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Mr. Dickens and His Carol
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Mr. Dickens and His Carol

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,558 ratings  ·  1,063 reviews
Shakespeare in Love meets A Christmas Carol in this transporting debut novel set during the whirlwind period in which Dickens wrote his beloved classic, as he embarks on a Scrooge-like journey of his own.

For Charles Dickens, each Christmas has been better than the last. His novels are literary blockbusters, and he is famous on the streets of London, where avid fans sneak u
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books
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Samantha Silva Lots of irony here. "The Man Who Invented Christmas" is based on a nonfiction book published in 2008 -- the real story of how Dickens' book came to…moreLots of irony here. "The Man Who Invented Christmas" is based on a nonfiction book published in 2008 -- the real story of how Dickens' book came to be. "Mr. Dickens and His Carol" is an imagined story (based on true circumstances of Dickens' life) that I wrote as a screenplay about 15 years ago, optioned four different times to four different film companies, had a few near misses with the big screen -- which was when I opted to adapt it into a novel. Funny that both projects are coming into the world at the same moment, but there's never enough Dickens to go around! A merry Christmas to all!(less)
Shari I didn't get a YA vibe from this book at all. And while I do agree in part that a lot more best sellers seem to be geared to a younger audience (the…moreI didn't get a YA vibe from this book at all. And while I do agree in part that a lot more best sellers seem to be geared to a younger audience (the vampire generation), there are many good authors in historical fiction and other fiction categories, I.e. Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picoult, Hazel Gaynor and Chris Bohjalian to name a few.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,558 ratings  ·  1,063 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A sentimental and oh so charming read, but if one cannot be sentimental during this holiday season, when can one? Also another book coincidence since I saw this book after reading my friend Laura's review, and grabbed it. Last year I listened to the original Christmas Carol, while wrapping gifts. Seemed only fitting to read this one during this holiday, Christmas, which has come once again.

I enjoyed this book very much. The writing, the descriptions, the character of Dickens himself, all very we
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have a difficult time reading some works of historical fiction that are based on real characters. My worst experiences are always when an author chooses to use scandal, innuendo, rumours, and gossip as though they are fact. So, I was a bit worried about how this book and I would get along.

Much to my delight, this novel is a tender and loving tribute to Charles Dickens as Ms Silva tells her own story about how “A Christmas Carol” came to be. In her author’s note, she mentions that she appreciat
"I am not haunted by ghosts, but by the monsters of ignorance, poverty, want! Not useless phantoms that frighten people into… inactivity. I do not abide such nonsense."

A Christmas Carol is one of my treasured favorites of the season. Whether it is the little book itself, a screen adaptation, or a live performance, it never fails to entertain and delight. When I came across the title of this book, Mr. Dickens and His Carol, I was naturally curious. At the same time, I was a little skeptical, worr
4.5 Stars.

Did you know....A CHRISTMAS CAROL was born out of financial necessity"....that Charles Dicken's was only 31 when he wrote the novel? (I thought him to be an old man.)

As for Bah Humbug....not this delightful work of fiction. A Scrooge type is here though complete with a humbug attitude and many other familiar plot connections and characters from A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

MR. DICKENS AND HIS CAROL is an imaginative and historically atmospheric debut that gives the reader a fictional glance of th

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 / 5 glowing, Christmasy Stars ✨

I read this book as a buddy read with Katie from @texasreadergirl -

My reviews and other random thoughts can also be seen at




Apparently this is the debut novel for Samantha Silva, but I couldn't tell. The prose is beautiful, and this was such a great, magical Christmas book. I pretty much read it in one s
Stephen Robert Collins
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charles Dickens was big family man he was very popular but he wasn't all that people knew .Dickens was an utter cad. He through his wife out & lived with Misstras a lot like his best friend Wilkie Collins who had two mistress & a wife.
I have read Martin Chuzzlewit I did not think it was that bad but it was a flop.
I read all but two of his books I always thought Domby & Son it was boring .
This how he created The best novella of all time Christmas Carole.
His books were not popular aft
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Christmas Carol by Dickens has been my favorite book ever since the first time I read the story as a child. I re-read it every year and watch every movie version from Alastair Sim to the Muppets. :) When I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. :) I'm glad I did!

First of all, don't confuse this book with the book or movie "The Man Who Invented Christmas''....that is another story by another author (Les Standiford). Standiford's book is non-fiction, telling the tale of how A Christmas
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Art imitates life imitates art.
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
Loved. Loved so much. It made me feel ALL the nostalgic, sentimental Christmas feels in all the best ways; in the same ways that A Christmas Carol itself is sentimental, this book is sentimental. It plays with all the same themes, even similar elements. As if while Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol his life paralleled the story itself. But it never felt derivative, just inspired. I loved it. And also, just as a side note, I really loved the afterward which I thought added to the richness o ...more
Jason Koivu
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, holidays
(I received this ARC in return for an honest review.)

A perfect Christmas read!

This re-imaging of Dickens' struggles and triumph during a time when his renown was at an ebb read almost like a biography. It introduces his family, publishers, agent, literary contemporaries, and many influential figures in his life. Having recently read a biography of Dickens, I recognized most of the people represented here, and I will say that Samantha Silva did a great job of bringing the dead to life.

The story
A Christmas Carol is one of my favorite works of fiction and I read it every Christmas along with the original Christmas story. It is said that it was written out of financial imperative, but whatever necessitated its writing, it is obvious that Dickens knew what Christmas ought to mean and brought that feeling to life in his fine tale.

Which brings us to this lovely little debut novel by Samantha Silva. Silva caught the spirit of The Christmas Carol and put the same vivacity into her own imagini
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Dickens / Victorian readers looking for a feel-good Christmas tale
To sum it up in one word: Magical. A magical first novel by Samantha Silva. I feel like I've stepped out of a Christmas snow globe where Bumble's Toy Shop and Furnival's Inn are real and snowflakes are softly swirling around me. I didn't want the story to end.

At times, the writing was quite lovely:

Christmas had been hiding in the streets all along. The Dickens children marched behind their father in obedient single file, but their eyes were bright and round as new pennies. ... The air smelled
Amy Yingling
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really cute book and is great for Christmas. The story itself I would rate 3 stars, but the twist in the story near the end and the vivid descriptions of Dickens London definitely pushed it up a star. Forced to write a new story, this one with a Christmas theme, Dickens becomes a Scrooge, as the story progresses you notice more and more interweaving of what is happening to Dickens in this novel and the events and characters you find within "The Christmas Carol". A feel-good read just ...more
Generations of people have loved reading Charles Dickens' classic Christmas story because it shows us the spirit of giving to others. Even characters like Ebenezer Scrooge may have had events in their past that led to their cold-hearted ways, and there is always time for second chances in life. Samantha Silva has used her knowledge of Dickens' life to imagine what inspired him to write his most famous novel.

Dickens was in debt since his previous novel had not sold well. His wife was spending mon
Janelle • She Reads with Cats
MR. DICKENS AND HIS CAROL by Samantha Silva - Thank you so much to Flatiron for providing my free copy - all opinions are my own.

I’m not one to read Christmas books but I love historical fiction so I desperately wanted to read this. It’s a charming debut novel with beautiful prose and vivid descriptions. I could see the town and picture the people in it. The author did a fantastic job showing the complex and wonderful character of Charles Dickens - he’s flawed but very endearing.

I love how the
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This life is to short to read mediocre books and novels!!
An here with "Mr. Dickens and His Carol" by Samantha Silva we have indeed a great and beautiful written debut novel..
Let me tell you, if you love Dickens, then this is it!!!

Samantha Silva knows how to web a spell in her narration that binds and enchants the reader.
She resurrects and evoke in her novel Dickens world and characters..
They are described so mightily that they will be hunting you in your imagination and even dreams long after ha
Dec 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018, europe
All right, I did my book club duty & read this book.

First, I'll say that quite a few people might enjoy this book. I can see a certain appeal in it. If you want an easy, Christmas-y book with a Victorian London setting, this might fill a night or two by a roaring fire with a hot drink. (Well, except for those of you in the Southern hemisphere.) The writing level itself is okay. I even had a tear or two forming by the end. (But, I'll cry for sappy commercials or jingles, so take that comment
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
*3.5 stars. For those of us who have enjoyed Dickens' A Christmas Carol many times throughout the years, this is 'meant as a playful reimagining of how the second most beloved Christmas story in the world came to be.' Beautiful descriptions bring the reader into the midst of that era, a society with both poverty, hunger and want and lavish, extravagant lifestyles. (Sounds similar to the modern era, doesn't it?) Charles Dickens has been the darling boy of the reading public and his publishers unt ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas-reads
"Bah! Humbug!"

Indeed, Mr. Dickens. Ha! I was so hoping she would slip that line into the book somewhere. This was SUCH a great read. If you have a Christmas shelf, add this right away.

The vernacular and setting are just whimsical and nostalgic. I can't get over the ridiculously awesome names that Dickens gave his characters, and the author plays on this in the best possible way in Mr. Dickens and his Carol. The story is life imitating art imitating life. In short, Dicken's story parallels Scroo
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
I had high hopes for this one. I didn’t expect profound or literary excellence, but I hoped it would be a delicious, Christmasy peek at the actual creation of one of my beloved favorite stories by one of my favorite authors. Nope. Way more fantasy and with a few (very few) historical details sprinkled in. There were some good inclusions of the local color and details of mid 19th century Victorian London, but not enough to save this. The story did start accurately with Dickens under real pressure ...more
Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
Note: Top Shelf Text was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

I picked up this origin tale of Charles Dickens’ The Christmas Carol as part of my 2017 holiday reading list. This book moved a little too slowly for me, and for the majority of it I felt Dickens to be unlikable and shallow — unable to stand up to the people in his life and immediately chasing after a new “muse” when his wife leaves him. In the end, the character
Sylvia Swann
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Took me a moment to warm up to this little book, but warm up I did. It is first and foremost a love story. That, I was not expecting. The magical realism too was a sweet surprise. I am a big fan of Charles Dickens. Silva clearly has a love for him too. Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a love story from her to the Boz. Definitely a good choice for my holiday read.
Bah Humbug

I know that this book received a lot of 5 stars and 4stars ratings but I'm afraid that I can only give it 2 stars. This novel didn't click with me at all.
Dickens was facing losing everything because his last book, Martin Chuzzlewit, was a complete flop. His publishers told him he had to write a successful Christmas book to save his career.
He suddenly feels that everyone is after his money and his surly behavior plus his getting in contact with an old girlfriend in a search to find his
Kimberly Dawn
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
How enchanting, this book! First of all, I should say I’m a huge fan of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Also, I have loved a few other imaginative, well-written stories which built upon the original tale and pay tribute to it, such as Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol by Tom Mula.
I was excited to read this new take on it, and Mr. Dickens and His Carol did not disappoint. A magical, endearing story imagining the backstory leading up to Charles Dickens’ writing of A Christmas Carol, as well as
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting novel, weaving a story around the writing of, “A Christmas Carol.” Most books set around Christmas are, usually, disappointing. So I was thrilled to find this, which has more than a nod to the original in the way Dickens himself is disappointed, grumpy and at odds with the world and who finds himself again, through writing a Christmas story.

It was, though, a book that Dickens did not want to write. However, “Martin Chuzzlewit,” is not doing as well as expected, Dickens fin
Lindsay (ReadWithLindsayV)
It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. Masterfully pieced together, creative, a great read for December. I really struggled with the writing style but felt I overcame that after some time.

Having not read any of Dickens’ work (I know, cringe) I felt like I could still follow this well and understand the allusions and connections that were made, though it does make me wish I knew more about him and his life and more of his works as well.

This was an exciting book to read and I look forward t
No Bah Humbug from me. I LOVED this Dickens of a tale!!! Such cleverness! Such Imagination! A wonderful cornucopia of fact and fiction, quaint and quirky, humor and humbuggery, truth and tomfoolery. And of course, one can't do Dickens without a ghost or two and "spirited" reverie.

Oh but I must warn Dickens purists and literary elitists who do not enjoy romping outside the box of hardline facts. Silva - who adores Dickens - did indeed capture the essence of Dickens and His "Carol", respectfully.
ⓐⓥⓡⓔⓔ ☞ The Bookish Blonde
I think I may make reading this one a new Christmas tradition as it was so beautifully written and a very quick read. I would most certainly read this inventive, imaginative novel again and again! I already yearn to be transported back there again. I’m sad it’s over. Trust me you won’t be sorry to pick up this heartwarming read!
Kelly Jarvis
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
been looking forward to reading this, a lot of description on some pages but nice short chapters although not based on true life there are some true events I like the twist and the story of how the Christmas Carol was written I can only thank Mr Dickens publishers for putting him under a large amount of pressure as we probably wouldn't have the story now or at least not the version we know and love today.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Samantha Silva is an author and screenwriter based in Idaho. Mr. Dickens and His Carol is her debut novel. Over her career she's sold projects to Paramount, Universal, New Line Cinema, and TNT. A film adaptation of her short story, The Big Burn, won the 1 Potato Short Screenplay Competition at the 2017 Sun Valley Film Festival. Silva will direct, her first time at the helm. A graduate of Johns Hop ...more
“...a good biography tells us the truth about a person; a good story, the truth about ourselves.” 3 likes
“Children were an act of optimism—sheer belief that the future will outshine the present.” 1 likes
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