Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Philip Van Doren Stern (–) was an American site Store; ›; site eBooks; ›; Literature & Fiction. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Philip Van Doren Stern (–) was an American site Store · site eBooks · Literature & Fiction. The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Tale by Philip Van Doren Stern. Read online, or download in secure ePub format.
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The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern - A beautiful gift edition of the heartwarming story that became the Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful cresadtgehomual.gq But few of those fans know that Capra?s film was based on a short story by author Philip Van Doren Stern, which came to Stern in a dream one. Get this from a library! The greatest gift a Christmas tale. [Philip Van Doren Stern; Rafaello Busoni].
Plot summary[ edit ] George Pratt, a man who is dissatisfied with his life, contemplates suicide. As he stands on a bridge on Christmas Eve , he is approached by a strange, unpleasantly dressed but well-mannered man with a bag.
The man strikes up a conversation, and George tells the man that he wishes he had never been born. The man tells him that his wish has been granted and that he was never born. The man tells George that he should take the bag with him and pretend to be a door-to-door brush salesman if anyone addresses him. George returns to his town, and discovers that no one knows him.
His friends have taken different and often worse paths through life due to his absence. His little brother, whom he had saved from death in a swimming accident, perished without George to rescue him. George finds the woman he knows as his wife married to someone else. He offers her a complimentary upholstery brush, but he is forced to leave the house by her husband.
Their son pretends to shoot him with a toy cap gun, and shouts, "You're dead. Why won't you die?
The man explains that George wanted more when he had already been given the greatest gift of all: the gift of life. George digests the lesson and begs the man to return his life.
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Unable at first to find a publisher for his evocative tale about a man named George Pratt who ponders suicide until he receives an opportunity to see what the world would be like without him, Stern ultimately published the story in a small pamphlet and sent it out as his Christmas card.
One of those cards found its way into the hands of Frank Capra, who shared it with Jimmy Stewart, and the film that resulted became the holiday tradition we cherish today. Plus, receive recommendations for your next Book Club read.
The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Unable to find a publisher for his evocative tale about a man who ponders suicide until he sees what the world would be like without him, Stern ultimately published the story in a small pamphlet and sent it out as his Christmas card.
One of those two hundred cards found its way into the hands of Frank Capra, who shared it with Jimmy Stewart; and the film that resulted became the holiday tradition we cherish today. If so, do you think that the film influenced your reading? In what ways?
Were you surprised to learn that the film was based on a story? Why or why not? Did this surprise you?
Why do you think the magazines rejected the story? The Greatest Gift has been published multiple times in the s and is now available as a holiday edition.
The Greatest Gift - eBook
What do you think accounts for the ongoing appeal of the story? What did you like most about it?
Did you like George when you first encountered him? How did your opinion of him change? The stranger George meets as he is about to commit suicide remains unnamed in The Greatest Gift.
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Why do you think Stern decided not to name him? Why does George continue to talk with him?
Who do you think the stranger is?In what ways is it universal and timeless? Apply this statement to George as he navigates his hometown as a stranger. Stern wrote the biographical introduction to the collection, selected the contents included, and wrote introductory essays on the varying genres. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
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