A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (1843)
Themes: Classic, Christmas, Fantasy, Fiction
Reading Format: Paperback/Audiobook
At 94 pages, this is the perfect Christmas read! The theatrical audiobook is just 3 hours and 31 minutes, so for me this made the perfect accompaniment for my car journies to work on my final week before Christmas.
Most of us are familiar with this story, be it from one of the various film adaptations, or just learning the term Scrooge. This is a story of Christmas, of change and of learning to care for others and the meaning of this festive time. Scrooge is a very selfish man, who doesn’t seem to care much for anyone else or any thing. This is a very simple story, a linear plot of three spirits visiting the main character on Christmas eve to try and get him to change his ways.
I like that each ghost has an even part of the story and we get to find out a different part about Scrooge in each section. Of course we grow to like him more as a character the more we read. We learn his history and get something in the way of answers as to why he is such a… well… Scrooge.
For everything Dickens stood for, this book is an excellent representative of his values and efforts to help the poor. Perhaps Scrooge strives by the end of the novel, to be more like Dickens himself? If you need a book for character development, you’re definitely safe choosing this one.
This is the first Dickens’ book I have read and I really enjoyed the writing style. I was expecting this book to be a struggle to get through, but the narrative was very simple to read and created a strong image in my head. I think the audiobook certainly helped by having different narrators for each character, including Sir Derek Jacobi and Jenna Coleman. And I liked that the overall narrator of the story was Dickens himself, it added an element of comedy to the story.
My favourite film adaptation of this book is The Muppet Christmas Carol, so when I read it, I think I thought of some of the characters as these ones, especially the ghosts! It was nice to be able to read the origin story though that inspired so many adaptations to be made about this iconic Christmas tale.