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Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Stories, A (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classic Collection) [Hardcover]

Charles Dickens
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 16.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Sep 2013 1435145399 978-1435145399
A Christmas Carol is one of the best loved and most quoted of all English language Christmas stories. First published in 1843, it never fails to make an appearance every Christmas in some form. Ebenezer Scrooge, a most disagreeable curmudgeon, is visited by the ghost of his partner Jacob Marley. Marley informs him that he is to receive three visitors this Christmas Eve. They are the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. By the next morning the change in Scrooge is astonishing, he has become a kind, generous, caring and thoughtful person. Dickens' flair for characters has left us with two who have gone past the story and entered into the English speaking culture - Scrooge and Tiny Tim.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 776 pages
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble (7 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435145399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435145399
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.2 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth where his father was a clerk in the navy pay office. The family moved to London in 1823, but their fortunes were severely impaired. Dickens was sent to work in a blacking-warehouse when his father was imprisoned for debt. Both experiences deeply affected the future novelist. In 1833 he began contributing stories to newspapers and magazines, and in 1836 started the serial publication of Pickwick Papers. Thereafter, Dickens published his major novels over the course of the next twenty years, from Nicholas Nickleby to Little Dorrit. He also edited the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens died in June 1870.


Product Description

Review

" A Christmas Carol seems to be a national benefit, and to every man or woman who reads it a personal kindness."
--William Makepeace Thackeray --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and 'slave' factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorneys clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Book 13 Feb 2014
By Cupcake
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love beautiful books, and this definitely is a beautiful book. It's leatherbound, as per the description, a gorgeous red colour with gilt edge pages. It was delivered very quickly, as I ordered express delivery. Very nice book, that does credit to the writing of Mr Dickens inside.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely product 12 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
what can you say , its Charles DICKENS! The cover is very attractive and makes you feel that you have a very special book, its something that our family is going to get out every xmas and read. paper / type qulity good. cant fault it. would recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Special Edition Book 12 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book has a lovely cover. Although the book was sealed there is one page with a small dirty mark on and one page is slightly creased. For a collectable item this is disappointing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  634 reviews
181 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best "Christmas Carol" ever 18 Dec 2006
By CC-in-VA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Many versions of Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" are actually abridgements (done more or less smoothly) but this version is complete and unabridged. Even if you think you are familiar with the book you may find upon reading this one that you previously had read a shortened version! The completeness of this volume would be reason enough to add it to your library, but the quality of the pages, typeface, and above all the lovely illustrations scattered throughout further commend it. I have bought copies for all 3 of my grown children--because every family deserves to own a complete version of this classic story and this one is the best I have ever seen.
100 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the book the way Dickens wrote it.......... 23 Nov 2006
By Susan K. Schoonover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I hope all readers take time to read A CHRISTMAS CAROL in the original language Dickens used in the 1840's. Dickens' language remains humorous, descriptive and insightful and not inaccessible to most modern readers especially with the use of a good glossary. This is a great read aloud for families at Christmas time and also a great introduction to Dickens and other Victorian writers. Don't settle for an abridged version. Read this masterpiece the way it was intended
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Carol to treasure for Christmases yet to come 8 Nov 2003
By Herbert T. Moskovitz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A Christmas Carol Audiobook
read by Jim Dale
I once heard it said that to appreciate Dickens best, one should read his stories aloud. I have never had the time to try to do this, but having just listened to a new unabridged reading of A Christmas Carol from Random House, I can see the validity of the statement. Playing the CD's I felt as if the narrator was, in the words of Dickens himself, "standing in the spirit at your elbow."
And what a narrator! The multi-talented Jim Dale reads the story...no, that is not correct...Jim Dale PERFORMS the story. I counted 42 voices in the three-hour recording. Jim Dale is well known for his over 200 voices (and counting) bringing to life all of the characters in the Harry Potter books, which he also records for Random House's Listening Library.
I first saw Jim Dale in the 1977 Disney movie Pete's Dragon where he played the bumbling villain. The next year he played three hilarious characters in another Disney film, Hot Lead and Cold Feet. I was lucky to see him in two musicals on Broadway, in Barnum, and Me and My Girl. Both very memorable performances. I plan to see him next month as he sings and dances Scrooge in Madison Square Garden's Christmas Carol - The Musical. I figure if he is great in the audiobook, he will be even better on stage. An actor has only two tools...his voice and his body. In the audiobooks, of course, only the voice can be used.
And Dale's voice talents are well showcased here. I often found myself laughing out loud, thanks to the combined genius of Dickens and Dale. In a couple of cases, the genius is pure Dale. At one point he adds a bit of a dog's panting that really cracked me up.
I have seen and/or heard other wonderful actors do one-man renditions of A Christmas Carol. A number of years ago a friend played a tape for me of John Gielgud doing an abridged version. I saw Patrick Stewart do his acclaimed one man show on Broadway; from the first row! And I have seen the author's great-great grandson, Gerald Dickens do his skilled and energetic version several times. They are all memorable and it would be impossible to say which was the best. But I can heartily recommend that Jim Dale's version be added to the family library. It is complete, it is accurate and it is a virtuoso performance.
Although I certainly know the story well, I found by listening to the audiobook I was paying closer attention to the lesser known parts...the parts that, to be honest, I usually would skim over when rereading the book. In fact, there were several sections where I felt as if I were hearing them for the first time. Marvelous sections. I couldn't believe I had missed them in the past. Maybe Jim Dale's voice just made them more vibrant than my own inner voice.
I suppose that asking me to review Jim Dale reading A Christmas Carol really isn't fair. One of my favorite performers reading my favorite story by my favorite author! But surely I am not alone. Dickens is universally known as England's greatest novelist. I wouldn't be surprised if Jim Dale was gaining a reputation as one of the world's greatest readers of audiobooks. They are both master storytellers. And to quote the Dickens himself, "If that's not high praise, tell me higher, and I'll use it."
75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Volume 21 Nov 2006
By Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I collect "A Christmas Carol" and this is a particularly lovely volume. The illustrations are wonderful and the overall quality, printing, binding and paper, is terrific. This is definitely in my top three favorites of all the different versions I own.
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic for a Reason 1 Nov 2009
By T. Simons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
As to this kindle edition: it's reasonably well-formatted on the k2, but still has a few typos; the spacing is generally clear. There wasn't a clickable table of contents -- like a lot of other free Kindle books, this is pure text only -- but since this is really more a single short story than it is a book (1065 kindle "locations"), that's not a major fault, and the price makes up for it.

As to the story itself: I doubt there's an english-speaking child who doesn't have at least some familiarity with some version of it; I think every saturday morning cartoon series ever did some version, and every other sitcom. This is the original novella that inspired all those adaptations.

That's the biggest hurdle when reading this: it may be hard for some readers to get past having heard some version or other of Tiny Tim shouting out "God Bless Us, Every One" in five hundred different ways every year of their lives, and some readers might find parts of the story hackneyed in the same way that other Christmas classics have become overplayed (anyone who's worked in a mall during the Christmas seasons will know what I'm talking about).

Despite that, though, this is still a classic story, and readers who can get themselves past that hurdle will be richly rewarded. There's a powerfully archetypal story here, and one that still managed to tug at even my cynical heartstrings, even as overexposed as I've been to endless re-adaptations; I suspect it will do the same for most other readers as well, as long as they're willing to let it.

Even if you don't feel like getting into the Christmas Spirit, though, it's a great introduction to reading Dickens -- probably his shortest major work, and illustrates several of his major themes (urban poverty, workhouses, the Poor Laws, the inadequacy of contemporary aid to the poor, and, generally speaking, man's inhumanity to man). The language is fairly accessible even to a modern reader (Dickens frequently gave public readings of it).

Perhaps most interesting is how much influence this single story has had on our entire modern conception of the Christmas holiday -- it's this one tale that in many ways created, idealized, and shaped the modern notion of Christmas, almost singlehandedly transforming Christmas from the celebration of a sacred holiday to the celebration of a family feast. In the century or two prior to this, the holiday had primarily been seen as a twelve-day rural celebration by a whole village or manorial community -- a celebration that had largely fallen on hard times, due both to Cromwell's Puritan abolishment of Christmas celebrations during the 1640's and 50's and (more crushingly) the increasing urbanization and industrialization of British life, which made such celebrations impractical or impossible. This single story took what had been a dying tradition and revitalized it for the industrial era, refocusing it on the (relatively) secular themes of charity, love, friendship, and the nuclear family -- the same ideas, essentially, that are commonly held at the heart of our Christmas holidays today -- and showing urban families a way to celebrate the holiday and make it meaningful. In a very real way, this story saved Christmas.

So, if you haven't already read it, do so. It's the original -- often imitated, never duplicated. It might tug your heartstrings, and there's something to learn, too, both about the history of the Christmas holiday and its modern meaning.

If you decide after this that you want to read more Dickens, he wrote a number of other "Christmas Tales" -- "The Cricket on the Hearth" and a few others. For the most part they're skippable, not up to the archetypal heights Dickens struck with _Carol_. Instead, I'd recommend David Copperfield; it was Dickens' favorite of his own books, probably the best of his longer works, and it both compares well with "Carol" and strikes on many of the same themes (charity, social injustice, cruelty).
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