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A Christmas Carol
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Archive: Other Books > A christmas carol | charles dickens | 3.5 stars

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Idit | 1028 comments Growing in Israel - I never read this book, never fully watched any of the movies.
But it is such a famous story that I did know the gist of it.
Scrooge, ghost of christmas past/present... all these are famous regardless

What I loved: Charles Dickens write so well. I enjoyed his comments and humor and I need to get serious and make sure I read more of his books.
But the story itself is a very simple one. It's very sweet, but .. you know.. black and white. hence 3.5 stars.


Theresa | 7431 comments It also adapts extremely well to film -- my favorite is the one with Alistair Sims from the 1950s. The more contemporary one starring George C. Scott is good as well. And of course, who can forget the Muppet version?

I think the simplicity of the story makes it readily adaptable to screen and stage, and gives a great base for actors to imprint their own concept of the characters on the story, without losing the basic moral of it.

Personally, and this is perhaps sacrilege to some, I have always found Tiny Tim just too .... whatever. Can't even come up with the word. I wince at his dialogue every time.


Booknblues | 6200 comments We had an old record set of The Christmas Carol that we listened to every Christmas Eve. It was a Basil Rathbone one. Since it was such a tradition for us it always sounds like the authentic one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmTtp...


AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Idit - Thanks for the review! I would rate this one a bit higher, but I'll admit that it's mostly nostalgia. It's not even in my top 3 novels by Dickens. If you haven't read any of his other works, I highly recommend David Copperfield if you're looking for a more complex story, with much more social commentary.

Theresa - I agree with you on Tiny Tim. My problem with him is he's much too simplistic. It would be one thing if he wasn't an ill child, but he simply seems too naive for his circumstances. It's one thing to be a sweet child, brave in the face of adversity. It's another thing entirely for him to be basically an angelic beam of light with no real personality. Of course, that's not exactly the author's strong suit at the best of times. Many of his characters have more depth than Tiny Tim, especially in his more complex stories, but for the most part, they still trend towards the simplistic. However, considering his writing style is beautiful and his social commentary was rather ahead of its time, I tend to give Dickens a bit of slack, in that department.


Jgrace | 2945 comments I think Dickens' best characters are either comic or evil. The characters of moral sanctity are either boring or sappy (mostly)


Theresa | 7431 comments Booknblues wrote: "We had an old record set of The Christmas Carol that we listened to every Christmas Eve. It was a Basil Rathbone one. Since it was such a tradition for us it always sounds like the authentic one.

..."


That is so cool!

My brother recorded on reel to reel all our childhood Christmas music, including original Rudolph song, The Lennon Sisters, The Peppermint Kids, and Arthur Godfrey reading Twas the Night Before Christmas. Over 5he years he gave us copies in whatever format was needed - tape cassettes, cds, and now digital files.

I play them every year!


Theresa | 7431 comments LiteraryMania wrote: "Idit - Thanks for the review! I would rate this one a bit higher, but I'll admit that it's mostly nostalgia. It's not even in my top 3 novels by Dickens. If you haven't read any of his other works,..."

I agree with David Copperfield. Another personal favorite is A Tale of Two Cities as I am a francophile, and Bleak House always speaks to the lawyer in me.


Idit | 1028 comments Thanks guys for the recommendations and insight
I agree Theresa that the simple structure makes it easy to make good movies out of it. It’s a good skeleton

I only read Bleak House this year, and loved it. Nothing else. Would try and read David Coperfield this year

It must be such a nostalgic thing for you guys. Nothing like that for me. I babysat kids when I lived in the US and for weeks they watched the muppets version again and again. I might have seen 5 minutes here and there but nothing more

I have records from my childhood that I loved so much - Max and Moritz was one of them. Uncle Remus another
But there was no Christmas carol record for the Israeli kids. We didn’t even get Green Eggs and Ham

Also - There was a paragraph somewhere in the book that I thought was criticising Jews for thinking their’s is the correct way to believe in god (Although now that I’m looking for it I can’t find it)
It connects to the other discussion going on about author’s opinions and beliefs


Jgrace | 2945 comments Booknblues wrote: "We had an old record set of The Christmas Carol that we listened to every Christmas Eve. It was a Basil Rathbone one. Since it was such a tradition for us it always sounds like the authentic one.

..."


We had the one with Ronald Coleman. It was a 3 record set, my father's. I think it may have been bought before ww2 or just after. The records were scratched and the 3rd one was cracked, requiring someone to pick up the needle and move it over. It was a Christmas Eve ritual until the crack became a complete break.
It's been digitized so now I can listen to it whenever I want too.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5580 comments I recently read Mr Dickens and his Christmas Carol, which was about the time period in which Dickens wrote the book. (I still need to write a review). There were many clever nods to A Christmas Carol. Dickens was feeling rather Scrooge-like when he started to write the book.

I started A Christmas Carol that day too, and I found the writing to be much more lively than I expected. I've seen most of the movies which I usually enjoy. Though I just saw Scrooged (with Bill Murray), which I once liked. The 1980's humor (and hair/clothing) made me cringe this time. (I really hope I won't feel that way the next time I watch Groundhog Day.)


Booknblues | 6200 comments Theresa wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "We had an old record set of The Christmas Carol that we listened to every Christmas Eve. It was a Basil Rathbone one. Since it was such a tradition for us it always sounds like t..."

I love that!


Booknblues | 6200 comments Jgrace wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "We had an old record set of The Christmas Carol that we listened to every Christmas Eve. It was a Basil Rathbone one. Since it was such a tradition for us it always sounds like t..."

I had to listen to a bunch on youtube to figure out which was the right one.

Once you have the "real" Christmas Carol" nothing else will do.


Theresa | 7431 comments NancyJ wrote: " Though I just saw Scrooged (with Bill Murray), which I once liked. ..."

I have always loathed every aspect of Scrooged. It just feels mean-spirited rather than satirical, which is what it wax going for I think.


message 14: by NancyJ (last edited Dec 15, 2018 01:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5580 comments Theresa wrote: "NancyJ wrote: " Though I just saw Scrooged (with Bill Murray), which I once liked. ..."

I have always loathed every aspect of Scrooged. It just feels mean-spirited rather than satirical, which is ..."


I don't know why I ever liked it. This time most of the characters seemed to be based on one dimensional stereotypes. Murray was smarmy throughout, and Karen Allen's character took on the vacant loving smile of a Stepford wife. It was disappointing. (Scrooge's character wasn't much better come to think of it.)


message 15: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7875 comments Booknblues wrote: "We had an old record set of The Christmas Carol that we listened to every Christmas Eve. It was a Basil Rathbone one. Since it was such a tradition for us it always sounds like the authentic one.

..."

Love this! Thanks for sharing.


message 16: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7875 comments Our "Dickens" tradition when I was growing-up.......The Mr. Magoo version-obviously not from a literary family 😁


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I didn't read this book in Israel either. It wasn't until I moved to America that I read this in an English class. It's one of the better Christmas stories. Or at least I thought so when I moved here. Good review.


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