Defrost thy Cold Heart: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a Warm Classic

A Christmas Carol: A classic that’s tasty and crisp, just like the finest fish and chips I’ve ever had!

Just like everyone else who hasn’t read the book, I already knew the premise of ‘A Christmas Carol’ for a long time.

My first exposure to A Christmas Carol was at age 12 or 13 when I read the Sweet Valley Twins’ Super Chiller Edition: The Christmas Ghost (cue eerie sound effects).

I decided to read this “most beloved Christmas tale of them all” once and for all last Christmas. I bought a very endearing used copy during Christmas but only got to read it in March.

I’m probably the 5th , 10th (who knows!) owner of this book and I love it! It cost me less than 2 AUD. It’s a perfect little pocket book size, printed by Washington Square Press, printed 1963. 1963! A Christmas Carol was published December of 1843 so 1963 seems terribly ‘modern’ in comparison but reading a 178-year-old tale from a 58-year-old book presents such a bookish novelty.

The pages are yellowed, crisp on the edges (but not frayed or flaking), and has that nice “old-but-clean” book smell.

“This easy-to-read edition of A Christmas Carol includes sixteen pages of historical illustrations and a brief biography of the author, Charles Dickens”

I chuckled a little when I saw that line at the back of the book, bemusedly thinking those ‘historical illustrations’ wouldn’t be of much help. And my smug self was proven wrong by the ghost of Christmas past.

These illustrations were really helpful! Especially when the Ghost of Christmas Past took our homie Ebenezer for a stroll down memory lane, it was good to see images of what the places of his childhood looked like.

It was such a pleasure to read A Christmas Carol, and I can easily see why this classic is a favourite among Christmassy folks to read every year. Do people really do that? Gather round the lounge, fireplace crackling, everyone full from Christmas dinner, and every family member takes turn reading a chapter?

It sounds fun but I don’t really know. Perhaps the more modern tradition would be watching any of the 135 film adaptations of the book.

Now Christmas is my least favourite holiday / season of the year and I frankly dread when it comes. The last few years have mellowed the Scrooge in me, though. And despite knowing how the story turns out, I found myself feeling jubilant when Ebenezer turned a new leaf after being shown what may happen if he remains the sad miserly individual he’s been.

I’ve only read two other novels of Charles Dickens ( A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations), and reading A Christmas Carol made me realise just how versatile Charles Dickens is as a writer, and how he really is a master in storytelling.

I have to say this about Charles Dickens: However checkered his moral decisions or notorious his character may be as many historical accounts say, he really knows how to tell a story. There’s always a valuable lesson to be learned in all his works.

I really enjoyed this and I’m glad to have read it at a time when I’m no longer as much of a Scrooge.


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