A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Date of Publication: 1843

Number of Pages: 114

Synopsis: This is a story that is well-known to almost all readers. Ebenezer Scrooge, that miserable miser, thinks that Christmas is “humbug”. He does not see the worth in caring for his fellow men. He is visited by the ghost of his long-dead partner, Jacob Marley who informs him that he has one chance to escape his fate, which is to linger on the Earth for eternity, wishing desperately to help the people he refused to help in life, but being unable to do so. He must endure visits of three more ghosts: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come. He witnesses the joys of Christmas which are shared by all but him, even by his poor clerk, Bob Cratchit. He finds himself not only enjoying the Christmas celebrations of other people, but feeling pity and concern for those less fortunate. At the end of the night, he is a changed man and spends the rest of his life giving everything he can to others and celebrating Christmas better than anyone else.

Review: I read this book in honor of Christmas, and it really put me in the Christmas mood! It’s light, fun, sad, and presents an important message about Christmas. During this time of rampant commercialism and long lists to Santa, it’s easy to forget that the greatest joys of Christmas come from the giving. This book illustrates the euphoria that Scrooge feels when he finally is able to give gifts, either of time, money, food, or whatever, to other people. Christmas is not about what you can get…it’s about what you can give. If you want a story that will remind you of the real meaning of Christmas, this is it! In terms of story-telling, this book has classic Dickensian characters and ample humor and drama, making it a classic in its own right. If I had any criticism, it would be that the story seems to wander a bit and move even a little too fast. But it really doesn’t take too much away from the experience.

Rating: 8/10

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