Book Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

2181f3e792bdd06f0639b30e9742c116This review is going to be about “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, this is actually the first Dickens’s book I’ve read and I must say I really enjoyed it.

Of course, I knew the story beforehand, I grew up in Italy where every year at Christmas time the movie “Scrooged” with Bill Murray was shown on TV. I’ve seen the Disney adaptation, and I believe everyone who grew up in a western country knows this particular story.

This novel is so widely known that the main character’s name “Scrooge” became a synonym for a miser or stingy person in the English language.

But I’ve never actually read the original book. Finally, I decided to give it a try, mostly out of curiosity and to get some familiarity with Dickens writing.

I don’t know why but I had a preconceived notion that I might find it hard to read, but it was not the case. To my surprise, the writing style was fluid, clear and accessible to anyone.

As I kept reading I think I realized why this story became so well known. I believe it is because it deals with universal issues in such an open and frank manner and because it gives a message of hope that can shake even the worst of us.

It speaks about feelings and emotions we all share, and that we are not so eager to talk about, mostly because we are ashamed, but I’m pretty sure everyone has experienced them, at least once in their lifetime. This book is about some of our worst qualities: greed, indifference, fear and loneliness and also about the best ones: love, redemption, compassion and gratitude.

What I liked most about it is the message that it carries. In my opinion, it’s a message of hope: it’s never too late to learn from your mistakes and to change the course of your future.

Of course in the book Scrooge is forced to see his mistakes with the help of the ghosts, and he decide to change mostly out of fear of what would happen to him if he does not change, although in the novel it’s never specified if the future he has seen is inevitable or if it can change. In the end, the only thing we can do, is to do our best, do good to others and hope, which is what Scrooge does in the end, he changes hoping that it will do something to prevent the horrible future that awaits him if he does not. So yeah, if you, like me have not read this wonderful little book yet, give it a try, it won’t take long and I promise it will restore a little bit of faith in humanity for you… or at least that is what it has done for me.

Favorite quote:

“You are fettered,” said Scrooge, trembling. “Tell me why?”

“I wear the chain I forged in life,” replied the Ghost. “I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”

Charles Dickens