Murfreesboro, Tennessee USA
Definitely. While I respect "A Christmas Carol" as a major cultural influence, it has never been one of my favorite Christmas stories. Tom Baker's narration makes it much more enjoyable for me.
In the '70s and '80s Tom Baker narrated a few ghost stories and abridged sci-fi classics like "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Anyone who has heard those will find that his narration style has not changed. He has a theatrical delivery that fits the Victorian text (portions of which Dickens himself performed to audiences).
It's so alive! This is not a clipped, "proper" reading of a classic, but a living text. Baker's voice is rich and plummy, with different tones for different characters and a lot of enthusiasm both in happy moments and chilling reveals. This is truly a performance, as if a favorite uncle came over for Christmas and started reading you the story.
I was surprised by the material in "A Christmas Carol" which doesn't get adapted by most filmmakers (we've all seen multiple TV or movie versions, right?). My favorite is when the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge on a tour of London and reveals to him the two children under his robes: the boy, Ignorance, and the girl, Want. "Beware them both, but most of all - beware this boy!"
I haven't read "A Christmas Carol" in over a decade because the story has never been a favorite. I'm so pleased I took a chance on this audiobook and reacquainted myself. I would recommend this performance to anyone.
I've never read a print version. However, Neil Gaiman's story seems to have been specifically designed as a fun little "appetizer" for Halloween, and the enjoyment really comes from listening to him read that story.
This is basically a narrative vignette, and if you have any experience with spooky stories at all you'll figure out "where it's going." It's not a revolutionary tale and some listeners will be disappointed with how familiar it feels. However, that familiarity also makes the story suspenseful as well as nostalgic (it will reminded me of stories I enjoyed as a child).
He has a wonderful, silky storyteller's voice with perfect cadence. He draws you in right away.
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