A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Digital Audiobook narrated by Tim Curry
Published by Audible on December 1st 2010
Genres: Christmas, Classics, Fantasy, Fiction, Holiday
Length: 104 pages or 3 hours, 33 minutes
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A Christmas Carol has constantly been in print since its original publication in 1849, and has been adapted for stage, television, film, and opera. It has often been credited with returning the jovial and festive atmosphere to the holiday season in Britain and North America, following the somber period that emerged during the Industrial Revolution.
The story opens on a bleak and cold Christmas Eve as Ebenezer Scrooge is closing up his office for the day. As the story progresses and Christmas morning approaches, Scrooge encounters the unforgettable characters that make this story a classic: Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and, of course, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.
I don’t remember the first time I read this book, but between years of reading it every December, watching one of the many excellent film renditions, and 3 years performing in a stage show derived from the original text… I know most of An Christmas Carol by heart. It’s Dickens’ classic Christmas story – a miserly old man is visited by three ghosts Christmas morning and make him see his own cruelty and malice and inspire him to change his outlook on people and the world. He is filled with Christmas spirit, and his heart grows three sizes. In some renditions, he even stands on his head to show how merry he has become. It’s delightful.
Any fan of Christmas must read this book. At the time Dickens penned this tale, Christmas was a far cry from the holiday we celebrate ever December. The tradition in England was dying, with poverty run rampart and the vicious weather… folks didn’t feel like they had much to celebrate. Dickens can be thanked for helping revitalize the holiday.
I like the book best because there are moments and characters that rarely – if ever – make it to the screen. I am particularly fond of Scrooge’s sister Fan and his once-fiance Isabelle. These two ladies shaped his youth, back when he was filled with joy. I adore most of the Ghost of Christmas Past, when he was young and merry. But we see Scrooge’s transformation and finally his repentance.
It’s a short book, a story many people already know. If you’ve got a mug of spice ale and a bit of roast goose handy, I’d suggest grabbing a proper Victoria Christmas snack and reading it yourself. Tim Curry does a hauntingly good job in the audiobook (particularly with the ghosts), but any version will do!