A Fistful of Fig Newtons

I don’t particularly care for this treat. I’m partial to Marie Calendar’s chocolate cream pies and Schwann’s microwave brownies and fudge ice cream sundae cups, and of course I’ll take a Dairy Queen hot fudge sundae any day. However, I just finished reading A Fistful of Fig Newtons by Jean Shepherd. 

You may remember this author as the creator of the tale on which the movie, A Christmas Story, was based. Not to be confused with the American country music singer who’s last name is spelled with an A instead of an E, Jean Shepherd was born on July 26th, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois. He died on October 16th, 1999 at the age of 78 in Sanibel Island, Florida. A writer of humor and satire, he served in the military from 1942-1944. He was also a radio and television personality, best known for A Christmas Story (1983) which he narrated and co-scripted and which is still broadcast each year on Turner Network Television during the holiday season. To learn more about him, click here.

A Fistful of Fig Newtons is more of the same, stories about Jean Shepherd’s imaginary life as Ralph, the kid who wanted and received a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. In the title story, he and his college dorm mates are sharing fig newtons and salami when one student produces a box of chocolate-flavored laxatives and proposes a contest in which each boy consumes as many of the tablets as he can before making a mad dash for the restroom. This is followed by other tales: Ralph’s first summer camp experience, his amazing mastery of high school freshman algebra, an ice cream war between a local vendor and a franchise, and how he lost a friend in the Army on a secured troop train going who knew where. The last story describes a disastrous New Year’s Eve date just after he was discharged from the Army.

For those of us who are visually impaired or otherwise prevented from reading print books, A Fistful of Fig Newtons is available on Bookshare. I’m sure it can also be found in print and eBook formats. I recommend this book, especially if you just suffered a loss and need some good laughs.

 

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

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4 thoughts on “A Fistful of Fig Newtons

  1. One of the funniest movies ever! I’ve added the fig newtons one to my Goodreads “Want to Read” list. Thanks for the recommendation! I could use a non-gory funny book since the last one I just finished was about zombie cows.

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