Greetings! I'll begin this post by apologising for not including the publishing details for this book- I can't access them since I read the novel on my Kindle. However, for any readers inclined to read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol I don’t suppose it will be especially hard to locate. Anyway, it’s long been a Christmas tradition for me to read this book, so what better day to type up a review aiming to inspire others to read it on Boxing Day? If any book will warm one’s heart at Christmas time it has to be this one- the story of a bitter, twisted man named Ebenezer Scrooge who is taught how to be loving and kind just in time for Christmas. The spirits who carry out this task are now almost as iconic as the man himself, and I challenge anyone not to feel Christmassy by the time they’ve worked their festive magic. This is a festive tale perfect for all ages.
The best thing about this book is that everyone reading it will feel as though they know somone, who could be anyone from an older relative to a boss or teacher, who is just like Ebenezer Scrooge. In addition to this, we all know such people can be even more bitter than normal in the run up to Christmas. It’s for this reason that Scrooge stands-out as a particularly ingenious character, even in a novel where several characters are beautifully written. Although it is predictable that the protagonist of a festive novel can’t maintain the views Scrooge expresses at the beginning of A Christmas Carol, it is still somewhat heart-warming to observe as the character progresses from being downright dislikeable to being loving and generous. The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present and The Ghost of Christmas yet to come, who help Scrooge on his journey to be a better and more selfless person, will also entertain readers with their unique characteristics and varying moral messages. The other ghost who appears before Scrooge- his greedy, malicious former business partner Jacob Marley wearing chains made of money bags and cheques- serves as a chilling indicator of what Scrooge will become if he doesn’t endeavour to change his ways.
Personally, I feel one of the reasons A Christmas Carol has endured over the years is that its many messages- including the idea that selflessness and kindness are the main ways of gaining respect from others- are as relevant in modern society as they were when Dickens wrote his novel. In fact, the idea that greed and avarice have severe repercussions is probably more relevant nowadays than ever, especially when many people are awaiting expensive Christmas presents. On the most basic level, I’d like to think Dickens wished to use popular literatures as a means by which to tell his readers the greatest gift we can give someone is happiness. Like that last statement A Christmas Carol can occasionally be a little over-sentimental, but one has to expect this in a festive story. At the end of the day, would this book really work if Scrooge decided he was unmoved by the ghosts and didn’t wish to change his ways? I think not. That being said, every time I read this book I try (and ultimately fail) to convince myself I actually like Tiny Tim…
As a whole, this novel is just the ultimate Christmas story- iconic, beautifully written and relevant as ever in today’s greedy world. I challenge anyone to read this book and not feel in the least bit Christmassy or moved. If you’re looking for a novel to get you in the mood nect Christmas, or to keep this year’s celebrations going for just a little bit longer, then this is the novel for you. If you haven’t read this book but have seen one of the many adaptations, I can confidently tell you the original is the best version. If you can overlook the slight degree of over sentimentality and slightly dated story, then this remains the ultimate Christmassy novel and a true British classic.
Rating: **** (4/5)