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.