Reviews

Dickens in Dallas — such lovely stories:

I read these brief, moving stories in a couple of sittings. There is something quit magical about the prose, as Charles Robert Baker takes us back half a century or so to a quiet Dallas neighborhood, which is evoked with loving granularity. Baker is a poet in prose, and I came away from these tales with phrases hanging in my head, to be savored, like ornaments on a tree. I think I most thought of Dickens while reading these stories. There is such a particularity here, and an unabashed allowance for human emotion, even…yes..sentiment. And there is a lovely touch of magic here, too — a child’s imagination lifted and laid bare, as at the end of “The Harp,” a story I much admire: “When the figure briefly glowed in the dark window, he knew better than to think it was only his imagination.”

-Jay Parini
Poet, novelist, and biographer.

A heartwarming time worth remembering:

Christmas Then is a moving collection of that follow the boyhood years of Thomas Godwin as he comes of age in the late 1950s. The chapters of Thomas’ life unfold in ten stories that weave humor, love and compassion together in a coming of age tale that is both heartwarming and compelling. Baker’s expertly crafted prose draws you back to a simpler time and reminds us not only of the meaning of Christmas but of the power of the human spirit. Christmas Then is an excellent read that should be enjoyed year round.

– Carter Hopkins
Author of THE LINCOLN PROPHECY and THE SCORPION CODE

A Dallas Christmas Tradition:

What a great collection of stories! Anyone from Dallas should buy this book, especially if you are from the White Rock/Lakewood area. I remember reading the final few installments when they first came out, so it is wonderful to go back to see how the story started.

– John McQuillen
Curator, Morgan Library & Museum

Another 5 Star Review

5.0 out of 5 stars

A Dallas Christmas Tradition

December 6, 2019

Format: Paperback

What a great collection of stories! Anyone from Dallas should buy this book, especially if you are from the White Rock/Lakewood area. I remember reading the final few installments when they first came out, so it is wonderful to go back to see how the story started.

– John McQuillen
Curator, Morgan Library & Museum

FIRST REVIEW

5.0 out of 5 stars

Dickens in Dallas — such lovely stories

A review of CHRISTMAS THEN: TEN STORIES by Charles Robert Baker

November 26, 2019

Format: Paperback

I read these brief, moving stories in a couple of sittings. There is something quit magical about the prose, as Charles Robert Baker takes us back half a century or so to a quiet Dallas neighborhood, which is evoked with loving granularity. Baker is a poet in prose, and I came away from these tales with phrases hanging in my head, to be savored, like ornaments on a tree. I think I most thought of Dickens while reading these stories. There is such a particularity here, and an unabashed allowance for human emotion, even…yes..sentiment. And there is a lovely touch of magic here, too — a child’s imagination lifted and laid bare, as at the end of “The Harp,” a story I much admire: “When the figure briefly glowed in the dark window, he knew better than to think it was only his imagination.” JAY PARINI