Should have read classics discussion

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Group Book Discussions > A Christmas Carol

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message 1: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
The votes are in and the December group read is A Christmas Carol. It will start December 1st and I can't think of a better Holiday read! Enjoy everyone and happy reading!


message 2: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Herr (patriciaellisherr) | 10 comments Hooray! I was hoping that would win. Looking forward to the discussion.


message 3: by Magda (new)

Magda Allani | 25 comments I only know (and love) Dickens through films made from his books. It's high time I read him and there could be no nicer incentive!


message 4: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (smcamp1234) I just started reading Dickens this year. Can't wait to add this one as well.


message 5: by Azalea (new)

Azalea | 19 comments I haven't logged into this site or visited this group in ages. Don't know if I have even said hello. "hello" :)
I am looking forward to reading A Christmas Carol with all of you. I'm sure it will bring me back, and back, and back to become a regular.


message 6: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Hello Maria! Welcome back and hope to see more of you!


message 7: by Kate (new)

Kate (littlekate1) | 3 comments I haven't read A Christmas Carol in way too many years but it was my favourite book when I was a young teenager. Looking forward to rediscovering it :)


message 8: by Charles (new)

Charles (charles_cave) I have the Penguin edition of Christmas Carol with the beautiful illustrations. Looking forward to reading this book during December as well as the Nutcracker book.


message 9: by Christine (new)

Christine I love reading this story every December. I've read it out loud to my daughter twice over the years (she's 13 now). Not sure yet if I will subject her to it this year.


message 10: by Charles (new)

Charles (charles_cave) I started reading the Penguin Classics edition starting with the detailed introduction, and Dickens Chronology. Then I read the 3 short stories "Christmas Festivities", "The Story of the Goblin who Stole a Sexton" and "A Christmas Episode from Master Humphrey's Clock".

The stories are most enjoyable and I love the language! The Penguin edition has extensive notes on unusual words and other annotations.

I have finished the first of the five parts which are labelled "staves" just like in music.Stave One is Marley's Ghost which opens "Marley was dead: to begin with". Marley was Ebenezer Scrooge's business partner.


message 11: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I picked up my copy also, but I have decided to wait until December 1st to start. I can't wait! My family watched Scrooged last night, my kids love the 2nd ghost! Think that she is hilarious, it got them interested in the book so perhaps we will read it as a family.


message 12: by Charles (new)

Charles (charles_cave) My family watched Scrooged last night, my kids love the 2nd ghost! Think that she is hilarious, it..."

I borrowed the 2010 Disney Christmas Carol movie from the library and plan to watch after I read read the story. I haven't seen Scrooged but will rent it along with the animated Disney Scrooge mcDuck!


message 13: by Azalea (new)

Azalea | 19 comments The Disney version is fun but there are so many other really good movies. I think my favorite was the one with George C. Scott. Like Charles, I couldn't help myself and started reading already. I know it is still November, but I am pretending that it is December. :)

I first read A Christmas Carol last November (2010). I think it was the Dover Thrift Edition. Now I am rereading a copy on my Kindle. The one from Gutenberg with illustrations. (not the original with original spelling though.. the other). I'm in Stave II beginning the section of "Mr. Fezziwig's Ball."

This time around I am focusing on some of the unique vocabulary and expressions. Thanks to the Kindle's highlighting ability this is easy without ruining a hard copy.

There are a few things I don't understand. So I look forward to December first so I can fire away with questions. :) I'm notorious for having questions.. It is the answers I tend to lack. :)

Happy reading all!


message 14: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Herr (patriciaellisherr) | 10 comments Christine wrote: "I love reading this story every December. I've read it out loud to my daughter twice over the years (she's 13 now). Not sure yet if I will subject her to it this year."

LOL, Christine. I read it aloud to my daughters for the first time last year; they were seven and five years old. We went slowly and I explained a few things as we went. They enjoyed it and they want me to read it aloud to them again this year. :)


message 15: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (smcamp1234) Maria wrote: "The Disney version is fun but there are so many other really good movies. I think my favorite was the one with George C. Scott. Like Charles, I couldn't help myself and started reading already. I..."

I have the same version and I'm doing pretty much the same thing. I love having access to the dictionary at any time for some of the vocabulary.
I'm in stave ii also. It's a quick read but I'm taking my time with it to take everything in is time.


message 16: by Mandy (new)

Mandy (mandyloo) | 7 comments I've never read this, though I've watched a few film adaptations, so I'm excited!


message 17: by Charles (new)

Charles (charles_cave) I finished reading Christmas Carol yesterday and enjoyed it very much. Now I am reading an Australian author's retelling of the tale as a "bush yarn". Scrooge is now a stock and station (farm) agent in outback Australia. It is very amusing! I will probably re-read parts of Dickens again after I watch the recent Disney CHRISTMAS CAROL.


message 18: by Tasha (new)

Tasha | 5 comments I started reading "A Christmas Carol" yesterday for the first time. I've also never seen any of the movies so it's completely new to me. I already really like the atmosphere. It's more spooky than I thought.It's a wonderful read before Christmas.


message 19: by Azalea (new)

Azalea | 19 comments Shawn, the dictionary.... yes a useful feature of the Kindle I don't neglect to use! ;)

Charles, a bush yarn of A Christmas Carol. Please be sure to share details of this adaptation.

Ms. Wednesday. You'll have a unique read without a barage of movie backgrounds to muddle your imagination. :)

I'm in Stave III, at Scrooge's nephew, Fred's house. With all the mention of reading A Christmas Carol aloud, I decided to enjoy someone reading it to me. After much searching, I found two UNABRIDGED audiobooks available online that I liked. The first is by Penguin books... I don't know who the reader is: http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pag...

Although it is one of the better versions, I did find my mind wandering off before the end of even the first stave.

Librivox has many different readers. I prefer the one by Glen Hallstrom: http://librivox.org/a-christmas-carol...

Some parts are a little over dramatic but is still quite good. If you read along, every once in awhile you'll notice a switching of words... whatsoever for whatever etc. But this does not happen often and is something you'd expect with a family reading by the fireplace. I am always grateful to the volunteers at Librivox and Gutenberg.

I'm going to enjoy Glen Hallstrom's reading up to where I left off on my own. And then continue with just me and the Kindle.


message 20: by Tasha (new)

Tasha | 5 comments Hi Maria, thanks for the links to the audiobooks. I'll be sure to check them out after I've finished the books. You're right, it's one of those books you can enjoy even more if they're read to you. :)

I've just finished the chapter about the ghost of Christmas Present and was especially touched by Tiny Tim.


message 21: by Ashley (new)

Ashley I have always wanted to read Dicken's "A Christmas Carol", but I never got around it to it. Thus, I instantly joined the reading group because of it. I have tons of film adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" and I enjoy almost every one. So, I'm am excited to be starting this classic soon. Also, I'm sure that this will definitely get me in the Christmas spirit! :)


message 22: by Azalea (new)

Azalea | 19 comments Hi Ashley. I'm so glad to see so many people joining this group read!
...
So here come some questions..... don't stress over looking for answers, but if anyone happens to know or has ideas, I'd love to hear them. Also, I'll put up the Staves numbers as reference especially for those of us who might not have read that far... I don't want to spoil the story...

**Alert- possible spoilers**

1. Stave I- Marley's face is described in the knocker as having a dismal light "like a bad lobster in a dark cellar." Does bad lobster indicated a rotting/ spoiled lobster. And if so, what would one be doing in a dark cellar? Is this simile indicative of Dicken's humor as he has introduced/ descibed other things humorously? Or does it mean something else?

2. Stave II- Scrooge is anticipating the arrival of the first spirit. He scrambles out of bed goes to the window and is relieved because " 'three days after sight of this First of Exchange pay to Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge or his order,' and so forth, would have become a mere United States' security if there were no days to count by."... I'm tired of winding this around my head. I've come no closer to discovering its meaning.


message 23: by Azalea (last edited Dec 18, 2011 02:40AM) (new)

Azalea | 19 comments Pardon me for changing my name in the middle of this discussion, but a student of mine on Goodreads recently used my first name and it bothered me. So, I made a new name for myself that I can live with anyone using. :)
Azalea


message 24: by Ashley (new)

Ashley I loved the Muppets version of A Christmas Carol. It's not Christmastime until I watch it. I love the fun numbers and everything.


message 25: by Azalea (last edited Dec 05, 2011 09:55AM) (new)

Azalea | 19 comments I found reasonable answers to both of my questions thanks to an annotated edition by Michael Patrick Hearn.
http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Chris...
Luckily the sample pages online included both passages. Although I don't know much about Michael Hearn, this edition looks quite helpful.

I have and love the Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner. It is from the same publishers. Once I saw Gardner's name, I didn't hesitate to buy it.


message 26: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (smcamp1234) Azalea wrote: "I found reasonable answers to both of my questions thanks to an annotated edition by Michael Patrick Hearn.
http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Chris...
Luckily the s..."


What a great find, I added this to my amazon wishlist to have for next season when I start reading this to my son next year.


message 27: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy this book is to read. I was nervous to try Dickens again after A Tale of Two Cities, but this story is a breeze. The descriptions are wonderful, I can just imagine reading this by candlelight, as your house is creaking around you, quite spooky!


message 28: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Azalea wrote: "Pardon me for changing my name in the middle of this discussion, but a student of mine on Goodreads recently used my first name and it bothered me. So, I made a new name for myself that I can live..."

Hey,
I was intrigued by your question about the "bad lobster" and researched a bit myself. I also found that same annotated guide to the Christmas Carol. I also found a site that showed the European Lobster under animals that "glow in the dark" but couldn't find that substantiated anywhere else. Also, I read several accounts of cooked crab or lobster meat seeming to glow from a phosphorescent bacteria, especially if it has lots of salt or brine solution on it. And I found that meats were often wrapped in a brined cheesecloth in the 1800s. Maybe all that info together helps to give us a picture of what is going on in this doorknocker scene. For sure it was spooky enough to catch Ebeneezer's attention.


message 29: by Jennie (new)

Jennie | 8 comments I agree this is a much easier read than A Tale of Two Cities. I really enjoyed reading this classic.


message 30: by Dave (new)

Dave | 5 comments I also enjoyed reading "A Christmas Carol". This was the first time I've actually read it. I'll hopefully dig into a bit more holiday Dickens before the month is out.

Reading this got me thinking about the old Christmas special Mr. Magoo's A Christmas Carol I saw as a kid. I found you can watch it for free with an Amazon Prime membership so watched it last night. All these years later it was still quite enjoyable!


message 31: by Amy (new)

Amy | 124 comments I have to agree with Ashley, my favorite version of this as a movie is the muppet one. I was shocked at how closely the film versions I have seen follow the book, including the muppets. It was a pleasant book and got through it in no time. As has been said before, much easier than A Tale of Two Cities. It was a joy to read.


message 32: by Zuzana (last edited Dec 08, 2011 12:50AM) (new)

Zuzana Lisa wrote: "I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy this book is to read. I was nervous to try Dickens again after A Tale of Two Cities, but this story is a breeze. The descriptions are wond..."

I agree, Lisa. I am currently reading A Tale of Two Cities and I have to admit it's difficult to get into the story, too many characters. So I was pleasantly surprised that "A Christmas Carol" was such an enjoyable easy read.


message 33: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Zuzana wrote: "Lisa wrote: "I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy this book is to read. I was nervous to try Dickens again after A Tale of Two Cities, but this story is a breeze. The descript..."

I must say that Two Cites does get better, but it took around 300 pages for me to finally figure out who the people are and what was going on. It does get better!


message 34: by Lisa, the usurper (last edited Dec 08, 2011 07:41AM) (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Being the mom of a little boy with spina bifida, tiny Tim has really touched me. Reading about his crutch and metal braces is very poignant. Watching my son walk around in lightweight plastic braces, makes me once again feel very fortunate to have my children during the 21st century. It is hard to feel helpless when your children are suffering, the Cratchits are such a wonderful and caring family to embrace and enjoy their son.


message 35: by Zuzana (new)

Zuzana Lisa wrote: "I must say that Two Cites does get better, but it took around 300 pages for me to finally figure out who the people are and what was going on. It does get better! "

I admit that I was tempted to give up on that one. But now I will give it another try.


message 36: by Debbie (new)

Debbie | 42 comments Hi, everyone. I'm a little late getting started because I just finished North and South yesterday. I read A Christmas Carol last December. I have the Complete Dickens on my Kindle, but I will probably read my hardback edition from Candlewick Press. It has beautiful illustrations every few pages and is printed on heavy paper - such a joy to read.

My fave movie is the one with George C. Scott, but I also like the Muppet version. The part about throwing the orphans out in the cold really gets to me. Well, it's about time to watch that again. HA!


message 37: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I just watched the musical version with Kelsey Grammer and must say that I was pleasantly surprised with how good it was. Every time I hear Grammer speak though I think of Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons!


message 38: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Finished this last night and really enjoyed it!
gives me hope for reading another Dickens story in my lifetime!


message 39: by Azalea (new)

Azalea | 19 comments Kerri wrote: Also, I read several accounts of cooked crab or lobster meat seeming to glow from a phosphorescent bacteria, especially if it has lots of salt or brine solution on it. And I found that meats were often wrapped in a brined cheesecloth in the 1800s. Maybe all that info together helps to give us a picture of what is going on in this doorknocker scene. For sure it was spooky enough to catch Ebeneezer's attention.

Spooky... yes. I am beginning to see how this is the perfect simile for this part of the story. The red decaying lobster glowing from bacteria in a dark cellar. Couldn't be more dead than that. Also when put together with 'postmortem lividity'.. a phrase I discovered while researching this passage... it makes even more sense. Warning to some: this is not a term you want to look up if are squeamish about morbid things.


message 40: by Azalea (new)

Azalea | 19 comments Lisa wrote: "Being the mom of a little boy with spina bifida, tiny Tim has really touched me. Reading about his crutch and metal braces is very poignant. Watching my son walk around in lightweight plastic bra..."

Lisa, thank you for sharing that. I imagine that during Dicken's time, poor families like Tiny Tim's had few resources or options. For all the problems we have, I too am glad to be alive in the 21st century.


message 41: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne The movie I kept seeing (probably because it's the one I've seen most recently) was the one with Mickey Mouse and Scrooge McDuck. I'm actually impressed how closely it followed the "real" story. Dickens had quite a few observations that I thought were very profound - it was a good book to read.


message 42: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Suzanne wrote: "The movie I kept seeing (probably because it's the one I've seen most recently) was the one with Mickey Mouse and Scrooge McDuck. I'm actually impressed how closely it followed the "real" story. ..."

That was one of my favorite Christmas movies when I was a kid.


message 43: by Vicky (new)

Vicky | 86 comments I did enjoy it, a comfortable kind of enjoyment, the same kind comfort food brings you but I am surprised at not having found more in the novel than in all the different movie versions I have seen... Perhaps I have seen so many than even though each one probably have it's own faults, together they cover pretty much every single detail of the movie?! There was no big "Ah ah" moment, no charming discovery of a new aspect, nothing unexpected... And I guess that's somewhat of a disapointment, I wanted to find more in the novel than I did in all those movie versions. The thing is I probably would if I considered the movies individually against the novel, but I can't do that anymore because I know the story by heart and have know it for too long... It was a familiar kind of enjoyment, not the magical one I would have liked.


message 44: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Vicky wrote: "I did enjoy it, a comfortable kind of enjoyment, the same kind comfort food brings you but I am surprised at not having found more in the novel than in all the different movie versions I have seen...."

I do agree that overall I know the story so well that I was even reluctant to read it. I decided to listen to it on audiobook simply to save time and I wanted to get it done before Christmas actually arrives. I must say that the best thing I have discovered so far is how much more approachable the writing is in "A Christmas Carol" than "The Tale of Two Cities". I also have discovered a few subtle insights that the various movie versions sometimes miss. For example, I didn't remember from the movies when Marley explains to Scrooge how many times he was been sitting by him or watching him before the event when Scrooge actually sees him for the first time in his ghostly form. Also, I am enjoying and appreciate the descriptions and language of the story more than what I have gleaned simply from watching it. Now I am having to rely on Dicken's descriptions to paint a picture for me of the character's and what is happening. Although, I will admit that it isn't as fresh and new in my mind when the story is already so etched in my brain with all the past movie version characters acting out the parts.


message 45: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Herr (patriciaellisherr) | 10 comments I'm halfway through reading this to my daughters, ages 6 and 8, for the second time. They enjoy it just as much as they did last year, though I do need to stop reading from time to time to explain the terms. What a wonderful book -- there's a reason it's a classic. :)


message 46: by Blarneygod (new)

Blarneygod This was a very enjoyable read, but I felt like I had already read this book before because I had seen so many movie versions of it. It was a short read and did not take me much longer than watching one of the movies would have.


message 47: by Azalea (last edited Dec 17, 2011 06:36PM) (new)

Azalea | 19 comments ***SPOILER ALERT****

Expressions from the book I especially liked....

*fellow passengers to the grave
*misanthropic ice
*like a bad lobster in a dark cellar


message 48: by Nilgün (new)

Nilgün (hassiz) | 32 comments so I jump in today and I was see the movie before. I love the christmas mood.

In that case I see the movie before I can understand the caracter "Scrooge" - to be a "stubborn old man" have definitly a reason. Maybe fom hem's childness, the death Partner; who knows?


message 49: by Nilgün (new)

Nilgün (hassiz) | 32 comments I hope that God teach the people not in this horrible way to learn to be have a good remorse. But the people never learned easy, how much heavier cost of deterrence; so leran we much faster.Isn't it?

Merry Christmas to everyone :)


message 50: by Zuzana (last edited Dec 23, 2011 12:52AM) (new)

Zuzana What I liked about the story is that it says there is hope for everyone no matter how old and set in their "bad" ways they are. If they are only willing to try and change for the better they can redeem themself.


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