiobook is full of impossible things. Are you still reading? Good. Then let us begin....

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an 11-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn't afraid to believe in magic. From the winner of The Smarties Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award. With illustrations by Chris Mould.

©2015 Matt Haig (P)2016 Canongate Books

What listeners say about A Boy Called Christmas

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A lovely Christmas story

So how did Father Christmas get to be who we know today, this story answers that question. Suitable for pretty much any age. Youngsters will appreciate the flying reindeer who lives to pee on people and adults will love a well told, and well read, tale

9 people found this helpful

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A christmas cracker

A wonderful story filled with adventure and humour. Stephen Fry's narration brings it to life too!

10 people found this helpful

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Delightful

What a wonderful way to cheer up a dreary commute. The kid in me enjoyed every minute of this. Merry Christmas 😀

14 people found this helpful

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A new Christmas tradition

Fabulous. This may become a Christmas tradition! Had all 4 of us hooked. (Parents as well as children.)

9 people found this helpful

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Mixed

A slow and very depressing start.
Some jeopardy picked up the pace in the middle, but the plot continued to be bleak and miserable. Themes of loss, stupidity and cruelty...
I was not enjoying anything about this, other than Fry's dulcet tones.

Only in the last third/quarter of the story does some happiness come into the story.
The redemption is a big relief by that stage, but it really comes too late much too late. Not well plotted.

There is a satisfyingly happy ending, at least.
For children aged around 9+, I guess, due to the seriousness of the heavy themes.

2 people found this helpful

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strange

I enjoyed the story but it was a bit darker and weirder than I thought it'd be

2 people found this helpful

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Amazingly depressing!

What would have made A Boy Called Christmas better?

The story is really, really nasty. From the cover picture and some of the reviews i expected a nice fun Christmasey story but it's not at all. The whole thing is a series of really, REALLY depressing and actually upsetting events. Once I started listening I thought it might be like a fairy story which starts off sad but then gets happy as the protagonist meets new people but if anything it gets worse. I struggled through two thirds until I gave up.

What could Matt Haig have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Completely changed the story into what it looks like on the front cover and from the blurb. Obviously lots of reviewers liked the book and I can see that it's pretty well written but it should be better reflected in the cover and description. I definitely wouldn't have bought it if I had realised it was full of really horrible stuff.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

I didn't enjoy it at all.

6 people found this helpful

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lovely

This is a lovely book, quite emotional and sad but wonderful too.
Stephen Fry was perfect for the naration.

1 person found this helpful

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Great.

the narrator was really good. it is exciting when he says it because he makes it feel like it is actually happening to me. I loved the story because even though magic isn't real you can really think about it and it can be magic. from LP 6 years old.

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely delightful

This was a fantastically told and performed children's story full of hope, magic and goodness. Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Peter Darling
  • 22-01-19

This deserves a movie adaptation.

Of all the origin stories for this mythical figure that exist in movie form, none that I know of comes even close to this. This is original and creative, yet also believable. The characters and events are all down to earth and flow seemlessly but the story does not lack magic. It's just been blended in so well. If Father Christmas was real, this is how he likely would have become the magical figure we know. The relative realism made this such an enjoyable listen, as did the likeable, reasonably complex characters. The narrator is spot-on too. Great job he did.

I only wish he had googled how to pronounce the Finnish names--especially the town names. It got a bit distracting to one who knows how, and the correct pronounciation would be easy enough for those whose first language is english. I also think that in the wring the toilet humour was unnecessary and didn't really fit in, but fortunately there was only four points where that happened. But these flaws are not big enough to lose them stars.

Anyway, great job from the narrator and a heart-felt, creative story from the author. Matt Haig seems to be at his strongest as a children's author and able to make his stories engaging for adults too. I would listen to this again around Christmas.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 20-12-20

A new holiday tradition

I adore this book. This is the fourth time I've read it; it's become a new holiday tradition. Stephen Fry is one of my favourite narrators, and he does a marvellous job with A Boy Called Christmas.