A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
January 12, 2011 Leave a comment
Today, in the we early morning hours I will be reviewing a classic called A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with an introduction by Karen Hesse. It is published by Scholastic Inc. with a cover done by Ursula S. Albano and is one-hundred and twenty-two pages long. The copy is one that was earned through a reading program at our local library, and is one of our own. I did not receive anything from the publisher for making this review and all opinions are my own, and not influenced by any outside source. We clear? I don’t need to spout any other legal babble? Right, on with the review!
First of all I have to observe that Charles Dickens was born almost two hundred years ago, minus one year. That is just amazing! The man was taken out of school before he was eleven and yet managed to begin publishing his work at twenty-one, and finally being able to turn around the course of his family’s debt at the age of thirty when he published this book. There’s something to be learned from his life as well as from this book.
For those of you not familiar with the book, it is a story about a man named Ebenezer Scrooge, who is a miserly individual who, one Christmas-Eve Night is visited by the ghost of his long dead partner Jacob Marley. His partner is there to tell him that he will be visited by three ghosts, (the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Christmases Yet to Come) in order to show him the error of his stingy and cold ways.
The images Mr. Dickens produces with his words are astounding. I could see the night sky swimming with forlorn spirits bemoaning the good they never did in life! My heart ached for the girl realizing the man she loved was no longer the man before her. I laughed at the Christmas antics of Fred’s guests, and felt the pain of a parent loosing their child when the ghost showed it to Scrooge. It moved me as only a truly talented author can move a reader, despite the century and decades separating our lives. Though it is writen in the third person, the author engages the reader personally, speaking to you and giving his own personal opinion on a subject. It was the first time I’ve observed that kind of writing to be honest. For example when discribing Scrooge’s nephew at Christmas the author writes that if you should know someone more blessed in a laugh than Fred, to introduce them and the narrator would cultivate the friendship.
I have to say that all the Christmas Specials on T.V. can not compare to reading the original work. The adaptations do well, but so much has to be left out or changed!
Admittedly, his way of spinning a sentence is much different from today. There are times I had to re-read a sentence or two to understand it better, not because it was written badly, but because the speech of the day has changed. I found it a pleasant challenge though, and not too daunting in the long run cause he makes his world so vivid with life and action, you can see it all and even if the words said aren’t exactly clear, the overall idea of what is going on is clear.
Not surprising, I would give this a five-star review! It is well written, has vivid images, believable characters, and flows well. I would highly recommend it, but maybe caution the reader to have a dictionary on hand for any words that might be unclear. Without one, I’m afraid the reader might find it more of a challenge than they thought. I look forward to reading it again when Christmas time rolls around again, and maybe even before if I have the time!