There can’t be many people who aren’t familiar with the storyline of A Christmas Carol; briefly however, this is the very famous story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who through a visit from the ghost of his former business partner, and three further spirits (who show him respectively, the Christmases of his past, the Christmas of his present, and the Christmas of his future) becomes a changed man, and in doing so, is redeemed from the lonely future which awaits him.
A Christmas Carol is definitely the jewel in the crown, of all the stories contained in this book. The other two which I particularly enjoyed from this collection are The Story of the Goblins who Stole a Sexton – which is part of another of Dicken’s work, The Pickwick Papers (this particular short story is worthy of note, as A Christmas Carol was based on it), and A Christmas Episode from Master Humphrey’s Clock.
The other novella in this collection is The Haunted Man and The Ghost’s Bargain, which has an interesting and typically Dickensian premise, but which does not capture the imagination as well as A Christmas Carol (although this is possibly because the story itself is less well known). Other, shorter writings are also included.
The writing in all of the pieces is deceptively simple, as Dickens uses his words to great effect. There are moments of great humour and many subtle comments upon the social circumstances of the time. Dickens’ books are classics with good reason – he certainly knew the power of good storytelling!
This is an ideal book to curl up with at this time of year. It reminds us of the true spirit of Christmas, and never fails to raise a smile. It is one of those books which leaves you feeling nice and warm on the inside! Recommended (but not for reading in the height of summertime)!