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The Cricket on the Hearth
 
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Charles Dickens
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The Cricket on the Hearth

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  4,029 Ratings  ·  503 Reviews
CHAPTER I--Chirp the First



The kettle began it! Don't tell me what Mrs. Peerybingle said. I
know better. Mrs. Peerybingle may leave it on record to the end of
time that she couldn't say which of them began it; but, I say the
kettle did. I ought to know, I hope! The kettle began it, full
five minutes by the little waxy-faced Dutch clock in the corner,
before the Cricket uttered a
...more
Nook, 0 pages
Published April 8th 2011 by SAP (first published 1845)
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Grace Brooks I think the cricket is a real cricket when Dickens wants it to be, and a kind of sprite or fairy when he wants it to be. The Victorians seem to have…moreI think the cricket is a real cricket when Dickens wants it to be, and a kind of sprite or fairy when he wants it to be. The Victorians seem to have had a great fondness for the idea of little magical creatures being around, toying with us or bestowing boons. Of course, the idea goes back as far as Shakespeare, but the Victorians seemed to feel that they were on the verge any day of finding "scientific" proof (Check out Conan Doyle on the subject, for example), and so they accorded the notion an aura of seriousness that is sometimes a little embarrassing now.

Like you, I didn't feel like the device was particularly helpful in this case. Dickens brought in ghosts in "A Christmas Carol," and wove them seamlessly into the story. He brings the odd crickety-spirit-thing to "A Cricket on the Hearth" and it's just odd.(less)
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Brina
I attempted to read A Cricket on the Hearth for a holiday challenge in the group Reading for Pleasure. It is probably just the wrong time of year for me because I have enjoyed the other Dickens stories I have read. This is precisely why I read A Christmas Carol in October so that I could view it with an open mind. That being said, I did find out the origins of Jiminy Cricket, which I found to be touching. As with his other stories, Dickens writes social commentary about ills befalling the lower ...more
Jean
"The kettle began it! Don’t tell me what Mrs. Peerybingle said. I know better. Mrs. Peerybingle may leave it on record to the end of time that she couldn’t say which of them began it; but, I say the kettle did. I ought to know, I hope! The kettle began it, full five minutes by the little waxy-faced Dutch clock in the corner, before the Cricket uttered a chirp."

So begins The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home, and straightaway we can tell that this will be a light-hearted piece. Who else
...more
Lyn
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Merry Christmas!

Everyone in our time knows about Charles Dickens’ magnificent A Christmas Carol, but he actually produced five Christmas themed stories in the 1840s, A Christmas Carol being the first.

The Cricket on the Hearth, the third in this series, is less otherworldly than its more famous predecessor, but has magical realism elements with the Cricket as a guardian spirit and references to spirits and faeries. Charmingly domestic, this tells a simple story of love lost and found again as onl
...more
Cheryl
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There I was this month, thinking I had temporarily lost my drive for commenting on books read. Until I dug up Dickens--well, it was more like I added him to my phone and listened: eyes closed, breath even, mind a blank slate waiting to be consumed by the sound of words paired carefully. There goes my spare time, Dickens, I give it to you sparingly. Do what you will with it.

And he told me a story. A simple, perhaps even dull, storyline of no intricate consequence and still, I was fascinated. For
...more
Sara
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Charles Dickens all year round, but I really adore reading him at Christmas time. I had never read this novella before, and it lived up to my expectations of what a Dickens tale should be. It is billed as a Christmas story, but I don't see it as that at all. It is a story of home and love and the value of those over money.

I might not ever listen to the chirp of a cricket quite the same.

Happy New Year to everyone here at Goodreads and around the world. I wish you all a happy home, filled
...more
David
This was a free download from Audible, and who can pass up a free Dickens?

One of Dickens' Christmas stories, this one features a series of misunderstanding and coincidences in typical Dickens fashion.

A Scrooge-like toymaker named Tackleton is engaged to marry a much younger woman, who clearly does not love him, but needs the financial security he offers. Meanwhile, the lovely Dot is also married to a much older man, but alas, events transpire to lead poor Mr. Peerybingle to believe his beloved D
...more
Becky
The Goodreads description for this book reads like an 8th grader heard about the book via a game of Telephone and then had to write a book report on it:
"Dickens was a Victorian novelist and social campaigner. This novella published in 1845 is a Christmas story. Instead of chapters this book is divided into Chirps. The story revolves around a family with a cricket in the house. The cricket is their guardian angel. At one point the cricket warns the master that his wife may be having an affair.
...more
John
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A much cheerier tale than The Chimes with an an imaginative story line which evolves cleverly. Only the clutter of words and clumsy sentence structure gets in the way to spoil it. I did not always find it easy to follow.

Christmastide doesn’t figure at all here but the message and sentiment are quintissential Christmas – Love and fairness towards our fellow man and woman. (Dickens here exploring relationships between men and women had me thinking about his relationships with women, in particular
...more
Chris
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, this was one of my least favorite Dickens stories I've read to date. I wanted to read something by Dickens for Christmas to take a break from reading A Christmas Carol like I do each year at this time. I was disappointed to discover that, even though this story was in a volume called "Stories For Christmas" by Dickens, it wasn't about Christmas at all. It was basically about a couple families, simple and rustic, that redefine/renew their love for each other through a series of mis ...more
Gary
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heartwarming tale about a middle aged carrier, John Peerybingle, his young wife, Dot . the long suffering Caleb Plummer the latter's blind daughter , Bertha, and Caleb's tight fisted and spiteful employer Mr Tackleton
The cricket on the hearth of the delivery man and his wife's home is the guardian spirit of the family, and warns them of all sorts of things to come.
When Tackleton leads John to believe his wife is involved with a young man, it is the cricket who must act as the voice of reason a
...more
Morgan
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't that into this story as much as I thought. It's still a good one to read for the season though. Mainly wanted to read this one for a while because the comic book Fables has the Cricket in some of their Christmas issues.
Cherie
Dec 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-audio
I listened to this book in audio as well as reading it in print. I liked it. I didn't love it. I loved the narration by Jim Dale. He really made the characters come to life, but I had to actually read the printed story to understand parts of it.

The title leads one to belive it might be a cute little story, but it is not. It is a dark story with a grown up theme. There is love, lying, seeming betrayl and hurt feelings going on. Yes, there is a cricket and faries and a lost son returning and a fu
...more
Amanda
Dec 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I listened to the Jim Dale narrated audiobook, to whose narration I'd not listened to before. He really made the characters come alive! I'll have to reread this to be sure of my thoughts on the story, but for now three stars is well deserved.
Sara J. (kefuwa)
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found I had to take notes at the beginning due to the seemingly meandering prose. But once I got the hang of the references and which names actually meant which persona I could stop taking notes. I found this one quite delightful. But then again I haven't found a Dicken's work I have finished that I did not like.

Tristram
Six Legs but Hardly One to Stand on

With all due respect to the achievements of Charles Dickens, who is one of my favourite writers, I think the above eight words quite an apt characterization of this chirp of a book Dickens published in 1845 as The Cricket on the Hearth. It was the third of five Christmas books the Inimitable wrote between 1843 and 1848, and it is probably the one exception to the following statement made by R.C. Churchill in his essay “The Genius of Charles Dickens” [1]:

“Now I
...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Amount listened to: about a third

Jim Dale does an amazing job with the narration (duh), but I just can't with this story. My mind keeps wandering because I do not give a single fuck about the Peerybingles and their saccharine Christmas. I think Dickens' Christmas tales are just not for me.
Tisha
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ummmm what happens when somebody gives Dickens three stars? Am I going to have my bookstagram account canceled???

This was basically every episode of Three's Company.

- There was lying to save somebody's feelings
- There was miscommunication
- There were misunderstandings

The only thing missing was Jack tripping over a sofa.

But Jim Dale as narrator on this Audible book kept me listening. Thank you Jim Dale.

Mohamed
قصة جميلة ولطيفة تتحدث عن التسامح وحسن الظن بالناس ومراعاة شعور الأخرين والأيثار
Suvi
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The third installment in Dickens's series of Christmas books, The Cricket on the Hearth is perhaps not set during Christmastime, but it has the spirit of Christmas. When suspicion is planted in our hearts, it can eat away your soul, especially when one fails to see that some people are motivated by negativity. The wounds caused to mutual trust can be healed, though, and - because this is Dickens we are dealing with - trust is eventually restored and the warmth of love spreads into even the colde ...more
Deana
Bleh. Audible was giving this away around Christmas time, and now I see why. The narration was fine, though a bit slow (the book itself is not even 90 pages and it took over 3.5 hours of reading -- most books have a bit smaller ratio of pages to hours). But the book itself was just ... meh.

The first hour I listened to while running, and at the end of it exactly nothing had happened. Although if you think about it, that's about 20 pages into the book, so I suppose it makes sense that nothing had
...more
Thom Swennes
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Dickens Christmas stories have always appealed to children. This fact, no doubt, has helped to make his short Christmas stories popular around the world. The Cricket in the Hearth is the third story in his Christmas story series (A Christmas Carol being the first and The Chimes being the second). Dickens, however, didn’t target children with his writing of these stories but rather the broadest of audiences (everyone). Although none have attained the fame and notoriety of A Christmas Caro ...more
Julie Davis
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the next book for my Forgotten Classics podcast, thanks to long-time listener (and friend) Sarah Reinhard's request. I've been struggling getting the LibriVox file incorporated with my own but it will be worth the effort to allow you to hear Ruth Golding's fantastic reading of this Christmas classic.

FINAL

I had to finish this ahead of podcasting the episodes at Forgotten Classics so that I could comment on them at the end. In the end, this wasn't a master work but it was quite enjoyable a
...more
Allan
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This was the third of Dickens' Christmas books, and like The Chimes, isn't a Christmas book because of its content, but due to when it was released. The novella was hugely popular at the time apparently, and the Wikipedia entry is again informing, though unsurprisingly contains spoilers aplenty ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cri... ).

I'll probably read or listen to the two remaining Dickens Christmas books at some stage, but I'll not be rushing to do so after this and The Chimes.

NB I listen
...more
Margaret
Dec 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I rather enjoyed this little book though I do wonder the connection that it has with Christmas though I enjoyed the drama, the fleshing out of characters and the story itself. A good teaser for me as I plan to delve into Dickens seriously in the coming year.
Robin Hatcher
While I enjoyed this book, I found it more difficult to follow than A Christmas Carol. It's a pleasant story with good characterization, and I liked the ending. The audio version was wonderfully narrated.
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Antea
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is on some way poetic.
Mpauli
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I have a large December tbr I'm postponing most of my reviews to 2015.
Jackie
Ok, for me, Christmas Season 2017 has officially started. I just couldn't hold myself back anymore, am listening to Christmas Songs at this very moment, watch Christmas movies, and read Christmas stories. And it's not even December yet.

The Cricket on the Hearth is an awesome short Christmas story. There's a magical cricket which only chirps when things are going well, a young love, a father who would do anything for his blind daughter, and there's a jealous old (Ebenezer-style) guy who almost de
...more
Pamela Mclaren
A sweet, charming tale by the master. Dickens has created a tale of love and devotion and wrapped it up with the simple pleasures of a simple home where a kettle sings as a cricket chirps and the owners treasure the magic that they have in their simple live. The beginning sets the tone and the tale carries it through to conclusion: "Kettle began it!" and the Dutch clock finished striking as the cricket uttered its chirp. Apparently having a cricket in the home was considered good luck and it was ...more
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239579
Charles John Huffam Dickens (7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and sho ...more
More about Charles Dickens...
“Every man thinks his own geese swans.” 8 likes
“It’s a dark night, sang the kettle, and the rotten leaves are lying by the way; and, above, all is mist and darkness, and, below, all is mire and clay; and there’s only one relief in all the sad and murky air; and I don’t know that it is one, for it’s nothing but a glare; of deep and angry crimson, where the sun and wind together; set a brand upon the clouds for being guilty of such weather; and the widest open country is a long dull streak of black; and there’s hoar–frost on the finger–post, and thaw upon the track; and the ice it isn’t water, and the water isn’t free; and you couldn’t say that anything is what it ought to be; but he’s coming, coming, coming!—” 3 likes
More quotes…