Graham Bailey's Reviews > A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings by Charles Dickens
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Jan 14, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Read from December 28, 2011 to January 13, 2012

"A Christmas Carol" is brilliant, but the other two Christmas stories included here ("The Chimes" and "A Haunted Man") are lesser known for a reason. They still shine with moments of great humour and the writing is strong throughout, but they seem like weaker riffs on the redemption story arc that underpins Christmas Carol.

Dickens rails against cynicism but it would take a stronger stomach than I have not to cringe at the endings - by the time he gets to "The End", everything has been tied up in such a sentimental way that it will have you reaching for the sick bucket. A Haunted Man, for example, has just about every character who has been mentioned over the previous 100 pages turning up for a slap-up Christmas meal. Still, it's Charles Dickens and even when he's bad, he's quite good. It's interesting to see some of his lesser writings but A Christmas Carol is the main attraction here.
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