on 1 June 2010
A Christmas Carol is the classic story of how a bitter miser called Ebenezer Scrooge gets re-habilitated after being visited by three ghosts. The Ghosts' of Christmas Past, Present and Future show him visions of his life and of his influence on the lives of others. On seeing things as they truly are Scrooge changes his whole outlook on the world.
The first time I came across this book it was a bridged version meant for children and as I got older I read the full story. It was the first Dickens book I read and I'm glad to say it wasn't the last. I never get tired of this story. I read it every Christmas and even though it has been thirty years since I first read it, Christmas Eve wouldn't be the same without this little indulgence.
You may think that because you have seen one of the numerous adaptations of this story that it doesn't really matter if you read the original. Don't make that mistake I beg you; this is one treat you shouldn't miss.
If you are interested in owning a facsimile version of this classic book, or perhaps you want to give it as a gift then I can't recommend this version enough.
I was unsure when I first ordered this version as the picture and description didn't give much away, other than it was printed as the original was on first publishing and it contained the iconinc John Leech designs. However I am over the moon with the presentation of this book. First of all it comes encased in a hard and durable slip case (with the picture you see in the description above printed on the cover). I was glad to see it was not a flimsy card slip case but something that looked nice and will protect the actual book.
Inside the slip case is a red hard back book (small in size, about fifteen-sixteen centimetres in length)with bevelled holly decorations around the outside and a gold embossed holly design in the middle with the title. The spine also features this gold embossed design. It looks absolutely wonderful. The pages have been gold leafed for that extra touch and inside the pages use the original typeface and designs from David Leach. There's a preface to the book which makes an intersting read including Charles Dickens handwritten preface and drafts. Perhaps best of all is the wonderful illustrations and wood cuttings throughout from John Leech, wonderfully printed here on quality paper.
The story is also as the original was (there have been many abridged and altered versions). We all know the story by now, but for the young who may not I can't think of a better gift to receive than this. It will be cherished for a long time by me and I'm sure many others who purchase it. For the price it's an absolute bargain.
on 17 June 2007
If you have never read 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens, this would be an excellent introduction to a timeless story.
If you already own any copy of the book, add this one too. As it is probably one of the most sumptious copies around. Thick glossy pages and beautiful illustrations, make this a joy for years to come!
I collect different print versions of Dickens' books, and this without a doubt is one of the lovliest I have ever seen.
Get it and make it part of your holiday season.
Since its first publication in 1843, the popularity of Charles Dickens' ghostly novella about redemption at Christmas has remained constant.
This means that the potential purchaser of an audiobook of a Christmas Carol is spoilt for choice. Alternative versions by the likes of Martin Jarvis, Patrick Stewart, David Jason, Anton Lesser and Geoffrey Palmer are available, so why should anybody bother with this one?
In two words ... Tom Baker.
His rich, expressive and instantly familiar voice is perfectly suited to this material. As a long time admirer of the works of Dickens, Baker is more than able to wring every drop of humour and pathos from the finely crafted prose.
Unlike some other versions, this is unabridged, so you can enjoy the complete story. Highly recommended, this is sure to become a Christmas favourite in many households.
on 6 November 2009
If you wish to own only one version of this timeless tale, make it this one. I have a number of different editions and this is the most lavishly illustrated one I have ever seen. The gorgeous pictures, which look wonderfully Victorian, capture the very essence of each character as described by Dickens. This would make the perfect gift at Christmas.
I have a tradition of reading 'A Christmas Carol' every December, as it is my all-time favourite Dickens story.
With Dickens' words and the wonderfull illustrations, this is an edition to treasure for years to come.
on 17 September 2006
The review below is slightly misleading as this particular version is COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED.
I would recommend reading a simplified version first, if you are not familiar with the story. Then have a dictionary to hand as you read this one!
The classic story is timeless, and one of Charles Dickens' most well known tales. As with many of his stories, the pictures he conjures up are rooted in his own experience of life in Victorian Britain, with it's great contrast between rich and poor.
on 20 January 2004
Upon learning that A Christmas Carol had won a place in the BBC's Big Read extravaganza, it occurred to me that I had never actually read it. Of course, there have been many film adaptations over the years, and Amazon currently has more than thirty different versions of the book available, so it must have something going for it. Let me assure you, it does. The message behind the story is simple, and I believe that is a large contributing factor to its continued success. Although it was first published in 1843, to this day it remains as significant as when Dickens first allowed the public to feast their eyes upon it.
Ebenezer Scrooge is the central character - a lonely old miser of a man, he keeps all of his money locked away, and allows neither himself nor his impoverished relatives to enjoy it. Returning to his chilly home on Christmas eve, he is rather alarmed to find his once-business partner Jacob Marley waiting for him. This is hardly surprising, since Marley has been dead for seven years. Scrooge is warned that unless he changes his miserable ways, he will spend the afterlife repenting. The exchange between the two is followed by a lengthy night, in which three spirits - the ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas yet to come, visit Ebenezer.
Although A Christmas Carol is largely aimed at children aged ten and above, many adults can (and have) enjoyed the wealth of description Dickens packs into the novel. The depiction of the streets of nineteenth century London and its architecture is a treat. Also, the way in which the author uses imagery to convey the difference between Scrooge's desolate existence, and the tenderness he could be experiencing had he any kind feeling in his heart towards his family. "... along the streets, the brightness of the roaring fires in kitchens, parlours, and all sorts of rooms, was wonderful. Here, the flickering of the blaze showed preparations for a cosy dinner, with hot plates baking through and through before the fire, and deep red curtains, ready to be drawn, to shut out cold and darkness."
I would recommend any reader wishing to locate a copy of the book look for one with explanations about words used in the story that are no longer (or rarely) in use. 'Negus' for instance, was a word used in the story, and I was not aware that it was "wine and hot water sweetened with lemon and spice" until I consulted the footnotes in the superb Penguin Classics edition. Similarly, 'twelfth-cakes' being "large, rich cakes, frosted and decorated with icing sugar figures, made to be eaten on Twelfth Night."
Any reader who has enjoyed this splendid, eerie treat may also enjoy Dickens' other Christmas writings (of which there are many). "The Cricket on the Hearth," "The Haunted Man" and "The Chimes" are all fine examples of the author's other festive tales. A Christmas Carol will be around for a long time, indeed, it has already and with good reason. It is only a short story, and can be read in an hour or two. I urge you to read it, it really is a delight.
on 9 June 2015
Oh we all know the tale of Eberneezer Scrunge and his night of torture at the hands of Gaz Topp and his miserable elves (Mumpy, Gumbo, Flucks, et al), but whomany of us know the story behind Dickens' own 'black night of the soul', ie, Bonfire Night, 1850, when he and his by then fatugly wife (and whomany of us wouldnot be fatugly given having birth some eighty-two times to the same bearded man, and she a Wedgewood?) whence for once he was besieged by the sort of sausages one only usually sees at weekends (underneath), along with a particularly viscous (ie, sticky liquidy) attempt on his life by one, possibly two, Fred Dineage/s, and what looked like, to some, a whole herd of Carol Voordermans? The answer, off course, being Severn. Witch said, stick with The Muppets one or at worst the Albert Finney, this is full of words.