Customer Reviews for

Skipping Christmas

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

lighthearted entertaining reprint

After celebrating Christmas for years with their daughter, Luther and Nora Krank decide a holiday change is what they ought to do while their offspring is serving in South America with the Peace Corps. Neither of the Kranks particularly enjoys the holidays due to crass...
After celebrating Christmas for years with their daughter, Luther and Nora Krank decide a holiday change is what they ought to do while their offspring is serving in South America with the Peace Corps. Neither of the Kranks particularly enjoys the holidays due to crassness and the frenzies of late shopping amidst a horde. They agree to Skipping Christmas this year by going on ten day cruise with the money they didn't spend on the holiday.

They ignore charities and their neighbors who insist the lights and Frosty must go up. This year, they will be dining on a luxury ship rather than hosting a gala as they have done for years. However, the Kranks are about to learn an American lesson when it comes to Skipping Christmas as plans of mice and bah humbugs often go astray in late December.

This is a lighthearted entertaining reprint of John Grisham's satirizing a capitalist Christmas. The story line is fun, but not anywhere near the excitement of the author's legal thrillers. Still with a eggnog nod to It's A Wonderful Life, fans who enjoy a warm holiday stocking yarn will want to learn how hard it is to simply skip Christmas.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on October 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Skipping Christmas

This is the 3rd year I've read this book and I'm still not tired of it. Skipping Christmas is a light, quick read that always reaffirms my love for the holiday and reminds me not to take it too seriously.


Now normally I don't read this book and come away with and m...
This is the 3rd year I've read this book and I'm still not tired of it. Skipping Christmas is a light, quick read that always reaffirms my love for the holiday and reminds me not to take it too seriously.


Now normally I don't read this book and come away with and moral questions about the meaning of Christmas and I'm still not doing that, but one question that does come to mind is, would a family who makes this decision really get ridiculed by their friends and neighbors this much? Now I live in the city, not the suburbs, and I'm almost positive that a family going on a cruise for Christmas would be envied not looked down upon. Maybe it's different in the suburbs or small towns. Maybe the neighbors there really would harasses and condemn someone wanting to take it easy a particular year. I hope that's not the case but I could easily see it happening.


As much as I love the book I still haven't seen the movie version, Christmas With the Kranks, and probably will not any time soon. While I love Jaime Lee Curtis, Tim Allen is not one of my favorites and I tend to get annoyed when I see him on screen. There are a lot of you out there that love this movie though and I'm sure I would as well if someone else were in it.

posted by Ryan_G on December 15, 2009

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  • Posted January 14, 2012

    a must read..every christmas season

    this book is a short book and easy reading...it is soooo funny and the author makes a good point about commercialism at christmas time.
    we, in our family, have joked many times about forgetting the traditional christmas and going skiing or something...again..this is a must read book..i enjoyed it thoroughly as i am a 'John Grisham'
    fan anyway.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2004

    Bah Humbug, John

    The premise was promising, but the characters were caricatures, the plot completely predictable, and the conclusion unfunny (in fact, there was no REAL humor in the whole book - it was a Grisham pratfall and I expected more from this talented author. Was he undecided about his purpose in writing Skipping Christmas? Satire? Parody? Genuinely addressing the real meaning of the season?)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2003

    Very Disappointing

    This book was so bad I can't believe anyone gave it more than 1 star - I felt Grisham should have offered a refund to his loyal readers - it read like it was written by a 10th grader

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2004

    How come I can't give zero stars?

    There's enough in this book to make a half-hour situation comedy--a bad one. 'Lucy and Ricky Skip Christmas,' perhaps. It reads as if the author had read a few Christmas stories and thought, 'I can do that.' But he didn't pull it off. It seems cynical and manipulative (which doesn't mean that Grisham is--he may be perfectly sincere, but it sure doesn't come through).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2004

    Not good!

    The story starts out with an inspired notion: a couple who decides to skip all the stress and spending of Christmas; unfortunately the story takes the notion a bit too far. The main characters, Luther and Nora Krank, decide to skip EVERYTHING to do with Christmas and take a cruise because their only child, who is in the Peace Corps in Peru, won't be home for the holidays. The Kranks skip, among other things, decorating their house, listening to carolers, and going to the office party, even though these events would cause little or no stress and wouldn't involve spending any money. When their daughter unexpectedly calls and says she's on her way home (only a month after leaving) so her new fiance can see how magnificently they celebrate Christmas, the story becomes utterly ridiculous when Luther and Nora don't mention their plans to her and abruptly decide not to go on their pre-paid cruise! With less than 24 hours, they decide to plan and host their usual grand Christmas party, decorate their house and yard, and prepare a feast. The contrived conclusion involves all the previously angry neighbors coming together to pull off the deception for the daughter and the Kranks giving away their cruise tickets to a sick neighbor--a very heartwarming conclusion to a poor story!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2003

    A story about conformity and what happens to those who refuse to conform...

    The message in this story? Conform to the whims of your peers, throw money at your problems, and don't attempt to change tradition. Many people complain about how materialistic Christmas has become, but like Luther and Nora, most of them are afraid to try something different and perhaps put less money (and more meaning) into the holidays. This book reads as if it were trying to remind the reader of the true meaning of Christmas, but if Luther is wrong and his neighbors are right--as the story implies--the true meaning of Christmas is to not make waves and be a 'good' neighbor...and, oh yeah, your presence in the neighborhood should not bring down the value and look of the neighborhood.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2003

    Christmas Depression

    I love John Grisham but I thought this book was depressing. I was looking for a light-hearted book to get me in the spirit. This one didn't invoke any emotion from me...no tears, no laughter. It only reminded me of all the scrooges out there that are constantly complaining about the holidays.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2003

    Worst Holiday Book Ever

    I am shocked that anyone could read this book and feel good about it. For 150 out of the 175 pages in the book, our hero, Luther, reveals his hatred for both Christmas and his neighbors. And his neighbors show their loathing of Luther in return. Then we are supposed to feel good because the neighbors, after laughing when Luther is nearly killed, decide to throw a party for Luther's returning daughter, who is barely discussed until the last 10 pages? I can only imagine that this was meant to be a parody of all the feel-good, mean-guy-redeems-himself holiday stories by much more capable writers than

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2002

    Should be titled 'Snobs Try to Skip Christmas'

    This book was well written but about complete snobs. In it the Krank family decides to try and forgo Christmas because their snob daughter has joined the Peace Corps and will be in Peru. They realize they spent $6,700 last Christmas so they decide to spend a meager (yeah right) $3,000 on a cruise this year. I would hope that there are very few families in the U.S. that would spend $6,700 for Christmas! This book is only worth reading if you make 6 figures and you like reading about people who are pathetically run by their children and overspend. It was a waste of time and money!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2002

    definitely missing the TRUE Grisham--Where are you?

    I couldn't wait to read this book, boy was I dissapointed. I knew this was not going to be a law thriller or even like A Painted House but I at least expected it to be good. This book is about Snobby people in a Snobby neighborhood who spend over 6700.00 on christmas and decide to skip it this year. Their snobby neighbors don't like it everybody wanting their money don't like it and I wanted to throw up. There is only so much snobbery and even predudice a person can take. not the christmas spirit I was looking for

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2002

    C- for Grisham on this.

    If this were a college essay, it wouldn't get more than a C. This may have started out as a plan of a humbug but guess what, fans? Grisham falls off the roof before the end. He doesn't convert the 3rd down. His horse stops to munch grass. This was trite. My favorite Grisham's are still: 'A Time to Kill' and 'The Testament.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2002

    Skip It

    The title of the book says it all. Skip this book. We were supposed to read it in our book club. I was the only one who finished it. What a waste of time!.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2001

    Big disappointment

    I really enjoyd A Painted House and thought I would enjoy another non lawyer book by the author. I was very disappointed. The story was boring, unrealistic and read like it was written by a child.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2001

    A Poorly Written Bad Story

    Bad just seems to sum up Grisham's lastest release. 'Skipping Christmas' should be skipped by serious readers. Grisham has accomplished what few writers are capable of accomplishing by commercializing commercial literature. I bought the book because it had his name on it. I did not get my money's worth. The book reads as if he wrote it one day during lunch and didn't bother to proof the text. It's choppy, busy, unbelievable, and dumb. I don't like books to waste my time. This one did. Mr. Grisham is a very good writer and deserves his place in literary history. He can do better than 'Skipping Christmas.' I gave this book one star. It doesn't deserve that much.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2001

    A Christmas of Snobs

    Grisham misses the true spirit of Christmas as he centers the novel around an ego-centric, close-minded suburban neighborhood. Only one moment in the entire novel found a sense of giving and compassion. Unfortunately it was found in the last 5 pages. Grisham is a brilliant writer in his genre- not in Christmas fables.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2001

    Disappointing!

    I wavered on buying this book and then did on an impulse. Boy was I disappointed! The ending was so unrealistic. Save your money!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2001

    They won't make this one a movie.

    This was my first Grisham work and will also be my last. No likeable/memorable characters. The ending was obvious from the start. A waste of the 4 hours it took to read it. It was interesting that the Kranks were so concerned that their son-in-law would be too dark for their tastes -- discrimination is not fitting in a novel that is supposed to spark the Christmas spirit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2001

    DID HE REALLY WRITE THIS BOOK FOR ADULTS?

    This book is more for the young reader. Very unrealistic. I wish I would have saved my money on this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2001

    Written for a Quick Buck

    This work was disappointing. Grisham put no effort toward character development or originality. The main characters were caricatures, void of any substance. This story was completely plot driven, leaving readers with the question, 'That's it?' Most people enjoy a light book occasionally without having to sacrifice either engaging characters or a unique storyline. It was difficult to figure out the theme of this book--the true meaning of Christmas is what? The protagonists' actions at the end of the book sent contradictory messages. This was a surprising letdown after 'A Painted House'. It will be no surprise if this is made into a TV Sunday night movie starring Chevy Chase. The whole plot reeks of slapstick humor that may elicit a few laughs on screen. It's a shame that big name authors are able to publish poor quality material and receive positive publicity. You may not want to skip Christmas, but I recommend skipping this title.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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