Friday, December 24, 2010

Thoughts: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

My first Dickens! *Starts jumping up and down.*

Okay, I'm going to calm down.

Seriously.

Ahem.

So, who hasn’t heard of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens? The novella has spawned countless movie and TV adaptations, and is known all throughout the world, especially during Christmas. The funny thing is, I’ve known about A Christmas Carol since I was little, but I never actually read it.

The novella revolves around Scrooge, a stingy, horrid old man who says, “Bah! Humbug!” every time someone brings up Christmas. On Christmas eve, he is visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley—dead these seven years, sorry, couldn’t help myself—and warned that three ghosts will visit him, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Well, what can I say about A Christmas Carol that hasn’t been said more eloquently by a million others before me? That is why I’m going to keep this short.

A Christmas Carol was a charming novella that ended too soon. I enjoyed every single moment of it, and I feel very lucky to have read it with Christmas looming in the horizon.

Sometimes, Dickens strayed from the narrative and started talking directly to the reader. By the end of the book, I felt like we were old chums. I love how he uses language. He plays around with it, and ends up with most unexpected but humorous results.
“You wish to be anonymous?”
“I wish to be left alone,” said Scrooge. “Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don’t make merry myself at Christmas, and I can’t afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned–they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there.”
“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides–excuse me–I don’t know that.”
Yes, Scrooge is a miser, but he’s a very witty miser. I chortled—chortled!—loudly at some of his outrageous statements.

Overall, A Christmas Carol is a very charming book, and I think that a lot of people would agree with me when I say that the film versions failed to capture the full essence of Dickens’s wit.

Rating: 5/5

Merry Christmas, everyone!

5 comments:

Eclectic Indulgence said...

I loved the 'decreas(ing) surplus population' quote. I think I laughed too; but in a world that will soon not have enough resources to support everyone, you can see his point of view. I wonder how prevalent the topic was during Dickens' time.

Kerry said...

I just finished this, too (as I posted about multiple times on my own site), and LOVED it. You're right that Scrooge is an impressively witty old miser.

Kristi said...

I read A Christmas Carol a few months ago and I too was surprised by how charming it was. I've always loved the story but reading it in his own words is so much better! I too remember chuckling at parts. I'm glad you liked it.

Reymos said...

This is my read from Dickens' stories collection. You might be surprised that I have read the novel last Dec 2010 only after downloading the free ebook version from Manybooks.net. As usual, I did my review as well. Overall, the story is still relevant today and Dickens is the real father of Xmas! Oh, I also watched the adaption (movies and musical) which helped understand some part of the book (due to old English and writing style).

Reymos said...

...my "first" read...and "adaptation"...sorry for that!

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