A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Narrated by Tim Curry
Book Description: Charles Dickens’ masterfully crafted Christmas fable tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a man with wealth to match the coldness of his heart. On a mystical Christmas Eve, a visitation with spirits forces Scrooge to make a choice: change, or perish.
My Review: It’s A Christmas Carol that reminds me that Charles Dickens was a genius. I often forget that fact. Most of his books are so long that I get lost in them and finish with the feeling that I narrowly escaped the main characters fate . Confession: I have never finished Little Dorrit.
It’s a shame that I only think of A Christmas Carol at Christmas. It’s such a fantastic story. I wonder what the world did before there was an Ebenezer Scrooge to remind us to keep Christmas in our hearts all year long. Actually, I guess it’s more like what did the world do before Ebenezer Scrooge was scared strait by some scary ghosts. That’s what happens in this story. Cold hard facts are presented to Scrooge. Oh those Victorians. They sure wore their misery on their sleeves. I guess that means that Scrooged was closer to the original material than Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol was published in December of 1843 and was an immediate success with both critics and the general public. Believe it or not Dickens barely made any money from the book. He decided to publish it himself which was very expensive but the books were beautiful. I’ve read several articles that say A Christmas Carol renewed the public’s interest in singing Christmas carols. I had no idea but now you can wow your friends and family with a bit of Christmas Carol trivia.
How about some more trivia? Wikipedia says that Charles Dickens, then forty-five, left his wife for an eighteen year old actress. Actually he sent his wife away and kept the house for himself and the remaining children. Catherine took Charles Jr. with her and her sister Georgina stayed with Charles to care for the children. Why was Dickens upset with his wife enough to have an affair? He claimed she was a bad mother (their daughter Dora died; Catherine was distraught and had a nervous breakdown), a bad housekeeper and had too many children which caused his financial problems. How was that her fault exactly? Want to know how she found out about Charles’s affair? She received a bracelet meant for Ellen Turnan, the mistress. Just like another Christmas movie I love; Love Actually. In case you were curious Catherine loved Charles very much even after his death and it pained her that the world didn’t see that he loved once too.
I don’t want to bash Charles Dickens though so I’ll leave you with something positive. He raised a great deal of money for charity. His public readings were wildly popular and he toured America twice. Can you imagine listening to Charles Dickens read A Christmas Carol? In the end, Dickens left Catherine an annual income when he died. I like that in the end of his own story he proved to be just as much of a good person as the character he created.
Tim Curry’s performance of A Christmas Carol is amazing. I will return to his version every Christmas. He doesn’t simply read this story. He makes you feel it. You feel Scrooge start to see the error of his ways. You feel when Scrooge starts to fear the future. You feel his giddy joy when he realizes it isn’t too late to change the future.
This is the version of A Christmas Carol to invest in. This is the one you will want to listen to every year on Christmas Eve.
Original Background Image: Christmas by George Hodan from PublicDomainImages.net