[Review] A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Publisher and Publication Date: Fall River Press, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Company. 2019. First published in 1843.
Genre: Fiction. Classic. Christmas story.
Pages: 125 printed pages.
Format: Leather edition.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Readers of Charles Dickens’ stories. Readers who enjoy Christmas stories.
Rating: Excellent.

Illustrations are by John Leech.

The front cover I’ve shown above is not the exact edition I own. The edition I own holds only A Christmas Carol.

Summary:

A Christmas Carol is considered a novella by Charles Dickens. It has been created in film several times. There is a lengthy list of various editions printed.

People who have not read the story (most certainly) has seen the film. So, I am going to skip a summary that I usually type out and focus on the My Thoughts section.

My Thoughts:

I adore this story. It is one of my top favorites. Most Christmas’s I read it.

Several reasons why I love this story:

  1. Charles Dickens does not merely describe a character; he gives the character teeth and skin accompanied with vigorous and rich verbs.
  2. The story is memorable.
  3. The story is a moral story.
  4. The story is sentimental.
  5. The story is a ghost story, but it is not scary. The ghosts are used as guides, teachers, visionaries, and mentors.
  6. The main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, is a character who evolves. He transforms during the story and is a remarkably different person at the conclusion.
  7. The story is a teaching story using comparisons and themes. For example, indifference versus compassion. Miser versus humanitarian. Pride versus humility. Judgmental versus forgiving.
  8. The story without stating it is Christian because the teachings are a part of the teachings of Christ. I’m reminded of the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5. “And the second, like it, is this: You Shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31. NKJV.
  9. Charles Dickens wrote stories for entertainment, but he also wrote stories that had a purpose. For example, he wrote stories pointing out social injustice. In A Christmas Carol, I see this theme with a deep and memorable impact. The injustices of the social-economic system especially in regard to children. Those who are rich and people who are poor. The two segments in society rarely mix. The upper society has criticism and presumptions and arrogance towards those who are poor (including against the children.) The division between the two is rarely met even in conversation. Except in this short story the two groups are represented by Scrooge and the Cratchit family.

Scripture links are to Bible Gateway.

Advertisement

(Review) Scenes of London Life: From Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens

Scenes of London Life

Publisher and Publication Date: MacMillan Collector’s Library. February 13, 2018.
Genre: Fiction.
Pages: 184.
Source: Library.
Rating: Very Good.

Amazon
The Kindle edition is $1.24.

For the full edition of Sketches by Boz, Penguin Classic.

Scenes of London Life is a perfect gift book. It is the length of my small hand (6.2 inches.) It has a lovely front and back cover. A light blue ribbon is sewn-in for easy use. The book easily fits in a purse, or backpack. For a Dickens fan, this is a great gift for a graduate, or Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day.
Twelve chapters are included that are excerpts from the Charles Dickens book, Sketches by Boz.
J.B. Priestly wrote the introduction. It’s a solid introduction piece on the book, and also the man and works of Charles Dickens. The introduction shows Dickens’ personality and writing style. It shares the reason for this bite size book.
Illustrations are included in the book by George Cruikshank. Cruickshank was a “British¬†artist, caricaturist, and illustrator.” If you click on the highlighted name in the previous sentence, you can read an interesting biography from Britannica.
One of my favorite chapters is “A Visit To Newgate”. Newgate was a prison in London. Dickens is probably the most descriptive writer of fiction stories. It is a huge reason why I love his books. David Copperfield is my number one favorite book of Dickens. In the story, “A Visit To Newgate”, Dickens gave me a panoramic view of the prison and occupants. Then, he gave me a close-up view by showing a relationship between a mother and daughter. Their mannerisms, facial expressions, and how they respond to one another is captured. Dickens made a point of showing how the different classes of people are segregated even in a prison. The respectable class was confined in a separate area from the “other” people.
Dickens is king for long sentences:

There are strange chords in the human heart, which will lie dormant through years of depravity and wickedness, but which will vibrate at last to some slight circumstance apparently trivial in itself, but connected by some undefined and indistinct association, with past days that can never be recalled, and with bitter recollections from which the most degraded creature in existence cannot escape. Page 108.

Sixty-one words in one sentence!