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5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Carol 2, 23 Dec 2013
It may seem strange to compare a Christmas book to the book The Princess Bride (you've seen the movie even if you haven't read the book, right?), but I'm going to, because A Christmas Carol 2 reminded me of this classic in multiple ways (I know the literati might not call it a classic, but I do).

The first similarity is the premise that the book was written by someone other than the author. The Princess Bride was claimed to have been written by S. Morgenstern with a story involving the author, William Goldman, having it read to him as a sick child, only to discover as an adult that there were boring parts, so he'd republished it in what, if memory serves me correctly, was originally referred to as "the good parts edition." This book (or so the claim goes) was written by Charles Dickens with Robert J. Ellsberg providing some commentary via footnotes.

Another similarity is the humor, sometimes subtle, in both. For example, A Christmas Carol 2 inserts short (sometimes just two or three words) from other sources (often Christmas songs and other seasonal fare) in ways that work in the context of the story, while evoking the source. I'm not sure whether everyone would see these as humorous, but it tickled my funny bone. A few examples are saying "the weather outside was frightful" or describing someone as "a jolly, happy soul with a corncob pipe and a button nose." A second, ongoing joke was the appearance of several characters from other Dickens' books with footnotes explaining the reason for including this character, often including actual (made up) quotes of correspondence between Dickens and his editor.

At one point as reading I started wondering if the author was making a political statement with the subtext (it seemed to be headed that way), but in the end, I decided I was probably seeing things (sometimes a cigar is just a cigar). If there was a message, it was one of moderation. I found this "sequel" to the beloved Christmas classic a fun read on many different levels.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
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A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge
A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge by Robert J. Elisberg (Paperback - 28 Nov 2012)
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