Review: The Greatest Gift by Phillip Van Doren Stern


Published: 1943 (Sort of, read on)

Read: 2015

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: For almost seventy years, people the world over have fallen in love with Frank Capra’s classic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life. But few of those fans know that Capra’s film was based on a short story by author Philip Van Doren Stern, which came to Stern in a dream one night.

George Baily is about to commit suicide after someone looses money from his company. While he’s in this act of attempting suicide, a angel comes down and makes his wish that he was never alive come true. George learns what it’s like if he was never alive and realizes how rich he was to begin with.

Review: This is a very short book. I read it in about 15 mins. It also helps that I already knew the story and have seen the movie many times.

The great thing about this story is it was never picked up a publisher at first. They didn’t like it and Phillip got turned down a number of times. So he decided to publish the story in a pamphlet and send it out in Christmas cards. One of these 200 cards he made, found its way in to the hands of Frank Cappa and Jimmy Stewart. They loved it so much they made a movie. I LOVE stories like this.

It’s a classic movie and a beloved Christmas classic. The book is basically the same story just not with the extra stuff you get in the movie. It’s the basic man, angel and redemption story.

A great book to end my Christmas reading with. So happy I have it now for my library and suggest you all read it if you want something festive, loving, and easy!


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