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A Christmas Carol [Paperback]

Charles Dickens
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 1991 Dover Thrift Editions
In October 1843, Charles Dickens ― heavily in debt and obligated to his publisher ― began work on a book to help supplement his family's meager income. That volume, A Christmas Carol, has long since become one of the most beloved stories in the English language. As much a part of the holiday season as holly, mistletoe, and evergreen wreaths, this perennial favorite continues to delight new readers and rekindle thoughts of charity and goodwill.
With its characters exhibiting many qualities ― as well as failures ― often ascribed to Dickens himself, the imaginative and entertaining tale relates Ebenezer Scrooge's eerie encounters with a series of spectral visitors. Journeying with them through Christmases past, present, and future, he is ultimately transformed from an arrogant, obstinate, and insensitive miser to a generous, warmhearted, and caring human being. Written by one of England's greatest and most popular novelists, A Christmas Carol has come to epitomize the true meaning of Christmas.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

For many people in the 21st century, Dickens's A Christmas Carol has come to define what "keeping Christmas" should look like. And according to Michael Patrick Hearn's superb introduction to this annotated edition of Dickens's beloved classic, that was precisely the author's intention. Dickens feared that encroaching industrialism undermined the traditional values of family, faith and simplicity, and that killjoy Puritans had done away with many of the pleasures of Christmas, so he set out to revive old-fashioned English customs. Hearn's introduction grandly describes the story's enduring popularity around the world (including Dickens's irate but mostly ineffectual attempts to stem the tide of its plagiarism). The annotated edition is enriched by numerous wood etchings, including some from the original 1843 art by Punch cartoonist John Leech. Old Scrooge himself would approve.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Beginning with an introduction that covers the history of the classic tale, Hearn includes a wealth of information on the background of the story as well as a short biography of Dickens. The editor inserts quote after quote from contemporary reviewers, authors, friends, newspapers, and other sources that feature a perspective on the tale. The result is a large, long introduction filled with thoroughly researched information made readily available. The tale itself follows, filled with footnotes and supplementary facts. The addition of many photographs, some of them rare, helps present a realistic view of the writer's world. Wood engravings and hand-colored etchings by the original illustrator, Leech, provide interest and a note of authenticity. Supplemental illustrations by George Cruikshank, Gustave Dore, John Tenniel, and "Phiz" (Halbot Knight Browne) supply glimpses of the other tales and times of Dickens, while some feature more artwork they had done depicting scenes from A Christmas Carol. A reprint of the 1843 text used by Dickens when he read the tale aloud publicly is appended.
Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a classic for a reason! Feb. 3 2010
By J. Scully TOP 500 REVIEWER
I'm almost ashamed to admit that I've never read this classic before! After being fairly disappointed by the new Disney 3D movie version of A Christmas Carol, I decided it was time to read the book so at least I'd know the real story. I wasn't sure what to expect because I often have a hard time getting through the classics, but absolutely I adored it!

Charles Dickens is a true wordsmith; his writing flows in such a way that makes it almost lyrical. I won't go into the story, because I can't imagine there's a person out there who hasn't heard, read or seen it some form or other, but I will say that I regret not reading this wonderful tale earlier, and am eager to read more stories by the fantastic Charles Dickens!

I'll leave you with a quote from the end of the novel that's had me smiling all day: "His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him."
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Book Collection June 19 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A true classic for Christmas. I always read this book during Christmas over a hot mug of hot cocoa with the lights off and the candles lit ! A story of good vs evil and redemption !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charming Oct. 16 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the third copy of this title that I have purchased. I bought this especially for my daughter who enjoyed my copy so much she asked for one herself. The story by Dickens is a favourite and this particular edition is a must for any Christmas book shelf. It is on mine... and now it is on teh book shelves of two of my daughters.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Thought it Would Be Longer May 7 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amazon really needs to show better pictures. I bought this as a gift for Christmas, not knowing that it was only about 5mm thick!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Carol, A Dickens Masterpiece Sept. 6 2012
By Scoopriches TOP 500 REVIEWER
So much of today has come from this story, ideas and thoughts and customs that permeate this season. A book written over 150 years ago still resonates with us. An undisputed classic from a master storyteller.

It is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Concepts that are a part of our life around us are created and espoused here by Dickens. Scrooge. Tiny Tim. The Ghosts. We all remember these bits and parts and what they represent to us. A Scrooge is a miserly person turned good. A Tiny Tim is a hopeful cripple who must be cured. And the Ghosts will show us the way to betterment. These have become part of the DNA of Christmas.

The genesis of A Christmas Carol starts in Victorian England with Mr. Charles Dickens. Born in 1812 to live a poor life, by his early twenties he had started his writing career and found success. Over the years he wed, fathered 10 children and penned several volumes. This works featured subjects like London, the time period, and the poor, with fascinating characters on display. He passed away (becoming a ghost?) in 1870, with an unfinished manuscript in his possession. He was telling wondrous stories right till the end.

And in 1843 he created what many consider his greatest story ever. When he found himself in debt, he created A Christmas Carol to be serialized in a newspaper. It became an immediate critical and commercial success. Something we all remember to this day. Was Dickens the Rowling of the time?

The story of A Christmas Carol is simple and straightforward. Ebenezer Scrooge is a horrible, miserable old man with a nasty, hateful outlook on live. His long suffering employee Bob Cratchit is poor and has to provide for his large family.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for the Price April 28 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great book for the price. I purchased it for a family member and they just loved it. You guys should pick up a copy of this classic novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book Jan. 26 2009
This was a short book I decided to pick up because it was nearing christmas time, and I wanted to read a classic christmas novel. Going into it with all the flawed knowledge that television told me of the tale, I was suprised with such an immediate change in scrooge's character from the appearance of even the first ghost.
Regardless, it was an enjoyable read on christmas eve, and I will probably read it again next christmas eve.
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Dickens, it's said, created the British image of Christmas.

It would be a ridiculous but interesting challenge to name the world's most successful or influential work of fiction, but if it were attempted, this novella would be a strong contender. Crafted with all the brilliant wit and imagery of which Dickens was capable, it chronicles the redemption of an aging skinflint, rendered bitter and cruel by his passion for money, to whom life has become a trudge towards the grave.

Joy and love Ebenezer Scrooge has barred from his life, and for this, as his dead partner's ghost warns him, he is doomed to wander the Earth after death, chained by his hoarded loot. Yet he is to be rescued by the spirit - spirits actually: three of them - that burn hot and bright with forgiveness and hope amid the snow and of this darkest, final month.

Dickens wrote this tale as a protest in 1843, against the even then growing obsession with material wealth, and neglect of life's freely given riches. Tnd today its message is as strong and apt as ever. To me, Christmas has not arrived until I've seen it told yet again in one of its many film adaptations, be it the black & white 1951 version starring Alastair Sim, or one of the later versions in which George C. Scott, Albert Finney, Patrick Stewart and many others have portrayed the old miser. This rich and unashamed snatch at our heartstrings never fails to pluck mine.

Graham Worthington, Author, Wake of the Raven
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