Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

"Bah Humbug!" That's how Ebeneezer Scrooge feels about Christmas--until the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future decide to show the crotchety old miser the error of his ways. Together they travel through time, revisiting all the people who have played an important role in Scrooge's life. And as their journey concludes, Scrooge is reminded of what it means to have love in his heart, and what the true spirit of Christmas is all about. A timeless story the whole family will enjoy!
Dear Mr. Dickens,

It might seem strange that I am writing a letter to a man that has been dead for many years, but it also seems very fitting. A Christmas Carol is a ghost story, so let us pretend that ghosts are real and that Mr. Dickens has the ability to read all the things written about him after he died. He was, in many ways, an author that was only appreciated after he was deceased, so it is nice to think of him being able to revel in the praises of the generations that have came after him. At the same time, it is rather creepy to think about a ghost reading these words over my shoulder! I just find that writing letters is more my style. I can write 'formal' reviews, but I was finding them a chore. The few letters I have written this year have been a lot more fun, so I think you might see me slowly moving in that direction.

Anyway, Mr. Dickens, I have quite gone off-topic, something I am very good at, so I should probably get back to the book that is at hand. I love A Christmas Carol. I have read it many times over the years and I never tire of the story. You have written a story that is very fitting for the ages because within these pages you have shown what Christmas is really about. I just love every word. I do not believe there is a wasted one anywhere in the story. And, it sticks with you. I might not be able to say passages word for word, but there are sentences that stick with you even after you have long closed the book. When I sit down to enjoy this book and see the opening sentence: "Marley was dead, to begin with", I feel like I am coming home. It is like visiting with old friends. And, even though there are no longer any surprises, I still feel the emotions like I am reading it for the first time: outrage at Scrooge, sympathy for his over-worked clerk, a little creeped out by the ghost of Christmas yet to come, etc. It is truly a master that can make people feel for characters over and over again.

While you might not really comprehend the phrasing 'classic literature' because classic literature was very different in your day, you have to understand how rare it is for me to sing the praises of a classic, to me, author. I just love this book! There is really no other way to describe it. I get caught up in the story everytime and I am always sad when I finish. There is just something magically about the world that you have created. In many ways, while this is not necessarily a fantasy story, it is probably the story that moved me in that direction when I was very young. I like to believe that anything is possible, and in this story, three ghosts visit a cranky, rude, older man and show him the true meaning of living. They show him what will happen if he doesn't learn the error of his ways, and he gets a second chance. It is not forced on him, he could have come out of those experiences still not seeing the errors of his ways, but he doesn't. It's just the way the world should work, everyone should have a second chance.

This is really all I feel I have to say. I think everyone and their dog is familiar with the basic story, even if they haven't actually read this book. I am telling you now, though, you can not truly appreciate the magic of this book if you don't read the original. I am sure Mr. Dickens would agree. I am totally going back to my yearly tradition of reading this story. I have missed it. It was wonderful to visit with old friends this holiday season! Thank you, Mr. Dickens. I have read many other of your works, (and actually plan to do some reading of you in the New Year), but this will always be my favourite.

Until next time!


  1. what a lovely post! and I like the fact that you used the version illustrated by P.J. Lynch. Isn't it beautiful?
    I've actually seen the original paintings in an exhibition and they are even better!

  2. I love the cover on the book! Sigh* I've often wanted to get this book but felt I know the story too well after all the years of watching the movie in various adaptations..but you've sold me Kelly...this copy will go on my wish list. I also think I want to read his : The Old Curiosity Shop

  3. valentina: It would very cool to see pictures like that in person. I don't have the chance to do stuff like that where I live.

    DesLily: I want to read The Old Curiosity Shop. I have actually never even owned a copy of that one before! One of these days I will get to it. :)

  4. Love the letter format! I never tire of this story either. And now I'm very curious about those illustrations.


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