Topics: Orphans, Coming of Age, Love, Poverty, Wealth, Family, Revenge, Adventurous, Psychological, Dark, Melodramatic, Realism, Gothic, Victorian Era, England, and Bildungsroman
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Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.
Obviously, the story gets more serious, since it's a moral one, about the meaning of Christmas and about the value of Christian charity. It still has an air of the Christmas cheer about it, the whole way through, except maybe for the part with the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. The story is pretty simple: not many characters, just various lives all followed by each of the ghosts, with Scrooge at the center of the story. I was expecting him to be somewhat more terrible, from the sort of general cultural impression I got -- although of course, he's bad enough as it is, mostly in his ignorance and silly bad temper. Of course, the part where he refuses to give to charity makes him seem pretty awful, too.
The character development which is the entire point of the story is a little overdone, maybe, but it all adds to the good feeling of "yay, everything is better now", at the end.
The moralising didn't really bother me. It's a classic story, and the moralising is part and parcel of that. I even liked a lot of the description in this, though in most Dickens novels the level of description used to frustrate me. Mind you, I should try again now I'm older and wiser.
(Note: The writing isn't on the writing or anything objective, since I don't believe one can be objective about stuff like this. It's purely based on how much I loved the story, whether I would reread it again. As a piece of literature, I'd reflexively rate it higher, but I don't really want to: I "liked" it, but not "really liked".)more
1.) I was genuninely shocked to realize that Dickens had a sense of humor! I chuckled out loud a couple of times. For some reason, I expected this to be a very serious book, and it really was not.
2.) I was also genuninely shocked by how closely the movie adaptations follow the book...something that never happens. Granted, this is such a short book, it's easy to remain true to it. But even the Mickey Mouse version is pretty darn accurate!
It was a great read for our December bookclub meeting...festive AND short. Glad I finally got around to reading this one.more
Read this Christmas season 2011. It was really delightful.more
What you get in the book that you don't in the movies is Dickens' evocation (not quite construction, but almost) of what we now think of as a traditional Christmas. His descriptions of the holiday as celebrated in London and in Scrooge's nephew's house have been the basis and the aspirations of the December celebrations of the entire English-speaking world ever since. Would he have been happy with how this had turned out over 100 years later? Who can say?more