Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Marley was dead, to begin with.
Those famous words that say to people around the globe: Christmas is here. I know for me anyway, when I sit to begin my annual reading of A Christmas Carol, the opening line makes me want to curl up in bed with a cup of tea, surrounded by fairy lights  and festive music to read the whole thing from start to finish.
If you haven't ever read the book, then you should. We all know the story inside out and back to front from all the different films that exist, but there's something about hearing it straight from Dickens' mouth that makes it all the more special. His descriptions of the surroundings, sights, sounds and smells are just wonderful, really transporting you into the atmosphere of the place. As a writer I could certainly learn a thing or two from Dickens in terms of description. He sets the scene beautifully, without going on and on like other Victorian authors (cough cough, George Eliot).
It goes without saying that I love watching the films as well, and I'm not ashamed to tell you that my forever favourite is The Muppet Christmas Carol. I was surprised actually in how true some of the speeches in the film are to the original text, to the point where I was visualising various muppets as I read.

For example:
The founder of the feast indeed! I wish I had him here. I'd give him a piece of my mind to feast upon, and I hope he'd have a good appetite for it...It should be Christmas day I'm sure, on which one drinks the health of such an odious, stinky, hard, unfeeling man as Mr. Scrooge.

Who said this? We all know the answer is Miss Piggy.
All that was missing from the novel is for her to say 'and badly dressed!' and for Melinda and Belinda to gasp in horror. I think if Dickens could see The Muppet Christmas Carol then he would surely agree to insert this line into the orginial.   
My only disappointment in reading A Christmas Carol this time is that I read it on my Kindle, where there were just explanations of the illustrations rather than the pictures themselves. But then I guess that's what you get for being able to buy the entire works of Dickens for 50p!
Which one should I read next?



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