I don’t believe I’d ever actually read the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, before this, I’ve only seen various movie/television productions. I was advised that this version with Tim Curry reading was wonderful. It was on sale and I got it. So here it is Christmas time and I’m baking cookies and wrapping gifts so listening is probably the right thing to do.
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
1843 / 80 pages
read by Tim Curry
rating – 10
The advice was right on – Tim Curry is an absolutely excellent reader. He gives each character’s voice a distinction, he’s got the speed right and his British accent is easy enough to understand. Kudos.
There seem to be differences in the narrative from what I’ve seen on the screen – maybe not so much from one of the older black and white versions, but it’s definitely different from the animated version.
It’s Dickens all right – and I’ve read quite a lot of Dickens – the characters are close to stereotypes, the situations are pathetic for the good people who are forced to live in filth and poverty while the business folks make money. There’s plenty of symbolism to the point of allegory and a huge Christian sentiment. And there’s a political element as was common in his later books (see Hard Times). It’s a tad saccharine
Dickens first self-published A Christmas Carol because he felt there would be more money in it that way – and he needed money at the time. His career was undergoing a little stall and his other books, like Barnaby Rudge and Martin Chuzzlewit, were not doing so well on the market. Dickens made several changes before the book was actually available to the public, but when it did it proved to be an instant best-seller as well as getting mostly favorable reviews. And the best of Dickens was yet to come.
Apparently, Dickens got the name Scrooge from the word “scrunge” (scrounge?) or possibly from an old gravestone. It’s come to mean miserly with a particular grudge against Christmas, “Bah humbug.” Where “humbug” means trick or a hoax.