The Autobiography of Santa Claus

The Autobiography of Santa Claus It all started when Jeff Guinn was assigned to write a piece full of little known facts about Christmas for his paper The Fort Worth Star Telegram A few months later he received a call from a gentle

  • Title: The Autobiography of Santa Claus
  • Author: Jeff Guinn
  • ISBN: 9781585424481
  • Page: 406
  • Format: Paperback
  • It all started when Jeff Guinn was assigned to write a piece full of little known facts about Christmas for his paper, The Fort Worth Star Telegram A few months later, he received a call from a gentleman who told him that he showed the story to an important friend who didn t think much of it And who might that be asked Jeff The next thing he knew, he was whisked off toIt all started when Jeff Guinn was assigned to write a piece full of little known facts about Christmas for his paper, The Fort Worth Star Telegram A few months later, he received a call from a gentleman who told him that he showed the story to an important friend who didn t think much of it And who might that be asked Jeff The next thing he knew, he was whisked off to the North Pole to meet with this very important friend, and the rest is, well, as they say, history An enchanting holiday treasure, The Autobiography of Santa Claus combines solid historical fact with legend to deliver the definitive story of Santa Claus And who better to lead us through seventeen centuries of Christmas magic than good ol Saint Nick himself Families will delight in each chapter of this new Christmas classic one per each cold December night leading up to Christmas

    167 Comment

    • Beth F. says:

      So. I liked the first third of this book. The second third started to get annoying. And by the last third I was rolling my eyes and kept imagining myself making teenage finger-gagging gestures over the ridiculousness. At the beginning, the concept of the evolution of Santa was interesting but with every chapter that passed, the heavy-handed plot started to annoy me because it became too predictable. Nicholas started out on his own but eventually acquired an entourage of immortals that included a [...]

    • Donalyn says:

      OK, the only reason I even read this one is because my book club chose it for our December selection. This book proves to me why Dicken's A Christmas Carol is still so popular-- it was the last decent Christmas book written (although The Santa Land Diaries and Skipping Christmas deserve honorable mention).This book follows the evolution of the Santa Claus myth starting with Saint Nicholas and ending with the Coca-Cola illustrations (which solidified our vision of how Santa looks).Although the bo [...]

    • Tom says:

      This book reads like Bill and Ted's Great Adventure. I could tell you how Santa met Mrs. Claus, but I won't. I could tell you how he got into the business, but I won't. I could tell you the how and who Santa recruited to help him, but I won't. I could tell you about how Santa got to fly a sleigh, but I won't. I will tell you that he's only been at the North Pole since 1913! Suprised. If you want to know these things too, read the book. You will enjoy.Merry Christmas to All and to All, Good Night [...]

    • Charly says:

      This book was nothing like I expected it to be. It was much better. A marvelous tale of how the original Saint Nicholas evolved into today's Santa Claus. If one can believe in a bit of magic this wonderful representation of the Santa Claus story finds ways to account for many of the current stories about Santa. In some ways this book is one that will be far more appreciated by "believing" adults than by children. Guinn carefully explains nearly every nuance of the Santa story told from the persp [...]

    • Lisa the Librarian says:

      This is not only a fun book, but also very informative. I had known that the Santa Claus we know now had evolved from a real historical figure: Saint Nicholas, however I had no idea that he lived so long ago. He was actually born in 280 AD!It is amazing that this one man and his love of Jesus Christ which manifested in his giving gifts to the needy has a legacy that extends over almost two thousand years!The book is well written and the story and very interesting. It tells how Bishop Nicholas st [...]

    • Shannon says:

      Several Christmases ago, a friend of mine from church recommended this book to me. It has 24 chapters, and is a wonderful story to read to your kids throughout the month of December, leading up to Christmas Eve (one chapter a night, starting December 1st).What I like most about the book, is that it weaves Santa's story throughout history. Several historical figures from Charlemagne to Attila the Hun to Ben Franklin cross Santa's path as the years pass. It even explains how Santa never grows old. [...]

    • Julie F. says:

      OK, I know that I am going to get coal in my stocking for only giving this book one star, but I call 'em like I read 'em. This book follows the evolution of the Santa Claus myth starting with Saint Nicholas and ending with present day interpretations.Basically, I found the book to be poorly written. Although it offers some historical information about Santa and the how traditions have evolved over time, it was done as a mostly boring and tedious timeline. It starts with the actual person who eve [...]

    • Matt Spaulding says:

      I really love this book. I think it's about 98% perfect. As a Christmas nut, and, even more specifically, a Santa Claus nut, I really appreciate all the actual history involved.The troubles, for me, begin to arise when Santa, his friend Felix and his wife Layla meet Attila the Hun. From that point out, Santa and company go on meeting legendary historical figures and inviting them into the fold, thereby making them immortals. While I actually like the idea of Santa crossing paths with historical [...]

    • Kathleen Nightingale says:

      This book has sat on my shelf for so long I have no idea how I got it. Let's just say it was magical. When I found it this year, once again, I sat it on my bedside table to read. Of course it was, once again, at the bottom of the pile. I was determined that this was the year to read this book over the Christmas holidays. I did! This book will now be passed on to a young lady, Violet, who is just reaching the age of questioning the reality of Santa Claus. This book traces Santa Claus from the ear [...]

    • Roberta says:

      Santa Gump's Excellent Adventures.As if the story of Santa isn't fantastic enough, Jeff Guinn has Santa meeting all manner of historical figures; Attila the Hun, St. Francis of Assisi, King Arthur to name a few. This book started out ok - a little real history sprinkled with the Santa myth. But it grew more and more fantastic (and I don't mean that in a good way) and more and more tedious as the story wore on until I was disinclined to believe even the real history because the fiction was so far [...]

    • Cecilia says:

      It is a great book to read to your children, just when they are starting to doubt whether Santa is real. It will keep them believing forever.

    • Charlane Lucardie says:

      It was good but I didn't like all the history and the inclusion of all the war heroes. Just give me a good 'ol magic Christmas story any day. Not some history lesson.

    • Alison (Lady Coffin) S says:

      The interesting and entertaining story of the "possible" history and life of Santa and his helpers.

    • Brent says:

      I went into this expecting a fun story full of Christmas spirit if a bit low on substance. What I got was a delightful little tale that might just be the defining Santa story for me. Using world history, Church history, Christmas history, and of course Santa Claus history Mr Guinn weaves a wonderful and coherent narrative of St. Nick through the ages.If you're still too immature to believe in Santa Claus, perhaps you should read this book.

    • Kevin says:

      Guinn wrote a children’s book. that’s all i can think. it’s simplified and sanitized and very simply plotted, no nuance.i guess i was hoping for a wry tale, full of quirk and possibly some darkness laced with satirical notes. what i’m getting is a biography fleshed out from some successful old journalistic piece on the historical origins of christmas. it’s flat and nearly featureless. Santa is supposed to be an Oversized Person, not only in body but in mind and spirit. he is very old a [...]

    • Mona Randall says:

      What a wonderful story! It was well researched and I loved the intertwining of historical facts over the centuries in Santa's story. Thank you, Jeff Guinn!

    • Donna says:

      Lots of nuggets of historical information on the history of the way we celebrate Christmas today and how Saint Nicholas has evolved throughout the world as if Saint Nick were actually telling it himself. A nice prelude to the holiday season.

    • Matt Spaulding says:

      I really love this book. I think it's about 98% perfect. As a Christmas nut, and, even more specifically, a Santa Claus nut, I really appreciate all the actual history involved.The troubles, for me, begin to arise when Santa, his friend Felix and his wife Layla meet Attila the Hun. From that point out, Santa and company go on meeting legendary historical figures and inviting them into the fold, thereby making them immortals. While I actually like the idea of Santa crossing paths with historical [...]

    • Claire says:

      This book begins wonderfully; I was intrigued and delighted to get historical background on Saint Nicholas and the little tid bits of historical accuracy that were tossed in after the death of historical Saint Nicholas continued to interest me as I paged through the book. However, once the bulk of the history subsides and the "magic" kicks in, I really felt as though the author relied more on the a wistful "I do believe" spirit in his readers rather than plot or character development. Attila the [...]

    • Kim-Lost-In-A-Book says:

      This is a fun book, although a bit contrived at times. I got this book simply because I thought it would be a fun, cute read. I wasn't too far off base. Alot of interesting history (actual World history) in the book, of course most of which people already know, but still always good to be reminded or refreshed. I also liked the different world traditions surrounding Santa Claus, some I knew, some I had forgotten, and a few others were new to me. What I didn't like about it was the far too many r [...]

    • Katrina (trinakb) says:

      I wanted to like this book, I really did. But it read more like a history lesson than anything else, and an inaccurate history lesson at that. I liked how they looked at the life of this man who just wanted to give to those in need and then it evolved to him becoming St.Nicholas and was a figure loved by all. But then it became a little ridiculous as he picked up historical figures along his travels and they joined him in his gift giving, and never aged and never died. Along the way he found Att [...]

    • Becky says:

      I liked the first part about the real Saint Nicholas in the 4th century Turkey. But then the author got more "imaginative", in lack of a better word, and Santa started picking up famous historical figures to be his special "helpers" though there were no elves, but indeed flying reindeer, and endless quips about Santa's endless expanding girth. I couldn't quite believe Santa picking up Attila the Hun, King Arthur and Theodore Roosevelt and others even Amelia Earheart to help with flight navigatio [...]

    • Marcie says:

      I wanted to like this book. My friend who recommended it praised how it brought the magic back into Christmas. I love Christmas and like the premise. ButIt's history lite - not designed for those who immerse themselves in the details of life in the past.Perhaps if he hadn't set the stage in the intro that this "autobiography" was historically accurate (OK - he just said the dates had been verified, but it implies greater historical accuracy) I would have been able to buy in to the story. But as [...]

    • A. Teez says:

      This is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite Christmas stories ever. I have it on CD and in my Audible library. I have listened to it for five or six Christmas seasons straight. In previous years, I listened to it as it was written like an Advent calendar (24 chapters) but this year, I am listening to it while I do some distance traveling.The audio is read by Santa, yes his jolly self! He shares his experiences throughout history, well since he was born around 300AD. He has met so many famous [...]

    • Jennifer says:

      I love good Christmas read-alouds and I had heard good things about this book so I am checking it out to see if it might be one to read to the kids. So far I'm not loving it at all. It feels like one of those stories your kids write in elementary school that goes on for pages and pages with no real excitement, "and then we did this. and then we went here. and then we did this.". They just keep traveling along picking up new historical figures. I keep hoping it will get better but according to ot [...]

    • Ellen says:

      What a load of crap. In theory this could have been a great story, but the first-person-Santa perspective did not resonate with this reader. I also kept wanting to call BS because all of his "helpers" were famous figures in history. Like we are supposed to buy - in bulk - that King Aurthur, Atilla the Hun (and his wife of course), Leonardo DaVinci, St Francis of Asisi, Theodore Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, and Amelia Earhart all didn't really die but went with Santa to the North Pole to further [...]

    • Toni Tortorello-Allaway says:

      One of my all-time favorite books. So beautifully written. The history isn't even overwhelming or boring - but so neat and educational. The characters are lovable and interesting. I mean, who couldn't love Santa Claus? I wrote to Jeff Guinn after finishing his book and told him how much it touched me. At the time I was pregnant with my first daughter. He was very grateful for my e-mail and sent me a signed copy of the book as well as the original manuscript. Then, as ANOTHER thank you, he put my [...]

    • Susie says:

      I liked the beginning of the book, and the opportunity to learn as I read, but as I read more and credulity was stretched more and more (yeah, I know this was about Santa, after all), I couldn't take it anymore. My first clue was when Attila the Hun joined up with them, and by the time Amelia Earhart ditched her flight to join Santa, I'd had more than enough.I don't mind reading revisionist history at times, but now I'm afraid I'll be confused on some things. When I'm finished with a book, I lov [...]

    • Annette says:

      So sorry about this one Book Club choice wanted to like it really how could it be so bad Santa Claus his "real story" the Christmas spirit goodwill toward man but just didn't and couldn't like it no matter how hard I tried.Characters had no character story was thrown together historical figures popped in years flew by with no substance Don't get me wrong, I'm not a bah-humbug kinda person I love Christmas and everything it stands for, but this book just was like reading a piece of coal and I'm g [...]

    • Sadie says:

      This book is divided into 24 chapters and is designed to be read one chapter at a time each day in December. It's an adorable story which fully explains all of the different "Santa" myths and why different countries recognize celebrate and remember him differently.The part that I didn't really like was the inclusion of people like Theodore Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Leonardo Da Vinci and several other famous figures from history. They all end up becoming Santa's helpers. Which for me was just "e [...]

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