Gather Round Children, Here’s The Story Of John McClane

Gather Round Children, Here’s The Story Of John McClane


As Christmas draws closer, here’s one book you probably won’t read to the younger children!

When someone asks you to name a classic Christmas story, I’m sure you reach into your mind and pull out the usual list of usual suspects.

There’s Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Christmas Carol, The Snowman and who can forget that all time classic, Die Hard.

I’m sorry, what? Die Hard?

I think many people forget that the classic action film starring Bruce Willis from 1988 is set on Christmas Eve.

Bruce as John McClane is an NYPD Detective who flies to Los Angeles to try and reconcile with his estranged wife Holly. They are due to meet at the Nakatomi building where she works. Once he arrives, he discovers her employers are throwing a Christmas party.

However, events soon turn for the worse when a group of European terrorists shows up led by Hans Gruber, excellently played by the late Alan Rickman.

Come on! You all know the story!



Comedian Doogie Horner has taken this classic festive story and translated it into a children’s book with the help of illustrator JJ Harrison.

Inspired by the festive tale of Twas the Night Before Christmas, A Die Hard Christmas applies the same technique to the 80’s action blockbuster film. Replace Santa with John McClane and the boys and girls waiting for their Christmas presents with European terrorists!


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This leads to verses such as,

John was able to escape through the ventilation shafts

“Come out to the coast”, he sighed. “We’ll have a few laughs.”

Here’s another:

Around his waist he tied a thick fire hose.

And, screaming and oath, off the rooftop he rose.

The book does look unsuitable for the very young children though as acts of violence are still depicted within its pages. But once they’re old enough, we can teach them the true meaning of Christmas as explained by the actions of a New York cop!

Die Hard Christmas is published on October 17th and is available for pre-order from Amazon.


Die Hard Christmas


Amazon US – $14.64

Amazon UK – £12.99

Prices correct at time of going to press


John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves the movies and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990's. Whilst the web page idea became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. Now he's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.