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Summary

All of your favorite Christmas stories in one fantastic collection. From heartfelt stories such as O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi" to tales of mystery from G. K. Chesterton and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Here is a treasure trove of tales from some of the best writers in the world, narrated by the voice of the Classic Tales: B.J. Harrison. Each story is presented unabridged.

A Classic Tales Christmas includes:

  • "The Flying Stars", by G.K. Chesterton
  • "Markheim", by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • "The Goblins and the Gravedigger", by Charles Dickens
  • "Do You Hear What I Hear?" sung by Wooster and Jeeves
  • "Christmas at Sea", poem by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • "Reginald on Christmas Presents", by Saki
  • "The Life of Our Lord", by Charles Dickens
  • "Christmas Trees", by Robert Frost
  • "The Little Match Girl", by Hans Christian Andersen
  • "The Christmas Story" (Luke 2:7-14) from The King James Bible
  • "'Twas the Night Before Christmas", by Clement Moore
  • "A Cricket on the Hearth", by Charles Dickens
  • "Thar' Be No Place Like Home (Fer the Holidays)", sung by Long John Silver
  • "The Blue Carbuncle", by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "Where Love Is, God Is", by Leo Tolstoy
  • "The Ice Palace", by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • "The Gift of the Magi", by O. Henry
  • "The Last Leaf", by O. Henry
  • "Behind the White Brick", by Francis Hodgson Burnett
  • "A Christmas Carol", by Charles Dickens
Public Domain (P)2011 B.J. Harrison

What members say

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Awful narration

I can't really say how good the stories are as the narrator is so annoying I couldn't listen to any of them in full.
Very disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Tenuous links to Christmas

I gave up at around a quarter of the way through this book. In that time there were crime stories, ghost stories, 'Do you see what I see?' sung in the style of Jeeves and Wooster, no story just someone singing the song, and the life of Christ as written for his children by Dickens. This last took about around 12% of the total running time of the book, and while The Nativity is the very basis of Christmas, that was finished in a few minutes and the next hour and a half was effectively a children's paraphrased reading of a gospel. If you are looking for uplifting Christmas cheer then murder and goblins in a graveyard, which just happen to be set at Christmas, are probably not what you want.

The Dickens piece was apparently never intended for publication and wasn't published during his lifetime, indeed not until 1938. That should tell you all you need to know. Why it was included in a 'Christmas' collection is beyond me, especially when the King James Bible version of The Nativity is already included. Seems like a cash-in of public domain material and one which I will be looking to return

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • A User
  • 05-12-12

Like a Christmas Stocking

filled with many varied items this collection has stories that I look forward to reading every year and some I had never heard before but all top class authors. Mr Harrison has a pleasant light tenor.
The only thing I disliked was not being able to easily find a specific story.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Russell Bernard
  • 17-01-17

Good Classic Christmas Fun

I found several of these stories very enjoyable to say the least. It ws very fun to listen to some other stories instead of the Christmas carol. Some of the stories are a little dark in nature but others are great. If you have the time and want to be in the Christmas mood give these a chance.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • RareReviewer
  • 09-01-17

Excellent for getting and keeping the spirit of Christmas

Likely recorded over a span of time that might even be years, I suspect, because the recording/editing quality varies from story to story and Harrison's skills wax and wane a bit. But by the time I got to "A Christmas Carol," I thought this quite an accomplishment, to render such disparate writers' styles and give a considered, performative weight to their each and every phrase. The collection is heavily weighted toward Dickens, but besides A Christmas Carol, the Cricket on the Hearth (also a novel) was among my favorites, as was the short story by Tolstoy. Oh, and the Fitzgerald! That was a surprise — and also expertly narrated.

I listened to this from about Christmas Eve and finished just after Epiphany, so it helped me keep the twelve days of Christmas fresh and meaningful.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim McGhee
  • 13-12-17

Magical Stories

This compilation contains some I have heard before and many I had not. It is a magical experience to hear many of these classics at Christmas time. Some deal specifically with Christmas and some, like Arthur Conan Doyle's Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, only allude to the season. This does not detract from the beauty of the stories. This audiobook will be a yearly treat that I will enjoy from now on.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. M. Prentice
  • 10-12-17

Excellent seal action of stories to warm your heart!

This collection has stories that I have heard all my life. I enjoyed them as much now. I spent the day knitting presents and listening. It was a very good day!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason Ellinger
  • 29-05-18

Excellent if you Understand What These Are

The main reason I wanted to write this review was as a kind of rebuttal to those saying these "should be called Halloween tales" or "just because the story takes place in winter does not make it a Christmas tale." A little historical knowledge goes a long way.

If you look at the authors included, you can see that these include mostly the older Victorian authors. Those known for their darker tales. As one religious studies professor put it, “Christmas as celebrated in Europe and the U.S. was originally connected to the ‘pagan’ Winter Solstice celebration and the festival known as Yule. The darkest day of the year was seen by many as a time when the dead would have particularly good access to the living” Even in our most traditional and happy carols, we have lines like "There'll be scary ghost stories, and tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago." pre Victorian Christmas ghost stories were definitely darker and had nothing to do with the commercial Christmas most of us celebrate today.

That's what you find in this book... traditional Christmas ghost stories meant to teach lessons, that were around long before our cheery jingle bell celebration of happiness and joy came about. I think having a good understanding of this makes the listener appreciate each and every one of these tales. This is some of the best writing from some of the world's best authors. They inspire and show Christmas for what it was in times past. The narration is on point and very enjoyable. I personally could do without the carols... but that's just me. I certainly won't mix this in with the more celebratory Christmas recordings I have... but listening to these stories occasionally, creates a different mood that can be both enjoyable and introspective.

I think an article from the Smithsonian describes it very well: "Though to modern eyes, Halloween might be a more appropriate holiday for ghosts, Christmas makes sense. As Dickens wrote, the ghosts of Christmas are really the past, present and future, swirling around us in the dead of the year. They’re a reminder that we’re all haunted, all the time, by good ghosts and bad, and that they all have something to tell us."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stacey
  • 09-12-17

Mixed

There were some worthwhile stories, a couple funny stories and some entertaining carols sung by authors, but unfortunately for me there were more bad stories than good. I would be remiss in not mentioning that the narration was excellent!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Martyvettech
  • 09-12-16

Wrong Title for Book

This collection of literature included too many dark tales to be called a Christmas collection. I agree with another reader that said just because story takes place in winter does not make it a Christmas tale.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony B. Ford
  • 25-12-17

Classic Tales Christmas? Hardly.

The stories that I managed to make my way through in this collection are boring and annoying. No chapters are labeled, so there's no way to pick out stories you would actually LIKE to hear. You're apparently just stuck listening until it runs out. It begins with an interminable story by G.K. Chesterton, which had nothing to do with Christmas that I could determine. Chesterton's writing only displays how him impressed with himself Chesterton was. Trying to jump from chapter to chapter is pretty much like flipping a coin. I need to be able to choose what the story is, sorry.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Evangeline
  • 25-12-14

should be called Halloween Tales

Would you try another book from the authors and/or B.J. Harrison?

No

Would you ever listen to anything by the authors again?

No

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of B.J. Harrison?

He narrated fine

What character would you cut from A Classic Tales Christmas?

All but the ones in the last 3 stories.

Any additional comments?

This (with the exception of 3 stories and one poem) should be listed with Halloween stories. Very dark. Just because a story takes place in winter does not make it a Christmas Story.

6 of 23 people found this review helpful