Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol

by Charles Dickens
 published 1843
completed August 2010

Most everyone is familiar with this A Christmas Carol in one form or another.  Scrooge is a curmudgeonly, greedy old man who is incredibly wealthy and has isolated himself from all of society.  The book opens on Christmas Eve and that night he receives a visit from his old business partner, Marley, warning him of the torment that will result if he continues to live his life in that selfish manner.  He is subsequently visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future as an attempt to change him from his miserly ways.

It's kind of an odd time of year to be reading this book, but I just moved overseas and I could only bring a few books with me (the rest will arrive in a few months) and I don't have a library card yet.  I have seen several movies and even seen a wonderful live production of A Christmas Carol.  I am so glad that I finally decided to read it.  It is so much better in book form.

The first Dickens book I read, I was frustrated because I couldn't read it as quickly as I'd hope.  The language can be difficult at times but I found that if I slow down, I can enjoy the beauty of the writing as well as the story.  I have read a few of his novels so I knew what to expect when picking up A Christmas Carol. I love his wit, and his ability to set an incredible scene.  There are scenes that are funny, dark, and heart-warming that are all equally effective.

At its heart, A Christmas Carol is a beautiful story of redemption.  Regardless of peoples religious beliefs, I think we can all relate to the change of heart in Scrooge.  I know how uncomfortable I would feel if I had to watch some of my not so great moments.  I love the message, that we should use our remembrance of the past as an opportunity to change and to make amends.  I'm looking forward to reading it again this Christmas.  I would recommend A Christmas Carol to everyone.

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