AbeBooks' Reading Copy

AbeBooks book blog

Advanced Search Browse Books Rare Books Textbooks
Advanced Search

The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck


The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck

Oh, yarf. Yak. Ptooey.

If there’s one thing I hate*, it’s a cloyingly heartwarming Christmas story that bashes you about the head with its overstated moral. A modern fable about the true meaning of Christmas. Oh, harf.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m the first to agree that the holidays have become too commercial, and a few years ago I watched with something akin to bemused horror as a drugstore employee put plastic jack-o-lanterns and witch masks away into one box, then removed singing, dancing Santas and LED light-up reindeers from another. Yes, it’s important to remember that the important things are family, booze, friends, health, booze and cookies, more than your ting-tanglers, whizz-binglers, and iPods. But do we need to be nauseating and self-righteous about it?

If ever a publisher’s synopsis has made my stomach churn in nausea-induced loathing, it’s this one, from Threshold Editions, about Glenn Beck’s The Christmas Sweater.

*cue smarmy muzak*

When Eddie was twelve years old, all he wanted for Christmas was a bike. Although his life had gotten harder — and money tighter — since his father died and the family bakery closed…Eddie dreamed that somehow his mother would find a way to have his dream bike gleaming beside their modest Christmas tree that magical morning.

What he got from her instead was a sweater. “A stupid, handmade, ugly sweater” that young Eddie left in a crumpled ball in the corner of his room.

Scarred deeply by the realization that kids don’t always get what they want, and too young to understand that he already owned life’s most valuable treasures, that Christmas morning was the beginning of Eddie’s dark and painful journey on the road to manhood. It will take wrestling with himself, his faith, and his family — and the guidance of a mysterious neighbor named Russell — to help Eddie find his path through the storm clouds of life and finally see the real significance of that simple gift his mother had crafted by hand with love in her heart.

Ugh. Do the Culkins have any kids left after Macaulay, Rory and Kieran? If so, I think I have a role for him.

For the love of cheese. The kid is going to learn a lesson, the hard way. I smell a puppy limping bravely along with three legs, or a long-winded lesson from a previously-overlooked uncle with a twinkling eye (how DID he lose his thumb?!), or most likely a close call with the mother – an illness, perhaps – leaving the feverish child exhausted from crying, and sinking into a tormented, fitful sleep. In that sleep, he’ll dream of a savior, and see the error of his ways, and awake with a renewed sense of gratitude and appreciation for his humble gift of a life, at which point everything will miraculously be okay because greedy Eddie has relinquished his short-sighted bicycle yearnings in favour of helping the needy. Oh, and then at the last minute, he’ll get that bike after all. Argh, barf, hurl.

I’ve seen the book all over the bestseller lists, so clearly it has its audience. But if it finds its way under my tree this Christmas, I’ll find a poverty-stricken mother of nine, and toss Glenn Beck’s The Christmas Sweater into the fireplace, so their fire might burn more warmly, more brightly, if only for a moment.

It’s the right thing to do, in the true spirit of the season.

God bless us, every one!

*there are many

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email
Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

5 Responses to “The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck”

  1. So, wait… you are reviewing this book without ever reading it? Well, now I feel completely justified in forming the opinion that your review was going to be shallow and worthless from just the little bit under the google link.

  2. Beth Carswell

    Hi Matt! Thank you for commenting on the blog.

    Like you, I would never presume to review a book without having read it. Reviewing the SYNOPSIS, however, which I read thoroughly and twice, is perfectly acceptable to me.

    In this case, said synopsis gave me a cloying feeling of nausea and dismay, and made me want to step away from the book, rather than toward it. Which, if we are to assume that I would, in fact, loathe the book (were I to read it), means the publisher has done a bang-up job of describing the book accurately for potential readers. So, kudos in that regard.

    Cheers!

  3. have any one of you ever really read that book, with feelings, really TRYED to understand what everyone is feeling, sorry, but i think not.
    If you don’t read the book from the beginning and put yourselves in their situations, you will gain a deeper feeling and understanding of the book, then come back and tell me you still feel dismayed towards it.
    By then I’ll ask you, have you ever been a child, a teenager, a single parented child, a brat at some point, if fit any of those listed, then you will agree the book is great read of self reflection.

    Cheers to you mate
    Jack

  4. Beth Carswell

    Drago,

    As stated in my original post and above comment, I have not read the book (from the beginning or otherwise), so you are correct that I have not gained a deeper feeling and understanding of it. What I found unforgivably off-putting was the synopsis, which helped me be certain I don’t wish to read it. Great to hear you got something out of it, though.

    Thanks for your comment and your input!

    elizabethc

  5. “Until one day the kid learned that all he ever dreamed had come true with his hand “Made in China” sweater, and that is a lesson he will always remember” hahaha