Sunday, December 07, 2008

#69 - A Christmas Carol

Let me first put it out there that I am not necessarily what you would call a fan of Dickens. In fact, all of the Victorians have been giving me trouble ever since second year university. And then I made the colossal mistake of trying them again in grad school. I still haven't recovered. They are impossible to avoid, these Victorians. Their influence is everywhere. There are a pile of them on the 1001 Books list. They are classics. What can you do except keep trying? Right?

So, "A Christmas Carol." I know it's not technically a full book but it's on the 1001 Books list and I'm trying to at least part-way finish that challenge before the end of the year. The story is so well known, so ingrained in our society, that it's impossible not to have seen at least one version of it in your lifetime (at least that's what I think). Of my favourites, I remember watching a very old movie (made in the 50s, I think?) when I was a teenager and adoring it. It's hard to read the original when it's been interpreted so many different ways over the years. No matter that you haven't actually read the story before, you know it so well that when each of the Ghosts show up, I wasn't really surprised. Except, it's also interesting to note the differences between the original, classic story and how it's been interpreted over the years.

The parts that I enjoyed the most were obviously the bits and pieces attributed to the time -- the colloquial sayings, the references that firmly represent the day and age that Dickens was writing from. In particular, I thought it interesting how Scrooge kept referring to the prevalent fears of overpopulation. All in all, it's a delightful, entertaining, lovely story. And not bad at all to be at 158 classics read from the 1001 Books list. Now only 12 more to go until I reach my goals for this year. Ha! As if I'm even going to get there.


Carpe Diem said...

I know exactly what you mean. I;m trying to get through a few Jane Austen books, and am havingto read over what I read previously. Finished Remembering the Bones onto The Almost Moon now !

Kailana said...

I had an urge to read this the other day, but I am getting new hardcover copies of Dickens for Christmas, so I got rid of my old ones! I might spend Christmas day with this one instead. I am not much for Victorian literature, but I have always loved Dickens. It's been a couple years since I read anything by him, though. I hope to reread him in the new year and I am hoping I still enjoy him!

Melanie said...

I love to hear The Christmas Carol read aloud; I just went to a CBC Xmas Carol reading here -- I always do as my b-i-l is usually one of the readers. He's English and has the perfect voice for it - not that I am biased. :)

Zesty said...

This is one of my favourite books of all time. But as you know, I am Victorian at heart LOL!