A Christmas Carol, By Charles Dickens

What’s This Book All About?

Some stories are so popular that they have become a part of the culture, to such an extent that almost everyone knows them, even if they haven’t so much as glanced at the source material. A Christmas Carol is one such classic, that has maintained its place in the world of books, despite many passing years.

The Bigger Picture

The first few lines of the novel set the tone for the story. Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good upon ‘Change for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Written in an extremely conversational style of writing, the reader feels like he has been transported to a cold winter evening. It seems like the author is sitting right next to you and entertaining you with a Christmas tale of epic proportions.

We all know the story. Ebenezer Scrooge is an old miser who hates the holiday season, especially Christmas. During one Christmas night, he is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Marley who warns Scrooge that he will be haunted by three spirits representing three important points in his life. So by reliving his past, witnessing his present and fearing the future, Scrooge learns the true spirit of love, charity and companionship. After the visits of the three spirits, Scrooge’s life is altered forever. By setting the story during Christmas, the author has successful managed to make this a timeless tale that is second to none.

This quote describes Ebenezer Scrooge so well.

Though there are just a handful of characters in the book, they have been amazingly etched. Like a fairytale, the characters seem to have definite shades of black and white but going into the story we realise that every story has two points of view. In the beginning it is so easy to dismiss and hate Scrooge but gradually we realise how his life has been filled with a lot of pain and trauma. From the lonely boy in the classroom, we begin to understand the personality of Scrooge and sympathise with his plight. Because he has suffered a lot of insecurity in his childhood, we finally begin to understand the true behaviour and attitude of Scrooge; which is why he has built walls around himself, because he was scared of getting hurt, rather than just being a miser and stuck up. So while outwardly Scrooge seems to be a greedy bitter old miser (and admittedly, an insufferable jerk), readers finally understand that their initial judgement of his character was wrong and misplaced.

Despite the fact that A Christmas Carol has been adopted into a number of theatre, film and television versions, most of the adaptions have failed to capture the sheer brilliance of the original book. Though the novel is deceptively short, it is still as grand as any other classic. It encompasses a lot of elements that make Christmas a truly special and amazing festival for celebrating with both friends and family.

Final Verdict

It is the perfect book for setting you in the right Christmas spirit. According to me, nothing spells Christmas more than this delightfully amazing novel.

This Christmas season, snuggle into bed with this novel and a cup of hot coffee. Because it touches upon the emotions and senses that almost any person can relate to, I would gladly recommend this book for readers, both young and old. Plus, who doesn’t love a good ghost story with a happy ending?

P.S. It is the perfect gift for your bookworm friends and families as well.

Image courtesy: Karolina

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