The 95th Christmas

Fiction - Inspirational
500 Pages
Reviewed on 07/21/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite

The 95th Christmas by Michael Hume tells the story of an elderly gentleman – Dugger Coleman – who resides in a retirement home and struggles to fill his time every day. Dugger has a distant claim to fame with a Christmas song that he wrote way back in 1949 and it's long since been forgotten, although at the time it was very popular. A chance meeting with a stranger, who happens to be a major fan of the song and Dugger the songwriter, changes Dugger’s life dramatically. A strange and dubious business proposal by the stranger makes Dugger reexamine the past and hasten to catch up with the present. The unusual requirements of the business venture give him a reason to get up in the morning and excite him more than he could have ever imagined.

Michael Hume has created an amazing story reminiscent of A Christmas Carol. The author uses the first person to portray the thoughts and feelings of the bus driver of the retirement home. This aspect gives an interesting view of the characters at the home, and shows how he and the staff attempt to make life easier for those in their care. The story then changes to third person for Dugger’s story, providing a contrast on the two viewpoints. More importantly, though, the story delves into Dugger’s past with clips from his childhood Christmases. It provides glimpses of happier times that Dugger had forgotten, and uses these to help him examine the things and relationships that he had almost abandoned. There are surprises along the way and unexpected revelations, with an entirely satisfying ending. A very emotive read for which Michael Hume should be congratulated.

Mamta Madhavan

The 95th Christmas by Michael Hume is set against the backdrop of Christmas, where readers are introduced to Dugger Coleman who is 94 years old now. Life has made him bitter over the years and lose his faith in God. He had written 'The Anniversary Carol' in 1949, which was now being played endlessly in many pop versions from mid-November through the end of each year. Dugger Coleman does not believe in Christmas anymore and is almost done with everything in life ... when someone approaches him with a brilliant business offer that could actually make him a millionaire. Steve Farmer’s business offer is tempting, but will Dugger be able to handle it, cope with the ups and downs that come with business, and finally get what he wants? Will his 95th Christmas be different from his 94th? Read on...

The story is engaging and pulls readers into it. The author captures the essence of the Christmas season, and the detailed narration is descriptive, making the scenes vivid and the characters come alive. All the characters are well sketched and memorable. The main character, Dugger Coleman, is well portrayed and the other characters complement him effectively. The conversational style gives a good pace and movement to the story. The Christmas backdrop brings Christmas to life, and the change that happens in Dugger’s life is tangible as the story progresses. The author also manages to capture the message and goodwill associated with Christmas and the festive season.

Rabia Tanveer

The 95th Christmas by Michael Hume is the story of Dugger Coleman who was fairly successful with his song "The Anniversary Carol.” But that was back in 1949. That was his one hit, his one golden egg, and he never got to make anything out of it. Now he is very old, he does not enjoy Christmas as he used to, and he doesn’t believe that God is out there. All his life, he tried to make something of himself by investing in ventures that did little good for his bank account. Now he is practically bankrupt and he has no idea how he is going to save himself from dying in poverty. When a fan comes to him with a proposition that can change his luck, Dugger has no idea if the fan is just another scammer or if this is a lucrative deal that can change his last years. His 95th Christmas is almost here and only a miracle will make him love the day like he used to.

If you are looking for a light bit of reading, you are in the wrong place. This novel is a heavy hitter; you will get to read hopelessness and intense emotions, and an old man’s will that just won’t quit. Dugger is bitter, but he is not hopeless. He knows he needs to take one last chance because he is not getting any younger. I liked how he handled the situation and that he was prepared to take the risk, even though there was not much hope to start with. His character was beautifully built. He kind of reminded me of my grandfather. It was really cool, intense but really good.

Kathryn Bennett

The 95th Christmas by Michael Hume introduces us to Dugger Coleman who wrote “The Anniversary Carol” in 1949. The world knows the song, but he never saw a single dime for what he wrote. Now that he is 94 years old, Dugger no longer loves Christmas and also has lost his faith in God. He has failed in business and is pretty much done with everything when a fan comes to him and suggests a curious business idea. The business offer could make him a millionaire finally, but can he make it through the ups and downs? Will he get the returns he is hoping for? He will find out on his 95th Christmas.

To get myself in the mood for creating Christmas gifts by hand, I wanted to delve into a holiday novel months early and this turned into the perfect solution for me. The 95th Christmas delivers on everything you want from a holiday read. You have a character who is down and upset, and angry with the world for what has happened to him, but he finds a reason to hope again and goes on a journey. In the case of Dugger, he finds faith again among other things. I don't want to give the story away, but this really is an inspirational story that teaches a good lesson - it is never too late to hope. Find hope where you can and hold onto it. Look for it all the time, not just at Christmas. In short, I recommend this book; it was very enjoyable.

Romuald Dzemo

In the tradition of Mitch Albom, The 95th Christmas by Michael Hume features a beautiful tale that will inspire readers and rekindle their quest to find creative ways to connect with the light within them, a parable that examines the hidden hope of every human soul. After producing the masterpiece "The Anniversary Carol” that became a hit in 1949, anyone would have thought life would be a very beautiful song for songwriter Dugger Coleman, but it isn’t. Having moved from one epic fail to another, Coleman doubts if God ever existed and thinks Christmas is a sham. It’s not until he receives an enticing and irresistible offer that his spirit and enthusiasm are roused. Could it be real? Can he still become a millionaire? It’s what he would find out in the 95th Christmas of his life.

The 95th Christmas is a book you finish reading and look for a handkerchief to wipe your eyes, because by then your heart must have been rattled with all kinds of emotions, and when you shed the tears of joy, you feel like your soul was one with that of the protagonist. Michael Hume is a gifted storyteller and his writing is purpose-driven. Apart from the fact that Hume entertains readers with characters and plot and graceful prose, his writing is laced with a powerful message of hope, a message that there is always a glimmer of light in the darkest corners of the human heart. This is a story about faith, a gift for those seeking light and meaning. Ultimately, the book carries the message that no hope goes unrewarded. It’s a beautiful story for everyone, crafted with interesting characters and a gripping plot.

Mark Kruse

I didn't know much about the book, but met the author in person and was taken with him and his amazing presence. Michael holds a room and not only writes and does copy, but also is a very talented singer. But, most impressively, he is a great writer and I loved the book. Oh, and so did the other 2 people I bought the book for. I hope he continues writing and publishes more books. But, I encourage anyone to buy a copy. It is a great book to read on a vacation as you don't want to put it down and I enjoyed reading parts of it to my kiddos.

Thank you Michael for giving me a surprise read last holiday. Hope you are off writing somewhere.