"Marley was dead to begin with...."
These chillingly familiar words begin the classic Christmas tale of remorse and redemption in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Now R. William Bennett rewinds the story and focuses the spotlight on Scrooge’s miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn't he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge?
Or had he?
Written with a voice reminiscent of Dickens, Jacob T. Marley is a masterfully crafted story of remorse and redemption, sure to become a Christmas favorite.
©2011 Burgess Adams Inc. (P)2011 Shadow Mountain
If you're a fan of every version of Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL as I am, you will be as thrilled with this book. Bennett has thoroughly captured Dickens' writing style and story line within the wonderful little Christmas tale.
Rather than beginning with the night that Marley returned in death to tell Scrooge of the impending spirits that would change Scrooge's life, this story begins at the start of Jacob's life. We hear of a kind and loving family that Jacob had to begin his life, but he managed to become an old skinflint anyway. How he managed to return to elicit a change in Scrooge's life makes up the majority of this expanded version of an old classic. It was done exceedingly well too.
This is a great version of the classic which tells of compassion and redemption and a life well lived. Though this is just a story, and a superb one at that, I would be remiss, as a Christian, if I did not point out that only Christ can bring about a person's eternal salvation. That said, I believe the message in these stories of doing good to your fellow man, is something that Christ does expect from his people too. A new favorite has been added to my Christmas traditions!
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
I would, and I have listened to this again. And I'm looking forward to listening to this again next Christmas. Though there have been other books from Jacob Marley's perspective, this is so creative, so well-structured, creates strands that are weaved together so well, I can't imagine how his story could be any better.
If you haven't listened to Simon Vance's interpretation of "A Christmas Carol," do so right after listening to this. You'll find yourself delighted and thinking, "Aha! But REALLY what's going on is...!"
Simon Vance brings such a sensitivity to the words, with excellent pacing and a heightened sense of drama where it works best. This is such an emotion-packed journey, truly, you'll be glad you listened to both books together.
I sobbed like a baby. Hopelessness, redemption, suspense that makes you wonder what the hell is going on/is going to happen. Really, it doesn't get any better than this. And the "T." that stands for his middle name? Well, there's a GREAT story that goes with it!
I sent this book to my mom as a gift because it's a story and delivery that just need to be listened to. This was her first audiobook ever, and I told her to keep tissues handy. Her response was the same as my own: this is a Christmas book, a wonderful story for the ages. Bravo to author and narrator!
I love Simon Vance as a narrator, and was ecstatic when I learned he had done this book. It met my expectations perfectly, and was a delight to listen to.
I'd already read the book so there were no surprises as far as plot went, but Vance's narration made all of the emotional scenes come to life, so much so that I had tears in my eyes at certain points. I couldn't pick just one that stands out, unless it's the final scene where Marley offers himself to balance the scales for Scrooge.
Marley's crossing over and meeting The Man.
Yes, and I did.
For any fans of Dickens' original novel, this is a must-read. It adds so much to the story, and does not detract from the version we all know and love. This is the story of Marley, who, as Bennet points out, is in the story very briefly for such an important character who changed Scrooge's life...in ways we didn't realize.
I enjoy reading new takes on old stories, it gives me a fresh perspective to consider. I originally noticed this book because it was read by Simon Vance, a favorite narrator of audiobooks, and got it because as I mentioned, I thought the "backstory" on A Christmas Carol would be interesting.
My only mistake was to listen to it the night before I had an important meeting. I couldn't stop listening, and the humanity of the story itself, of Marley's and Scrooge's redemption had me grabbing tissue after tissue. I woke up all puffy and red-eyed, but happy.
The writing style itself is reminiscent of Dickens without being a parody, and Simon Vance, as always, does a great job in the narration.
Santa Fe Painter
I listen to the Simon Vance version of A Christmas Carol every year now. And this volume will become an annual ritual as well.
The author captures Dickens style faithfully.
A wonderful volume!
It is a prequel to A Christmas Carol.
I liked how he sacrificed his eternal happiness to give hope to Ebeneezer Scrooge
Yes, I listened to it on a Saturday and couldn't stop.
"The book Dickens should have written 170 years ago"
This was very much a spur of the moment purchase but I am so glad I've had chance to experience it. The writing is superb and captures the feel of the Dickens era novel but won't alienate the modern reader.
The narration is very good and I will be looking out for more of Simon Vance's work.
The story runs very naturally and there is no feeling that there has been any rush to cram in plot points just so it meets exactly with A Christmas Carol - it just does. The mark of good writing.
I hate giving away spoilers so all I will add is that Marley's life, death and subsequent afterlife make fascinating reading/listening.
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