A Christmas Story

Richard Burton, Author, Sally Burton, With W. W. Norton & Company $9.95 (41p) ISBN 978-0-393-03034-1
Burton's account of a memorable Christmas Eve in a Welsh mining village may not be a classic, but fans of the late actor will appreciate the intimate albeit brief glimpse it provides of his childhood. The narrator recalls an anxious winter night in Wales and reveals an intense devotion to his sister, Cis, who raised him after their mother's death. On December 24, puzzled by his brother-in-law's haggard appearance and Cis's mysterious failure to come downstairs, the inquisitive young Richard concludes that his sister is very ill. Sent out of the house in distress, he spends the chilly evening at a bonfire with several miners, wondering what presents Santa will bring and misinterpreting the jumbled philosophical ranting of his inebriated uncle. When allowed at last to return home, he is relieved to find his sister well and is only slightly impressed by her new baby. Sally Burton, the author's widow, offers clarifying biographical information about her husband's Depression-era origins in Wales, where his flair for acting first evinced itself. This nostalgic volume of only 64 pages is suitable for gift-givers and enthusiasts of traditional Christmas fare. Photos not seen by PW . (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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