Oh, the holidays! A time for joy, cheer, and… John Grisham? That’s right! In the world of Christmas reads, where the trees aren’t the only things that are evergreen, Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas” stands out like a reindeer in a flock of turkeys. But is it the shiny red nose we’ve all been waiting for?
A Grinchy Attempt at Christmas Cheer
Grisham, known more for his legal thrillers than holiday cheer, dips his toes into the yuletide waters with this one. It’s like watching a lawyer trying to wrap presents – a bit awkward but somewhat endearing. The premise is simple: Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas and go on a cruise. Sounds like a dream holiday, right? Well, not so fast. Their neighborhood has other ideas, and what ensues is a tinsel-tangled tale of holiday hijinks.
A Satire? A Comedy? A Missed Opportunity?
Grisham tries to juggle satire and comedy but ends up dropping a few ornaments along the way. The book, while chuckle-worthy in parts, feels like it’s skimming the surface of a frozen lake, never quite breaking through to deeper, meaningful waters. The characters, especially the Kranks, are relatable in their holiday fatigue, but they lack the depth of a Christmas pudding. They’re more like the holiday cookies you buy at the store – nice, but you know homemade would have been better.
The Neighbors’ Nose in Your Eggnog
The real puzzler here is the neighborhood’s over-the-top reaction to the Kranks’ holiday plans. It’s like everyone drank a little too much eggnog and decided to meddle in their business. The whole light award subplot feels a bit forced, like trying to put a star on a tree that’s just too tall.
And About That Ending…
Ah, the ending. Grisham tries to wrap it up with a big, shiny bow, but it feels more like a last-minute gift from the gas station. The Kranks’ decision to maintain a white lie rather than embracing the truth seems a bit out of tune with the holiday spirit.
The Uncomfortable Moments
And then there are those odd moments about Enrique’s skin color. They stick out like a sore thumb, or more like a lump of coal in your stocking. It’s not clear what Grisham was going for here, but it doesn’t sit quite right, like a reindeer sweater that’s a size too small.
The Verdict: Not Quite a Christmas Classic
In the end, “Skipping Christmas” is like that one string of lights that only half works – it has its moments, but it’s not going to light up your holiday season. The book is easy enough to read, like gliding down a gentle sledding hill, but it lacks the thrill of a steep descent. It’s a decent enough read for a cozy night in, but don’t expect it to become a treasured part of your holiday tradition.
Movie Adaptation: Christmas with the Kranks
Now, the movie adaptation, “Christmas with the Kranks,” adds a little more sparkle to the story. Despite critics giving it a chilly reception, it warms the hearts of many each year. It’s like a Christmas sweater – not everyone’s style, but it has its charm.
“Skipping Christmas” gets a solid 7/10 from me. It’s not the Christmas miracle we were all hoping for, but it’s not a lump of coal either. It’s the literary equivalent of a candy cane – sweet, a bit sticky, and enjoyable enough in small doses.
So, have you read the book or seen the movie? What are your thoughts? Remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is sharing your opinions loud and clear (or in this case, in the comments)!