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A Christmas Carol
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Group Reads > Dec. 2018 buddy read: "A Christmas Carol"

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message 1: by Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽, Moderator (last edited Nov 29, 2018 07:45PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1221 comments Mod
Discussion thread for December's buddy read of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.

Free to read online or to download at Gutenberg: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/46
Or download at Amazon for free: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...

Do we need to tag spoilers here? I mean, is there anyone who's not familiar with this story? :)


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Lol, true!


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 352 comments All right, looking forward to this!

I don't mind if people post spoilers.


Barb in Maryland | 485 comments I may skip the read and go straight to video and re-watch my favorite movie versions.


Peggy (dandelion_cottage) | 266 comments I just found a very pretty vintage copy of this, so I may join in.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "I may skip the read and go straight to video and re-watch my favorite movie versions."

Ok, which camp do you fall in, who’s your Scrooge of choice? Growing up, I wasn’t picky, but my sisters and I really like the 1938 black and white version British version with Reginald Owen. My son saw the George C. Scott version in high school, and prefers that one.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Oh, dear, mustn’t forget Alastair Sim, he’s wonderful too!


Peggy (dandelion_cottage) | 266 comments The 1938 version is my favorite too. And you get to see a very young June Lockhart.

Susan in NC wrote: "Barb in Maryland wrote: "I may skip the read and go straight to video and re-watch my favorite movie versions."

Ok, which camp do you fall in, who’s your Scrooge of choice? Growing up, I wasn’t pi..."



Barb in Maryland | 485 comments I'm an Alistair Sim fan for a straightforward retelling. I think it gets the terror and spooky better than the 1938 version. But my favorite version is 'A Muppet Christmas Carol'. Michael Caine is so good as Scrooge.

BTW, I have read the book. And I may just do the re-read, if time allows.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "I'm an Alistair Sim fan for a straightforward retelling. I think it gets the terror and spooky better than the 1938 version. But my favorite version is 'A Muppet Christmas Carol'. Michael Caine is ..."

Oh no, how can I forget the Muppets, I love them, and Michael Caine is awesome!


Douglas Gibson | 1 comments I read and watch a lot of horror in October and I got mad at my buddy when he ruined the ending of Sleep Away Camp! And he said- "It came out in the early 80's!!!'


message 12: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments George C. Scott is my favorite; he just looks like Scrooge! I'll find my copy and read it again, too. I loves it.


message 13: by Sue (last edited Dec 01, 2018 03:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (mrskipling) This morning on the radio I heard an extract from A Christmas Carol being read by Prince Charles, Apparently he did it as part of the celebration of the book's 200th anniversary.

It's about 15 minutes from the end of the 'Today' programme on BBC Radio 4. Link below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000...


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1221 comments Mod
Sue wrote: "This morning on the radio I heard an extract from A Christmas Carol being read by Prince Charles, Apparently he did it as part of the celebration of the book's 200th anniversary..."

That would be difficult since the story was first published in 1843. ;) Maybe it was 150 years?


message 15: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Well, let's see. If you add Prince Charles' age to 1843... no, that's too much... Wait! Is it Dickens' 200th birthday? If so, I need to read all of his in tribute. Or maybe just my favorites...


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1221 comments Mod
Dickens’ 200th birthday was in 2012, so if the reading was a few years ago that sounds likely.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1221 comments Mod
BTW some of the history and commentary in the Wikipedia entry on A Christmas Carol is really interesting—I recommend it. Perhaps Dickens’ main purpose in writing it was to encourage people to do more for the poor. He thought a story would work better than another polemical tract. He was right. 😊


message 18: by Sue (last edited Dec 01, 2018 11:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue (mrskipling) Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "Sue wrote: "Apparently he did it as part of the celebration of the book's 200th anniversary..."

That would be difficult since the story was first published in 1843. ;) Maybe it was 150 years?..."


LOL! Clearly I hadn't had my coffee at that point. The recording was done in association with a London theatre. It's the 200th anniversary of the theatre, not the book!


message 19: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Sue wrote: "Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "Sue wrote: "Apparently he did it as part of the celebration of the book's 200th anniversary..."

That would be difficult since the story was first published in 1843. ;) ..."


Well, that works, too!


message 20: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Is anyone reading this right now? I'm going to wait until next week or so and then jump in.


message 21: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 485 comments Karlyne--looks like it will be next week for me, too.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1221 comments Mod
I was also thinking next week.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Me, too!


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 352 comments Sounds fine for me, too.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1221 comments Mod
I started this tonight! It’s a quick read, so I’m hoping others will jump in. :)

I had forgotten how many spooky things Scrooge saw in his home before the Ghost of Christmas Past arrived. A locomotive hearse? Marley’s face on each of the fireplace tiles?


message 26: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 485 comments Jumping in today!
Talk with all y'all later...


message 27: by Hana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I also wonder "what there is particularly dead about a door-nail"!


message 28: by Susan in NC (last edited Dec 13, 2018 08:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "I started this tonight! It’s a quick read, so I’m hoping others will jump in. :)

I had forgotten how many spooky things Scrooge saw in his home before the Ghost of Christmas Past arrived. A locomo..."


I know - I love my illustrationsA Christmas Carol, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and the narrator of the audiobook A Christmas Celebration Including "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens (Collections) by Christina Hardyment really brought it to life!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Hana wrote: "I also wonder "what there is particularly dead about a door-nail"!"

Good point - I wonder?


message 30: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 485 comments All of this is so familiar, of course, from multiple viewings of the various movie/TV adaptations. But it's the smallest bits that often don't get filmed and prove so delightful in the reading.
So far my favorite is 'the clerk' accidentally extinguishing his lone coal in an effort to gain a little more heat.
I also noticed that in the opening section neither the nephew nor the clerk are given names!


Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 352 comments It is all about Ebeneezer, isn't it? Haha!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "All of this is so familiar, of course, from multiple viewings of the various movie/TV adaptations. But it's the smallest bits that often don't get filmed and prove so delightful in the reading.
So ..."


I know - last night, while listening and knitting, I was struck by the description of the Ghost of Christmas Present taking Ebenezer to the mining area, the lonely lighthouse, etc., to show everyone celebrating Christmas in their own small way.

Sent me to my book to see the illustrations of that little-remembered, probably unfilmed, but very evocative and touching part! Lovely.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1221 comments Mod
BTW I did a little research on the "locomotive hearse" that I'll share here. "Locomotive" is used by Dickens in the now-archaic sense of something that's self-propelled. So this would have been a ghostly horse-drawn type of hearse, only without the horses.

description


message 34: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments One of the parts I don't recognize from any films is Scrooge's dialogue with the Ghost of Christmas Present, where he is carefully calling the Ghost out for taking away the Sunday dinners of the poor, and the Ghost replies, "I!" three times, and then finishes with: "There are some upon this earth of yours who claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us, and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that and charge their doings on themselves, not us."


It's worth remembering that in this day, too, where we get individuals claiming to speak for all Liberals, all Conservatives, all Christians, all Jews and all Muslims, all Republicans and Democrats. May their pride, ill will and hatred rebound upon their own heads.


message 35: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "BTW I did a little research on the "locomotive hearse" that I'll share here. "Locomotive" is used by Dickens in the now-archaic sense of something that's self-propelled. So this would have been a g..."

The all-white hearse and clothing and the paleness of the driver make it even eerier...


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1221 comments Mod
Here's a delightful web page that discusses the origin of "dead as a doornail" - and specifically references Dickens, as well as Piers Plowman and Shakespeare! In relevant part:
As with so many etymologies, we don’t know exactly why door nails were used in the phrase rather than something like coffin nails, but we have a reasonably good educated guess. Door nails were long used to strengthen the door. The person building or installing the door would hammer the nail all the way through the boards. On the other side, he would hammer the end flat, bending it so that the nail would be more secure in a process, called “clenching.” In doing so, the nail was rendered unusable for any other purpose. It would be difficult to remove and even more difficult to use again elsewhere. Thus, the bent nail was commonly called “dead” (not just to do with doors, but elsewhere where the nail was bent over and couldn’t be used again.) ...

Another less touted origin theory is that because of the doornail’s size, particularly the one securing the knocker, it had to be “hit on the head” with a hammer quite a few times more than your average nail. Because of the number of times it was hit, it would certainly be “dead” by the time the head was flush to the wood of the door—that is, if it had been a living thing rather than an inanimate object.
- http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.p...


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "BTW I did a little research on the "locomotive hearse" that I'll share here. "Locomotive" is used by Dickens in the now-archaic sense of something that's self-propelled. So this would have been a g..."

Yikes, some of the movie versions have done an awesome job of making this very creepy!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Karlyne wrote: "One of the parts I don't recognize from any films is Scrooge's dialogue with the Ghost of Christmas Present, where he is carefully calling the Ghost out for taking away the Sunday dinners of the po..."

Amen, sister!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "Here's a delightful web page that discusses the origin of "dead as a doornail" - and specifically references Dickens, as well as Piers Plowman and Shakespeare! In relevant part:As with so many etym..."

Hah, fascinating! My dad used to do woodwork as a hobby, and I recall seeing the clenched nail thing, so that makes sense to me - that would be a dead nail, tough to pull out and reuse, that’s for sure!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Karlyne wrote: "Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ wrote: "BTW I did a little research on the "locomotive hearse" that I'll share here. "Locomotive" is used by Dickens in the now-archaic sense of something that's self-propelled...."

Yes!


message 41: by Barb in Maryland (last edited Dec 14, 2018 02:10PM) (new)

Barb in Maryland | 485 comments Just finished up. I really enjoyed reading it. The scene from Christmas Future with Old Joe, the undertaker, and the two charwomen is just as creepy to read as it is to watch. Poor clueless Scrooge!
And his delight upon waking to find that he still had his bed curtains--wonderful!!
'A Christmas Carol' has become such a part of the cultural bedrock for the holiday that it almost impossible to imagine the Christmas season without it. To think it all started with Dickens' little novella with a message of charity at its heart.


message 42: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Just finished up. I really enjoyed reading it. The scene from Christmas Future with Old Joe, the undertaker, and the two charwomen is just as creepy to read as it is to watch. Poor clueless Scrooge..."

It's a practically perfect little gem!


message 43: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 485 comments Earlier in the thread we talked about our favorite movie/tv versions of the story (I'm all for the Alistair Sim 1951 version for a straight retelling and The Muppets version for whimsical).
I need to mention one more version--'Blackadder's Christmas Carol'.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Earlier in the thread we talked about our favorite movie/tv versions of the story (I'm all for the Alistair Sim 1951 version for a straight retelling and The Muppets version for whimsical).
I need..."


I’ve never seen that, I’d love to! Rowan Atkinson is brilliant...


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Just finished up. I really enjoyed reading it. The scene from Christmas Future with Old Joe, the undertaker, and the two charwomen is just as creepy to read as it is to watch. Poor clueless Scrooge..."

That scene, with the char women, was truly creepy in the audiobook I listened to!


message 46: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "Earlier in the thread we talked about our favorite movie/tv versions of the story (I'm all for the Alistair Sim 1951 version for a straight retelling and The Muppets version for whimsical).
I need..."


I haven't seen the Blackadder one! Is it straight comedy?


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments I don’t read horror, but I have to hand it to Dickens for a lot of the imaginative creepy touches he uses to create atmosphere- from the horseless ghost hearse to the creepy Marley-faced tiles and door knocker, to the Dementorish Ghost of Christmas Future - very cinematic!


message 48: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments I have seen the Patrick Stewart version, and it's quite good, too. But George C. Scott is still the perfect Scrooge for me.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1328 comments Karlyne wrote: "I have seen the Patrick Stewart version, and it's quite good, too. But George C. Scott is still the perfect Scrooge for me."

That one is great, my son's favorite, and I think the effects are amazing and really make for an unsettling, nightmarish feel in all the right spots!


message 50: by Karlyne (new) - added it

Karlyne Landrum | 1945 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "I have seen the Patrick Stewart version, and it's quite good, too. But George C. Scott is still the perfect Scrooge for me."

That one is great, my son's favorite, and I think the e..."


I just don't find anything to quibble over in it. I haven't watched it in a couple of years, but it's on my this year's list!


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