The Classics Club: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

My result for The Classics Club’s last wonderful Spin feature was The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. I was pleased with this result as have been keen to read more of Dickens’s work. Sadly when the Christmas holiday finally arrived my brain needed a rest and I couldn’t face the length of The Pickwick Papers. Instead I decided to go with A Christmas Carol a shorter and more seasonal work by Dickens.

A Christmas Carol joins the famous miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his clerk Bob Cratchit who are still working on Christmas Eve. Scrooge finally allows Cratchit to leave and agrees to him having Christmas day off as long as he starts early on Boxing day. With that Scrooge returns to his dingy rooms to spend Christmas alone. But Scrooge’s lonely revelry is broken when his dead business partner Jacob Marley comes to him to warn him that he is to be visited by three spirits. The first spirit is the ghost of Christmas past, next the ghost of Christmas present and finally the ghost of Christmas future. All show him scenes to reflect his life and the life to come if he doesn’t change his ways. The story of A Christmas Carol is probably known to most people whether you’ve read the book or not due to all the different film, TV and stage adaptations. I grew up watching The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) as a child. The fact I knew the story already didn’t take anything away from this wonderful tale though.

Ebenezer Scrooge the protagonist of A Christmas Carol is as well known if not more so than the story itself. The name Scrooge along with ‘bah-humbug’ has long been in our vocabulary for a miserable, ungenerous and Christmas spoiling individual. Ebenezer is a great character I can see why he has stayed in the imaginations of so many people. He starts off twisted, miserable and completely devoid of hope. You’d like to hate him but he is too pitiable for that for me. Then as the three spirits show him scenes from his past, present and those that could happen in the future. Ebenezer goes through an almost magical transformation as the layers of greed, age and bad experiences are peeled away from him. Revealing the nicer person he had the possibility to become as a child.

 A Christmas Carol is the first work by Dickens where I didn’t find his language convoluted or too highly detailed in fact I thought the language was just right. A Christmas Carol is only a novella unlike Dickens’s other much longer works but he still manages to pack a real good story into its pages. The plot was simpler and there were far less main characters than previous works I have read. I really enjoyed seeing Dickens focus in so intently on one character. I found it refreshing. Of course Ebenezer isn’t alone Dickens still fits some of his colourful characters into the story including: poor Bob Cratchit, his wife and children particularly Tiny Tim, miserly Jacob Marley, warm-hearted Mr and Mrs Fezziwig, Ebenezer’s long-lost lover and his kind and friendly nephew Fred.

A Christmas Carol is a slightly creepy but warm-hearted tale of redemption perfect for the Christmas holiday. I highly recommend reading this novella. This is my 19th read off my Classics Club list. I look forward to reading The Pickwick Papers soon.

Have you read A Christmas Carol?


19 thoughts on “The Classics Club: A Christmas Carol

  1. Lovely review, spot in. I enjoyed it and will certainly read it again this year nearer the festive time. I read Oliver Twist at school but have yet to wander off and read more Dickens. I must rectify that at some point.

  2. I only read A Christmas Carol for the first time a few years ago and really liked it – it prepared me for Dickens and I went on to read Great Expectations shortly after.
    Unfortunately I failed to finish my Classics Club spin book because I forgot all about it!

  3. This was my introduction to Dickens. I remember this book with a lot of affection 🙂 . I think this is a great book to read over the hols.

  4. I love this book and it used to be a tradition of mine to read it each year! I did reread it not the Christmas just passed but the one prior and I still enjoyed it.
    It is a very easy read considering its Dickens.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Lynn this was a much easier read than the other Dickens’s novels I’ve read so far. I hope you will perhaps have time to renew your tradition of reading this next Christmas 🙂

  5. I love A Christmas Carol! I still have the beautiful hardback edition I got for a Christmas present when I was a child and I re-read it every few years. I definitely think it’s a much easier book to read than any of his others.

  6. 19 already? excellent work, Jessica! I agree about Scrooge, and whether it was my own feelings or the true feelings of the characters I reckon that on the whole they felt more sorry for him than dislike.

  7. I really enjoyed this one as well, and it’s a perfect Christmas read 🙂 I’ve been meaning to read the Pickwick Papers, too, but the size of it scared me off. But love the kindle for it, decent font size!

  8. It is nice to read your review about it knowing you enjoyed it too. Like what sometimes we maybe shouldn’t push aside classics!

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