A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Title: A Christmas Carol
Author:  Charles Dickens
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 2013 (orig. 1843)
Rating: 3/5

I’m sure a lot of you have never heard about this story, so I’ll recap it!

Ebenezer Scrooge is the man with the coolest first name in the history of literature. He’s also wealthy, so he has a few things going for him. His wealth; however, makes him very unpopular. Let’s be honest, people are jealous. Scrooge handles this jealousy by being a bit of a scrooge, at least in the eyes of his employee and his nephew and the nephew’s family.

On Christmas Eve, after a one coal-heated debate about paid vacation time, Scrooge goes home to his huge and empty house. And he starts seeing things. First he sees the face of his old partner, Jacob Marley, in the door knocker. And a moment later, the ghost of Marley himself joins Ebenezer in his room. Ebenezer tries to dismiss this phenomenon as being indegestion. But the ghost will have none of it and tells Scrooge that he needs to stop scrooging if he wants to escape a fate like Marley’s. Apparently, Jacob was a selfish and greedy prick and got what was coming to him in the afterlife, where he now has to wander purposelessly around for ages and ages. But he must have liked Scrooge well enough, because he tries to save him by saying he’ll send three other ghosts to freak out Scrooge the following three nights. It’s all very christmassy indeed!

The first ghost is the Ghost of Christmas Past. It arrives at a certain time on the first night. This spirit shows Scrooge how his past Christmasses were sometimes sad and lonely, and sometimes fun and warm. This varying degree of happiness was more than Scrooge could handle and obviously explains how he became such a jerk.

Scrooge goes back to sleep, as one would naturally do after traveling around one’s past with a ghost. The next ghost arrives at another predetermined hour and Scrooge is ready for him. It’s the Ghost of Christmas Present. He’s a jolly old fellow who loves horns of plenty. He shows Ebenezer what Christmas is like right now, and also does a bit of spoiling as he shows E how Tiny Tim (son of his employee) will die if things remain the way they are now. Ebenezer is a very nice guy and is tremendously concerned about the crippled boy’s welfare from the get-go. The surplus population no longer weighs heavily on Ebenezer’s mind. We also see how his nephew and family all have a wonderful Christmas full of games and mockery of Scrooge. Scrooge, being a proud man, is very annoyed by this and vows to disown his nephew even more. Ok, not really.

The ghost disappears and leaves Ebenezer with the scariest ghost of them all; the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It doesn’t speak and takes its fashion advice from the grim reaper. As you may have guessed, the future is set to bring nothing but death: Tiny Tim dies, which everyone is very sad about, and Ebenezer dies, which everyone is fairly pleased with.

And back in the bedroom we are, the ghosts have left and Ebenezer is a changed man. Luckily, the ghosts ran on different times, so instead of being three different nights, it’s still Christmas! Intend on changing the future, he buys a grotesquely huge turkey for his nephew + family and gives his tardy employee a surprise raise, more coal and such. He laughs and laughs. Tim says something quotable and everyone is happy.

Review? It’s pretty dull, as Dickens always is. I was hoping the Christmas theme would mask the bore, but alas.

I’d recommend the Muppet version as Michael Caine gives great Ebenezer and the songs are better.



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