It always amazes me that there are so many books out there that I haven’t read. In high school I was first introduced to Charles Dickens and fell in love with his books. I read through a few of his works (Hard Times, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities) and then purchased just about everything else that he has written. And they sat on my bookshelf. Well, this December I was staring at my bookshelf and decided maybe I should read “A Christmas Carol” since it is that time of year. So I picked it up. Turns out, I still love Charles Dickens and am currently rereading “A Tale of Two Cities”.
What do I like about Charles Dickens’ works? Well, he has a certain writing style that is just appealing to me. For example, “Built upon a dismal reef of sunken rocks, some league or so from shore, on which the waters chafed and dashed, the wild year through, there stood a solitary lighthouse. Great heaps of sea-weed clung to its base, and storm-birds-born of the wind one might supposed, as sea-weed of the water – rose and fell about it, like the waves they skimmed.” (A Christmas Carol, pg 69). I think this is a great example of how well Dickens is able to shape the English language. I personally think he writes beautifully (even if he did write a book about how much America sucks) and look forward to rereading “A Tale of Two Cities”.
Nearly everyone knows the story of “A Christmas Carol” – it’s been adapted time and again where the gist is the same. There is always a Scrooge. There are always the ghosts that visit – and always the ‘bad guy’ sees the light and does a 180. There is a certain experience that one goes through reading “A Christmas Carol” for the first time. It is interesting to see what the original story feels like. And it was quite enjoyable, I must say. I want to reiterate how beautiful the language that Dickens uses is. I need to include another example. “It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. When Scrooge’s nephew laughed in this way: holding his sides, rolling his head, and twisting his face into the most extravagant contortions: Scrooge’s niece, by marriage, laughed as heartily as he. And their assembled friends being not a bit behindhand, roared out, lustily.” (A Christmas Carol, pg 70).
Would I recommend “A Christmas Carol”? Yes – I think it is a must read, if only so you can have a taste of the original story that spawned so many books, movies, and TV episodes. It was enjoyable and I think most people would be able to get through it pretty quickly (it is short for a book). Check it out!!