A Christmas Carol
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A Christmas Carol (Christmas Books #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  269,773 ratings  ·  6,735 reviews
One of the best-loved and most quoted stories of “the man who invented Christmas”—English writer Charles Dickens—A Christmas Carol debuted in 1843 and has touched millions of hearts since.

Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge has never met a shilling he doesn’t like...and hardly a man he does. And he hates Christmas most of all. When Scrooge is visited by his old partner, Jacob M...more
Paperback, (Watermill Classic), 124 pages
Published January 30th 1980 by Watermill Press (first published 1843)
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Mary
Dec 28, 2013 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: read-aloud
It's a family tradition to read A Christmas Carol (original, unabridged) aloud each Christmas season and then to watch at least one film version on Christmas Eve (this year it was the Muppets' Christmas Carol - very authentic - with Michael Caine).

Over the years, we have discussed the 19th century slang and customs enough so that the reading is becoming smoother and smoother without much need for editorial asides. This year we focused on favorite phrases "Marley was dead, to begin with." "the m...more
Cecily
The Christmas classic that everyone knows – even if they haven’t read it. It's quite short, and at some levels quite an easy read, but there is plenty of depth, so I think it's worth reading it in a thoughtful and slightly leisurely way.

Plot
It is a simple tale of how a normal man turns cold-hearted and mean and how, when confronted with memories of his past and the possible outcomes of his actions and inactions, he is redeemed by making positive changes to his life and thus that of others.

Typic...more
Valerie
A short classic, during the holidays, well why not?

The only problem I had with the book was that I had to really concentrate on the writing. I didn’t have to drag along like I used to when I read books like this but I don’t think I could enjoy the book as much because I was confused at what Dickens was trying to say some times. With all the semicolons and commas sentences are very long and it was difficult for me to keep up. I’ll say that I didn’t feel smart all the time. I also couldn’t fully...more
Jason Koivu
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a quintessential piece of what Christmas is all about (and maybe a touch Halloween, too!). The story succeeds in entrancing so many of us because it touches upon the emotions, the senses, the human condition, and encapsulates it all in the life and death struggle we all go through...plus, who doesn't love a good ghost story and a happy ending?!

A Christmas Carol has been adapted so many times in so many different ways that this fairytale story has become a bi...more
Alejandro
I can't tell how many times I have watched some adaptation or another of this classic story. Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog, the Real Ghostbusters, live action films, animated TV specials, etc... since this is one of the most adapted stories of all time. A truly Christmas classic. And this one of the few books that I think one hardly can deny that it's the novel that defines a genre, in this case: Christmas. In popular genres like Science-Fiction and Horror, there are several books co...more
Dan
Mar 24, 2007 Dan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who watch the kids' Christmas specials every year but never got around to reading the book.
We all know the story. Ebenezer Scrooge is an old miser who hates Christmas. He's visited by the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley, who warns Scrooge that he will be haunted by three spirits representing three pivotal points in his life. By reliving the past, observing the present, and fearing the future, Scrooge learns to mend his ways and opens his heart to charity and compassion.

It's a classic morality tale, made timeless by setting it in the Christmas season.

However, as with ma...more
Sylvia
This book is, without doubt, the greatest Christmas classic of all time. I grew up with the story, having watched the movie every year with my family. When I finally read the book last December, my heart swelled at every word because the story that I had known since I was a child came to vibrant life on paper. The musical that I could recite backwards and forwards could not even compare to the vibrancy that jumped out at me from the pages. Dickens had the power to fashion the English language in...more
Jean

"Bah! Humbug!"

Who does not recognise this expostulation, and the old curmudgeon who spat it out. The very name "Scrooge" has entered the vernacular to indicate a mean-spirited skinflint.

"Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge, a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint."

And even the phrase "Merry Christmas" only became popular following the appearance of this novella.

A Christmas Carol is one of Dickens' most endur...more
The Holy Terror
Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, as I'm sure it is for a lot of people. I love anything that's themed towards the holiday: music, decorations, movies, books, candy ... and when I was a kid I would even play Christmas music in the summer on the piano, much to my parents' chagrin. The week following also contains both my and my younger brother's birthdays, so needless to say we always had a lot of fun on Christmas break. Spending time with family, presents, Christmas cookies...more
Nandakishore Varma
Heart-warming: that is my one word review for this book.

This has to be one of the most read and loved stories of all time. It works, whether one views it as a Christian allegory or a simple fantasy. I studied it in middle school and loved it: I was laughing along with Scrooge in the last chapter. I was wondering whether the magic would still work with a moderately cynical middle-aged man. It did.

The story could have been maudlin, sentimental, didactic and moralising. That it is none of this is d...more
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 29, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jillian Joy
Recommended to K.D. by: Filipinos Group in Goodreads
At 45, I was already at that stage when for the first time, I was not looking forward to Christmas. My daughter is already 14 and we already gave away our Christmas tree that we used to enjoy when she was still a child. I declined the two invites to participate in office kris kringle. It's already the last day of November and we still don't have a single decor in the house. These are all unusual.

Yesterday, reading the first part of the book, I was able to feel for what Scrooge must have felt. N...more
Amy (Foxy)
description

A Christmas Carol is a beloved Christmas favorite. Nothing says Christmas like favorite Christmas stories. This timeless tale has been told in many versions. I’ve seen the movie and play but I’ve never read the book. I thought it was about time to finally read this tale.

The illustrations throughout the book were fun to look at. Not common to find illustrations in books today unless they are children stories.

description

description

Lots of great quotes come from this story but the most famous is BAH! HUMBUG! followed...more
Mariel
Dec 01, 2010 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: clowntime is over
Recommended to Mariel by: beaten to the punch

The gremlin got wet from all my mentions of dick(en)s and now he's ferocious! Now is as good a time as any to review Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Before he holds a red eye dinner party for his red-eye friends and they eat me for dinner...
The idea was amazing. Ghosts of past, present and future? I love it. He could've time traveled and written this baby for me. Regret, cold-heartedness, chains of the past, fear... Side track, I like the '80s ya novel The Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds...more
Claire Caterer
I read Dickens every Christmas because his writing is so evocative and his story, while firmly set in 1843 London Town, is timeless: no matter how old or how crochety, no matter what a raw hand we think we've been dealt, no matter our lousy childhood or lousy adulthood, there is hope and redemption there for the taking. Never give up hope; never say die. (This story also works if you're feeling particulary anti-Christmas and would like to see those who go about with "Merry Christmas" on their li...more
Mike (the Paladin)
While I don't hold 100% with the theology (nor disagree either) I love this book...for that matter I love at least one of the movies (the Alastair Sim version titled Scrooge). While the entire story is wonderful the redemption/repentance scenes alone are worth the "freight", so to speak.

The story is undoubtedly familiar to you but give it a read if you've only been exposed to it through movies. I think everyone probably re-looks at Christmas and life at the same time they experience it with Scro...more
Gary the SophistiCat
Having capped my Festivus celebration with a long overdue viewing of Pulp Fiction,I guess I was primed to immerse myself in Charles Dickens' early Victorian tale of redemption. I was not disappointed. In only five chapters he successfully recreates the sights and sounds of merry olde England as he charts the spiritual revival of the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge who is forever linked with the immortal words "Christmas! Bah, Humbug!" Scrooge spends a busy night contemplating his past, present and fut...more
midnightfaerie
Click here for Charles Dickens Disclaimer

The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was an absolute delight! I was anticipating a dull read but was pleasantly surprised. Because I liked this storyline so much, I could finally fully appreciate Dickens style of writing. And it was superb! I can see now why he is so talked about through the ages. When he described the food scene with the second ghost, I felt like I was there, smelling the sounds, my mouth watering. The delicious descriptive detail tha...more
Crystal Starr Light
“No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused”

Ebenezzer Scrooge is one of the most miserly, greedy, selfish businessmen, especially at Christmas. Through the visions of his dead partner, Jacob Marley, and three Ghosts, Scrooge is sent on the learning experience of a life.

There is a reason why this book is so prevalent in our (Western) culture, how everyone, even those who've never read the novella/book, know the story so well (which is why this review will not have any...more
Sakura87
Un classico che da troppo tempo mancava alla mia libreria.
Con libri così non valgono i normali metri di giudizio: la trama è scontata quel che basta, i personaggi mancano della minima psicologia, e la conversione di Scrooge appare repentina e pressoché ingiustificata.
Eppure, è uno di quei classici che fa sognare i bambini, che continua a far sospirare gli adulti, e che fa brillare gli occhi dei non-più-adolescenti-ma-da-poco, come me, al ricordo di vecchi natali trascorsi sul tappeto davanti l’...more
Pat
Aug 30, 2007 Pat rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people I don't like
Shelves: classic
Charles Dickens is a crap author. Over the course of his career he wrote books based on the length of them hence the reason he used such long winded descriptions in his books. If Dickens never existed the world would be a better place. He was his time Clancy, Grisham, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steele, etc....
Katie
Aug 14, 2007 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This Christmas classic was read, watched, and enjoyed every year during the holiday season in my house growing up. When I became a high school teacher I was shocked to discover that most students have never actually read the real book, just seen cartoons and movies. All of my classes read it each year for the week and a half before Christmas break. We sit in a circle and take turns reading it. You'd be amazed, but full-grown high school juniors turn into little kids and beg to read more of this...more
Sarah
Yeah, I know it's a classic. Bah humbug! Way too predictable and as drab as a gray winter in London. Dickens is so fond of the plight of the street urchin, the poor, the downtrodden that it seems as though he is compelling you to feel for them and, as atonement, forgo your own selfish ways. I felt like screaming at the book, "Okay, Scrooge if you don't repent and change your ways then, I the unfortunate reader, will be forced to endure another visit from a Christmas ghost (oh, so will you.) I pa...more
Stephen
3.5 stars. This is a wonderful Christmas story and I really enjoyed it. The only reason I didn't rate it higher is because, in my opinion, when compared to the two other Dickens works I have read recently, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, it wasn't quite up to the level of excellence that I found in those two books (both of which I loved). Still, a great story and another example of Dickens' skill as a writer.
Becky
Nothing gets me into the Christmas spirit quite like revisiting "A Christmas Carol." So much of my Christmas' revolve around this story. The movie with George C. Scott used to reduce me to horrified tears when Jacob arrived, and that party in the story when he unwinds his jaw bandage still gives me chills. Eventually my family started watch A Muppets Christmas Carol, which stays relatively close to the plot, and has excellent songs that we can all sing by heart. We would go to the community the...more
Kim

Listening to the audiobook of this classic tale superbly narrated by Tim Curry was a joy. It rounded off this year's Christmas celebration very nicely and made the six hour drive home go so much faster than it usually does. Drama, sentimentality, humour and pathos: this story has it all. A great antidote for seasonal excess and seasonal cynicism, it's impossible not to feel uplifted by Ebenezer Scrooge's redemption. A lovely listening experience.
Chrissie
oh my god. i gave a dickens book two stars. i kind of had to. it's a good story. although, having seen every possible stage and screen permutation of a christmas carol due to my father's love for the story, i can say that even disney improved on mr. dickens' telling.
Ben Babcock
Some stories are so popular they have permeated culture to the point where almost everyone knows them, even if they haven’t so much as glanced at the source material. Such is the case with A Christmas Carol, which has inspired numerous adaptations in every medium imaginable. As a result, Ebeneezer Scrooge is a household name, and the basic plot of A Christmas Carol is a familiar one. The source material, however, is well worth the read. Charles Dickens tells the story with his usual skill for se...more
David
I probably read Dickens's A Christmas Carol when I was a child, but after seeing so many different film versions, like everyone else, it was hard to remember what I had read and what I remembered from a cartoon or old classic movie or Muppets version. So this was a good time to revisit the original.

A Christmas Carol is a short book- very short by Dickens standards. Dickens makes the most of his gift for language in bringing Ebenezer Scrooge alive in all his misanthropic glory, condemning the hea...more
Alyssa
The beautiful thing about this book is that the spirits that haunt Scrooge don't teach him anything. All they do is show him scenes from his past/present/future, and by viewing his life from a higher perspective, Scrooge teaches himself. Thus comes his change of heart.
I love the way each spirit is described and the symbolism of it. The ghost of Christmas present as a banquet feast (living in the moment=feasting at the table of life), and the ghost of the future described as darkness and mystery...more
Martha
Well, that was a very refreshing read! I have never seen a movie, play or cartoon of A Christmas Carol or read this before. Now that I have finished this book, I have to say... WONDERFUL! The best way to convey the message of love, kindness, and generosity to all! There is a little bit of Scrooge in me at times, and this makes me more thoughtful to say the least. It took me a little longer to read than I thought it would. I love Dickens' writing, but I did have to read and re-read several paragr...more
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239579
A prolific 19th Century author of short stories, plays, novellas, novels, fiction and non-fiction; during his lifetime Dickens became known the world over for his remarkable characters, his mastery of prose in the telling of their lives, and his depictions of the social classes, morals and values of his times. Some considered him the spokesman for the poor, for he definitely brought much awarenes...more
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“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.” 1117 likes
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