Book review: A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens

Synopsis: A Christmas Carol is the most famous, heart-warming and chilling festive story of them all. In these pages we meet Ebenezer Scrooge, whose name is synonymous with greed and parsimony: 'Every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart'. This attitude is soon challenged when the ghost of his old partner, Jacob Marley, returns from the grave to haunt him on Christmas Eve. Scrooge is then visited in turn by three spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future, each one revealing the error of his ways and gradually melting the frozen heart of this old miser, leading him towards his redemption. On the journey we take with Scrooge we encounter a rich array of Dickensian characters including the poor Cratchit family with the ailing Tiny Tim and the generous and jolly Fezziwig.

How did this book end up in my hands? I began reading the ebook version of A Christmas Carol before joining the online serialisation via The Pigeonhole last December. It seems I enjoy having a scheduled amount to read every day.

Was it a page-turner? Having seen various TV adaptations, I already knew the story so I didn’t have that drive to know more immediately and was happy to wait for the following instalment.

Having read the synopsis, did the book meet my expectations? I was hoping to enjoy it more as this is my first encounter with Dickens on the written page. As a non-native English speaker, I found the language a little hard to get into though.

Did I like the ending? [no spoilers] I wouldn’t dream of changing the ending of this classic but my personal preference veers towards less happy endings! I am like the Grinch before he converted to Christmas!

Three words to describe it. Dark. Mysterious. Foggy.

Do I like the cover? I’ve seen many covers of this book and I tend to prefer those that have no human figures or ghosts on them, like the one pictured above.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, but there are quite a few on my shelves, waiting for their turn. I just find them slightly intimidating.

Will I be recommending this book? As a Christmas classic, yes, definitely!

Anything else? Yes! If you've ever wanted to know more about Jacob Marley, I suggest that you read Miss Marley, which Rebecca Mascull completed after the passing of author Vanessa Lafaye.


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