Matchless: A Christmas Story

by Gregory Maguire

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | May 19, 2011 | Hardcover

Matchless: A Christmas Story is rated 3 out of 5 by 1.

Every year, NPR asks a writer to compose an original story with a Christmas theme. In 2008, Gregory Maguire reinvented the Hans Christian Andersen classic "The Little Match Girl" for a new time and new audiences.

When it was first translated from Danish and published in England in the mid-nineteenth century, audiences likely interpreted the Little Match Girl's dying visions of lights and a grandmother in heaven as metaphors of religious salvation. Maguire's new piece, entitled "Matchless," reilluminates Andersen's classic, using his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen's original intentions, and to suggest transcendence, the permanence of spirit, and the continuity that links the living and the dead.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 112 pages, 7.88 × 5.5 × 0.69 in

Published: May 19, 2011

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0061913014

ISBN - 13: 9780061913013

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Bittersweet Reason for Reading: I have several of the author's books but haven't read any as of yet plus The Little Match Girl is one of my favourite fairy tales. Summary: The story of a young boy who lives with his widowed mother. They may be poor, but they have just enough to get by and that is enough for them. Their lives very briefly cross paths with a little match girl who dies in the night cold one evening. Then due to that crossed path they are brought together with her distraught family. Comments: A bittersweet, little story that is really much more than a retelling of The Little Match Girl. Macguire uses Andersen's tale as a starting point to expand upon and from which to create his own tale. Chapter 2 of the book does retell Andersen's tale pretty much keeping to the original though he does make it clear that the little girl is hallucinating and it is her dead mother she sees at the end instead of her grandmother. Set in the past, in a time of horse and buggies, there is a sentimental ambiance that floats throughout the story. One feels that things are not going to go particularly well and after the death of the little girl any small act of joy becomes poignant. Macguire shows how the small things in life can (and maybe should) mean so much. As in the original tale there is that heavy feeling in the heart but there are bright moments and humour added by Frederick's mom. The fairy tale aspect comes into play when Frederick and his mom meet up with the little match girl's widowed father and two other young daughters and there is a special magical ending on Christmas Eve. At the very ending I think the book went one page too long, for I had just finished reading the end and felt happy with a sweet ending when I turned the page and one more sentence was written that I just didn't get. Perhaps it's just me, but I couldn't make sense of it, I turned back and re-read the second last page and for me that is where the story ends. A charming little story. Not for young children but more for adults and older children who don't mind a bittersweet story.
Date published: 2009-12-20

– More About This Product –

Matchless: A Christmas Story

by Gregory Maguire

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 112 pages, 7.88 × 5.5 × 0.69 in

Published: May 19, 2011

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0061913014

ISBN - 13: 9780061913013

About the Book

The beloved author of "Wicked" retells and illustrates the classic Hans Christian Andersen story for modern times, in this charming gift book. Illustrations.

From the Publisher

Every year, NPR asks a writer to compose an original story with a Christmas theme. In 2008, Gregory Maguire reinvented the Hans Christian Andersen classic "The Little Match Girl" for a new time and new audiences.

When it was first translated from Danish and published in England in the mid-nineteenth century, audiences likely interpreted the Little Match Girl's dying visions of lights and a grandmother in heaven as metaphors of religious salvation. Maguire's new piece, entitled "Matchless," reilluminates Andersen's classic, using his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen's original intentions, and to suggest transcendence, the permanence of spirit, and the continuity that links the living and the dead.

About the Author

Every year, NPR asks a writer to compose an original story with a Christmas theme. In 2008, Gregory Maguire reinvented the Hans Christian Andersen classic "The Little Match Girl" for a new time and new audiences.

When it was first translated from Danish and published in England in the mid-nineteenth century, audiences likely interpreted the Little Match Girl's dying visions of lights and a grandmother in heaven as metaphors of religious salvation. Maguire's new piece, entitled "Matchless," reilluminates Andersen's classic, using his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen's original intentions, and to suggest transcendence, the permanence of spirit, and the continuity that links the living and the dead.

Editorial Reviews

“Maguire’s story has the weight and solidity of a treasured folk tale, something to be handed down and retold.” (Ellen Trachtenberg, author of The Best Children’s Literature: A Parent’s Guide)