A Christmas Carol

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The case of the UK hardcover first edition.

A Christmas Carol, also known by its full title, A Christmas Carol In Prose; Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, is a novella written by Charles Dickens and first published on 1843-12-19. The story is about Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser of an old man, who is hard on his workers and cares nothing for the less-fortunate, but is visited by ghosts who teach him the value of caring for others, especially on Christmas.

Review

Good

  • I like the intermixing of ghosts and Christmas. It was very commonplace at the time, but now it has the benefit of being kitschy and tacky.

Bad

  • When read at a casual rate of speech, the story is about three hours long, a bit much for such a simple message. I tend to prefer the abridged adaptions.
  • The moral is pretty ham-fisted: if you aren't a nice person, nobody will care about you when you're dead. While this may resonate with people who care about their image, I don't see this being that effective at rehabilitating misanthropes because they generally don't care what others think of them.
  • Dickens doesn't really explain why Scrooge--who had childhood friends, a caring boss, and a pleasant fiancée--became a miser in his adulthood. Scrooge was sent to a boarding school with an unpleasant head master because his father was annoyed with him, but it is inferred that their relationship was mended, so why did Scrooge become so wretched? This makes the character less relatable because people don't usually become evil without a reason.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Adaptions

Publication Format Title Description
197?-??-?? Audio Drama Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol An audio drama was produced by Peter Pan Records. I listened to this as a child. I remember enjoying it, but I haven't heard it since, and, as far as I know, it has never been released on CD or similar digital media.
1983-12-16 TV show Mickey's Christmas Carol An animated version with all the characters replaced by Disney characters. I really enjoy this adaption.
1988-11-23 Film Scrooged An very funny movie starring Bill Murray and loosely based on the story.
1990-12-22 Radio drama A Christmas Carol BBC Radio 4 produced a dramatic cast recording dramatized by Christopher Dennis. It's well produced, has a good cast, chorus, and nice sound effects, though, some of the acting is a little over the top.

Links

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