Die Hard–The Christmas classic comes home this year in a new children’s book (sort of)

As the meme goes, you either think Die Hard is a Christmas movie or you’re wrong.

Although we’re not quite sure where we’d rank Die Hard along with the likes of It’s a Wonderful Life, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Gremlins, or Trading Places, we’d agree:  Yes, Virginia, Die Hard is a Christmas movie–as much as Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a Thanksgiving movie.

Writer Doogie Horner and illustrator J.J. Harrison would also agree, and so Horner merged Die Hard into Clement Clarke Moore’s classic annual Christmas storybook, A Visit From St. Nicholas (the poem everyone knows that begins with the line ‘Twas the night before Christmas…”), and Harrison drew the pages of the story in the “Little Golden Book” style.  The result is A Die Hard Christmas–The Illustrated Holiday Classic, a cute little 32-page hardcover tome that will fit right nicely alongside the stocking of your favorite action movie fan this Christmas.

Of course it’s not really a children’s book.  What keeps it from a G rating is a few scenes showing bad and good guys getting killed with cartoonish blood spatter illustrations, and the single use of John McClane’s famous phrase from the film that Bruce Willis is best known for, beginning with “Yippie ki-yay,” etc.  So consider yourself warned.

For adults it’s a clever idea, executed with some love by Horner, who reports he has watched Die Hard 102 times so far.  Take this line, for instance: “Karl swept the ground floor, shooting every guard dead while visions of bearer bonds danced in his head.”

How could anyone not think this was a Christmas story?  After all, the hero’s love interest is named Holly.  Sure, it’s a fantasy Christmas–the hero must storm the castle to rescue the heroine–but it wouldn’t even be argued about were it called Dog Day Christmas or One Bad Christmas.

Readers will revisit McClane making fists with his toes, climbing in a ventilation shaft, throwing a dead guy out the window onto Sergeant Powell’s police car, taping a gun to his back, and watching Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber fall from the building.  All told in poem with a hearty fa-la-la-la-la.

Get into the spirit of a slightly off-kilter Christmas.   A Die Hard Christmas–The Illustrated Holiday Classic is available now from Insight Editions here at Amazon.

C.J. Bunce

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