Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Title: A Christmas Carol

Author: Charles Dickens

Genre: Classics, Holiday, Literature

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (Edition in 1999)

Published: Sometime in 1843

Page Amount: 104 pages in Paperback

Blurb from Goodreads: One of the best-loved and most quoted stories of “the man who invented Christmas”—English writer Charles Dickens—A Christmas Carol debuted in 1843 and has touched millions of hearts since.

Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge has never met a shilling he doesn’t like…and hardly a man he does. And he hates Christmas most of all. When Scrooge is visited by his old partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come, he learns eternal lessons of charity, kindness, and goodwill. Experience a true Victorian Christmas!”

Why Read: You can entirely thank Goodreads for the reading of this book. I had recently joined a book club on that website and one of the December reads was this classic. I remembered reading the book somewhere in the hazy past of my childhood and could not resist picking it up once more.

Review: Short, A Christmas Carol will always be one of my favorite books because it’s so heartwarming. Ebenezer Scrooge is a character so nasty, so unlikeable, that by the time you get to the ending parts of the novel – you find yourself wondering about how much seeing one’s past, future and present can so utterly change a person.

If we look at it plot-wise, I’ve always found A Christmas Carol to be nothing if consistent. I cannot honestly say it was a “predictable novel” because while for me it was, this is probably because hundreds of versions of this story have been passed around. It’s an old one as well, and although I knew the ending throughout the entire book – it was liberating somewhat, to read it again as an adult and notice some small things that hadn’t been picked up on before. For instance, I had forgotten that the last Ghost never speaks, entirely in opposition to the other two ghosts who chat their heads off. I can’t be certain, but I’ll hazard a guess that Dickens meant to say that our future is at least so far unspoken, there is no voice because events have not occurred. The one future that was shown to Ebenezer Scrooge was just that, only one. There is no way that every decision that he made would lead him to that point, it was one of many – and so the ghost was voiceless. At least, I’d think.

From a character perspective, I found it a bit annoying that all the characters were archetypes. I knew this was coming, of course, but reading this novel reminded me that I really enjoy characters with a little bit of good and bad within them. I’m not talking about Ebenezer Scrooge, but rather some of the other characters such as his nephew and the charity workers. We don’t even know they were charity workers, they could have been charlatans, but instead of looking into their past – Scrooge just gives as much money as he can (which I suppose is natural after being frightened), but still… Come on Scrooge, step up your game.

But I have to admit, A Christmas Carol is a novel close to my heart, and I couldn’t bear to give it anything less than a 4/5 rating.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Review Coming Soon: The Man Who Was Thursday

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m not ashamed to admit my love for ‘A Christmas Carol’ has been fueled mainly by the Muppets. Still, an excellent Christmas classic and great review! 🙂

    1. Gabriella says:

      Eeps! I totally understand 🙂 I’m a gigantic muppets fan when it comes to a Christmas carol. And thanks!

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