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Kit Jefferies, a part-time department store Christmas elf, is an artist who loves life and his family. Unfortunately, his car dies at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere as he is heading home for Christmas. Enter Nick St. George.
Nick is a very unhappy man - he's achieved his professional goals only to find the rest of his life bleak and empty. Deciding there was only one way to make everything right, he is on his way to San Francisco on a dark mission, and even the horrible sleet storm that blocked his path won't deter him. That's when he found Kit.
At first, Nick is pretty sure rescuing Kit was a big mistake. Kit's personality is just too, well, effervescent. But as the miles go by, Kit begins to bring light to his dark heart. It might even be bright enough to illuminate a Christmas miracle.
A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2013 Advent Calendar package "Heartwarming".
What listeners say about Grumble Monkey and the Department Store ElfAverage customer ratings
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Corny and sad and sweet and romantic!
If you could sum up Grumble Monkey and the Department Store Elf in three words, what would they be?
I really don't have three words: The author uses a light corny romantic story to convey a real issue within the gay community. So I surely laughed and I surely cried, and in some ways I got down right angry. I know as a gay man I am tired of this society that we live in and all its BS! It is a story worth listening to. But it is a sneaky one. I like this author a great deal just because he had the courage to deal with such pain and despair and do it in such a positive way. I wish all the stories of despair in this world turn out so positively.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Nick is my favorite character for everything actually revolves around him. In some way this is like a Twilight Zone story. I only say that because Twilight Zone stories always had the true story hidden from you. Generally you knew there was a monster in the story but you never really knew when it was going to jump out and scare the hell out of you. Now I hesitated in buying this story for a long time because if you look at the cover and read what it is about it really doesn't get you prepared for the serious subject that it is really dealing with. For like all Twilight Zone stories there is a monster lurking in the back ground. A hideous terrible monster.
What does Donald Tursman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He was a great reader, his reading didn't take away from the story line and then he was able to bring each character to the story as an individual. I am surely going to listen to this story again. It is truly a gem of writing and narration. "The Boy Who Came in from the Cold" is the other story I have listen to from this author and that also was a good one. Matter of fact this story reminded me of it and I believe I will listen to that again because that was also a good story.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, I purchased this book this morning at 4am, because I was up getting ready for work. I became engrossed into the characters right away, and continued listening to it in my car as I drove to work. Once I got to work every chance I had to listen to it I did. It is really a short only a little over 2 hrs. I surely felt it was too short, but again it was long enough to tell it story.
Any additional comments?
So again I liked this story for the gay issues that it dealt with. Internalized homophobia threatens all of us. This is truly something all gays are dealing with everyday, and surely being an older man, I'm in my sixties this was even a bigger issue for my generation. Things in some ways are getting better, and I am thankful for that, but we still have a long way to go and stories like this one help I feel bring up issues that truly harm us and need to have some light shined on them.
1 person found this helpful
The main, okay only, reason I picked this book up was because of the title. It was just so wonderfully different and fun. I didn’t even read the blurb.
Nick is on his way to San Francisco on a mission. He’s anything but happy, and Christmas spirit does not exist in his world. He’s jaded, a bit bitter and very stand-off-ish. And the horrid weather conditions aren’t helping any. So when he comes across a stranded man in the middle of nowhere he reluctantly offers him a ride and shelter from the storm. Kit was everything that Nick wasn’t. Happy, outgoing, and embracing the world. After some initial friction, mostly on Nick’s part, they start to find some common ground.
Nick was a hard person to like, especially at first. He was judgmental and unkind. But the more time he spends with Kit the more he opens up, he doesn’t get a total personality change, but his edges are softened. I loved how Kit spread happiness around him, made others want to make him happy. He had this aura that drew others to him and made them want to stay there – Nick included. The two fit really nice together.
The production of this book had two main issues that made it a bit difficult to listen to. It sounded like Tursman was sitting in a tin can while narrating. There was a harshness to the sound that wasn’t always easy on my ears. At times there was also background noises, tapping and clicking that were a bit distracting. Donald Tursman falls under the reader rather than performer category, and a fast paced one too. As a reader Tursman did a decent job bringing the characters and story to life. He captured the gruff Nick and the exuberant Kit, and also their shared love for art.
We didn’t get a true happily ever after, but we did get a solid start of something new and exciting and with a lot of promise for the future.
A copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review for Love Bytes.