Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings
Charles Dickens

Published 1843

First Sentence
"Marley was dead: to begin with."

Publisher's Description:

'Merry Christmas!...every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding'

Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by a series of ghostly visitors, has proved one of his most well-loved works. Ever since it was published in 1843 it has had an enduring influence on the way we think about the traditions of Christmas. Dickens' other Christmas writings collected here include 'The Story of the Goblins who Stole a Sexton', the short story from on which A Christmas Carol was based; The Haunted Man, a tale of a man tormented by painful memories; along with shorter pieces, some drawn from the 'Christmas Stories' that Dickens wrote annually for his weekly journals. In all of them Dickens celebrates the season as one of geniality, charity and remembrance.

This new selection contains an introduction by distinguished Dickens scholar Michael Slater discussing how the author has shaped ideas about the Christmas spirit, an appendix on Dickens' use of The Arabian Nights, a further reading list and explanatory notes.

Dear Reader,

Before I get into the review of this book, I wanted to give you a heads up that this review was written over two years ago. I thought it was an appropriate time to post it on shelfnotes and since I love this story by Dickens so much, I do try to pick it up and re-read it every year. Enjoy, and if you haven't read the story yet... what are you waiting for?!?

Oh, Dickens... you've done it again. Pulling at my heartstrings during this special time of year, Christmas. I'm so glad I decided to read this during the Holiday. You see, I'm always left with a bad feeling during Christmas because it makes me so neurotic. Cleaning, shopping, making food, parties, no time to do everything... CHAOS! I detest the feeling of "GO GO GO" and "BUY EVERYTHING". I wish we could live in the times when Christmas was all about giving to those in need and gathering round a table full of Christmas goodies and cheer.

Reading this has relaxed my anxiety during this Holiday season and I think this might become a tradition... Amber, you must read A Christmas Carol every year before you start going crazy from all the expectations. The characters are as wonderful as any others Dickens writes and the comedy is tenfold when it comes to Scrooge (as I viewed him before to what he is in the book). I think everyone should read "A Christmas Carol" before the Holiday and try and take the meaning to heart!

As for Dickens other stories in the book... my favorite was the "Christmas Tree". This story was unlike anything I would have expected out of Dickens and could very well be one of my favorite short stories of all time. It starts out describing a Christmas tree that we can all relate to and then meanders through life through the telling of tales that relate to the tree. Each story is philosophical and rich with description, enough to catch you off guard for a few paragraphs until you get into the flow again. This story was amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Happy Reading,

A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

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  1. Speaking of Josh Hanagarne (because we were, earlier) here is his also insightful take on the work! -- http://penguinlibrary.tumblr.com/post/105456115749/enter-the-librarian-thoughts-from-josh-hanagarne?CMP=NLC-PLD12015&Ref=Email_Penguin_2014-12-02

  2. Awww, he felt the same way. Thanks for that! Although, having the penguins surrounding the text DID not help matters... haha. I love Penguin (the company) but I wish they would take up something nicer (sloth?) as their mascot, I wouldn't even mind a puffin!

  3. Oh NO, I didn't even think of that! Haha the puffin would only work if it was Penguin's children's division [1], though!! ;)

    [1] http://www.penguin.com/meet/publishers/puffin/


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