The Chimes
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The Chimes (Christmas Books #2)

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  970 ratings  ·  117 reviews
THE CHIMES: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In, a short novel by Charles Dickens, was written and published in 1844, one year after A Christmas Carol. It is the second in his series of "Christmas books": five short books with strong social and moral messages that he published during the 1840's.
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Published (first published 1844)
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Jake
If A Christmas Carol is about making restitution after sins of commission, The Chimes is about the potential cost of sins of omission. That is what I got from this year's reading of a Dicken's holiday story. I read one every Christmas to get into the holiday spirit. (See also: The Haunted Man ).

I'm not a huge fan of Dickens, because I find reading him laborious. Yet, that is really my only gripe with him. I love the characters, settings and situations he created. I just wish he hadn't been so i...more
Elizabeth
This is the second of Dickens' three Christmas books. Like the first book in the series, "A Christmas Carol," "The Chimes" takes place during the "Hungry Forties." That would be the 1840's.

The main character, Trotty Veck, is a very poor man who works as a ticket porter on the streets of London. He adores his daughter Meg who is on the verge of marrying her love named Richard. Meg and Richard are going to get married on New Year's Day.

Trotty loves the church chimes and he and Meg feel the chimes...more
Chris
Following Dickens's success with A Christmas Carol he started a tradition of releasing a new story each year at Christmas time. His second Christmas story was The Chimes. The book follows an old porter/messenger in London named Trotty Veck. As with Christmas Carol and many of his other works, Dickens has plenty of focus on the social structure of the country. Trotty is a very poor old widower with a single daughter, Meg. At the onset of the book, Meg brings Trotty lunch and announces that she pl...more
Eric
More of a winter's tale or New Year's fable than a Christmas story, The Chimes touches on the same themes as most of Dickens' other works, mainly the plight of the poor. Some of the upper class characters are stilted up even higher on their horses then the infamous Ebeneezer Scrooge of A Christmas Carol.

But upon finishing the book one might suddenly realize that it is not about the misery of the poor and the war of the classes. It is really about how to enjoy life no matter what your circumstanc...more
Jimmy
The Chimes is the story for New Year's Day. Dickens followed up his Christmas Carol in his series of Christmas stories with The Chimes, again with a deep moral and message for the society of the Victorian age. The characters are typically Dickensian, with an old porter Trotty Veck as the main character. Trotty learns from the Chimes after a journey with the spirits, that good come come from all men no matter their station and the poor are not destined to be bad. An enjoyable read, maybe rather m...more
Mike Jensen
A few years back, I decided to read Dickens’s five Christmas book in consecutive Decembers. In 2002 it was THE CHIMES, a rather dreary book that seems to try for some of the charm of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, but does not come very close. Perhaps I simply do not get this book, but I did not find the prose up to Dickens’s best, the story compelling, or the experience worthwhile.
Parikhit
Another Christmas book by Charles Dickens and it does not fail to impress me. Dickens wonderfully describes his characters; the divide between rich and poor; destitute and hopelessness; consequences of giving up and killing faith.

The chimes mounted at the church tower have always enchanted Trotty, our central character, and he presumes the haunting tune of the chimes reciting messages to him. When he has succumbed to the gloom and despair met out to the poor by the rich and prosperous, he is sum...more
Violante
No sé, no me gustó.
No terminé de entender la idea del cuento, demasiados párrafos que daban vueltas y vueltas y terminaba perdiéndome.
Los personajes, un grupo de pobres desdichados y unos burgueses adinerados, no me agradaron. Tampoco me despertaron simpatía.
Gary
A follow up of A Christmas Carol, but not nearly as well known. while the protagonist of A Christmas Carol is a wealthy employer who despises the poor, the protagonist of this novel is one of the poor himself, lowly porter Trotty, who sadly has been infused with feeling of low self-worth with which he views the working class as a whole.
His daughter Meg is engaged to married to Richard, and while he has misgivings Trotty hides them ,but then three pompous, judgemental upper class figures visit an...more
Anne
I love Dickens. I have made it a goal to read all of his works. But I can see why this particular story isn't well known. It's Dickens at his preachiest, and as such the story isn't as well crafted. It's more of a finger-wag than a novella.
April
Nothing of any importance happened until the very end. The story has a good moral, but could've been told in a page or two without missing anything. It's also hard to follow, like he wrote it while high on something.
Jennifer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suvi
I didn't even realise I had missed Dickens before I strated to read him again. The rhythm of the prose and the word play is clever and fun, in this case like ringing of the bells, and there's humour as well. I also noted this was the first time I'd read Dickens in English, and it was definitely worth every second. The Finnish translations are good, but the descriptions of weather and London feel more vivid in the original language. I especially loved the beginning where Dickens describes how the...more
Αλίκη
Χριστούγεννα με τον Ντίκενς:
http://aliceinbookworld.blogspot.gr/2...
Jason
More didactic and heavy handed than A Christmas Carol, The Chimes was Charles Dickens' second Christmas Novella. It also feels less considerably imaginative and more derivative of his other works than A Christmas Carol (although, in fairness, some of the works it is "derivative" of were actually written later--like Hard Times).

The Chimes tells the story of a poor messenger who encounters his social "betters" with their scrooge-like social Darwinian attitudes about the poor. From this, he sets ou...more
Bianca
Another classic Dickensian tale about undue prejudice against the working class and how we should all try to be happy, make each other happy and treat everyone with respect regardless of class. This tale can be seen as a follow on to A Christmas Carol as The Chimes focuses on New Years Day and how new beginnings can come from this day. Trotty is the main character who is disillusioned with lower class crime and morality. His daughter brings him a mean to celebrate her engagement and wedding day....more
Juergen John Roscher
I am an ardent fan of Charles Dickens’ novels. “A Christmas Carol” is my favorite Christmas story and one of my all time favorite stories in any genre. I have also heard that there were other Dickens’ Christmas stories so, Of course, I want to read them, too. “The Chimes” is the third of the five Christmas stories that I have read, which includes reading the “A Christmas Carol” and “The Cricket and the Hearth”, with the “The Battle of Life” and “The Haunted Man” still left to read.

“The Chimes” i...more
Alicia
Charles Dickens wrote "The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In" in 1844, a year after he wrote "A Christmas Carol." I almost gave the story 2 stars because I found it confusing my first time through. But I love Charles Dickens' descriptions and uplifting message of hope, so I give this story 3 stars and say it's worth reading (once).

The movie "It's a Wonderful Life" may have been inspired by this story, as Trotty Veck thinks he dies on New Year's Eve...more
Jason
Jan 22, 2014 Jason rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dickens fans
Recommended to Jason by: I like Dickens
Read in this compilation: A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Classics

(The actual review of this story starts somewhere in the middle of the 4th paragraph after this one. This first part is some thoughts on Dickens).

This is the second of Dickens' 5 Christmas books, though this one actually takes place around the new year. I found out that the Christmas books aren't really about the Christmas season itself, but are called such because they try to portray the spirit of good cheer that we, or at...more
Julia
I’m looking forward to reading this again, so I can enjoy some of the underlying lessons. The arrogance of the upper class is so overwhelming and despicable, that it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. Trotty and his family are such sweet, loving people, that the injustices portrayed blind me to the other nuances. The other-worldly characters were also hard for me to deal with on this first reading, but as I have embraced the ghosts in Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol,” I imagine these will also...more
Thom Swennes
Victorian England was obsessed and intrigued about death. Whether it concerned a false declaration of death (and the unfortunate soul awakening in a dark, cramped box, six feet under) or restless souls, mistily wandering among the living the English people couldn’t hear, read or imagine enough of it. Charles Dickens, a celebrated writer of his time, couldn’t let this mania go without using it to great advantage. The Chime is officially considered a Christmas story (as Christmas was also the most...more
Lisa Degraaf
Nov 19, 2012 Lisa Degraaf rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those that like other works of Dickens
This is a good book especially if you like the writing style of Charles Dickens. The only reason that I didn't give it 5 stars was that it was a bit hard to get through some parts of it. However, it is worth pushing through the dry parts because the book as a whole is worth reading.

I read this book right after I read A Christmas Carol and there are many similarities between the two. (view spoiler)...more
Kate Dutson
This novella - the second of Dickens' Christmas books - contains a very stern moral message regarding the treatment of the poorer classes; the nature of charity and sin. As such it sparked controversy and received mixed reviews at the time of publication. Though I sympathise with the author's conscience; his longing for social reform and the condemnation he thusly inserted into The Chimes, I find this story has none of the warmth of A Christmas Carol.

The description is of course wonderful, the s...more
Zachary
I could say quite a bit about it, but it all comes down to: not Dickens' best work.

The ''Goblin Story of Christmas'' missed the psychologically-fascinating characters of ''A Christmas Carol,'' and the final saving action was more of a deux ex machina rather than a satisfying development of Trotty's character. The story also failed to evoke the same sense of urgency that Dickens' better-known (with good reason) Christmas story did; the reader is certain from the beginning that all will turn out w...more
Bill Bradford
One of Dicken's Christmas stories, although it is set at New Year's rather than Christmas. The second written, it is somewhat similar to the first, A Christmas Carol, as it involves a supernatural means of changing a person's heart. While a Christmas Carol involves visits to past, present, and future by supernatural means, in the Chimes only the future is so visited.

The biggest difference in the two books is who is being changed and what is changed. Of course, in A Christmas Carol you have a ra...more
Jen
I bought this book in a lovely old bookstore in London, and have been looking forward to this Christmas season when I could read it aloud to the family. As it is one of Dickens' Christmas books, and he is one of my very favorite authors I was sure it would be a memorable experience for the fam. In a way I guess it is, just not like I was hoping. It is my least favorite of all his books. The normal beauty of language and story was mostly absent, although I did enjoy the bit in the middle about th...more
Sluncheva
i liked 'a christmas carol' but i really can't push myself to read 'the chimes'. although i like the descriptions, they just bore me sometimes and my eyes are running through the lines without catching the point of the text. it may be a good book, but i don't think this is my cup of tea.
Carol
The Chimes was published as a serial during the winter of 1844, a year after A Christmas Carol was published. In a way it has the same premise as A Christmas Carol. A person is shown the future and then given a chance to make amends. It was very hard to get through this book even though it was so short. I had to wade through Dickens thick prose which made it difficult to figure out what the story was and where it was going. It seemed like it was multiple stories or a stories in a story or someti...more
Nick
Following A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens sought to publish a holiday-themed story each year, the result of which was the publication of The Chimes 12 months after the tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge had been told. While good, The Chimes isn't nearly as impactful as its predecessor. Despite borrowing many themes, imagery and even plot points from the classic story, much of the adventure of Toby "Trotty" Veck has the "haven't we done this before and done it better" feel. Still, the writing is top-no...more
Heather
Dec 13, 2012 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of A Christmas Carol
This "Christmas" novella of Dickens is so less known than A Christmas Carol, but it has a lot of things in common. I think that I understand Dickens better after reading this book. The Chimes takes his message of the Christmas Carol one step farther -- it might be relatively easy to suddenly be happy and generous when you are well-off like Scrooge, but it seems a lot harder to have a change of heart when you are poor, struggling, and looked down upon (like Trotty). But maybe not? Still, I was in...more
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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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“A new heart for a New Year, always!” 11 likes
“So may the New Year be a happy one to you, happy to many more whose happiness depends on you!” 3 likes
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