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CRP: “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens (Audiobook)

The Classics Reclamation Project is my personal challenge to read and enjoy the classics. Each Wednesday, I post about the classic I’m reading at the moment.

The Classics Reclamation Project

I’ve seen numerous adaptations of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I began my acquaintance with the story in middle school, when I participated in a musical stage adaptation; most recently, I watched the movie “Scrooged.” But it wasn’t until this Christmas that I actually experienced the original novel.

It’s the classic story of the grouchy miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who won’t spend money on coal for heat, refuses to visit his nephew, and is loath to give his employee Christmas Day off work. As he arrives home on Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of Marley, Scrooge’s business partner, who warns Scrooge he will be visited by three ghosts. The bulk of the novel concerns itself with Scrooge’s experiences with these ghosts, who help Scrooge see life in a different light.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (audiobook cover)

I really enjoyed A Christmas Carol. It’s short, dramatic, and has a nice moral. I liked the different temperaments of the three ghosts as well as the characterizations of the novel’s other players. Scrooge won me over despite his initially curmudgeonly, miserly ways.

The atmosphere of the story was perfect for the holiday season. Scrooge’s transformation happens just in time for Christmas Day, so that the reader shares in Scrooge’s joy when he discovers he won’t have to wait until next year to amend his ways and get into the holiday spirit. I’m sure I’d enjoy A Christmas Carol any time, but reading it at Christmastime added another level that I quite liked.

I listened to A Christmas Carol as read by Frank Muller. Muller also did The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Great Gatsby, both of which I loved. A Christmas Carol was no different. Muller has a great voice for reading classics, and his comfortably quick pace keeps the stories moving and not overly dramatized. I’ll definitely be listening to more classics read by Frank Muller.

I don’t have much else to say about A Christmas Carol! I liked it. If you’ve not yet read it, I’d recommend it, but I do think it’s nicest around Christmas. I might just make it a holiday tradition!

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  • http://perduedansleslivres.blogspot.com virginie

    I read A Christmas Carol for the first time, only last year, with my 11 year old daughter, who read it for her english class ! We both enjoyed it ! I never ever listened to an audiobook but am more and more tempted. Listening to classics is an option I should try.

    • Erin

      Oh, I bet that was fun to read together! There are some really great audiobooks out there. (Of course, there are some terrible ones, too!) I find listening to classics helps me get through them more quickly and process them better; sometimes I can get bogged down in the older language.

  • http://zenleaf.amandagignac.com Amanda

    Maybe I should have listened to this one. It was my first experience with Dickens, read pre-blogging, and I just couldn’t get into the language! It felt like wading through marshmallow. I loved the story from previous adaptations, but hated the book. Maybe it’s just like when I read Nabokov – I have to SLOW DOWN a lot more, and I have a hard time doing that without the audio.

    • Erin

      I can totally understand the wading through marshmallow feeling — that’s perfect! I often do better with books like that when I listen to them, because it gets me out of the language and into the story. Muller is the same narrator who did The Great Gatsby recording I loved, which was fun. He gets it all into about three hours, too.

    • http://bonjourcass.com Cass

      There’s also a JIM DALE (he of the Harry Potter audio books) version that I really need to download and make a Christmas listening tradition myself. :)

      • Erin

        Ooh! How did I miss THAT?? Must…find…

  • http://www.ragingbibliomania.net/ zibilee

    I am a big Dicken’s lover and love this book around the holiday season. It is a great story and has a wonderful moral lesson as well. This year, we were going to watch the new Disney version with the family on Christmas eve, but things didn’t work out. It really bummed me out that we didn’t get to see it, but hey, maybe next year!

    • Erin

      I’d love to watch some adaptations of it now that I’ve read the original! It really is a wonderful holiday story.

  • http://ardentreader.wordpress.com Christina

    I love A Christmas Carol! When I was younger my dad would read Twas the Night Before Christmas out loud to us on Christmas Eve, but when my brother and I got older he started reading A Christmas Carol out loud to us instead.

    We didn’t do it this year, though, because we ushered for the live theater performance of the tale, watched the Muppets’ version with my cousins, and then he and I saw “Scrooged” so we were a bit burnt out.

    • Erin

      What a nice holiday tradition! We used to read The Story of Holly and Ivy, but we never moved on to something more mature. I can see why you skipped the original this year — that’s a lot of Scrooge!

  • http://www.booklineandsinker.com nat @book, line, and sinker

    hope you had a wonderful holiday!! i haven’t listened to ACC on audio but it’s a good idea for next year! i’ve seen it performed a few times but never listened to it. sending wishes for a happy and bright 2011!!

    • Erin

      I did…you too! A Christmas Carol was just right for the holiday: not too long or involved, but definitely Christmas-y. I’d like to see it again now that I’ve read it! Happy New Year!

  • http://JillianIsReading.wordpress.com Jillian

    I read this one aloud this year with Mom. It’s an AWESOME story.

    • Erin

      I love seeing how many people make A Christmas Carol a family event. Maybe I’ll do something like that next year. It’s such a good story to do that with!

  • http://www.thingsmeanalot.com/ Nymeth

    I’d love to try this as an audiobook – I bet it’d work really well! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it :)

    • Erin

      It was really nice! I listened to it while I was baking Christmas cookies and wrapping presents. It was great :-)

  • http://reviews.rebeccareid.com Rebecca Reid

    this is a tradition for me — I usually visit it every OTHER year. I love the idea of doing it audio! That’s how I first experienced it in sixth grade reading class.

    • Erin

      Every other year sounds good, especially if I can find another good holiday novel with which to alternate it. I should probably graduate from The Story of Holly and Ivy, which is a children’s picture book!