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Jacob T. Marley

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,370 Ratings  ·  489 Reviews
Marley was dead to begin with . . . These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now R. William Bennett rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge s miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. W ...more
Hardcover, 202 pages
Published October 12th 2011 by Shadow Mountain (first published January 1st 2011)
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A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
452nd out of 801 books — 1,103 voters
A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Best Christmas Holiday Books
259th out of 360 books — 491 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,366)
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Mary Lou
Feb 11, 2012 Mary Lou rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book to place on the shelf next to Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The author does a good job of lifting the secondary character of Jacob Marley out of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and rounds it out, filling in background on just who Marley was, what type of family he came from, and how his own choices created the creature that appears to Scrooge on Christmas Eve. I like how the author describes the character of Marley: "For the corrupt character of Jacob Thelonius Marley was not m ...more
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

If there is a truly tragic character in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it is Jacob Marley. Ebenezer Scrooge gets a second chance at redemption but Marley is condemned to shoulder the weight of his transgressions for all eternity. Not a whole lot of justice in that is there? Now apparently, I’m not the only who feels this is a serious offense. Author R. William Bennett also concluded Dickens treat
Nov 30, 2015 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
November 2015: This is a reread for me. Couldn't wait to listen to this book for Christmas again this year!

December 2014: This was a great book, definitely near the top of my short list of Christmas favorites. In fact, I think I might have to purchase this one on audio. It was very well done. I love the traditional story of Ebenezer Scrooge, and this book added a new, intriguing dimension to the timeless classic in the style of Dickens. If you are a fan of A Christmas Carol, I highly recommend
Lucy Pollard-Gott
Dec 20, 2014 Lucy Pollard-Gott rated it really liked it
In this convincingly written pastiche of Charles Dickens’ classic novella A Christmas Carol, author R. William Bennett includes a Preface addressing his readers, whom he assumes are well acquainted with Dickens’ account of Scrooge’s visitations by three spirits on Christmas Eve, his repentance, and his chance to make amends and change his life. And why not? It is one of the most famous stories in the world, repeated, read, and watched on film by millions every year. But Bennett wants to know mor ...more
Dec 17, 2011 LitAddictedBrit rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2011, ebooks
"There are three realisations mankind can experience that might give them cause for change. First, remorse for what is gone but might have been in the past. Second, a shocking awareness of where they are in the present. Finally, fear for what will be in the future, should their paths not change. These three missions make up our cause"

It's hard for a lot of us to imagine Christmas without some iteration of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, be it re-reading the novella itself or singing along to
Drew Graham
Jun 16, 2015 Drew Graham rated it really liked it
Shelves: me
Jacob Thelonius Marley is born under humble circumstances, but has great potential to do good in the world. As he grows older and pride begins to infect his previously noble heart, a chain of events is set in motion that leads to his eventual meeting with Ebenezer Scrooge and their business partnership, his own miserable demise, and his subsequent ghostly appearance to Scrooge on that fateful Christmas Eve.

So I read this after finishing (and not very much liking) Tom Mula's Jacob Marley's Christ
Inspired Kathy
Jan 05, 2012 Inspired Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol is a story I have always loved. I've seen multiple movie versions of A Christmas Carol all multiple times and remember seeing the play at Glendale Centre Theater many times while growing up. Due to my love of this story I was interested to read this retelling from Jacob Marley's perspective.

This was a quick easy read that I knocked out in about two hours. I found it interesting to delve deeper into what might have made Ebenezer Scrooge the man he was. Jacob Ma
Dec 14, 2011 Amber rated it it was amazing
"Jacob realized that he was no more than an entry in Scrooge's ledger-in an account that was now being closed. "
"What a wretched man," Marley thought. "Whatever in the world made him?"
Whether it was seconds or minutes, Marley did not know, but he paused so completely he thought his heart had stopped beating.
"I did," were his own words that came to him.
"I did, I made Ebenezer Scrooge."

These are some of Jacob T. Marley's final thoughts as he lays on his death bed in front of Scrooge. While we all
Jane Potter
Jan 14, 2016 Jane Potter rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jennifer by: Sally
Shelves: christmas-books
I really liked this book! It tells the story of Jacob Marley - how did he come to be able to haunt Ebenezer Scrooge on that fateful Christmas Eve? I loved how the author showed the back story of how Jacob became the man he was at his death, how he came to be condemned to walk the earth in chains, and how he came to be part of Scrooge's redemption. I also enjoyed how we got to see Jacob's view of that Christmas Eve as Scrooge was haunted and how the author extended the narrative to show how Scroo ...more
Michelle (True Book Addict)
A new year is about new beginnings and that is exactly what happens to Scrooge, as we know from the classic tale, A Christmas Carol, but also for Jacob Marley, the illustrious ex-partner of Scrooge. The man we know so little about...until now.

Bennett has taken the beloved classic and flipped it so we can see things from Jacob's point of view. Unlike Scrooge, Jacob came from a loving family. What turned him into such a harsh, grasping soul? It's hard to say, but one thing is certain, he was instr
Dec 08, 2013 Ronna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
If you're a fan of every version of Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL as I am, you will be as thrilled with this book. Bennett has thoroughly captured Dickens' writing style and story line within the wonderful little Christmas tale.

Rather than beginning with the night that Marley returned in death to tell Scrooge of the impending spirits that would change Scrooge's life, this story begins at the start of Jacob's life. We hear of a kind and loving family that Jacob had to begin his life, but he manage
Dec 12, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing
I wanted to read this almost as soon as I was aware of its existence. Normally, I am not a fan of books that are piggy-backed onto the efforts of others, particularly when it involves the classics (like Dickens "Christmas Carol"). I was not disappointed by the time I finished this short offering (I read it in 3 days) from the pen of Mr. Bennett.

J. T. Marley makes a brief appearance in Dickens novel. In this offering he is the central figure in this story. The questions answered in this tale are
Juergen John Roscher
I am a devoted fan of Charles Dickens and love his best (in my opinion) Christmas story “A Christmas Carol”, so when I saw that R. William Bennett had written a sequel to it titled “Jacob T. Marley”, I had to read the book. I was more than a little suspect of someone trying to add upon the work of the master; Dickens. At the Utah Festival of Books, I was able to see a discussion by Bennett of his book. He seemed competent, capable, and engaging. After his discussion, I bought his book and had hi ...more
Mar 21, 2013 Whitney rated it it was ok
"A Christmas Carol" remains one of my ultimate favorite books in my internal pantheon. That said, you may want to take the following with a large hunk of salt: This attempt at a fresh angle on a well-known story doesn't work for me. The language, on the surface, seems appropriate (to a modern audience at least) for Dickens' historical period but no on else can be Dickens and to imply that an author sounds dickensian or dickens-like (select whichever most phrase most tickles your fancy) simply be ...more
Aug 08, 2011 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The very first thing I loved about this book was how the author, Benett, attempted and succeeded at writing the novel in a similar style to the original Dickens classic. This novel does not change anything about the original story, but rather focuses the camera, if you will, at the character of Jacob Marley.

I truly enjoyed learning more about Marley’s past, and how he played an even bigger role in the change that occurred that night for his partner Ebenezer Scrooge. I also loved that Bennett con
Christine Jensen
Nov 21, 2011 Christine Jensen rated it really liked it
I am going to admit something to you, dear readers: I have never actually read the book A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (I have seen multiple movie version of the story, most often the Mickey Mouse version) I am not really sure why, to be honest, but after reading Jacob T. Marley, you can be certain that I will be reading the classic Dicken's tale this December.

Jacob Marley is the ghost who ushers in Scrooge's night of redemption, by visiting and warning him of the fate that awaits Scrooge
Mark E.
Jan 25, 2012 Mark E. rated it it was amazing
This is a magnificent book. I just finished it, and am still somewhat overwhelmed by the ending, so I'm not quite certain how I'm going to feel in a few months.
At this point, it seems the book is amazing. It is not only a very clever twist on a famous story, it is more allegorical and uplifting than the original. The writing takes us back to the era when "A Christmas Carol" was written, and the depiction of the life of Marley, as well as the meeting of Marley and Scrooge was so well done, I alm
Dec 19, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
We all know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, right? Well, this new book tells the story of Jacob T. Marley both before and after he met Scrooge as well as what happened after he died and his side of the story familiar to us in A Christmas Carol.

When I first this book, I was a little nervous and unsure how good it would be. In recent years, there has been a wealth of books acting as sequels, prequels or retelling of classic tales (how many new versions of Pride and Prejudice do
Feb 05, 2012 Marlene rated it it was amazing
I love Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I particularly enjoy stories that re-interpret the classic tale just a bit, and Jacob T. Marley by R. William Bennett provides yet another delightful twist.

We all know Ebenezer Scrooge's tale. His name has become a byword for miserliness due to the genius of Charles Dickens' storytelling. But A Christmas Carol is the tale of Scrooge's redemption. Ebenezer becomes a better man because Jacob Marley has spent his afterlife repenting of his sins. Jacob Marley has c
Nov 25, 2013 Kurt rated it liked it
So, what is the background of old Jacob "dead as a doornail" Marley? How did events play out after his death that allowed him to visit Scrooge? What was Marley's ghost doing while Scrooge was being taught by the three Christmas Spirits? What more of Scrooge's story was there to tell? And finally, was Marley in any way able to attain some form of redemption?

These and other questions are all answered in the book Jacob T. Marley. Entertaining to a degree and interesting in its ideas and speculation
Dec 05, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heidi by: Danylle
Normally I don't like books written as sequels or companions to classics. The sequel to Gone With the Wind? That book about the Little Women's father? Just not my thing. But I had heard from a few trusted sources that this was good so I decided to give it a try. I really enjoyed it.

Marley is...well, Marley. He's the Marley who appears in Scrooge's door knocker and later in Scrooge's bedroom, warning him that he will be visited by three spirits. For all those who ever wondered why Scrooge got a s
Dec 10, 2014 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
How to critique this? How to critique thissss? I loved this book, I really did. It was amazing. The author has talent, there is no doubt. But... here is my problem. How can any author compete with Charles Dickens? They can't. And to compare them isn't really fair, but when you link yourself to something as classic as A Christmas Carol, it's going to happen. It's like when you hear an artist cover a Whitney Houston song; they could perform flawlessly and you would still be comparing them to Whitn ...more
Dec 26, 2015 Vanessa rated it really liked it
I am very skeptical about retellings of famous books by different authora since they are usually writing from another character's perspective and they make a different character then I have always read them as. That is what Jacob T. Marley was, but I think that while his part in A Christmas Carol is vitally important, it is minimal. Since Bennett tells his story, only a small portion covers the events in the original, it worked for me. My one complaint was the ending wrapped up the story too nea ...more
Dec 20, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Jacob T. Marley is the type of book I suspect you’ll either really like or throw across the room. It’s a toss-up. Loyalists to Dickens may be put off by this tale of the two partners Jacob T. Marley and Ebenezer Scrooge.

I absolutely loved Bennett’s look back at just what made Scrooge the man he was. He fills in the gap giving us the back story of Marley and how the lives of these two men connected. So if you ever wondered just how Marley came to be the bearer of the message that Scrooge would b
Celia Christensen
Dec 12, 2015 Celia Christensen rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic supplemental book to Dickens' A Christmas Carol that follows Jacob Marley's story of redemption. I cried through the ending and it inspired me to be a better person. I loved it!
Matt Willden
Nov 15, 2015 Matt Willden rated it it was amazing
Just beautiful. Deeply touching book and a warm and worthy companion to Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" for making the Christmas spirit a little brighter in one's life and home.
Dec 31, 2012 Rachel rated it did not like it
I hate this book with a firey passion! It reads like a sermon and comes off as intensely preachy, and basically Mormon-ifies the Christmas Carol which I found kind of weird/tasteless. The best parts were phrases lifted from Dickensen's original, and the cheesiness factor was too high for me to complete the book (I ended up skimming it).

I have mixed feelings about commercial fan-fiction like this; I feel like Bennett is merely capitalizing off of the popularity of A Christmas Carol without provi
Feb 20, 2015 Camille rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
This is a perfect companion book to "A Christmas Carol", telling the story of Scrooge's deceased business partner, Marley, and why he comes back as a ghost to try to help Scrooge change his ways. Even though it's February and obviously past Christmas, I enjoyed this book very much. The last 30-40 pages took it from a 4-star to a 5-star rating for me...I loved the ending. Such a great story of friendship, family, love, forgiveness, and redemption. Since those are year-round themes and not specifi ...more
Dec 07, 2014 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Loved this so much.
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Coffee Talk: December BOM 24 73 Dec 14, 2011 03:41PM  
Coffee Talk: Discussion December Book of the Month- Spoilers 18 16 Dec 08, 2011 06:16PM  
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“Remorse is a heavy burden, but in its weight, it has great power to awaken men's souls.” 4 likes
“If we do nothing but to remove a rock upon which someone might have tripped, though they may never know we did it, is this not our cause, our reason for life?” 1 likes
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