Have you heard of The Greatest Gift? Are you familiar with the Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life? The Greatest Gift was the inspiration for that classic film! The first time I heard about it was after my high school theatre production of It's a Wonderful Life. My parents gifted me a hard copy of The Greatest Gift. I was not familiar with this little book and mum explained that this book was the inspiration for the play I recently participated in at school. Thanks, Mum for the introduction!
I was so thrilled to see the audiobook available from Simon & Schuster Audio. This tiny tale was meant to be shared and reach out to everyone. The Greatest Gift is a about discovering life and worth. If you've watched George Bailey's life in the movie, the story will be different and very brief in comparison. Frank Capra fleshed out the story and gave it more background, but the original message is still present. The greatest gift is life. Everyone is important and plays a roll in the world around them. It'a a beautiful story to share.
Edward Herrmann narrates Van Doren Stern's story. He has a good voice and shares the story with subtle flair throughout. It's not a radio play or a movie script, but a story. He isn't overly dramatic which is good. I believe the story should be heard, reflected upon, and savored.
Simon & Schuster Audio did add an afterward to their new audiobook publication. Philip Van Doren Stern's daughter Marguerite Stern Robinson wrote a brief memoir about the experience of The Greatest Gift and how it turned into It's a Wonderful Life. Robinson's afterward is read by Madeline Maby. This special tidbit is not advertised on the CD, the case, or the sleeve. I found that interesting and strange. Simon & Schuster Audio does share information about the afterward on their online product description.
Another enjoyable audio tidbit is the use of music. The music throughout is the song AuldLang Syne. The movie (and stage production) end with that song. It's a lovely piece to add to this audiobook edition.
Reviewed from an Audiobook Jukebox copy. Thank you, Simon & Schuster Audio!
Audio Book Details...
The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern
Read by Edward Herrmann and Madeline Maby
Produced by Simon & Schuster Audio
Number of Discs: 1
Total Time: 45 minutes