Excellent. Absolutely Excellent.
Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories and Other Disasters is written by the man who co-wrote and narrates the classic movie A Christmas Story, Jean Shepherd (1921-1999). Shepherd's book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash is the inspiration for that movie, although the infamous dogs in the kitchen scene comes from Wanda Hickey.
If you love the movie A Christmas Story, you will absolutely enjoy this book. Set in Hammond, Indiana (he fictionalizes it as Hohman, Indiana) in the 1930s, Wanda Hickey is actually a set of 8 semi-fictional short stories loosely based on actual people and events in Shepherd's life. Hohman is described as being "nestled picturesquely between the looming steel mills and the verminously aromatic oil refineries and encircled by a colorful conglomerate of city dumps and fetid rivers" which is an unkind, but not inacurrate description of Indiana's industrial northwest corner.
These short stories cover Shepherd's youth from elementary school to his high school prom (his date is the Wanda Hickey from the title). Shepherd's genius in story-telling is his ability to take a fairly normal situation and somehow milk it for every bit of humor and add a bit of wisdom in the re-telling. All of the stories were originally published in Playboy magazine from 1966-1970.
|The Bumpus Hounds from|
A Christmas Story
An absolute joy to read. 5 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon here: Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories: And Other Disasters
Reviewed January 2, 2011.
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