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A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

(The Christmas Books #0.5-1, 5)

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4.14  ·  Rating details ·  34,294 ratings  ·  800 reviews
An alternate cover for this isbn can be found here.

'Merry Christmas!...every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding'

Dickens' story of solitary miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is taught the true meaning of Christmas by a series of ghostly visitors, has proved one of his most well-loved works. Ever since it was published in
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 30th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published December 19th 1843)
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Amalia Gkavea
‘’He told me, coming home, that he hopes the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.’’

My most cherished copy of A Christmas Carol is an illustrated Greek children's book that dates back to 1993. A gift by my grandmother who had a vicious love for all things ghostly and supernatural, it was the story that prompted my fascination with spirits and festive terrifying sto
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Matt
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I might have not profited, I dare say…Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, an ...more
Joey Woolfardis
[First read: 2010 or thereabouts. 4 stars.
Second read: Christmas 2015. 4 stars.
Third read: Christmas, 2016. 4 stars.]

Ghost stories were the theme of Christmas during Victorian times and it's a tradition that is sorely missed. Charles Dickens is pretty much King of Christmas, and all these stories have a spectral vibe to them. They all contain the same kind of feeling to them, and give us a meaning to Christmas that I think we've let go of a little. Even I of a Scrooge nature feels blessed after
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Johann (jobis89)
“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”

A classic Christmas tale, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable old man, who is visited by his deceased business partner and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come one Christmas Eve. Their intention is to help Scrooge realise the error in his ways and to help his transform into a better person.

Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carol – the story
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Antonomasia
This article on Dickens and Christmas nudged me into re-reading A Christmas Carol. The introduction to this Penguin edition even starts with the same anecdote, about the costermonger's daughter who asked “Mr Dickens dead? Then will Father Christmas die too?”

I rarely re-read books, not least because there are too many classics I wish I'd read, and which I haven't yet read once, to launch myself into a project of re-reading. But also because I know that re-reading is more time-consuming both to do
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Tracey
Only Mr Charles Dickens could ever dream of animating Christmas Fayre with his wonderous prose as he does some chestnuts and a Spanish Onion in A Christmas Carol .
There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts, shaped like the waistcoats of jolly old gentlemen, lolling at the doors, and tumbling out onto the street in there apoplectic opulence. There were ruddy, brown faced, wide –girthed Spanish Onions, shining in the fatness of their growth like Spanish Friars; and winking from thei
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emma
3.75/5

cute! i was warned a million times about dickens's wordiness, but i had no problem with it here. (i'm very wordy myself when writing, so it'd be hypocritical to hate it.)

this never fully grabbed my attention, but i never minded reading it. i've of course seen the story done before (community theater! the mickey cartoon! etc etc) so it wasn't fresh by any means, but i'm glad i read it.

bottom line: this is a good read-in-a-lifetime book! i recommend it.
Amanda
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
4 stars for A Christmas Carol/2 or 3 for the others

I'm not sure how I've gotten to be the age I am without ever reading A Christmas Carol (I've never seen the movie either). I'm really glad that I decided to rectify that problem this year. I really enjoyed the well known tale of the ghosts of Christmas. The other stories were not bad but I didn't feel they had the same magic. This collection has some really interesting information in an appendix on Dickens's use of The Arabian Nights, a
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Bionic Jean
**Please note, this review is for the specific “Readers Digest” edition. For my reviews of the text of these three books, please see my shelves. **

The books published by the “Readers Digest Association” are always beautifully produced, albeit they do not have ISBNs and perhaps are not regarded as mainstream publishing. This one is no exception. It is a hardback, with a green leatherette cover, and a red spine. Gold tooling is used for the title, the author, and for the decorative border. Inside
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Helene Jeppesen
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever I start a book like this, I expect for it to put me in the Christmas mood, and so it did! From the very first page, I could feel the crispness of the snow under my feet and the chill of the weather, and I didn't mind at all that we were in a graveyard!
Most of these Christmas stories contain pure magic - I especially loved the Sexton one and the legendary A Christmas Carol. Other stories didn't intrigue me that much but they still put me in the mood for Christmas. So all in all, I would
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Branwen Sedai *of the Brown Ajah*
"I have always thought of Christmas time as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely."
Erin
Honestly what can I even say about this book other than it is a timeless classic and the best thing to read at Christmas time! <3 ...more
Grace Tjan
I suppose that a story that is so ubiquitous during Christmas time as this one needs no introduction. I can see why it has been constantly popular for more than one hundred years. I appreciate the writing and craft that goes into the story, the social commentary, the worthy morals, and the affection that generations of readers have for it. But I hated it. Yes, it's official, I'm the Grinch and (pre-reformed) Scrooge rolled into one. I have a heart made of stone, or at least something equally har ...more
Lesle
Reminds me what Christmas is all about...the giving ♥ (2015)
Wonderful story of compassion.
The book also contains two other Christmas stories.
The Haunted Man is what I read this time (2016). Again the story is set at Christmas eve, a darker and more subtle take revolves around the fate of a teacher of chemistry, named Redlaw, whose lonely existence is oppressed by a host of gloomy memories. Redlaw wants to be rid of every bad memory of suffering, unhappiness, and wrong that he has ever known. Hi
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Sean Blake
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
How can you rate one of the greatest morality novellas of all time? It's a Christmas classic! Preaching compassion, sympathy, empathy and generosity, A Christmas Carol is beautifully written, atmospheric, playful and politically charged.
Erin Clemence
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rounded this novel up to 4, as an average for all the stories in this novel. This novel is a collection of Dickens' Christmas stories, including "A Christmas Carol", five other Christmas-themed stories, fourteen very short Christmas stories, and three short Christmas stories he co-wrote. For the sake of time and space, I have only included the five Christmas stories in this review.

A Christmas Carol: 5 Obviously. There is no need to sum up this story's plot so I won't go into it. This story i
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N.N. Light
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this every year and it totally gets me in the Christmas mood.

My Rating: 5+ stars
Doug
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heart warming story, one of my all time favorites. Also a great example of the destructive power of unabated greed brought about by uncontrolled capitalism.
Katelyn Buxton
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Christmas Carol
5 out of 5 stars

[I copied this from my original review of it, which can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...]

This book is weird. This book is spooky. This book is deep. But it also captures so perfectly the essence of Christmas—that “goodwill towards mankind”—that makes the season so beautiful—and now can Christmas hurry up already?? (I may have read it a little too early.) :P

I have to say, though, that one of my favorite parts came early on when Marley’s ghos
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Jelena Milenković
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This was supposed to be my December read. Oh well, who needs to stick strictly to monthly TBRs anyway??
I blame this on you, Hallmark, with your Christmas movies playing on TV in November! You got me craving so no one can really blame me for this, right?
Leah
A lovely edition of the Christmas books...

This contains the five novella-length stories usually known as Dickens’ Christmas books, in a lovely new hardback edition from Oxford World’s Classics. It’s beautifully produced, with some of the original illustrations for each story, and is one of those volumes that is a physical pleasure to read, quite apart from the contents. I’d say it is perfect Christmas gift material for any Dickens fan, except I’d never be willing to give my copy away!

A Christmas
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Robert
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Christmas writings seem to often be drenched in nostalgia - even T.S. Eliot succumbed to it with The Cultivation of Christmas Trees. Dylan Thomas is another example. Dickens is no exception, with additional syrupy sentimentalism and overt Christian evangelism mixed with supernatural elements. Other famous Dickensian themes are also present; urban poverty and social injustice.

I found much of the book forgettable, the exceptions being the two longer stories, A Christmas Carol and The Haunted Man.
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Lucie
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I absolutely loved the different themes Dickens talked about in his Christmas writings. It did feel a bit repetitive at times, as it was made of stories set at Christmas with similar themes and I did enjoy some more than others (my detailed ratings will come tomorrow), but I loved A Christmas Carol so much that it outshined the rest. A perfect read to be in a festive mood at the end of the year!
Jason
Aug 15, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It, like Oliver Twist, is a minor Dickens work in scope, but its truths are momentous truths & its aesthetic sensibilities remain breathtaking and ahead of their time. The quintessential perennial novel and for very good reason. ...more
Jason
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This my first reading of this book, of course the story of A Christmas Carol is not new to me, I have seen many versions of this on the TV. The original does not disappoint, it is a brilliant little story that plays out just like I know, the animated version with Jim Carey is, in my opinion, the one that captures the book best. Scrooge is a great character and reading as he realises that Christmas is all about blowing all his dosh on the biggest bird possible was fun to read.

As for the other sto
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Barb in Maryland
I borrowed this for 'A Christmas Carol' and the rating is for that story only.

Confession time--if I had ever read 'A Christmas Carol' before, it would have been as a pre-teen and we will not get into how may years ago that was. And even at that age I was already familiar with the story from seeing movie versions on television.

However, the written story still managed to surprise me in several ways, so I am glad I finally got around to reading it. It is always good to go back to the source. And it
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Rikke
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A Christmas Carol" is of course worthy of five stars, but as this is a review of the entire volume as a whole, I have settled on four stars instead.

You can't say "Christmas" without saying "Dickens". It is an undying rule and also a tribute to how great a writer Dickens truly was. How he managed to capture the perfect essence of the Christmas spirit in one small book and therefore creating an everlasting mark on our way to perceive this particular holiday. It is both an astonishing and remarkab
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AmberBug com*
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone during Christmas Time
Oh, Dickens... you've done it again. Pulling at my heartstrings during this special time of year, Christmas. I'm so glad I decided to read this during the Holiday. You see, I'm always left with a bad feeling during Christmas because it makes me so neurotic. Cleaning, shopping, making food, parties, no time to do everything... CHAOS! I detest the feeling of "GO GO GO" and "BUY EVERYTHING". I wish we could live in the times when Christmas was all about giving to those in need and gathering round a ...more
Bri
Oct 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed reading this book. I am obviously familiar with the story, but not completely. My last encounter with Dickens was when I was 16 and I read Great Expectations. While I remember enjoying that book, I also remember I had a REALLY hard time understanding it. Sadly, this book wasn't that different. I often had to reread sentences or paragraphs, or I would just trek on and hope that eventually through context clues I would understand. In the end, I comprehended most everything of wh ...more
Jason
Dec 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: See Review
Recommended to Jason by: I'm a Dickens fan
Reviews for the contents of this book are linked way below.

Final analysis, 12/10/18:

Five years, or six Christmas seasons taking a few stories a year, and I'm finally done. It pains me to give one star to anything that contains A Christmas Carol which is my favorite book of all time, but I have to do it. The review is for the collection as a whole, and not for the stories. In fact, only one of them gets one star, though there were a few other duds. Several of the stories were incomplete, and that
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Read With Me!: A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings 1 1 Dec 02, 2019 10:49AM  
Literary Exploration: Final Thoughts *Spoilers* 10 36 Dec 26, 2014 03:30PM  
Volusia County Pu...: Christmas Carol Question #1 2 9 Dec 11, 2014 11:13AM  

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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.

Dicke
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Other books in the series

The Christmas Books (5 books)
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Chimes
  • The Cricket on the Hearth
  • The Battle of Life
  • The Haunted Man

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