Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Christmas Carol: Read-Along

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Evan’s ESS = 9 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 9 out of 10
Content = PG (Unfriendly Dispositions, Forewarning Spirits, Multiple Use of the Word Humbug)

Why: Okay, let’s get a few things out on the table.  We know you’ve seen Mickey’s Christmas Carol over a hundred times.  We know you can recite Tiny Tim’s memorable line in your sleep.  We know you’ve mentally judged someone a Scrooge more than once in your life.  Still, what you must realize is that reading A Christmas Carol is as much a part of Christmas as stale fruitcake and yellow snow.  In our house, this novel has become a rich, storied tradition that started just last year...  For this reason we jumped at the chance to participate in the Read-along hosted by Dog-Eared & Bookmarked.  Over the next five weeks we will be diving into the world of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchet, and Tiny Tim. 

Before we lose your attention completely, we present, completely unabridged and in amazing Technicolor, our analysis on Stave 1:

The tone for this entire novel is set within the first two paragraphs.  The reader is given confirmation that Scrooge’s longtime business partner, Jacob Marley, is unequivocally dead (The reader is also able to glimpse the profound humor found in all of Dicken's writing).  Most importantly, we are introduced to Ebenezer Scrooge and shown the extent of his miserly existence.  To further emphasize Scrooge's cruel nature, every other person we encounter stands as his polar opposite: holiday cheer charity, remorse.  We are also reminded why you should never enter a dwelling once its front knocker morphs into a person’s face.

What we especially love about this first stave is the imagery created.  It’s so simple and yet you get goosebumps reading about Marley’s chains echoing throughout the house.  You also get such a great insight into Scrooge’s character through his dialogue.  We loved reading about his appeal to encounter all 3 ghosts at once in order to get things over with quicker.  Finally, we love the perspective that Marley provides in the final sequence.

Sorry for the overabundance of love in this review, but we… thoroughly adore this novel.  Stave 1 sets the table for everything to come and definitely has us anxious to plow ahead.  Until next week….    


  1. Apparently you don't adore it enough to rate it a ten. Be honest... you just really like it.

  2. Thanks for posting! We did pick up on the same themes. After doing research, I'm finding that Dickens set some major tones with his usage of allegory.

    I'm glad you are enjoying this read! I look forward to reading your thoughts throughout the remainder of this read-a-long =)

  3. I almost felt sorry for Scrooge when he asked to be exempted from the ghostly visits. Loved your thoughts for Stave One.