Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas Carol (1843)

Charles Dickens' classic story about Ebenezer Scrooge has always been a favorite of mine in movie form but until now I had never read it. DailyLit offered it in installments through email so I could not resist reading it. What a treat!
I doubt there is anyone who is not familiar with the story of the stingy man who was visited by ghosts and shown how Christmas was more than just an excuse for people to pick his pocket but to share what he had and enjoy the feeling of making others' lives better. What I missed by not reading the book was the amazing language used. The first phrase that stopped me was:

Marley’s face. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar.

Not having studied literature to any length, I don't know if this phrase is common to the era or the creativity of the author, but I loved it. Many of the words I was familiar with since they were used in my favorite version of the movie with Alistair Sim, like the following:

He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.

While it was fun to get the story in installments, I recommend that the reader gain access to a book with the original illustrations or access them through The Gutenberg Project:

I recommend this book to anyone who has never read it or hasn't read it in a while.

My rating for this book: +++++

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