SETTING TYPE, CHRISTMAS CHARACTERS, BOOKBLOGGER, BOOKS, PRESENTS, HISTORY, HISTORICAL FICTION, DL JUNG, DARIUS JUNG

4 Iconic Characters from Christmas-themed books and movies receive the gift of books perfect for them.

It’s been a long time since I first did this feature. A quick recap, Setting Type is similar to a book tag, but instead of matching a book to a descriptive tag, I try to find the perfect Histories Unfolding book for real or fictional people. In keeping with the approaching holiday season and its glut of Christmas-themed offerings, here are 4 perfect history books for 4 iconic Christmas characters.


The Grinch

ARSENE LUPIN, MAURICE LEBLANC, BOOK COVER, MYSTERY, HISTORICAL

With this monocle, no one could possibly believe I’m a thief!

Overlooked in the Grinch’s redemption arc is that he totally missed his calling. He thought the love and kindness of Whoville’s residents brought him out of the funk of his unemployed, shut-in existence. But really, he just wasn’t applying himself. It’s obvious from the scheme that he just about pulled off perfectly that the Grinch would have made a fine thief and master of disguise. Just look at how effortlessly he broke into everyone’s homes, via the chimney, no less, to steal there presents. Only one witness stumbled onto him and he managed to divert her without resorting to violence. Really, what’s he going to do the other 364 days of the year? He needs inspiration, and where better to find it than in the stories of the archetypal master thief, Arsène Lupin.

Lupin was the star of a prolific series of crime capers by Maurice Leblanc in the early 20th century. These stories have been adapted numerous times, according the gentleman thief Lupin a similar status to Sherlock Holmes. Hilariously, Leblanc actually included Holmes as an adversary in one of his stories. After copyright objections, the character was renamed the totally natural-sounding Herlock Sholmes.


John McLane

DIE HARD, BRUCE WILLIS

Foiling terrorist attacks stressing you out? Read a book! (20th Century Fox)

Yippeekiyay! After the same s*** happening to the same guy (link NSFW!) a few too many times (three, by my count,) it’s time for the hero of the Die Hard series to relax at home with a good book. But what book to give a man who likely still craves action against incredible odds. How about the story of The Last Battle?

Author Stephen Harding recounts a real life Die Hard situation coming at the end of World War II. A group of high-ranking French prisoners are abandoned by their guards and left in their German castle prison. A lone American tank crew joins forces with a ragtag group of German soldiers to defend the castle against a swarm of fanatical SS men. It’s a pretty incredible story and, like many readers, I’m surprised it hasn’t been made into a movie yet.


Rudolph

Every Christmas, when the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special appears on TV, I keep thinking back to this classic stop-motion animation spoof from Mad TV.

Let’s make this happen! It’s time to give Rudolph a little inspiration, in the form of the The Godfather. Since this is a book blog, I’m talking about the companion book, written by Mario Puzo at the same time as the movie. But you can’t go wrong with either.


Ebeneezer Scrooge

VENETIAN CARNIVAL, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, EDGAR ALLAN POE, HORROR, HISTORY

These freaky carnival getups will surely work much better than surgical masks (Max Pixel)

One of the Christmas traditions growing up was staying up late Christmas Eve to watch all the different versions of A Christmas Carol on TV. Hands down, Alistair Sim’s is still the best. I always had a nagging feeling at the end of the story. This really applies to most redemption stories. I always worry about the character backsliding. I feel the need to keep this most iconic of literary Christmas characters on the straight and narrow. Let’s do it with a classic warning against isolation and selfishness: “The Masque of the Red Death,” by Edgar Allan Poe.

In Poe’s classic macabre tale, there’s no hiding from the common masses, even in a time of plague. Hopefully, this story will inspire, or at least frighten, Scrooge into continuing his generosity throughout the year.


Now my shopping list for these Christmas characters is done. Time to get one with the real Christmas shopping!