Thursday 15 December 2011

Festive Review:- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I don't know if I've mentioned that Dickens and I do not usually get along. I've only read two of his novels so far, Great Expectations and Hard Times both of which were horrendously hard work and if not for them being required reading for uni, I doubt I would have ever finished either of them. It would have been a shame as I ended up really liking both of them but still, Dickens is not what I usually turn to when I'm in such a lazy reading mood as I have been lately. In light of this fact, you can imagine my surprise when amongst all the re-reads and Jane Austen related reading I've been doing this month I suddenly got an insatiable urge to read A Christmas Carol. It was like there was an actual voice in my head telling me I needed to read it, right that second, and I'm thinking, (whiny voice) 'but it'll be hard work and full of description which means I'll have to concentrate and nothing will happen for the first half of the book...'. I was wrong about all of these things.

Just to clarify, I am aware that this is a picture of the Muppet's Christmas Carol, but my book doesn't have a pretty cover image, and the Muppets are awesome and part of my tradition Christmas viewing schedule, so there we go.

Despite never having read A Christmas Carol before, I don't remember ever not knowing the story. Ebenezer Scrooge has been a character in my head all of my life, and his visitations from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future are such a part of my feelings about the point of Christmas that it was kind of as if I was re-reading the story. The classic tale of the tight-fisted, miserable Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts who help him to see the error of his ways and become a much better person was exactly right for my mood. I've been very down about the state of the world recently, and in the space of 184 pages, Dickens managed to restore my faith in people's capacity for humanity and change. I know that Scrooge is just a character in a book, but let's face it, he's got to be up there with the most iconic and well-known characters from books ever, and reading A Christmas Carol  has not only made me feel happy and hopeful, but also changed my attitude towards Dickens. I'm actually excited to read more of his books now! I've been trying so hard for so long to get excited about reading Dickens - how weird is it that it just happened like that, by random?


  1. I adore A Christmas Carol. Normally I really don't like Dickens - I've read Oliver Twist and started David Copperfield and both of them were awfully slow and descriptive. I just can't believe that A Christmas Carol is written by the same author!

    It's short, fast-paced and funny. I read it every single Christmas!

    And you can't go wrong with the Muppets version either ;)

  2. I had the same block with Dickens, but Oliver Twist changed my mind and now I'm planning reading all his major works.

    Just his major works though, no need to go over the top :)