Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean, miserable, bitter old man with no friends. One cold Christmas Eve, three ghosts take him on a scary journey to show him the error of his nasty ways. By visiting his past, present and future, Scrooge learns to love Christmas and the people all around him.
I’ve never read A Christmas Carol before but I know the story from having watched multiple versions over the years on TV. Around this time of year it is extremely unusual for a day to go by without at least one film of TV adaptation of the story to be shown – every variation from musical version to modern and not forgetting the Muppets! J As a result, I was slight intimidated to read the original story in case it didn’t match up to the ‘story’ I knew so well. But I’m nothing if not brave (in my reading choices at least!) and started it on my train journey up to Leeds. Outside of the cities there was still a lot of snow on the ground and it was a perfect background for this winter tale of redemption.
The story starts on Christmas Eve with the narrator telling us Marley is dead quite emphatically before introducing Scrooge and his miserly ways. The style of writing was not what I was expecting – it is written in the same way as you would tell a ghost story around the camp fire with the author referring to himself as a person throughout (as you and I would never do) and this lends an element of the familiar and personal connection to the story. This is re-enforced by many of the lines and phrases throughout which have been faithfully rendered into film and as such are familiar (“There’s more of Gravy than of Grave about you!”). In fact I’m amazed at how faithful most of the films have been! The story isn’t a long one and I finished it within a day, swept up in the prose, the story and the emotion. I was with Scrooge throughout as his hard heart melts and he is given a second chance – and I even had a tear in my eye at the end.
In all, the reading of A Christmas Carol was like coming home and putting on a big comfortable jumper – you know exactly what you’re going to get but there is no better feeling in the world. If you haven’t read it I strongly urge you to give it a try. Besides, how many other paranormal seasonal stories are going to give you the same emotional buzz?
Recommended for everyone. 10 out of 10.
And just for fun my favourite version of A Christmas Carol has to be the one with Gonzo as Charles Dickens! :)