Although the original book is only about 100 pages in length, its compact plot structure and wonderful narrative velocity are so perfectly contrived as to make this novella an icon in world literature. Once the story begins, there is no getting off this mad dash around the fog beclouded city of gloomy London.
The story was written in 1843 in the wake of a series of "poor laws" directed at changes in the British welfare system. Dickens tried to alert his readers to the plight of those persons who had been displaced and driven into poverty as a result of the rapid changes taking place during the early years of the Industrial Revolution.
In A Christmas Carol, Dickens points out that the wealthy have a greater obligation to the poor than to merely pay their taxes and go on about their lives. But the greatest thing about the story is the powerful spirit of Christmas, and the healing virtue of believing in something outside of one's self.
(P)2008 Audio Connoisseur
"Charlton Griffin's inspired reading of this 1843 novella should be mandatory holiday listening." (AudiFile Magazine)
I listened to all the samples on this book and they all sounded great to me. I chose this one because there were some sound effects that I didn't hear in the others. I was thrilled with my choice. The narrator was amazing. Many times I thought there was a cast of characters but it was just one man. I think I would have liked any of the narrators but I loved this one. I listen to many books but this is my first review.
I purchased this as my "seasonal cheer". While the story focuses on Christmas, its message is for the whole year.
Just a few days after buying this version, audible.com gave me a copy of the Tim Curry version. I have listened to both, and of the two I prefer this one.
Both are decently read. To me the Curry version reminds me of a grandfather sharing it with a child just learning to read --- slow and deliberate like he's letting the child point out words on the page as they go. To my taste, this version is narrated more smoothly, and the reader is more intent on communicating the story.
Most of us probably already know the story or at least a version of it. So the delivery is what counts. Different people will have different preferences.
The plot may not suit people who feel "Scrooge-like" at this season, but for others, it is heartwarming. Given how long ago Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol, it is amazing how little of it seems dated. Its style is more leisurely and observant than it would be if written today. But the author's observations and asides rarely feel intrusive or dated.
Everyone should read this among all the other classics.
I am not a Dickens follower, but I find this typical of his other books in that he identifies a personality or type and tells us we should try not to be like that.
Griffin is wonderful. You don't realize that one person is doing all this. I like the voice of naration best. Scrooge was also outstanding.
One has seen it so many times--
I think Dicken's message is that if we dislike someone he must be bad. I don't buy it. I don't think a real Scrooge could be as flat as C.D. makes him.
I read or listen to this story at least once a year -- at Christmas, of course. It is an excellent reminder of just what the season is about.
Scrooge goes through such a transformation during his experiences. Through his story, we can learn to think about our actions (and how we lead our lives) in a different sort of way.
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