Book Review: The Christmas Chronicles

16 Dec

Snow is falling, and the clock ticks toward midnight on Christmas Eve while countless children, too excited to sleep, anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus. But in Tim Slover’s deeply charming and utterly thrilling new novel, that’s the end rather than the beginning of the story. In this richly imagined tale of Santa’s origins, the man in full finally emerges. The Christmas Chronicles is at once an action-packed adventure, an inspiring story of commitment and faith, and a moving love story.



Tim Slover is a writer and professor of theater at the University of Utah. His plays have been produced off-Broadway and in theaters throughout the United States and in London, where he spends part of each year. His wife, usefully, is a marriage and family therapist, and their two sons were the original audience for The Christmas Chronicles. For the purposes of yuletide decorating, each Christmas, Slover continues to cut a few pine boughs at an undisclosed location.




My Impressions:

Every year I read a few Christmas books.  I read just about anything — Santa stories, cozy mysteries, Christmas romances, contemporary humor.  This year is no exception.  I have a cozy mystery and a novel by Fannie Flagg in my TBR pile.  I am also reading Everything Christmas as a daily devotional tool.  Christmas themed books are just plain fun.  So when offered a chance to review Tim Slover’s The Christmas Chronicles, I jumped at the chance.

Slover’s novel is more or less the story of the development of the Santa legend throughout the years.  Throw in a little romance between Klaus and the adventure-seeking Anna and you get a sweet story.  Mostly I liked this book.  It was fun to see the author’s explanations of chimney access, flying reindeer and department store Santas.  I found the inclusion of Buddhist monks a bit jarring and prefer to think of elves as their own species, not Elevated Spirits. A few of these elements sounded just a little too New Agey to me.

Please note this is not a Christmas story told from a Christian worldview.  It is rather a light look at the Santa legend with a little conflict thrown in to establish that the life of Klaus was not really that easy or simple.  It reminded me of L. Frank Baum’s The Life And Adventures of Santa Claus.

(I received The Christmas Chronicles from Pump up Your Book in exchange for a review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

4 Responses to “Book Review: The Christmas Chronicles”

  1. ccgevry December 16, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    Thanks for the nice review of Tim’s book. So many of the bloggers have enjoyed this one.

    Wishing you and your readers a blessed Christmas.


  2. Jackie December 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    This story is a radio drama too and Mr. Slover reads part of the story! The radio program is full of sound effects and music that really bring the story to life. It begins with the wind that Tim describes in the opening scene. There are two main readers–the modern day narrator (Tim Slover) and the narrator of The Green Book, Richard Johnstone.

    It is a fun and FREE listen for anyone this holiday. My nieces especially liked to hear the sound of the bells! Anyway, the series can be heard via the website of the station that produced it. Just go to and type Christmas Chronicles in the search box on the right; or you can just follow the link

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! And help spread the word!

  3. Brenda Casto December 19, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    I love Fannie Flagg which one of her books is in your tbr pile? I remember reading A Red Bird Christmas a few years back and loved it.

    • rbclibrary December 20, 2010 at 7:20 am #

      A Redbird Christmas is in the TBR. might actually get to it this year!

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