A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Cover ImageFinished 7-31-09, rating 4/5, fiction classic, pub. 1843

“Bah!” said Scrooge, “Humbug!”

He had so heated himself with rapid walking in the fog and frost. this nephew of Scrooge’s, that he was all in a glow; his face was ruddy and handsome; his eyes sparkled, and his breath smoked again.

“Christmas a humbug, uncle!” said Scrooge’s nephew.  “You don’t mean that, I’m sure.”

“I do,” said Scrooge.  “Merry Christmas! what right have you to be merry? what reason have you to be merry?  You’re poor enough.”

“Come, then,” returned the nephew gaily.  “What right have you to be morose?  You’re rich enough.”

Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said, “Bah!” again; and followed it up with a “Humbug.”

Stave I

Ebenezer Scrooge is synonymous with old, mean miser.  He cares more about money than people and he makes no apologies for it.  Then he is visited by the ghost of Marley and his world turns upside down.  During that fateful Christmas Eve, he was visited by three more spirits -past, present, and future.  These visions of what was, is, and may yet be leave Scrooge a changed man.

I do not know how I have made it 37 years without ever reading this slight classic novel or seeing any of the movies (if I don’t count the Jim Carrey one).  Actually, I never needed to because our culture has so blended this tale into it’s Christmas fabric that we all know about Scrooge and his cautionary tale.

My husband and I read this aloud to each other over a few weeks time and while some of the language made it challenging, the Bah! Humbugs! at the beginning and the Whoops! at the end made the reading fun.  It was a challenge to see who could read it with more flourish.  I think Jason won.

We both really liked this book.  Jason liked seeing a changed man at the end and my favorite part was Marleys’s appearance as the door knocker.  It was a fun read (even in July!) and I’m glad I finally read this novel, my first experience with Dickens.  I enjoyed the writing so much that I am looking forward to reading more of his books.  I’ve had a few on my shelves for years, just sitting there  intimidating me.  No more!