A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Book Review

Title: A Christmas Carol

Author: Charles Dickens

Genre/Themes: Classic Literature, Christmas, Ghosts, Humanity, Kindness

Blurb from Goodreads

Dickens’s A Christmas Carol has gripped the public imagination since it was first published in 1843, and it is now as much a part of Christmas as mistletoe or plum pudding.

It is a ghost story set at Christmastime in which a bad-tempered skinflint learns the error of his ways. Ebenezer Scrooge hates Christmas and all it stands for, but a ghostly visitor foretells three apparitions who will thaw Scrooge’s frozen heart.

My Review for A Christmas Carol

It’s hard to credit that I’ve been reading Dickens since I was 12 years old and yet this is the first time I have ever sat down to read A Christmas Carol. I think anyone who celebrates Christmas (and even those that do not) must be intimately familiar with the story of miserly Scrooge and how he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future and how these night visits change him for the better.

‘I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.

The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.

I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.’

The story is truly wonderful.

And I don’t know if that’s because it is so familiar and comforting and because it makes me truly feel Christmassy. Or if it’s because Dickens was an utter genius at storytelling.

To me it’s a combination of both.

Reading the original, stripped away from all the Hollywood razzmatazz and muppets, brings the reader truly face to face with a tantalising glimpse of the Dickensian world. And with the way that Dickens carefully layered his story to give us an understanding of how Scrooge had become his miserly self and how it was entirely plausible that this cold hearted man could change over night.

And it also brings into sharp focus the disparity between rich and poor and teaches the modern reader, in much the same way as it taught the Dickensian reader, to be thankful for the privileges of our lives and that sharing and caring is the only way to true happiness.

The sights and sounds of the novel are entirely tangible. I really felt like I was existing within this world with Scrooge and the spirits. Kudos to the Oxford Classics edition I read though. The annotations and footnotes were certainly helpful.

But what really got me is how the Dickensian Christmas is still similar to the Christmas I know and love. It’s as if Dickens himself is responsible for so many of our traditions…

And in some ways he is. For he has forever memorialised Christmas festivities for countless generations to come.

God bless us everyone‘ indeed.

Impossible not to give it five stars

My Socials

17 thoughts on “A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Book Review

  1. “The sights and sounds of the novel are entirely tangible. I really felt like I was existing within this world with Scrooge and the spirits. (Kudos to this particular Oxford Classics edition though. The annotations and footnotes were certainly helpful)”

    I felt the same way reading it, as though I were a little invisible spirit going on the journey with Scrooge to Christmas past, present and future. I could have used your Oxford edition though, I had to read many paragraphs three or four times and look up words to fully understand them. This story is very comforting to me also. It’s been helping me get through the darker, wintery days.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a wonderful review, Emer! It makes me want to go out and pick up this book right away! I can’t believe I’ve still never read it OR even watched any of the adaptations! 😂😱 Where am I even living right?! This is defo going on my tbr now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i have NEVER read a christmas carol but god do i love all the versions of it especially the mickey mouse one.
    i’m glad to hear the book is sooo good and i truly need to read it as well.
    fab review as always my darling.

    Liked by 1 person

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