Skipping Christmas
book — USA — 2001

John Grisham is mostly known to the modern world as a writer of thrillers about lawyers. But in this book you`ll find no descriptions of ugly cases, no chopped to pieces advocates in the trunk of a Volvo, no corrupted politicians and not even a single witness. The book starts off quite nicely - Luther Krank has decided not to spend a lot of money on Christmas as he has been doing for many, many years but to go together with his wife Nora on a vacation in the Carribean. A great plan, I think. Since their daughter Blair has gone on a Peace Corps mission to Peru they have no reason to stay for the commercialised crap that nowadays is called Christmas. They don`t have to put a "Frosty the Snowman" made out of plastic on their roof, they don`t have to give money to everyone that`s willing to take it. Yet their neighbours can`t understand the Kranks` decision and get on their nerves the whole time. This goes for about 2/3 of the book. Ok, not every scene is witty, things tend to get repeated but it`s ideologically ok at least. But then suddenly the whole thing becomes a silly mess - Blair decides to come home and bring her fiancee with her. So the parents decide to stay at home and it even turns out that all those creeps they have as neighbours aren`t so bad at all, and Christmas isn`t only about shopping and about high prices, it`s about people helping each other (for example, by lending a Frosty the snowman to your neighbour). And it turns out that only a scrooge or a moron would want to skip Christmas, for it`s really the best time of the year. For a person like me that doesn`t really love any of those hollidays when everyone tells you that you should be celebrating it only because all other people are, this isn`t a nice ending. The whole thing with buying stuff you don`t need, with being kind to people you despise, with all this fake shit that has nothing to do with Jesus, with God or with anything, it`s simply so disgusting. And Grisham either doesn`t see that or he doesn`t have enough balls to say what he means until the end. He starts quite bravely but finishes in the Hollywood manner. And it`s not a good thing by my standards.
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