Friday, December 31, 2010

A Creepy Classic Review: Dickens's A Christmas Carol

This month’s Creepy Classic and the last post of this year is Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.  For starters – for those that don’t know – it’s a novella.  It can’t be more than a hundred pages, depending on the printed version you have.  But that’s neither her no there. It’s a “hellofa” good read – which is much more to the point.

When I first learned of this story, I was a child. In fact, I was a performer in a play of this classic.  I won’t tell you what character I played, but it’s memory still haunts me to this day.  I love this story back then and nothing’s changed.  I remember being smitten by the iconic words that Dickens wrote that were burned into my memory.  Strangely, when I recently picked up this book, it struck me to view how nearly every word/detail written by Dickens is – to this day – still described/regurgitated how he intended.  It’s amazing how close we’ve all carry this tale in our hearts.  That's a true indicator of a classic.

Scrooge was, at the beginning, a lost soul, very much like so many people today.  He’s lived his life in isolation, cursing the world around him.  It seems far likely to imagine an individual like that today, rather than some 150+ years ago.  But the truth is despite the advancement of technology, people I suspect are probably the same now as they were back then.  The world is most likely still filled with too many cynical, money-hungy Scrooges.  And that’s what makes this story more relevant.

The story begins with the disgusting reality of who Scrooge is; an unfeeling, rich ogre.  They say your past shapes you and I wonder if that’s what happened with Scrooge.  He grew up with more means and opportunity than most and eventually an opportunity for love.  Yet then he threw it all away and chose to live a lonely existance.   And over the years he was transformed into lonely, unbearable grouch?  Oh, I loved this tale so very, very much.

The writing and story are so timeless it’s inexplicable.  And let's face it, we all have a bit of Scrooge buried deep within that surfaces from time to time.  For so many people, life can be terribly daunting, just like how it was for Scrooge.  But to have the opportunity at a second chance – to infuse happiness back in an otherwise morose life is priceless, practically a Christmas miracle.  

This tale is a 5 for me, hands down. I love, love, love Dickens’s A Christmas Carol.

Until next time….try something different, read a classic.

Mina B.


Man of la Books said...

Dickens is a master narrator isn't he?

Try and read Wilkie Collins some time.

Mina Burrows said...

Thanks, Man of La Books! Will do. BTW - Love your site! I'm now a follower & a fan!