Title: A Boy Called Christmas
Author: Matt Haig
Genre/Themes: Children’s Fiction, Adventure, Magic, Christmas, Santa Claus
Blurb from Goodreads
You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.
It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.
If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.
Because this book is FULL of impossible things.
Are you still reading?
Then let us begin . . .
A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.
Was having a bit of an emotional melt down during a pain flare up and I needed something sweet and easy to focus on. So I browsed through my library’s eCatalogue and downloaded the audiobook of this narrated by Stephen Fry.
I don’t normally like audiobooks. Because:-
(a) I am very picky about the narrator and their accent,
(b) I don’t like that the narrator gets to decide where emphasis should be placed etc.,
(c) I don’t like it when narrators give accents to characters as I like to imagine a character in a more abstract style in my head
And (d) I find that it is a much too passive style of reading and invariably audiobooks just lull me to sleep.
But that’s what I wanted from this. I wanted a simple story. I wanted something that would help take my mind off the pain that was ravaging through my body. I wanted heavily accented and stylised characters that I wouldn’t have to imagine myself and most of all I wanted to be lulled to sleep.
And this worked like a dream.
The audiobook was narrated by Stephen Fry whose voice is just perfect. I like my audiobook narrators to be British and to sound ever so posh! Received Pronunciation or nothing at all in my book. And I also tend to prefer male voices; I just find the lower register of the male voice to be more pleasing to my ear.
So the book settled me. It calmed me. I found myself transported to this fantastical childlike world and it was wonderful.
But what I also did was download an eCopy of the book so I could read along with Stephen Fry…
To fight that sense of passivity.
So I upped the speed of the audiobook to 1.5 and happily read along.
Admittedly I fell asleep twice…
But that was a good thing on this occasion. My body and mind needed the sleep.
But when I woke back up I just paused the audiobook and then caught up to it by reading the eBook.
As for the story…
Oh it’s so lovely. So Christmassy. All about magic, goodness and kindness, spreading joy and cheer, chock full of reindeer, elves, trolls and pixies… And a cute little mouse! And it gives the most wonderful backstory to how Father Christmas came to be.
This little book gave me so much joy and happiness when I really needed it. Okay I could possibly have done without some of the toilet humour…. The thoughts of flying reindeer peeing and pooping on people below was a bit too gross for me but I guess it’s more of a case of me being too old and boring for that because I know as a kid I would’ve hooted at it!!
I would recommend this happiest of books to anyone with children that want to know how it is Santa Claus came to be, or to people like me who are children at heart.