I had planned on joining in the Dickens in December readalong of A Christmas Carol on the 21st, but with one thing and another I had to postpone my own reading for a few days. Still, I managed to read this one right around Christmas, which was a thoroughly lovely experience and one that I intend to repeat next year. I’m going to stick with the readalong questions to focus my review.
1. Is this the first time you are reading the story?
Yes! Although it didn’t really feel like it, as the original story has been followed very closely in many of the theater and film adaptations.
2. Did you like it?
I liked it very much, more so than I thought I would. It has the perfect feel of an old, cherished holiday story.
3. Which was your favorite scene?
I think my favorite scene was either when Scrooge sees the first spirit and tries to convince himself that he’s only having digestive problems or when he finally wakes up a changed man and buys the biggest turkey he can find. Both were a lot of fun.
4. Which was your least favorite scene?
There really wasn’t a scene that I didn’t enjoy, although I would have liked to have seen more of the “changed” Scrooge at the end of the story.
5. Which spirit and his stories did you find the most interesting?
I thought the Ghost of Christmas Present was the most interesting, as Scrooge gets a chance to see his own reality from a different perspective–an experience we might all benefit from having.
6. Was there a character you wish you knew more about?
I would have liked to have seen more of Marley, actually, to see what his relationship was like with Scrooge when he was alive.
7. How did you like the end?
I thought the end was well done, if too brief. It’s definitely a novella and not a fully developed novel.
8. Did you think it was believable?
No, but it had typical Dickens melodrama and a touch of gothic charm. I noticed that Dickens still managed to get in his real social commentary, even through a fantastic story.
9. Do you know anyone like Scrooge?
No one that extreme, but I could definitely see a similarity between Scrooge and some of the right-wing political commentators in the U.S. today (enough said!)
10. Did he deserve to be saved?
I think everyone deserves a second chance, and Scrooge isn’t an evil man–he’s just misguided and lacking in empathy. His supernatural visitors help to open his eyes and his heart.