Thursday, 21 July 2011

A Christmas Carol

I'd like to thank Mark Tranter for lending me this book and my already-reviewed Owl Service. Thank you for letting me read your copies, I will post them back to you very soon.

As for the book - the original was different to other versions I'd read or seen. Like Treasure Island, it used an older vocabulary. This didn't stop me understand it anything like as much as Treasure Island and after reading a little more I usually managed to figure out what it all meant.
I have to say it was certainly better and easier to understand than I expected. What did surprise me was that there was minor humour in it (although Charles Dickens has nothing on Gonzo the Great, who played him in A Muppet Christmas Carol.)
I've seen A Muppet Christmas Carol, Northern Ballet Theatre's version, a child's version with story CD from Usborne books, and loads of other bits on telly so I knew the story pretty well. The book was a lot shorter than I thought it would be. The characters were exactly what I expected. It's sort of a mix between a ghost story and a fable. The first two ghosts give him leverage but really what changes Scrooge is the last one, seeing himself dead, alone and hated, with people nicking his stuff.
I prefer modern books because they're paced more to my liking. They spend more time advancing the plot and little time describing the surroundings. Sometimes I felt that Dickens spend a little too much time describing rather than actually doing. I think you only need to describe things once whereas he described things in several ways and I didn't really like that aspect of the book.
However, because of the good story and the humour I give it a 76 out of 100.

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