Saturday, December 11, 2010

Book Review: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens. 1843. 96 pages.

Marley was dead to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. 

I know the story. You know the story. We all know the story. Does being so familiar with the story make a difference in the reading experience? I think it does. I almost wish I could read A Christmas Carol with fresh eyes. What would it have been like for Dicken's original readers? To men, women, and children of the mid-nineteenth century. To read it not knowing it backwards and forwards. (To read it without thinking about Gonzo or Mickey.) I mean it is a great story. There's good reason that it has been adapted again and again and again and again.

A Christmas Carol is the story of a man, Ebenezer Scrooge, who's forced--by four visiting spirits--to acknowledge the chains he's forged in his life so far. Because of the hardness of his heart, his selfishness, his indifference to the world around him--to the men, women, children in need of so much, he will wear a heavy burden after death. He'll be forced to wander the earth, witnessing in death what he's ignored in life. That is, if he doesn't learn some important life lessons from the spirits.

By "visiting" his past, his present, and his future--or one possible future at least--Scrooge is given a second chance to make something of his life.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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