Holly Jolly – Mark Voger (TwoMorrows Publishing)

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Santa always leaves it until the last moment to save the day, doesn’t he?  And this time he employed the services of Mark Voger and TwoMorrows to help him save Christmas Past, Present and Future. I’m a bit of a Mark Voger fan and freely admit that I think his book Monster Mash which celebrates monster fandom and monster-kids is the DEFINITVE work on the subject, so I was looking forward to getting stuck into his deep dive into Christmas Pop Culture, Holly Jolly. And boy oh boy, I’m happy to say that it lives up to every single one of my wildest expectations.

Combining incredibly personal and intimate stories of the authors familial Christmas celebrations and a staggeringly in-depth look at the movies, films, toys and books that transformed the traditional Dickensian holiday into the one we know today with a thoughtful exploration of the history of Christmas, Holly Jolly dispelled every last ounce of humbuggery from my soul and poured just enough festive spirit into my being to make me think that maybe this time of year isn’t so bad after all.

However, the thing that really sold me on Holly Jolly was Voger.  Everything he writes is over-flowing with passion and humour and is always incredibly personal.  Reading this book almost feels like he’s sitting next to you sharing a beer and his staggering knowledge while animatedly explaining the intricate web of causality that links all of modern pop culture with that of yesteryear.  Even if you’re not much of fan of Christmas, you need to sit down with, and fully absorb, this book.  It’ll brighten up your winter and bring a little warmth back into your life… Tim Cundle

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