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The lives of three people are changed by an old man who insists that he is Santa Claus.
Posted December 4, 2005
Posted December 1, 2013
One of the best Holiday classics ever. The book follows the 1947 movie plot. A thoroughly enjoyable read that will appeal to young and old alike. Well written. Well edited. Recommend to anyone who enjoys Christmas stories. It will make you believe in Santa Clause again.
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Posted August 27, 2012
Everyone who has ever seen the original 1947 movie Miracle on 34th
Street (we don’t like the remakes) knows the basic plot of this book.
Kris Kringle is an elderly gentleman who lives at the Maplewood Home for
the Aged in New York City, NY. When the Santa hired for Macy’s
Thanksgiving Day Parade shows up drunk, Doris Walker, the somewhat
frosty, divorced Personnel Director at Macy’s, hires Kris to take his
place, and Mr. Shellhammer, Head of the Toy Department, suggests that
she keep Kris for the permanent job of Santa at Macy’s Department Store
on 34th St., where he creates a lot of good will which even owner R. H.
Macy notices. Kris even affects Doris’s daughter, six-year-old
Susan, who has been brought up by her disillusioned mother to be as
matter-of-fact as herself, and their neighbor and Doris’s would-be
boyfriend Fred Gailey, a lawyer with whom Kris moves in. Everything is
going well until people begin to find out that Kris actually believes
that he is the real Santa Claus. So the Macy’s company psychologist,
Albert Sawyer, who dislikes Santa Claus anyway, decides to have Kris
committed to Bellevue insane asylum and does so secretly without Doris’s
knowledge. When he learns about it, Fred petitions for a court hearing
to decide Kris’s sanity and determines to have him declared sane. What
will happen in court? And how will Susan react? Of course, those who
have watched the film know the answer to those questions. Some
people have complained that this is a mere “novelization” of the movie.
Sometimes an existing book is made into a movie, and sometimes an
existing movie is “novelized” into a book. What happened in the case of
Miracle on 34th Street is not so clear. Author Valentine Davies
(1905-1961) was a Hollywood screenwriter, but if I understand it
correctly, he first wrote it in story form around 1944, then later
submitted it to Twentieth Century-Fox, where it was turned into a film.
It was decided to publish a book to coincide with the release of the
film, so Davies reworked his story, fleshing it out with material from
the screenplay. There are some noticeable differences between the movie
and the book, but the basic plot is the same. The only objectionable
items in the novel are one use of the “d” word, one appearance of the
term “Good Lord” as an interjection, and the fact that Fred smokes a
pipe. Otherwise, it is a really cute story.
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Posted December 28, 2014