I have never been a fan of Charles Dickens. I’ve often felt like his books were overly long and kind of boring. That’s a literary confession that kind of embarrasses me. So, even though I have watched many adaptations of Dickens’ book, I have never actually read A Christmas Carol.
This year, because of a buddy read, I finally got brave enough to tackle A Christmas Carol. I was surprised that I really enjoyed this book. This work is more novella than actual novel, taking up barely more than 100 pages on my Kindle. I read it over the course of a single evening, soaking in the classic story and the lush, decorative prose of Dickens’s writing.
I found myself often rereading whole passages just for the joy of re-reading them. I’m not converted on Dickens as a whole, but this story is definitely the Dickens work that I’m going to use with my teenagers as part of their school next fall.
As far as the story goes, if you’re unfamiliar, Ebenezer Scrooge is a man who hates Christmas. He is ruled by greed and avarice, and puts his personal gain over the wellbeing of his fellow man. He is visited over the course of one Christmas Eve by three ghosts that show him his Christmases past, present, and future to show him the consequences of his actions and to help him change his ways.
I noticed . . .
The basics of the story are pretty much contained in all the adaptations. However, it seems like most adaptations end on Christmas morning. Dickens actually includes a little more closure, showing that Scrooge really did follow through with his changes.
I wondered . . .
I wondered more about the reception of the book as it was written. I looked it up, and it seemed to be well-received at the time. Dickens was a popular author and it seems that people found it touching.
It reminded me of . . .
I could not help but to be reminded of all the adaptations of A Christmas Carol. My favorite might be the update from the 1980s, Scrooged. However, I found that the adaptation that most closely follows the book is the 2009 Jim Carrey version. It’s a lovely version, dark and victorian in looks and manner.
Overall, this book was a great introduction to Dickens’ writings, much better than the first Dickens book I actually read (Great Expectations). Maybe, once introduced to Dickens through A Christmas Carol, a person might feel better equipped to actually tackle one of Dickens’ meatier works.