8.12.09

Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


I really wanted to read something festive and finally read some Dickens, so A Christmas Carol was perfect for both! It was first published on 19th December, 1843 and as we all know it has remained popular with both film and musical adaptations being made of this classic Christmas story. Dickens was inspired by his own childhood experiences and his sympathy for the poor, especially young children.
The story begins on Christmas Eve where we meet one of literature's great characters, Ebenezer Scrooge, a man whose only desire is to make money even though he doesn't seem to gain any pleasure or comfort from it. We learn that it is seven years since Scrooge's business partner, Jacob Marley died, he now runs the business alone with very little care or concern for his few staff.
Returning home for Christmas, Scrooge is confronted by the ghost of Jacob Marley fettered in heavy chains. Marley warns Scrooge that he too will bear these heavy chains in eternity unless he mends his ways. Before disappearing, he tells Scrooge to expect visits from three other spirits.
The Ghost of Christmas Past arrives first and takes Scrooge back to his childhood, which highlights how much he has changed. The Ghost of Christmas Present is next and his visit takes Scrooge to the home of his nephew Fred and also to the home of his employee Bob Cratchit and family. It is clear for Ebenezer Scrooge to see how happy they all are in spite of having hardly any wealth or material possessions. Finally we meet The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come who presents Scrooge with some horrible visions of the future where Scrooge has died but is hardly missed.
The three ghostly visits greatly affect Scrooge and it appears that he has learnt a valuable lesson. He is far more generous with this time and affection with regards to his nephew and he takes more notice of his employee Bob Cratchit and provides care for Bob's crippled son, Tiny Tim.
A Christmas Carol really does capture what Christmas is all about, Dickens makes you take stock of who or what you have in your life and reminds you to be thankful for it. Whether you read the book or watch one of the film versions, the message carried in Dickens' Tale is just perfect for this time of year.

9 comments:

Paperback Reader said...

This is the perfect seasonal read and I attempt to reread it every year. I need to fit it in and blog about it over the next couple of weeks, especially as I have the lovely new Vintage copy :).

Dot said...

I think it will be something that I will now try and read every year plus it was a great introduction to Dickens' writing.

Paperback Reader said...

It's a great place to start! If you're wondering where to go next then I suggest Great Expectations.

Dot said...

Paperback Reader- thank you for the reccomendation! I have that sitting on my shelf so will try it in the new year!

savidgereads said...

I have yet to read this book and its really one that I should have. I have Great Expectations to read over the Christmas period, its also my first Dickens, so might savour this one till Christmas 2010. Lovely review Dot!

Kim said...

I have been planning on reading A Christmas Carol for the longest time, not least of all because I love the old film of the story so much. So, it is top of my 'to buy' list for the next book shop trip I take. Thanks, Dot, love the review.

Dot said...

Simon- thank you! Look forward to reading your review of Great Expectations, I have it on my TBR pile for the new year!

Kim- thank you, I love the film too and reading the book really did get me in the festive spirit!

Meg said...

I'm a little embarrassed to say I've never read Dickens' classic, though I've seen the many film/stage adaptations! You're right -- it's the perfect story for this time of year, and a good reminder of what's really important.

Dot said...

Meg- It is the first Dickens that I have read so don't worry! I think we often feel like we have read some of his books because of all the adaptations! It has made me want to read more Dickens though which can only be a good thing!

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