Read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Elliot Engel Online


ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATEDBY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIPThe best known and best loved of Dickens's tales, "A Christmas Carol" is the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who is shown the true spirit of Christmas by three ghosts.THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:- An introduction that gives readers important background information- Detailed explanatory notes- Critical anaENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATEDBY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIPThe best known and best loved of Dickens's tales, "A Christmas Carol" is the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who is shown the true spirit of Christmas by three ghosts.THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:- An introduction that gives readers important background information- Detailed explanatory notes- Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the workEnriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential....

Title : A Christmas Carol
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780743477376
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 148 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Christmas Carol Reviews

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2019-02-28 01:43

    I read this every year at Christmas, and I always will do. Simply because of the atmosphere it evokes. This story is Christmas as far as I’m concerned. It wouldn’t be the same without it. It is perfectly festive and is also appropriately didactic. It is an allegory for what happens to those that are unnecessarily bitter and twisted, refusing to take part in a joyful occasion. It is a glimpse at what could happen to someone who rejects their family upon trivial grounds, and let’s themselves be set apart. It is also a suggestion that one shouldn’t be so concerned with money. Money isn’t everything; it certainly didn’t buy ol’ Scrooge happiness. But, Christmas did and will do so again.

  • BillKerwin
    2019-02-16 07:49

    It has been a decade since I last read this classic, so I decided to look at it again, taking note of what I have forgotten or imperfectly remembered and also garnering any new insights my older (and I hope wiser) self could now find within it.But first, I decided to do a little research, and discovered the great irony underlying the book’s creation: how this tale that warns against miserliness was born because of Dickens' acute need for money, and how its publication resulted in a dispute about the distribution of profits. Dickens was already famous in 1843, but the sales of the recent installments of Martin Chuzzlewit were less than half of what he had received for the individual numbers of his previous novels. His publishers Chapman and Hall were so alarmed that they invoked a clause in Dickens contract which demanded that they be reimbursed for the printing cost of the Chuzzlewit installments. Dickens was alarmed too, but also hurt, offended...and worried. A large mortgage payment would soon be due, and his wife had just given birth to their fifth child. Still, he was convinced that his idea for a yuletide novella would yield an ample return and make up for the Chuzzlewit deficit. He financed the sumptuous edition of A Christmas Carol himself—colored plates, colored title page, gilt embossed front cover, gilt-edged pages, etc.—and insisted that the price not exceed the sum of 5 shillings (still expensive: one third of Cratchit’s weekly salary). Dickens waited eagerly for the money to roll in, but, although the sales were indeed phenomenal, Dickens gained little money from them. Although the cost of producing the elegant volume must have cut deeply into the profits, Dickens was convinced Chapman and Hall were cheating him and he refused to do business with them for the next fifteen years. But enough of money matters, for now! What follows are a few random observations on this, the latest of my many readings.1) How thoroughly Marley’s Ghost is surrounded by iron objects: doorknocker (large Victorian doorknockers were typically iron), iron door nails, iron coffin nails, iron chain and iron metal strong box. Helps us see what hard, unrelenting old sinners Marley and his partner really are.2) In addition to being hard of heart, Scrooge is a man with a deliberate philosophy of self-exoneration. It consists of two principles: 1) taxpayers fund the poor houses and prisons, thereby discharging in full their obligation to all of their fellow human beings, and 2) death by starvation, although it may seem regrettable, is actually a positive good as proven by science (because Malthus!), and relieves the rest of us of the burden of a surplus population. This philosophy is the shield that protects Scrooge from feeling the pains of sympathy and compassion.3) The first emotion produced in Scrooge by the Ghost of Christmas Past is sadness at this own boyhood loneliness, but the second emotion is his joy in the books that consoled him and helped him empathize with others: The Arabian Nights, the old romances (Valentine and Orson), and realistic fiction (Robinson Crusoe). In Ebenezer’s coming transformation, the sadness and its memory are of course necessary, but no more necessary than this joy.4) At Fezziwig’s Christmas party, the guest list is inclusive: the family and the clerks of course, but also the housemaid, the baker, the cook, the milkman, and a boy and a girl from down the street whom the Fezziwigs fear are mistreated by their masters and mistresses. Scrooge’s defense of his employer Fezziwig's little party which may only have cost “a few pounds” is even more eloquent than I remembered: He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune." If I were dictator, I would compel our 21st century employers to listen to the above words at least four times a year. (Exception: employers who, in order to increase the volume of key strokes, forbid all family photographs and personal items in their data entry cubicles. No, those guys should have to listen to the above passage on a loop, eight hours a day, for the rest of their lives.)5) In my favorite movie version, the Alastair Sim Scrooge (1951), Ebenezer sees his former fiance as an old woman (still beautiful of course) nursing the sick and dying in the shadowy corners of the poorhouse. It is moving, certainly, but how much more effective—and crueler—is the Dicken’s original! There, Scrooge sees her happy in the recent past, a contented wife and mother surrounded by a whirlwind of children.6) In the past I have viewed the temporal structure of the tale (ghost past, ghost present, ghost future) as an effective but obvious device. But the more I think about it, the more profound it seems, psychologically and spiritually. This, after all, is the pattern of every true conversion, the manner in which we grow in sympathy toward our fellow human beings: we reflect upon the emotionally charged sense impressions of the past, observe their consequences for good or ill manifested in the present, and then—on the basis of these observations—we make a decision to act in a new way, a way which draws us grow closer to love. Certainly St. Augustine would have understood, for it was how he envisioned the Trinity, as a model of love in action: memory, understanding, and will.Oh, speaking of how painful memories can inspire a person to action, I forgot to tell you the rest of the story about A Christmas Carol and money. Another factor that reduced Dickens' yuletide revenue stream was a cut-rate bit of plagiarism issued two weeks after Carol by Parley’s Illustrated Library called A Christmas Ghost Story. Parley's claimed they owed Dickens nothing because what they had published was not a piracy, but an "analytical condensation" of the tale, and, in addition, they had improved upon the original. (For example, in their version, Tiny Tim sings a song about a little child freezing in the snow.) Dickens sued and won, but Parley’s went bankrupt, and instead of gaining any money from his legal ordeal, Dickens was forced to pay 700 pounds in court costs.Now, here comes the good news: This painful experience so disillusioned Dickens with English civil law that he used it as his inspiration ten years later for what is arguably his finest, most mature creation, the masterpiece Bleak House. So I guess Dickens gained something from the experience after all.On that high note, I will leave you. And God bless us, everyone!

  • Kalliope
    2019-02-25 07:58

    REREADING IN 2017 BUT I REPEAT EVERYTHING BELOW TO MY UN-SCROOGY FRIENDS. I wish a most UN-SCROOGY Christmas to all my GR Friends. With lots of:MerrimentChristmas LoveGenerous and very Christmasy GiftsCopious and Delicious FoodNot too much drinkingChristmas GamesAnother watch of The NutcrackerAnd of course...Fascinating and Beautiful BooksAnd to remember what Scrooge learnt: I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!

  • Leo .
    2019-03-18 00:40

    What a fantastic story! How terrible it was to be poor in the Victorian Era. Dickens was a humanitarian and saw first hand the poverty in the streets of London. The starving urchins trying to steal an apple or a handkerchief. The void between the rich and the poor. This story, like Oliver Twist in my opinion is a masterpiece.The musicals are just, brilliant. 👍🐯 Christmas is coming, we know its nearEvenings are darker, the cold weather is hereWill there be snow? The sky is whiteOr have they been Chem- Trailing? All through the night?Corporations love it! Consume, buy, consume, buyTemptation, pretty colours, prices way too highWe know we can't afford it, so credit cards we useWhen ones child is surrounded by all these things, how could one refuse?More and more credit, people just don't seeIt's all a lure, to take your hard earned money!The bank is in the red, cards no credit leftSpending money we have not got, it is all akin to theftWhen the party is over, it is a New YearReality hits home, and many are filled with fearAll the booze has gone, the cakes and turkey tooEverything purchased, has been used or consumedNot a pot to piss in, just a huge vacuumHung over, depressed, lots of work to do, back to the mundaneWas it ever worth it? We all must be insaneNot the CEO's though, happy they areTheir bank accounts are bursting, and probably have a new expensive carThe rest of us sadly, continue as beforeA working persons life, is really a choreUp early, commute, and work all bloody dayObey a boss, yes sir no sir, everything is OKRepeat it day in day out, for a pittance of payRepetition, repetition, its like Ground Hog DayWe pay our taxes, National Insurance too, Why?Yet when we need benefits, or an operation, no matter how we tryWe never tick their boxes, computer says no!One is talking to a human but, they never showAny compassion, empathy or emotion, no semblance of careThey are only doing their job, and the box has no tick in thereOne does not tick the box, one has no chanceNo matter whatsoever, one's circumstanceComputer says no, the Beast see's no profit, even though one's contributions were paid inThat's the Corporations, corpses, bleeding us dry, we are drowningNHS has no money, it is failing fast, what a damn cheek!No money in the NHS yet, footballers earn £250,000 a week!A crazy world we live in, it's all inverted and upside downCould have had a crazy woman as US president but, ended up with a ClownAll these Elites are crazy, and not there for usWhen the shit hits the fan, we will be under the busThese people are all part of a secret cliqueAnd we are not invited, as we are weakWe work through the Week DaysLike in a field, a sheep, that never straysAnd come the Weekend, we are weakened, and need a restSunday is the sabbath, relax, cos' Mon one is needed to be at their bestFor one has to pay their taxes, their debts tooIt's a never ending cycle, insane, loopy looPerpetual debt, slavery, stocks and bonds, assets frozen and BankstersLiquidation, cash flow, currency, CEO's are WankersMost of one's earnings taken, and sucked in by the BeastWe will eat budget foods while CEO's feastMoney is our bondage, this paper we crave, we are simply debt SlavesMaritime Law, Piracy Of The High Seas, and Britannia Rules The Waves🐯👍By Leo.Remember this one growing up? Nostalgia...Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fatPlease put a penny in the old mans hatIf you have not a penny, a halfpenny will doIf have you not a halfpenny, then God bless youA pleasant nursery rhyme🐯👍OrChristmas is coming, the rich are getting fatDevoured everything, and that is thatTaken all the money, everything else tooAnd absolutely nothing left, for me and you🐯👍:-0Let's enjoy our festivities and forget about the rich and their ilkLet them wear their designer clothes and enjoy their sheets of silkLet indulge on the meat, puddings, port, whiskey and wineChoke on the gristle, whilst they dineLet them smoke their cigars, eat all the candy and nutsFill their veins with cholesterol and burst their gutsFatten their bellies, and pickle their liverJust that thought, gets me all of a quiverSo here is a greeting, with joy and cheerAs we welcome in, another New Year🐯👍Merry Christmas to everybody on Goodreads, happy holidays. 👍🐯Happy New Year!🐯👍🐯👍So Christmas is over, for another yearIt has been a good 2017 on Goodreads, all cheer!Many new authors, and books galoreFor all tastes and ages, all what readers adoreLet's start 2018 with a new story, leave 2017 behindLet's not forget the books we read though, we have expanded the mind. 🐯👍Are the authorities any better now? Back then people knew their place. Now not so much. I have had experiences with these, authorities. Here is a little rant:How does one deal with a neighbour from hell?Email the council, wait for them to give one a bellAnd wait, and wait, and wait some moreBut the call does not come, so try once moreHas to be email, for recorded message, and number to pressThe option one requires is not available, what a complete messThis system, automated, no reason or rhymeJust go around in circles, all the bloody timeNothing ever gets done, this system, this beastNo empathy, no concern, not in the leastAll one gets is nonsense eventually, when they callWe are all just a number, this system is so cruelA case spanning ten years, and still no hopeThe authorities do nothing, and I just cannot copeThe neighbour's behavior escalates, yet nobody will interveneSince the day he moved in, it is all it has ever beenHoarding rubbish, rats, mice, and fliesCalling the Police on us, and telling them liesHis deviant behavior, his antics, disgusting to seeLeaning up against my front door, and having a peeAll over the cat flap, sodden and wetContaminating, Archimedes, my beautiful pet!My neighbour is vindictive, cunning, never sleepsStands naked in his window, and gives my girl the creepsThis man, this creep, who has ruined our lives, such painI have had numerous breakdowns, he is making me insaneYet still, nothing, nothing is done, we are stunnedHe goes about his life, yet we are shunnedWhat is this system? We mean nothing, only heAnd we have ploughed everything we have, into our propertyBought it from the council fifteen years agoSince that time, neighbours, to and froWe have had drunkards, criminals, drug addicts, and now thisWe feel the council took our money, now they are taking the piss!Another neighbour complained, saw him warts and allAs she was walking with her child, towards the schoolOne hundred yards from our front doorAnd he plays up downstairs, Porn, Hardcore!We hear it frequently, and the authorities were toldDating back years, yet we are left out in the coldFinally this man has been arrested, the neighbour called the law, such luckYet we have been telling them this for years, OMG! WTF!So they took him away, and it put us at ease, he has gone the creepMaybe tonight, we will finally get some good earned sleepHowever, to our dismay, the Police brought him back, he is downstairs nowI have this horrible feeling, something is not right somehowThis man clearly needs supervision, yet here he isMy brain is all scatty, I am all in a tizI don't quite get, what the hell is going onHow we have to put up with this phenomenonHe called the Police on us for apparently bullying him, for our concerns for his welfareAnd at midnight that same day, we had quite a scareTwo police officers banging on our door, in the late nightNo concern for our welfare, gave us quite a frightEnter our property, cos' he feels victimized, OMG!We have had this for a decade, yet get woken by PC PlodSo this is one of many issues causing my soul to breakMy girl has enough to deal with, for goodness sakeHaving to deal with this, being flashed as she leaves for work in the morning, it is wrongStepping over rubbish bags, and him leering, his stench, his pongHe does not wash, or clean, or tidy, or careAbout his appearance, or when people stareHe seems to like it, an audience, the Police knowYet they still have not spoken to us, no showI really am at the end of my tether, this is too much to takeI am sitting here in my lounge, on edge, wide awakeThis is when my brain cells are on fire, I supposeWhen I am empty, and forlorn, I pen my proseThe words they flow, like a river racingLike a cheetah, on the hunt, pacingMy head feels like it is going to blowSo I suppress it, this feeling of sorrowIt is a crazy world, in which we liveNobody ever, ever, seems to giveAn ounce of compassion, no feeling, no heartA system that is totally falling apartIt is time we woke up and realised thusThat the authorities are simply, not there for usNobody cares, about you, or about meOnly what the celebrities, are doing on TVWhich team won the weekend? Who scored? Which player? OMG!I am still smarting about PC Plod!All is quiet at present, hope it stays that way, stillMy girl gets up at six, and walking by his front door makes her feel illMy girl will sleep alone tonight, my insomnia is back, I am wired, it will seemSo I will sit here, silent, hoping for a snooze, and welcome a dream👍🐯By Leo

  • LolaReviewer
    2019-02-24 04:40

    *3.5 stars*I shall start by introducing you to Ebenezer Scrooge. According to the narrator, the cold-hearted, unholy and inconsiderate man we have as main character.While he is described as such:External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn't know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often came down handsomely, and Scrooge never did.Part of me was surprisingly not negatively thinking about the old man. Some despised him, but I couldn’t do such a thing, because he may have said hurtful things to people, but it’s not like he ruined someone’s life.He has some good in him, and I could see it from the start somehow. Now I am not sure if this is all coming from my having viewed the movie prior to reading this, if that's the reason why I became attached to him and empathized with him, because of everything he went through but, one thing I know is that I never ‘hated’ Scrooge.Don't worry if you're not too fond of him at first. He does, as you surely know already, have a fantastic and noticeable character development! 'Spirit,' said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, 'tell me if Tiny Tim will live.' 'I see a vacant seat,' replied the Ghost,' in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.' 'No, no,' said Scrooge. 'Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.'See, I was sure there was good in him…*wink* *wink*This may sound quite strange to you, maybe, but I didn’t find an even, adequate and well-fitting atmosphere in this book. Sure, most scenes were sad or merry or eerie but it’s like, in my point of view, the author neglected it and concentrated more on the writing and characterization – for those elements to be outstanding (and they were!) – than the story itself.Tiny Tim – especially him – Scrooge and Fred are people that will be carefully buried inside my mind and will rest there for as long as I will cherish them, which is forever.Also, since this is a short novel, though containing a simple, well-plotted and easy to follow story, we don’t see the secondary characters as often as we may wish. For instance, Tiny Tim is my favorite of them all (I wasn’t able to resist him), but I could only read of him here and there, tiny bits of information, which is a little disappointing but, ultimately, understandable.'There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, dare say,' returned the nephew. 'Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round -apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!’Oh, even though this surely isn’t the best Christmas book I have read so far, it is a classic and, truthfully, how many of them make us see the importance of being kind to others, open-minded and thoughtful? How many warm our hearts? How many make us imagine our future transform into a better one? If you enjoyed this classic and the themes included, you may also find yourself appreciating the endearing story that is Little Women!Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  • Mary
    2019-02-20 03:48

    It's a family tradition to read A Christmas Carol (original, unabridged) aloud each Christmas season and then to watch at least one film version on Christmas Eve (this year it was the Muppets' Christmas Carol - very authentic - with Michael Caine). Over the years, we have discussed the 19th century slang and customs enough so that the reading is becoming smoother and smoother without much need for editorial asides. This year we focused on favorite phrases "Marley was dead, to begin with." "the misanthropic ice", "solitary as an oyster", "Come in and know me better, man!" and we talked about Charles Dickens as the rock star of the mid-1800's. It is such a wonderful, timeless story and by re-reading it every year we become better and better acquainted with the characters. We continue to marvel at Dickens' powers of description and treasure the multitude of secondary characters like Topper, the plump sister, Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig, the little Cratchits and more. I can't wait to read it again!

  • Candi
    2019-03-11 06:49

    When I think of Christmas and all those things that make Christmas so special, A Christmas Carol immediately comes to mind right along with family, friends, beautiful Christmas trees, Mom’s anise cut-out cookies, brilliant holiday light displays, gently falling snow, festive instrumental and choral concerts, midnight mass, and angel trees. A Christmas Carol truly is a timeless classic and a beloved tradition, whether you see the movie or read the book. The blessing of this treasure is that you don’t have to celebrate Christmas to enjoy and appreciate this novella. The message is there for anyone that celebrates life and family and giving to others, those who want to examine their life and make the most of it and share it with others. Furthermore, it’s a winner all the way around – aside from the powerful message, we are also rewarded with a wonderfully written and atmospheric story. So, if you have a morsel of time you can spare in the next couple of days, treat yourself to a well-deserved break and grab a copy of this book. As you journey into those Christmases of Past, Present, and Future with Ebenezer Scrooge, your heart will feel lighter and your spirit revived as you hopefully gear up for not simply the chaos of the holidays but also the gifts of love, fellowship and gratitude. I wish for joy and peace for each and every one of you this holiday season and the coming year."I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future."

  • Alejandro
    2019-03-18 07:32

    The Christmas reading par excellence!A CLASSIC RE-IMAGINED ONCE AND AGAINI can't tell how many times I have watched some adaptation or another of this classic story......Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog, the Real Ghostbusters, live action films, animated TV specials, etc......since this is one of the most adapted stories of all time. A truly Christmas classic. And this one of the few books that I think one hardly can deny that it's the novel that defines a genre, in this case:Christmas.In popular genres like Science-Fiction and Horror, there are several books competing for the title of the lead book in the genre. While in other genres like mafia, we have The Godfather; and in epic fantasy we have The Lord of the Rings, that there is a more common acceptance that those books are the lead ones on each genre. And certainly, in books about Christmas, the impact and relevance of A Christmas Carol, not only put the season back in the conscience of people but define the very spirit and message of the holidays.CHARACTER REDEMPTIONEbenezer Scrooge got into the fields of the most popular book characters ever. And indeed, a key factor for a book character to become effective with the readers is change, since any character that ends quite in the same state that he/she started on the beginning of the story, hardly can be named as a good book character. And Scrooge changes a lot in this story, so he didn't only became a popular character but the embodiment of a type of human personality.Humbug!I was so familiar with the story that I could "tell" it to anyone by memory, however I never actually read the original book.I knew the story only from the several adaptations in media. So, I thought that it was a very good moment to read the classic novel. I loved it. First, I didn't know that the chapters weren't named like that but instead, Dickens opted to named them "staves" since it was a "carol" (xmas song) what he was writing.Moreover, the division of the story is just perfect since Dickens used the right number of "staves" to tell the story, denoting the perfect structure of the storytelling.Great details that you only get on the reading experience of the story. Also, not only I re-experienced yet again the immortal story but I met some details that I didn't recall to be mentioned in the adaptations that I have watched.(view spoiler)[One of the spookiest details that I met on the reading was the mention that Marley's Ghost had been present in the company of Scrooge basically every night since his death, but only until that moment he was able to be visible in front of him. The very notion of living in a mansion where a ghost acompanies you every night without your knowledge is way scary! Also, I found quite interesting and impacting the part of the "children" named "Ignorance" and "Want". I don't remember to know about those details in the media adaptations. So, it was priceless to know "new" facts about a story that I have met so many times in my life. (hide spoiler)]So, even if you have watched so different versions of the classic tale as me, if you have the chance of actually reading the book, please, give it a chance, you won't regret it!God bless us, everyone!And Merry Christmas!

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2019-03-17 01:42

    I love A Christmas CarolI can't believe I have just NOW read this book. I have been watching the MANY movies of A Christmas Carol since I was a little kid. My favorite being the one with Albert Finney, that seemed to be the one I watched the most. I have it on dvd (maybe blu ray, I would have to look) and I have the VHS tape for a long time. Remember those? I also have The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Christmas Carol with Jim Carey. You know I think after reading this book I'm going to have to dig out the movies and watch them this weekend. **Spoilers for any that haven't seen the movie or read the book, if that exists**Most everyone knows that Scrooge is visited by his old friend Marley and he was a ghost! He told Scrooge some things about life and told Scrooge he would be visited by three ghosts that might help him change his ways so he wouldn't end up like Marley. Of course Scrooge wanted none of that, he was scared out of his wits. But going with the ghosts was not so bad. Yes, there were some tears but there was some happiness as well. After the last ghost, Scrooge woke up a changed man. He was happy to be alive, he wasn't evil or mean - it is just such a wonderful story. Scrooge got a new lease on life. But he wasn't the only one, he gave to those in need and was the most delightful person. He took up a relationship with his nephew and lived the life he should have been living. And he became a wonderful friend to his employee's family, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and the whole lot. It's bittersweet. Things even changed for Tiny Tim who needed an operation and guess who helped him live =)Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did NOT die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the onset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for himMY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
    2019-03-04 23:38

    *Read for class1. This is the first book I've finished in September I am so damn excited.2. I have endless love for this story because my mom is obsessed with Christmas movies so I've seen at least a million adaptations of it. Happy to say the book was even better! Short and sweet, yet still Dickensian!

  • Brina
    2019-03-08 04:57

    A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is the current runaway leader for a reread in the group Catching up on Classics for December. As I gear up for what looks to be some intense reading during the last two months of the year, I decided to pre read this short classic this week. Being that I do not observe the Christmas holiday and can sometimes feel overwhelmed by its presence during the last six weeks of the year, I felt that it was better for me to read Dickens' classic early so I could keep an open mind. Other than references to this story on television, I had never read A Christmas Carol until now, so I was eager to participate in the upcoming group read.Dickens tale has become almost symbiotic with the holiday season. What may be unknown to some is Dickens' background in that during his lifetime it was common for entire families to join their relatives in debtors prison or to work off their debt. Dickens' father fell upon hard times, so his son went to work in an attempt to bail his father from jail. While this episode did not last for longer than a few months, it stayed with Dickens for his entire life, and is reflected upon in his characters and work. Perhaps Ebenezer Scrooge is as obsessed with money as he is because the Dickens family did not come from wealth and always desired just a little more so that they would not be wondering where their next meal came from. Charles Dickens himself does not seem like the happiest person in the world, a decent father to his children but not the ideal husband. Maybe, just maybe, he contained a kernel of Scrooge's personality within himself.The tale of a miserly, wealthy man being visited by three spirits; past, present, and future; contains universal themes that pertain to all people. These spirits are sent to Scrooge so that he reform himself before he dies a miserable, lonely man. While the purpose here is that Scrooge uses his wealth to become a giving person at the holiday season, I was touched by the theme of redemption. Judaism also speaks of one's potential to repent for one's bad deeds either through prayer or charity so I used this as a basis for the redemption of Scrooge on his journey with the spirits. Most world religions have a supernatural element, and I believe that the spiritual aspect of A Christmas Carol has allowed this tale to remain on the forefront of society's collective pathos. That the story takes place during the holiday season only increases the likelihood of one's exposure to Scrooge and his path toward redemption.Dickens' story is short enough that children can read it either alone or with a parent. The version I read was actually shelved at my library as juvenile fiction and contained a forward by Newberry winning author Nancy Farmer. Farmer writes in her message to young readers that she read A Christmas Carol for the first time in one evening when she was a child. She enjoyed the spookiness of the ghosts while also being moved by Scrooge's ability to reform and give assistance to those in need. The reading guide at the end of the book also encourages people to donate either their time or money to charity during the holiday season. While not everyone is able to give at Scrooge's level, Dickens does encourage those who can to assist those who may be lacking. Thus, A Christmas Carol speaks to another universal theme, one that is timely in light of the many natural disasters that have occurred recently, that of charity.While I am not likely to reread A Christmas Carol each year at the fireside, I did enjoy the universal message of a person having the ability to reform oneself before it is too late. Scrooge has become such a part of vernacular that no person wants to be referred to as a Scrooge or coldhearted person. Yet, that misses the essence of this tale because Scrooge did indeed see the light and become kind at the close of the story. I do love the timelessness of Dickens tale and that his work is accessible to all. As I am always looking for hidden classics by authors the world over, I sometimes neglect in reading the masters of western cannon, Dickens included. Perhaps, this is a wake up call to me to read more Dickens in the years to come because I did enjoy A Christmas Carol immensely.4+ stars

  • Alex Farrand
    2019-02-16 08:00

    A quick read to get me into the holiday spirit. Most likely a re-read for me during Christmas. Even better than the billions movies that I watched, maybe. The Muppets are still pretty funny.

  • James
    2019-02-23 04:43

    4+ out of 5 stars to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, a story almost everyone is likely familiar with as early on as childhood. And we've all seen some form of this in a TV show, movie or another book, given how familiar the three ghosts of Christmas have become.Why This BookI honestly don't recall how I stumbled upon this book, perhaps by watching one of the movie versions as the first foray. Sacrilegious, I know. But once you see it on a TV screen, the story compels you to want to read it. And when it's the great Charles Dickens, how can you say no, right? I was 17 when I read the book... the summer before college started. And I often wonder if I missed out by not reading it when I was younger... but then again, the movie had already formed images in my mind and set the expectations, so probably turned out OK.Overview of StoryA quick summary, as I'm sure we're all familiar. Jacob Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge run a business. Bob Cratchit works for them and several young kids. Marley dies. Scrooge is a penny pincher. He forces Cratchit to work too hard and the man is already so poor and loving to his family. One night, Scrooge is visited by Marley's ghost, forewarning him to be a nicer person and to listen when "they" come. Scrooge laughs. "Who's they?" He mocks him. And then it happens... three ghosts visit Scrooge and show him a Christmas from the past, a current Christmas and a future Christmas, all resulting from the way Scrooge and Marley ran their business -- essentially, a way to show the old man what his behavior has caused all around him. A reflection pool of the inner workings deep in your mind you've refused to hear or see for far too long. And when Scrooge sees poor Timmy, Bob Cratchit's son, and the maladies surrounding him, Scrooge realizes he, too, must re-learn his lessons.StrengthIn true Dickens style, the words are beautiful. The story reads itself, not the reader. And you find such broad strokes of characters and morals within these 100 pages. You learn from it. You open your mind and accept what's already somewhere in your heart.Open ItemsNone really... mostly when's the best time to introduce this to children? Too young and you scare them. Too old and you miss out on helping them. It's one of those books you should read together with your kids.Final ThoughtsRead the book before you watch any movies. Then figure out how to help people in your life, just like Scrooge learns to. This book is all about lessons... and every reader can take away something different with their imagination and application to their own thoughts and actions.About MeFor those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures.Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.[polldaddy poll=9719251]

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2019-02-20 01:57

    Ebenezer Scrooge, the very definition of grumpy miserliness, gets a second chance at figuring out what's really important in life, with the help of some ghosts who give him an unforgettable version of "This is Your Life."This may not be a perfect piece of literature -- there are a few places where Dickens goes off on tangential lines of thought that I thought would have been better left out -- but you know, it's actually amazing and touching, the influence this classic novella has had on our culture. I have to give it props for that, and that's what bumps my rating from 4 stars to 5.If you're interested in a brief glossary of some of the Victorian terms that aren't familiar to us nowadays, I found a very useful set of annotations online at, along with some brief commentary from someone who clearly loves this tale. I found this when I went on a search to figure out what Treadmills had to do with England's treatment of the poor. It was very instructive!Holiday reread with the Non-Crunchy bunch. God bless us every one!

  • Cecily
    2019-02-21 00:49

    The Christmas classic that everyone knows – even if they haven’t read it. It's quite short, and at some levels quite an easy read, but there is plenty of depth, so I think it's worth reading it in a thoughtful and slightly leisurely way. PlotIt is a simple tale of how a normal man turns cold-hearted and mean and how, when confronted with memories of his past and the possible outcomes of his actions and inactions, he is redeemed by making positive changes to his life and thus that of others.Typical Victoriana or not?The book opens with wonderful bathos, “Marley was dead, to begin with.” So right from the outset it is clear it is not a straightforward factual tale. Apart from the famous ghosts (of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come), which were not unusual in literature of the time, it has time travel and parallel worlds, where each significant choice leads to a branching of reality, which is a staple of much great sci fi. Not such a typical Victorian novel after all.Whilst it is a book whose unhurried and detailed descriptions of Christmas are the epitome of the season (“apoplectic opulence”), it is a book of great contrasts: humbug/festivities, hot/cold, company/solitude, poverty/wealth, worthy poor/wastrels, past/future etc. Corruption and redemptionScrooge’s name has become synonymous with meanness and sociopathy, which is unfair. Quite apart from the fact that the whole point of the book is that he changes for the better, right from the start there are hints that he wasn’t and isn’t irredeemably bad. For example, he never removed Marley’s name from the sign above his office. I don’t think the reason was solely parsimony because during and after the ghostly encounters, we see different aspects of Scrooge, surely exposed by the ghosts, not actually created by them. So maybe part of the reason for leaving the name was a fondness for the memory of his partner - a link to happier times. Certainly Scrooge had sunk to nasty depths, and maybe "It was all the same to him" reflects Scrooge's conscious and observable attitude, rather than the deeper, painful mix of happy and sad memories that he tried so hard to suppress, even though Scrooge would have denied it and believed his denial. Charity is shown to be not merely financial, but personal too (being pleasant, complimentary, thinking creatively about what to do). A counterpoint to that is that regret is pointless and self-indulgent: the way to overcome it is through reparation – which takes us back to charity.Ghostly significanceThe ghostly visitors are not of the Christian kind, but ghost stories were popular in Victorian England. Each ghost is very distinctive in appearance and manner. The first is pale, shadowy (long forgotten?) and “like a child; yet not so like a child as an old man” (the child is father of the man?); the second is a convivial festive spirit wanting to share joy and the third is dark, solemn and scary, reflecting Scrooge’s fears of death and also the sadness that will emanate from him if he does not change, but also with an indistinct face and shape, perhaps suggesting the potential malleability of the future.Christmas Weather and TraditionsThis story is perhaps almost as much of collective British consciousness about Christmas as the nativity itself and the presence of snow, gifts, family - and turkey all feel an essential part of the festivities, possibly more so than when Dickens wrote it. Apparently, snow features strongly in a Dickensian Christmas because of an unusual number of white Christmases in Dickens' childhood; for him, the two went together in his mind, if not always in his adult life.Christian or Secular?It has been suggested that it is a surprisingly secular book, but we live in a less religious society and so don’t always notice religious symbolism and allegories unless they’re spelt out. The whole story is a parallel of the Christian gospel, and the fact it’s set at Christmas emphasises that. The main message of Christianity is that no sinner is beyond salvation if they genuinely repent, and that is also the story of Scrooge. There are other links too: three people profiting from the spoils of the dead man (like the Roman soldiers at the cross, albeit they cast lots to decide who got what) and Peter Cratchit reading from the Bible in Christmas yet to come. In those days, religion was so much part of quotidian life for most people that it almost fades into the background at times, like having a wash. Dickens had no need say the quotation is from the Bible or to talk about baby Jesus being part of Christmas because all his readers would know that and most of them would believe it. In our secular times, perhaps that makes the story more powerful now than when it was written?

  • Renato Magalhães Rocha
    2019-03-03 06:00

    One should never judge a book by its cover, but this edition surely deserves an award for ugliest and laziest book cover ever made (should we start a contest?), which is a shame since a theme like Christmas is quite easy to illustrate and has a lot of recognizable symbols and its own emblems that could've been used to enhance this poorly conceived design. However, if all the budget available went to the translator, it was a good decision as it was beautifully done and, in the end, it's all that really matters.It's curious how I managed to completely ignore this story: never read the book, never saw any film adaptation, neither went to watch a play in the theater or an opera or even a television special for kids. It simply wasn't a big deal here in Brazil and my family hasn't been too fond of Christmas so I never looked for the theme - how Scrooge of us! Those of you who love Christmas by now are probably feeling sad for me, but I can be optimistic and see it through a good perspective: I approached A Christmas Carol innocently, as one might put it, and enjoyed this magical experience once and for all, while being able to extract some lessons I probably would have passed by without noticing or looking back as a child.Although Charles Dickens wrote here a nice but simple story of redemption, at first glance one might not capture some of the deeper self-analysis it might awake in more attentive readers - or simply in those who are in need of such a message as time and life itself seem to toughen our feelings and our reaction's to people's actions. While I would consider myself nothing alike Scrooge, I guess I am to blame for overlooking the basics of life, and that is something that I love about reading and one of its many beneficial sides: being able to absorb lessons, even on matters that we seemingly can't relate to and that seem so simple but have great effects upon ourselves. Isn't happiness completely based on simplicity? More and more - as I live and read - I tend to think it seems to be, otherwise why would we be so emotional revisiting simpler, uncomplicated times?One story to illustrate my point is how I travel to my parent's town every year for Christmas. It's a 12 hours trip in a suffocating and uncomfortable bus - there are no other transportation options - that I dread to make, arriving there and welcoming ungratefully my mother's dear smile and warm embrace with my monosyllabic answers and my grumpy face because of how exhausting the trip is. Now, reading A Christmas Carol was in no way life-changing - although there could be a point in assuming that life-changing experiences need not to be grand ones, like epiphanies, as simple changes ('simple' seems to be what I got from this reading) still can be beneficial and make a big difference -, but I did take a pledge to myself that I would approach my tiresome travel with better winds.What would you know? Just for focusing on what I would get from this trip - to spend quality time with my family, my dog, extended family, the airs of my hometown - instead of the dislocation part of it already made it a nicer time. I wish we would learn things rapidly but unfortunately I can't promise to myself that it will always go as smoothly as it was this time, for the person I am now will no longer exist and will consist of added experiences and newer feelings, but I guess it was a nice start to change something that bothered me for over ten years. Perhaps all I need is to make reading of Dickens's tale a Christmas tradition of my own and turn this time into a period of self analysis.It's been repeated time and again how you don't know what you've got till it's gone. Had we the opportunity, the privilege, to look into the future and learn that the things we normally take for granted now will by then be gone, perhaps we would value them better. This is what Dickens proposed to his old Scrooge, through my own words: you don't appreciate your life, your things, your acquaintances? Well, this is the alternative, the result you'll have once things are all done and gone. Does it seem a better situation to you in any way?Although such a device of looking into the future and far back into the past doesn't exist, Dickens gave us the inspiration to look upon our actions - past, present and planned - and reevaluate how we want the outcome to be. In a way, literature can help you travel through time.Rating: for this nice, full of hope story that aims to show how everything is still inside of us and how we must simply learn how to look for it, teaching us that all it takes is a deep dive within oneself to collect the needed goods, where as deeper one goes, the further in time one will be - kind of like the farthest light in the observable universe we see from a telescope represents the past -, among the most precious memories and feelings, in places we should revisit more often: 4 5 stars. (re-rated in 2015.)

  • Glenn Sumi
    2019-03-03 00:31

    I’ve seen countless film, TV and stage adaptations of A Christmas Carol, but it wasn’t until this week that I read the actual text. Which is strange. I adore Dickens. If pressed, I’d call him one of my all-time favourite authors. But it’s a busy time of year, and when I watch the films it’s usually in a social situation. This week I found myself with a few extra hours and finally read the novella. Wow. I’m very glad I did. Here are some thoughts:• I can see why it’s so frequently adapted and has stood the test of timeThe structure is brilliant. Think of all the characters Scrooge interacts with in the opening section (Cratchit, his nephew, the people from the charity). Notice how he encounters them all in the final section, too! The dialogue is so clear and sharp screenwriters don’t have to change much. And that dialogue has to be memorable (“Are there no prisons?” “Decrease the surplus population”) in order to register when the lines are thrown back at him later.• Dickens’ description of Scrooge is amazing: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, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice.Look at that series of words (“squeezing, wrenching, grasping…”). They tell you everything you need to know about the man. I'm not sure I like “secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster” – we already get that. But what colourful, character-rich description. I LOVE the flint that doesn’t give generous fire! And that then leads to the passage about how the coldness WITHIN HIM affects his features. Brilliant. • I love the humourScrooge (say the name and your face scrunches up in a snarl) walks in the street and here's Dickens explaining how people avoid him:No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, “No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!”That “what it was o’clock” and “such and such a place” are classic and timeless. I love that bit about the dogs. It’s visual and funny.When the ghost of Marley visits Scrooge (speaking of which: that chain of cash-boxes, keys, padlocks, ledgers, etc. is a brilliant, brilliant image and metaphor!), I always, ALWAYS laugh at Scrooge's explanation: "a little thing affects [the senses]. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats. You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"The smug pun on "gravy" and "grave" is amusing, and there's a poetry of sorts in that "fragment of an underdone potato."• The story moves at a clip!After Scrooge leaves his office, there’s this: “Scrooge took his melancholy dinner in his usual melancholy tavern; and having read all the newspapers, and beguiled the rest of the evening with his banker’s-book, went home to bed.” I figured there’d be a whole couple of paragraphs at the restaurant. Nope! What’s amazing about the text is that after his transformation (I’m assuming this isn’t a spoiler), there are only some 6 pages left for him to realize it’s still Christmas Day, order the turkey (I love the exchange with the boy on the street) for Cratchit and his family, walk the streets as with renewed vigour, go to his nephew’s for Christmas dinner and then surprise Cratchit the next day. That’s a LOT to fit in. Here’s the exchange at his nephew Fred’s home: “Why bless my soul!” cried Fred, “who’s that?”“It’s I. Your uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner. Will you let me in, Fred?”Let him in! It is a mercy he didn’t shake his arm off. He was at home in five minutes. Nothing could be heartier. His niece looked just the same. So did Topper when he came. So did the plump sister when she came. So did every one when they came. Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful unanimity, won-der-ful happiness!But he was early at the office next morning…”Most adaptations understandably have Scrooge asking Fred for some sort of forgiveness, to add an emotional beat that recalls Scrooge's dead sister. But Dickens, who’s often accused of writing too much, goes right to the next scene!• The name of Scrooge’s kindly old boss, Mr. Fezziwig (see above illustration)His name always makes me laugh. But to READ the name in print is almost more fizzy fun than to merely hear it said.• Social conscienceDickens knew poverty and his books shed light on the social inequities of the Victorian era: the workhouses, debtors’ prisons, etc. His sensitivity comes through even in this short book, not just in that classic sequence about Ignorance and Want, but also in the scene in which the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to the miners’ village and then to spy on a couple of sailors (“the elder… with his face all damaged and scarred with hard weather, as the figure-head of an old ship might be: struck up a sturdy song that was like a Gale in itself”). After the great scene at nephew Fred’s place, where they play the game that involves Scrooge, comes this passage: The Spirit stood beside sick beds, and they were cheerful; on foreign lands, and they were close at home; by struggling men, and they were patient in their greater hope; by poverty, and it was rich. In almshouse, hospital, and jail, in misery’s every refuge, where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door, and barred the Spirit out, he left his blessing, and taught Scrooge his precepts.Wow. I love this passage. It’s expansive, encompassing many people and lives. • SentimentalityOkay, there’s the matter of Tiny Tim: “and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father.” So Tim NEVER dies? • Let’s instead concentrate on Dickens’s insights into human behaviour:If you look at the Cratchit’s dinner during the Ghost Of Christmas Present scene, I love how Dickens shows how the family’s in denial about the size of the meal: “There never was such a goose…. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes, it was a sufficient dinner for the whole famly; indeed, as Mrs. Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish), they hadn’t ate it all at last! Yet every one had had enough…”Dickens makes even the most minor character memorable. Consider all the fuss about Master Peter Cratchit’s collars, something that’s classic if you substitute those collars for the latest teen fashion. And Dickens even gives us this little bit near the end of that scene: “… and Peter might have known, and very likely did, the inside of a pawnbroker’s.”This is Dickens acknowledging human truths. He’s not judging, simply observing. Yes, the book is a ghost story and a tad sentimental. But what makes it a classic are details like this that show how flawed, limited people can be redeemed by the thought and spirit of something larger than themselves.To quote from near the story's end: "May that be truly said of us, and all of us!"

  • Cait • A Page with a View
    2019-03-06 04:50

    You'd think I'd get tired of reading this when there are so many movie adaptations that it's impossible not to have the entire plot memorized. But it doesn't even matter that I could probably close my eyes and recite the story at this point because I just love the way Dickens writes! It's still enchanting aaaaand I really love this story. That is all.

  • Carmen
    2019-02-23 01:43

    Amazing. A classic for a reason.RE-READ: 2015. I read this book every Christmas Eve. It makes me laugh, it scares me, it makes me cry. So good! And so short! :) I must admit my favorite part is the first part where Scrooge is so grumpy and miserly. And the book is so classic, filled with classic lines that are so well-known it's a pleasure to read them because they are so familiar and true.And, once again, it's short. No trouble to get through! Merry Christmas! Carmen checking in! Re-read this Christmas Eve. I'm always, always blown away by how good this book is. Very evocative, very well-written, funny, sad, touching... Dickens makes you laugh and cry as you are reading this. Powerful language. Short and easy to get through if you are scared to read Dickens for some reason. Highly recommended.

  • Evgeny
    2019-02-27 07:52

    One might like Christmas, or one might not; one might be a Christian, or one might not be. Anyway I do not think anybody would be arguing against the fact that this novella became practically ultimate Christmas story. For this reason I will not bother hiding spoilers in my review; if you have no clue what it is about and I spoil it for you, consider it to be my punishment for living under a rock all this time. Sorry, there is something irresistible about the Grumpy Cat in Christmas settings and this time the guy strongly reminds me of Scrooge in the beginning of the book. The main character of the story is a miser called Ebenezer Scrooge. His last name practically became a dictionary word for a miser, so one can easily see the influence of Dickens' tale on the world culture. Anyhow, the guy is visited by a ghost of his former partner who heralded the upcoming visit of three ghosts: the ones of Christmas past, present, and future. As a result of these visits Scrooge realized the mistakes of his way and changes for the better. Amen. The only reason I wrote completely unnecessary last paragraph in my review is the smooth transition to the discussion of the ghosts. For me the ghost of Christmas past was mostly about nostalgia for time gone. Anybody, no matter how good and kind-hearted a person is, he or she would have some regrets about the past; people that have no such regrets really scare me and are not good people in my book: to err is human after all. My biggest gripe with the book and the one which reduced the rating by one star came from this part as well. Scrooge became regretful right after he saw his past. This was a little sudden and too fast to be really convincing. According to the book he decided to change his ways right here with the other two ghosts only solidifying his decision. Countless adaptations and retelling handled this better by delaying Scrooge's regret at least until he saw the present. There is nothing much to say about the ghost of Christmas present except that I was not moved much by Bob Cratchit's family Christmas celebration, but this could be explained by the differences between the views of a Victorian person and a modern one. The other of the people celebrating the holiday as seen by Scrooge were heartwarming though. I always though the scariest part about the future was not the death itself, but the fact that one dies and nobody cares - in good sense. I had the impression that this was the scariest part about dying in the story for Scrooge as well. So what about writing style, character development, etc.? This is Charles Dickens we are talking about here; the guy is called a classic of world literature for a good reason. He can be a little long-winded in some of the descriptions even in such a short story as this, but thanks to them he managed to convey a perfect spirit of Christmas and the festivities. Speaking about Christmas in general I think it stopped being just a religious holiday a long time ago and became just a great holiday for the majority of people and as such is a part of our culture. Even in Dickens' book written around one hundred and fifty years ago the religious themes were not explicitly present. For this reason people that stop others from celebrating because of religious reasons or increasingly popular fear of 'offending somebody' reject our culture, simple as that. Rant off.

  • Jean
    2019-02-26 07:41

    "Bah! Humbug!" Who does not recognise this expostulation, and the old curmudgeon who spat it out. The very name "Scrooge" has entered the vernacular to indicate a mean-spirited skinflint. "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." And even the phrase "Merry Christmas" only became popular following the appearance of this novella.A Christmas Carol is one of Dickens' most enduring and well-loved tales. He wrote it in six weeks, and it was originally published in the Christmas of 1843. It evokes perfectly the sensations of a Victorian Christmas, but its lasting appeal lies in its power to speak to us today, 170 years later. In fact it has never been out of print. Starting with this tale, Dickens wrote longish themed stories annually and the five were subsequently published together as "Christmas Books". He also of course wrote many more shorter Christmas stories.Dickens loved to paint a picture. Everything in this story is heightened; the descriptions are so vivid that in places they are almost surreal, and inanimate objects take on a life - and personality - of their own. A church bell is"always peeping slyly down at Scrooge…[it] struck the hours and quarters in the clouds, with tremulous vibrations afterwards as if its teeth were chattering in its frozen head up there." There is water with "its overflowings sullenly congealed, and turned to misanthropic ice," Scrooge's chambers are "a gloomy suite of rooms, in a lowering pile of buildings up a yard, where it had so little business to be, that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house, playing at hide-and-seek with other houses, and forgotten the way out again." I cannot remember ever feeling sorry for a house before, but that for me at any rate is "the Dickens effect". Even today when we think of Christmas we may think of a Dickensian Christmas; he seems to have invented the archetypal Christmas, alongside Prince Albert and his Christmas tree. How has an author managed to do this? To have had such a massive influence on how we celebrate Christmas? And with a secular tale at that, which speaks to people both in and outside the religion which traditionally celebrates this particular festival?Well everything in Dickens is larger than life. Everything in this tale, at least, has to be the best or the worst. The "wonderful" pudding indicates that the food is the tastiest there has ever been. The carols are sung more enthusiastically and more in tune than they ever could be, the ice on the pond is thicker than ever before, and glinting more spectacularly in the sun, the shops are filled to bursting with good things to tempt and delight the shoppers. This exaggeration bursts through our gloom at the perfect time of year. When in Great Britain in reality we have have cold dreary weather and long dark nights, we also have in imagination Dickens' heightened perception to uplift us. No wonder then that it stays in our memory and in the memories of generation after generation. And no wonder there have been - and continue to be - such a plethora of adaptations of this wonderful tale world-wide. The original illustrations by John Leech complement Dickens' story to perfection, but there have been many subsequent dramatisations, readings, retellings, films, musicals, cartoons - some more faithful than others, but all paying homage to and honouring this original story - or at the very least its concept.The writing has a very light touch and Dickens' trademark humour is present on every page. Yet to hammer the moral point of the book home, we are assured of its veracity. The opening lines, "Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that," carry the reader through the story, daring us to disbelieve in the events which follow, and the ghastly phantoms which are about to appear. The author's voice is there at every turn. One part which gave this reader a bit of a jolt, is the arrival of the first Spirit when the curtains of Scrooge's bed were drawn aside. He was thus face to face with the apparition, "as close to it," Dickens says, "as I am now to you, and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow." Phew!Dickens' preoccupations are evident in this tale. It is in part an indictment of 19th century industrial capitalism, and part a nostalgic wish to return to earlier times and traditions of merriment and festivity, just as ironically today we wish to return to our perceptions of a "Dickensian Christmas". There are also the recurring themes of Dickens' sympathy for the poor, his social conscience and his ever-present memories of the humiliating experiences of his childhood.The novella has a simple structure. There are 5 "staves". The first introduces Scrooge himself in all his miserliness. This character is one of Dickens' masterpieces. He is so mean that his clerk has to warm his hands by the one candle Scrooge allows him. And indeed he allows himself little better,"Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it." Scrooge begrudges even the one day's holiday a year which his clerk takes, grumbling that it is, "A poor excuse for picking a man's pocket every twenty-fifth of December!" The chill of the season seems to emanate from Scrooge himself. "External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty."Yet he is such an overblown character that we find him funny. We delight in his ridiculous meanness, and the way he has impoverished his own life by such strictures. And after our very first contact with this tale, we delight in our expectations of what is going to happen to this sorry character.The next three staves introduce the three "spirits" - of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come. And the final stave, which I defy you to read without a big fat smile on your face, describes Scrooge's redemption, which is all the more marvellous and outrageous because of his earlier spite and vituperation.Oh, it is a wonderful book! A simple morality tale but a moving tale which makes the reader chuckle and shudder by turns. Thank you, Mr Dickens. I would like to shake you heartily by the hand. Thank you for giving me my favourite story. For creating such living breathing characters as Ebenezer Scrooge, the Fezziwig family, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the personifications of Jacob Marley's ghost, the Three Spirits, Want and Ignorance. And thank you most for making millions of people world-wide smile too, and maybe reflect and think a little. "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."

  • Leonard Gaya
    2019-03-04 00:35

    This short parable or morality tale is probably one of the most read novellas within Charles Dickens’ vast body of work, and one that truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. A short book we could all do with on these cold winter nights (here in London, they are, at least)!I guess everyone knows the story in broad strokes: Ebenezer Scrooge, a disgusting narrow-shouldered old misanthrope and life-denying penny-pincher (the avatar of Shylock, Volpone, Harpagon and many more literary misers) is about to spend Christmas Eve alone in his cold house, after having dismissed his nephew, his underpaid clerk, everyone. During the night, he meets the ghost of Jacob Marley, his late business partner, then three successive spirits, like the three Biblical Magi, each with a terrible vision of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come. At the end of this long nightmare, where Scrooge travels in space and time, he sees the error of his ways, repents, promises to amend his behaviour and abandon his avarice.The story is, of course, if not familiar, entirely predictable, but the genius of Dickens lies in his ability to breathe life into his characters and settings. In particular, the description of Victorian Camden market in Stave four, with the seasonal food and drink and preparations for Christmas Eve dinner is mouthwatering. The chapter titled “The end of it”, when Scrooge wakes up to a bright golden Christmas morning, filled with bells ringing at full peal, is probably one of the most elating pieces of literature I have ever read. In the edition I own, Arthur Rackham’s illustrations, have, as always, the quaint charm of bygone days.The film industry has plundered Dickens shamelessly on this one. Robert Zemeckis’ version, with Jim Carrey, is probably the most respectful of the text, although the CGI is frankly horrendous. I much prefer Frank Capra and James Stewart’s inverted variation in It’s a Wonderful Life.And with this, dear Goodreads people, have a holly jolly Christmas, read on, and may Santa Claus bring you three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree!

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-02-28 04:30

    A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickensتاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1974میلادیعنوان: سرود کریسمس؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: حسین سپهری نیک؛ تهران، چاپخانه بانک بازرگانی ایران، 1334، در 100 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای کودکان از نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 19 معنوان: سرود کریسمس - متن کوتاه شده؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: محسن سلیمانی؛ تهران، نشر افق، 1375، در 64 ص؛ شابک: 9646003141؛ چاپ دهم 1392؛ 9789646742512؛ در 57 صعنوان: آواز کریسمس؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: کتایون حدادی؛ تهران، سازمان تبلیغات، چاپ سوم مهرماه 1376، در 83 ص؛ عنوان: سرود کریسمس؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ اقتباس: سعید مقدم؛ تهران، جاده ابریشم، 1376، در 32 ص؛ شابک: 9646225144عنوان: سرود کریسمس - متن کامل؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: حسین ابراهیمی؛ تهران، مدرسه، 1378، در 174 ص؛ شابک: 9644365720؛ چاپ ششم 1392؛عنوان: سرود کریسمس - متن کوتاه شده؛ چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: مهین دانشور؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1381، در 111 ص؛ شابک:ایکس - 964305201؛داستان یک مرد پیر و بی احساس و خسيس به نام «ابنزر اسکروچ» است. همه اسکروچ را میشناسند و میشناسید. فیلمها و کارتونها را حتما دیده اید. کتاب را نخستین بار جناب «حسین سپهری نیک» ترجمه و در سال 1334 هجری خورشیدی در 100 ص به نشر سپرده اند. اما متن کامل کتاب را جناب «حسین ابراهیمی» ترجمه کرده، و متنهای کوتاه شده را بانو «کتایون حدادی» با عنوان «آواز کریسمس»؛ و بانو «مهین دانشور» با عنوان «سرود کریسمس»، و جناب «محسن سلیمانی» و جناب «سعید مقدم»؛ و شاید دیگران هم باشند که این فراموشکار هنوز ندیده است، همه چیز را همگان دانند. ا. شربیانی

  • Jessica
    2019-03-18 00:51

    Possibly the best Christmas book EVER. Not only the greatest story since the original (you know, the one in the New Testament), but combined with P.J. Lynch's magnificent illustrations, this book is a gift you can open year after year!Reread 2012: I had a sudden revelation this morning as I finished this book. It's not just the greatest Christmas book ever, but I have realized that it is probably in my Top Ten of All Time. Such a beautiful work! If anything can be a favorite part, it's the Fezziwig Christmas party, and the description of the dancing.Reread 2013: Had a revelation just anticipating reading this this year: This is one of my all-time favorite books. I could read this any time of year.Reread 2014: So much love for this story. So much love.Reread 2015: I always try to make it through without crying, especially when Tiny Tim dies, and then the ending, when he did NOT die, but I failed again. And then I realized: If I don't tear up at that, I'm probably dead or a sociopath. Reread 2016: Was able to hand off the book to my daughter to read the parts when Tiny Tim does/doesn't die. The benefit of having kids!Reread 2017: Woohoo! Managed to make it through the ending without becoming an incoherent mess!

  • Ginger
    2019-02-17 01:34

    By God, Dickens just got me into a Christmas spirit!I’m so glad I finally read this classic. It’s an excellent tale of redemption and joy.If you have been living under a rock all these years and have not read this yet, what are you waiting for? Don't be like Scrooge. It's only 162 pages of pure unadulterated Christmas joy. Bah humbug!

  • AhmedEjaz
    2019-03-09 02:53

    Whenever I read any of Charles Dickens' works, I always think that what a great man he had been. His way of creating plots which are soo relatable yet powerful always makes me to read more of his works.As far as this book concerns, it is marvellous. I kid you not when I say this book will definitely make you feel something. At least I felt. A lot. Of course, it's Charles Dickens we are talking about. I have read many of his short stories. But never read a book. This was my first read of his books. And definitely won't be last.OVERVIEWA man named Scrooge is our protagonist. He just wants money. He feels like death whenever someone asks him to invest for helping poor people. He just invests there, from where he may get money in return. His business partner, who is also a miser, dies. His ghost tells Scrooge about his selfishness and its results. He also tells him that he can be saved by these results with the help of three ghosts. One of them shows him his past, one shows him his present and the last one shows him his future. I liked Scrooge. His character is very well written. And his transformation is great. It feels very natural. The one thing I couldn't get that the Ghost of Future was silent. He didn't speak a word. What Mr. Dickens was trying to show with this? Regardless, I enjoyed every moment of reading this book. I would highly recommend this book to every human who can read. Must give it a chance. You won't regret. April 22, 2017

  • Annet
    2019-02-18 05:43

    Having seen many movie versions of this famous book , I thought it was finally time to read the book this (time of) year and I did!How talented Dickens was... to invent this story and write it in beautiful language. Maybe I'll reread it again by Christmas time next year, so much detail there, deserves great attention, and my good intention will be to read more Dickens in the time to come. A delightful book, a very talented writer, so long ago... A magical story, famous for its moral and 'advice in life', capturing the hearts of people young and old...and through times it will always stay that way. And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!

  • Valerie
    2019-03-10 23:36

    A short classic, during the holidays, well why not? The only problem I had with the book was that I had to really concentrate on the writing. I didn’t have to drag along like I used to when I read books like this but I don’t think I could enjoy the book as much because I was confused at what Dickens was trying to say some times. With all the semicolons and commas sentences are very long and it was difficult for me to keep up. I’ll say that I didn’t feel smart all the time. I also couldn’t fully understand how the first ghost was supposed to look like either. He’s supposed to look like an old man but young too?However, I did get the message of the book. I think it helped that I already knew what was going to happen -obviously. Scrooge of course does a complete 180 and I could see how and why. Compared to the movies (I haven’t watched the latest one out) the original story is pretty much the same, with Marley and the three ghosts. The message is not lost in the movies. I might have helped that the story isn’t 500 pages long and it happens all in one night. Loved, loved, loved the ending. But then I’d expected that anyways. And I can say “Yeah, I read that book,” when and if the topic comes up. Don’t you just love win-win situations?

  • Phrynne
    2019-03-01 03:30

    Whether we have read the book or not I think we all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his overnight conversion from miser to philanthropist. The most amazing thing is that a novella written so long ago still has such an effect on us each year at Christmas time.I love Dickens and always have ever since I was introduced to him at school by way of David Copperfield and Great Expectations. A Christmas Carol is one of his easier reads but it is still full of his wonderful way with language. No one writes descriptions quite like him!This was a reread for me and I am very glad I did it. Maybe I will find time to reread some more of his major works this coming year:)

  • Sidharth Vardhan
    2019-03-03 06:57

    Okay! I will say it. If there was ever a book that should be made a compulsory than its this. It is from now on, my most favorite book - the numero uno, and I bet it shall be all my life. I have seen several media adoptions and parodies; and had also read a dramatic adoption back in my school - so I thought it would be slightly boring. However, it was enchanting. You could read the book and know its strength is in more than the unique plot (of ghosts). The narration is beautiful and pleasantly humorous. Dickens made Scrooge the very opposite of spirit of Christmas. There is still hope for him though. When taken to Bob's and his nephew's house, he gets completely indulged in the activities - shouting and laughing. I personally believe that he has been made all more Scrooge-y in media adoptions. Here he is quick and even eager to learn his lessons, as if he had been waiting to learn them all his life. Perhaps he is made his anti-Christmas self by his ignorance (as is shown in a scene) of what he is missing.Even the story has many details omitted in adoptions. Every word, every little action and reaction gives a new insight. The very concept of three spirits - past, present and future shakes you into self -reflection. How many people will will weep on my death? Am I too far removed from world? You see Scrooge as a lesson what not to be. At least in one aspect we are becoming more like Scrooge. We are growing apart. Some even from their family but mostly from other weaker sections of society, 'surplus population' as Scrooge had called them, the real world Tiny Tims. A Christmas Carol is a good reminder these values, we seems to be loosing - and this one has the sweetest music.