Books

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol as a book has somehow seeped into our conscious at this time of year and whilst I know the story and have seen versions of it depicted on the stage and screen I am ashamed to say that I have never read the book.

2013 was the year to correct this. This is a book which celebrates everything wonderful about Christmas and reminds us all that it is not about mass commercialism but about time to reflect, spend it with those you love and remember and think of those perhaps who are less fortunate and don’t have the gift of family or love.

Scrooge is exactly that, he can see no joy in Christmas and it is through that the spirits of Christmas come and give him a not too gentle reminder about exactly what is like. Not only do the ghosts who visit Scrooge show him what it is like and has been for many, it touches on Scrooge’s life itself. Dickens perhaps was trying to get across the message that actually we have to look to ourselves before we can possibly look to helping others.

Although a short novel, it gives you a real flavour of Dickens London or Victorian London, the class structure, the lack of ability for someone poor to make good, because they were being repressed by the structure and the industrialisation of the changing landscape. It is a good Dickens book to start off with and I can see why it continues to remain such a popular read.

I read this on my kindle and bought one of the versions with the lovely illustrations in as I feel this enhances the reading experience.

December has turned rather into a short story month for the amount of books that I am reading, but I am glad I finally read this book. I can see why many people return to it time and time again at this time of year. 

It has been a long time since I read any Dickens, the last was Oliver Twist when I was at secondary school. Perhaps I need to venture out on some of his other works. Nothing to bleak though, I am not in the right place for that sort of thing at the moment.