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Dickens at Christmas

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  160 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A selection of the best of Dickens' Christmas stories and writings in one beautiful edition

It is said that Charles Dickens invented Christmas, and these pages certainly hold all the elements of a quintessential traditional Christmas brought to vivid life: snowy rooftops, gleaming shop windows, steaming bowls of punch, plum puddings like speckled cannon balls, sage and on
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Paperback, 592 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Vintage Classics (first published November 1st 2012)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  160 ratings  ·  23 reviews


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Kyriakos Sorokkou
Since Christmas 2015 I decided on reading A Christmas Carol every December in a different edition every time.

This of course has some drawbacks:

1) Christmas Holidays in Cyprus are not suitable for reading but for eating and family gatherings and games. In other words, socialising the shit out of you.

2) Not all Dickens Christmas Books are about Christmas like A Christmas Carol (ACC)

3) Not all Dickens Christmas Books are as good as A Christmas Carol.<
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Kirsty
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is said,’ states the blurb of this book, ‘that Charles Dickens invented Christmas, and within these pages you’ll certainly find all the elements of a traditional Christmas brought to vivid life: snowy rooftops, gleaming shop windows, steaming bowls of punch, plum puddings like speckled cannon balls, sage and onion stuffing, magic, charity and goodwill’. Sounds marvellous, doesn’t it? Thankfully, ‘marvellous’ is an adjective which can be applied in good measure to this lovely book.

Dickens a/>Dickens
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Jana
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
This was a wonderful Christmassy read! In some stories I didn't quite get what they had to do with Christmas, but I really enjoyed all of this. Especially the little essay-like thingies at the end that just contained thoughts about Christmas-related things.
Vikas Singh
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
A great book to begin the year with and to begin the 2019 reading challenge. It can be said with certainty that Charles Dickens has been to a great extent responsible for giving Christmas the present shape with all its associations with charity, festivities and the gastronomic adventures. This collection includes some of the Christmas themed works from his publication The Household words. Also included are his some no so interesting and downright boring Christmas stories. I particularly enjoyed ...more
Catherine
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, 2016
Lovely book but because I've watched Muppets Christmas carol one too many times, I just see Muppets all through this book.
Cheshta Choudhury
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Needless to say, I love Dickens, anything he wrote is a literary gem and I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of short stories by him.
I've not finished reading all the stories (saved some for 2019 ;)) but I read all the Christmas short stories and loved them! My favourite being A Christmas Carol, of course 😁♥.
Paul
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charles Dickens & Christmas ~ an excellent combination! FOr noone captures the mystery, joy & celebration of the Yuletide season quite like Mr Dickens in a variety of stories including "A Christmas Carol", "Pickwick Papers", & "Cricket on the Hearth".
Vikas Datta
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Delightful selection from the man who invented modern Christmas...
Trish
A rather eclectic collection of Christmas stories, although I made the mistake of reading it in the order in the book - I would have done better to mix and match the short stories in and around the longer novellas, as the quality of the novellas is a bit variable and by the end of the last one, I really wanted to move on to something else.

The Goblins that Stole a Sexton (from the Pickwick Papers) is very much a fairy tale.
A rather eclectic collection of Christmas stories, although I made the mistake of reading it in the order in the book - I would have done better to mix and match the short stories in and around the longer novellas, as the quality of the novellas is a bit variable and by the end of the last one, I really wanted to move on to something else.

The Goblins that Stole a Sexton (from the Pickwick Papers) is very much a fairy tale.
The Chimes shows Dickens at his sarcastic best when talking about the village higher ups.
The Cricket on the Hearth starts with a genuinely funny description of, of all things, a kettle. Goes through a story of misunderstanding and finally seems to have a happy ending, until you get to the last paragraph, which I'm not sure why was there, as it turned it all downbeat.
The Battle Of Life isn't as obviously a Christmas story. Still, the description of the Battle Ground - where a long ago battle took place, and has now grown over and been forgotten - immediately made me think of Waterloo, although it's more obvious later that it's in England, not Belgium. Dickens also has his usual attitude towards lawyers in this one!
I'll admit that I just didn't follow what was going on in The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain, although as with most of the Christmas stories, everything turned out alright in the end.
The excerpts from Household Words are some of those pieces that gave Dickens the reputation as having invented the modern Christmas (and brought a new take to the ghost story genre). One of these is a novella called The Seven Poor Travellers, which comes in three parts - the second of which is a story about soldier Richard Doubledick, which made me wonder if Bernard Cornwell picked up on it as an inspiration for Richard Sharpe.
The last section includes some short stories from "A round of stories by the Christmas Fire"

And of course, not to be forgotten, pride of place is A Christmas Carol, one of the most famous Christmas stories ever written.
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lauren
I won't lie. I'm pretty disappointed with this collection. I initially bought it to help get me in the festive mood (which, really isn't that hard), but this collection of short stories and books really didn't do that. I found only the very short stories, mainly the two from A Round of Stories by the Christmas Fire and the one from the Pickwick Papers, were actually Christmassy. All the others, including the Christmas Books (except A Christmas Carol), were set around Christmas time but not actually anything to do ...more
Michael Martin
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful collection of Christmas stories. Some more obscure than others, but all enjoyable in their own way. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a Dickens story. A Christmas Carol is a must for me, every year. Even if I don't get chance to read it, I'll make sure I watch at least one of the film adaptations.
Laurel
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
I only read A Christmas Carol - funny and ultimately heartwarming as we all know. I read it with the idea it could be read aloud in school, but I'm not sure it would be very accessible for children. Perhaps a child-friendly version would be nice in the lead up to Christmas though.
P.S. Winn
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is nothing like picking up a book by Charles Dickens, especially the great Christmas stories. A classic author everyone needs to read
Jon Hand
Hit and miss. Fantastic prose and impressive vocabulary but lots of filler and dull stories
Tiffany Williams
This is a nice collection, though A Christmas Carol is definitely the best story in it.
Jan Duthie
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dickens, Christmas just add your favourite tipple and what else could you ask for !
Elizabeth
Dec 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite books is the christmas carol and read it every year before christmas. I haven't delved into any of dickens other work so was tempted with this compilation. Dickens to me can be hard to follow at times as language, meaning and traditions have changed somewhat since the time he was writing in. However I must admit I fell in love with a couple of the stories, particularly the cricket and the hearth and the seven poor travellers. Unlike many authors dickens conveys morals and mea ...more
Emiley
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
A must-have for Christmas. This volume contains the most complete collection of Dickens' Christmas books and stories I have come across in years of searching. It's hardbound with simple yet beautifully festive illustrations and is a perfect edition to any holiday favorites shelf. Highly recommended!
Ria
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant, so festive and a great read at Christmas, full of all his old Yuletide classics, A Christmas carol, The cricket on the hearth, The chimes and many more writings and essays.
I am a HUGE fan of Dickens so really loved this.
Definitely well worth reading.
Lady R
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my go to book for feeing festive and takes centre stage on my table each Christmas!
This year I have read A Christmas Tree and What Christmas is As We Grow Older from it.
You can't beat Dickens and especially at Christmas!
Sally
Dec 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read A Christmas Carol, which is my favourite, then attempted to read The Chimes. I just couldn't get into it so tried the next story. I had to give up! Maybe I'll come back to it one day.
Andrew Doran
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard not to give this book five stars. A Christmas Carol is here but there is a lot more besides, most of it extremely readable and enjoyable.
Wanda
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Charles John Huffam Dickens was a writer and social critic who 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 short stories enjoy lasting popularity.

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