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Christmas Beyond The Box (2011)

Christmas Beyond the Box (2011)
3.07 of 5 Votes: 4
Janda Books
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Christmas Beyond The Box (2011)
Christmas Beyond The Box (2011)

About book: A collection of six short holiday-themed stories of "mystery and magic." These are more for the Twilight Zone crowd than those who enjoy the typical Christmas story. For those who object to tales of the supernatural and ironic at Christmas Time, I'll remind you that A Christmas Carol is a ghost story. And like A Christmas Carol, there are no real scares in these stories.Some of the stories were stronger than others, but most of them had a definite "Twilight Zone" vibe, and were very quick reads. I especially liked the very first one, which involved the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Perhaps you might like to read one story from the book as a palate-cleanser between the more typically sweet holiday fare. Ever read anything in the science fiction Christmas genre? Me neither. Until today, when I read six short stories in Christmas Beyond the Box by Josh Langston. I was impressed with his courage to combine science fiction and fantasy with the Christmas season, but left disappointed with the outcome. My love for short stories began after taking a summer class in writing short stories. To improve my writing skills, I read hundreds of short stories, by both wonderful and horrendous authors. My favorite short stories are approximately ten pages long, have dynamic characters, and an unsuspecting plot twist at the end. My favorite stories in Christmas Beyond the Box were The List, Behavior Modifications, and No Marbles This Year. In The List, a small boy uses a machine invented by his father to travel to the North Pole. In Behavior Modifications, a student combats a teacher who is turning other students into classroom pets. In No Marbles This Year, a teenager deals with the ramifications of the death of his family’s eccentric patriarch. All of these stories satisfied my criteria for the makings of a memorable short story, but exceeded due to the unusual topic of the stories. I was not enamored with A Time for Giving, Love Story at Gate 6B, and Vanishing Skills. These stories left me unsatisfied, either because they were too short, the characters too flat, or the plot unremarkable. Unfortunately, that meant half of Christmas Beyond the Box’s stories were not worth reading, so I am hesitant to recommend this short story collection to readers. If you are in need of short stories around the Christmas season for educational use, I recommend this collection to all students. But if you are seeking short stories in general, for either entertainment or educational, I suggest looking elsewhere.
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I prefer sweet, traditional Christmas stories to stories that are a little dark.
Weird assortment of tales.
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