Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas 2013 Review: The History of the Snowman

The History of the SnowmanThe History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whoah. Chris read a non-fiction book about the history of snowmen? (Or snowpeople, to be PC) WTF?

Well, two things happened to make this possible.

1. Simon & Schuster sent me an email wishing me a happy holiday (Merry Christmas to be un-PC) which included a link to a free ebook download of this. Cool. I like freebies.

2. I had a brief moment of holiday (Christmas) spirit on Christmas Day (December 25 if that C-word offends thee). It was very brief, but long enough for me to start this book. And once I start something, my OCD (batshit crazy) kicked in and I couldn't not finish it.

3. (Okay, I lied. There were 3 things) I was doing a reading challenge and needed a book with a red cover. (Red isn't meant to offend either)

4. (Now doubling the initial things that made it possible. Get over it) Since I don't own a Kindle and there was no link to Nook, I had to download to my iphone. And that meant I had to install an app. All of that software manipulation just to see if it worked. Hell, this is the real reason I opened the book and started turning pages. Screw the holiday season (not meant to offend Christians or Holiday Marketing Whoreporations) (Ok, that last word was meant to offend. If you are a coroporate entity that markets Christmas starting the day after Labor Day, kindly go fuck yourself)

So, the Grinch version is?

Damn, I haven't even reviewed the book yet. (Please don't delete my review. I've said nothing to offend the author) (Unless he's a Christmas marketing guru or hates the color red)

The book was pretty decent. Interesting at times as well. I've never stopped to consider (re: give a fuck) about snowmen in our culture. But yes, they are everywhere and have been there for a long time. The history that this guy unturned was kind of fascinating (the egg nog hadn't kicked in yet)

I actually found the first half of the book more interesting, that dealing with modern times and recent history (the politically correct world). The second half went back to the Dark Ages and old Europe, and while there were some interesting points, most of it was name/date dropping like you see in the dry old history textbooks.

Some of it was funny. Like, I've never thought about the sexual implications that are often associated with snowpeople (because we humans really are perverts). Well, okay. The carrot nose - I get that. But I never knew that Hans Christian Anderson was writing about gay longings by way of a snowman that fell in love with an oven (that he thought was a girl oven, no less). I never realized Hans Christian Anderson was gay, for that matter (historians haven't realized it either - they speculate and it's PC friendly). That analysis was pretty cool, if it's true that he wrote a lot of his stories to express his desires. Pretty slick too, if it's true. If not, I guess it just made for good stories.

But an oven? (Symbolically female, for sure)

I can't believe this review has gotten this long. And that I haven't yet mentioned Frosty.

There, I did it.

But yes, it was enjoyable enough to spend an afternoon on. And the best part of reading a book with holiday components? Though songs (like "Frosty the Snowman") are mentioned several times, I didn't have to listen to them!

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