Book Review: A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

A Chritsmas Carol

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (illus. Quentin Blake)

I’ve only read one other Dickens’ (Great Expectations). I bought this illustrated hard cover for a good price as I like Quentin Blake’s illustrations, and I thought it would be a little more interesting for the children, and that they may pick it up sometime.

A Christmas Carol

But in the end I actually listened to A Christmas Carol narrated by Antonia Bath. It was my first audiobook and I really enjoyed it. The narrator had a pleasant voice and accent; she read the story with expression and emotion. It still doesn’t feel the same as reading it for myself, because I didn’t see the words, so it felt like an entirely different experience.

“Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; his iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.”

How cleverly and precisely does Dickens write a character? I loved this book. Scrooge is visited by the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future, who reveal to him truths about himself, which dramatically alter his outlook on life. By the end of the tale, he is transformed.

“Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh. The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs.”

So, yes a happy ending. I needed a happy ending.

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