A Christmas Carol

Mass Market Paperback | November 1, 1986

byCharles Dickens

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

“Bah!” said Scrooge. “Humbug!”

With those famous words unfolds a tale that renews the joy and caring that are Christmas. Whether we read it aloud with our family and friends or open the pages on a chill winter evening to savor the story in solitude, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a very special holiday experience.

It is the one book that every year will warm our hearts with favorite memories of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—and will remind us with laughter and tears that the true Christmas spirit comes from giving with love.

With a heartwarming account of Dickens’ first reading of the Carol, and a biographical sketch.

From Our Editors

First published in 1843, Charles Dickens' classic tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, whose cold and embittered heart is warmed by the joys and rewards of love, is as synonymous to Christmas as department store sales. A Christmas Carol is the story of his transformation, spurred by the ghosts who like to take him to his past, present and...

From the Publisher

Merry Christmas, everyone!“Bah!” said Scrooge. “Humbug!” With those famous words unfolds a tale that renews the joy and caring that are Christmas. Whether we read it aloud with our family and friends or open the pages on a chill winter evening to savor the story in solitude, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is a very special holiday ...

From the Jacket

Merry Christmas, everyone! "Bah!" said Scrooge. "Humbug!" With those famous words unfolds a tale that renews the joy and caring that are Christmas. Whether we read it aloud with our family and friends or open the pages on a chill winter evening to savor the story in solitude, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is a very special holida...

Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. At age eleven, Dickens was taken out of school and sent to work in London backing warehouse, where his job was to paste labels on bottles for six s...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 6.89 × 4.18 × 0.33 inPublished:November 1, 1986Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0553212443

ISBN - 13:9780553212440

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Customer Reviews of A Christmas Carol

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Classic This is an excellent story. First time reading it. Everybody should take the time & read this.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Christmas Carol:Deluxe Gift Edition Excellent!!! I love that book!
Date published: 2013-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Still Amazing You don't really know the story of A Christmas Carol as well as you think you do until you've gone directly to the source.
Date published: 2013-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It's never to late In spite of the tittle of this book it has almost nothing to do with Christmas. The real message of this book is, no matter how much a jerk you may be, it's never to late to change for the better. Scrooge learns by being a kind and caring person, it makes him feel better, as well as others. Remember if there a jerk at work, or in the neighborhood, or any where for that matter, it's still not to late for that person to change for the better. So let us all hope for best, for that person.
Date published: 2013-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic narration by Curry! I had planned to listen to this audiobook during the holidays, which I had borrowed from the library. When I received a free gift from Audible to download this latest version narrated by Tim Curry, I chose to listen to this edition instead. Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserable old skinflint who runs Scrooge & Marley, a counting-house firm in London, England. His business partner, Jacob Marley, passed away seven years before, and Scrooge runs the firm with an iron-first. His employee, Bob Cratchit, is given a hard time when he asks to have Christmas Day off to spend in celebration with his family. Cratchit maintains that it is only once a year, and Scrooge's retort is that it is "a poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!" Although Scrooge reluctantly agrees, he demands that Bob come in the following day extra early to make up for it! When Scrooge returns home on Christmas Eve, he is startled to see that the brass knocker on his door has turned into a likeness of Jacob Marley. Later that evening, he is visited by Marley's ghost. At first, he refused to believe that Marley was real. Marley's ghost is covered in chains attached to cash-boxes, padlocks, and ledgers. Marley warns Scrooge that he is destined to the same fate if he does not change his ways, telling him: "I wear the chain I forged in life...I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and my own free will I wore it." Marley foretells of the three ghosts that will visit Scrooge. I read A Christmas Carol way back in high school, so this is a re-read for me. This classic still hasn't lost its charm. It is a heart-warming story of second chances and redemption, which makes it a perfect holiday read! One of my favourite parts of the story is during Stave Three, when Scrooge sees Tiny Tim's crutch and asks the Ghost of Christmas Present whether the boy will die. It is already apparent that the events of the evening have begun to thaw Scrooge's hardened heart. When I saw that Tim Curry narrated this version, I was immediately intrigued because Curry has such a big personality with a booming voice to match. He didn't let me down! Tim Curry's narration was fantastic! He does an amazing job of bringing Scrooge's personality across in his narration, and I highly recommend this rendition!
Date published: 2013-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Christmas Carol, A Dickens Masterpiece 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. 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. The youngest is Tiny Tim, afflicted with some ailment and probably dying. Scrooge has the means to save Tiny Tim but no intention. Henceforth on Christmas Eve, he is visited by four ghosts who try to change Scrooge's ways. Marley, his old deceased business partner provides the warning. The Ghost of Christmas Past makes him see where he came from and what tragedies created his woeful existence. The Ghost of Christmas Present has Scrooge witness the currents events surrounding his nephew, old love, and Cratchit. The Ghost of Christmas Future brings the doom and gloom of an evil time to come, with multiple deaths played out. And at the climax, Scrooge must changed his ways in order to change destiny. Does he? I am reasonably sure everyone knows the ending, but I will not spoil it here. Even for a classic almost 170 years old. A wide range of issues are raised by A Christmas Carol. Should the rich help the poor? Or, is being poor your own fault, which is Scrooge's position at the start of the story. Does every decision you make have consequences? Scrooge only seems to live in the moment with no thought of the repercussions. Is what's done is done with no fixing past mistakes? Scrooge does not view them as mistakes. He is a solid wall of unbending, unyielding ignorance of his own thoughts and actions. That character trait raises the most important question of all, can someone change? Which means, at its core, A Christmas Carol is about Scrooge being a target for redemption. He is a nasty evil rich man who must change to save a poor little boys life. The Ghosts can say and do many, many things, take him to all sorts of places and times, but the ultimate decision of his fate is in Scrooge's hands. Destiny versus Chance. In this journey, Chance is shown to be the more powerful force. Everything rests on Scrooge seeing the errors of his ways. The Ghosts can only lead him so far. This is an intervention on the cosmic level. Incredible supernatural power is expensed in order to reach this goal to change Scrooge, with no guarantee of success. God has assembled this magical apparatus and employs it as a tool for change, but still has left the final loophole of free will. If you choose to still be evil, you can, but God still has the option of taking you off the chessboard. So basically Dickens was saying the following. You have free will, can make bad choices, but can still make good. And you get a multitude of openings to do this. Also, be nice to others while on this mortal plain. Since we are all in this together. And God is looking out for us. Is it any wonder A Christmas Carol has become a Christmas Classic? The magic of this story is so wonderful and the ideas so beautiful, it does not surprise me it has become one of my favourites. Add to this the amazing power of Dickens writing. From descriptions that make you believe in Ghosts to situations that make you want to hug Scrooge, the reader gets swept up in the journey. Victorian London in every time period is all around you. I want to reach out and touch the cobblestones, eat the food, and clutch the precious coal. The man is a genius. And it is a journey worth taking and enriching your life with. Charles Dickens gave us as humanity a present with A Christmas Carol. And I am extremely happy he did. Thank you Mr. Dickens, and A Merry Christmas To You! And Merry Christmas And God Bless Us, Every One! Scoopriches
Date published: 2011-12-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Graphic Adaptation! Reason for Reading: I was introduced to this new imprint of Graphic Novels out of India and was very impressed with their selection and often unique titles. They are distributed here in North America through Random House and I thought I would check them out. This is from their Classics line. They also have Graphic Novel lines under Mythology, Biography & Originals. Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol by Scott McCullar. Illustrated by Naresh Kumar. 72 pgs. 2010. Ages 11+. An extremely well done graphic adaptation of Dickens' classic. The book is true to the original, keeping all salient plot points as well as lesser but defining moments It also pays close attention to developing Scrooge's character over the course of the evening. In fact, I found all the characters to be well written, as at times, in other adaptations some can be over done (Christmas Present, Fezziwig, Fred, etc.) The illustrations are artistic in style and match the tone of the book. I'm not too fond of some of the facial elements but that's just me vs. the artistic style. The facial close-ups are more appealing to me aesthetically than the mid scene ones. An impressive read for my first foray into Campfire's line of Graphic Novels.
Date published: 2011-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must-read by everyone at least once in your life I am so glad I decided to read this book again. This one is the original first edition text from 1843. This edition was reproduced from the original by Dover Publications in 1991 with the following note added: The Christmas gift presented to the English-speaking world in 1843 by the preeminent novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870) has never lost its power to delight. Adapted in numerous ways and for a great variety of media over the yeaars, this modern Christmas myth, which is linked to every Christmas celebration and whose characters have become household names, is still best enjoyed in its inimitable original wording. The text in the present volume is that of the first edition (Chapman and Hall, London, 1843). I quote this from the Dover Classics Edition because it is very true. Much as it wouldn't seem like Christmas without "A Christmas Carol" in one form or another, nothing tells it as well as Charles Dickens' original. My favorite movie version is the second made, with Alistair Sim, which sticks to the original fairly well. But the last time I read the book was in 1952. I loved it then and I love it now. Dickens' descriptions of mid-1800s London are so real and so chilling one wonders how the English survived those times. The attitudes are spot on, as Dickens' characters always are. What makes "A Christmas Carol" different is the absolute fear that Scrooge feels upon seeing his old "dead as a doornail" partner visit him on Christmas Eve. The feel of Dickens' writing is so powerful nothing can be ignored. The visits of the three spirits are amazing in the depth they are given and in what they accomplish and how. As most people do know the story in one form or another, I won't go into the visits other than how imaginative the story is in the way Scrooge's background and Scroogeness is dealt with so succinctly. This book is a must-read at least once in a reader's life, even if seen as plays, movies, even cartoons and remakes. Nothing is so satisfactory as the book itself.
Date published: 2009-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A profoundly strong performance I listened to the whole thing on the way to, and way back from, work, during the holidays of 2005. Read by Patrick Stewart - can you think of a better voice? - this story is as classic as you have ever recalled, and read with such a powerful voice as to be twice as strong as it ever was. A classic rendition of a classic tale, and you can feel the Shakespearean training in every word Stewart speaks. A worthy listen.
Date published: 2006-11-05

Extra Content

Read from the Book

MARLEY was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don't know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain. The mention of Marley's funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet's Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot—say Saint Paul's Churchyard for instance—literally to astonish his son's weak mind. Scrooge never painted out Old Marley's name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley, but he answered to both names: it was all the same to him.Oh! but he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, nor wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn't know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often 'came down' handsomely, and Scrooge never did.Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, 'My dear Scrooge, how are you? when will you come to see me?' No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was 'oclock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blindmen's dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, 'no eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!'But what did Scrooge care? It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance, was what the knowing ones call 'nuts' to Scrooge. Once upon a time—of all the good days in the year, on Christmas Eve—old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house. It was cold, bleak, biting weather: foggy withal: and he could hear the people in the court outside, go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement-stones to warm them. The city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already: it had not been light all day: and candles were flaring in the windows of the neighbouring offices, like ruddy smears upon the palpable brown air. The fog came pouring in at every chink and keyhole, and was so dense without, that although the court was of the narrowest, the houses opposite were mere phantoms. To see the dingy cloud come drooping down, obscuring everything, one might have thought that Nature lived hard by, and was brewing on a large scale. The door of Scrooge's counting-house was open that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal little cell beyond, a sort of tank, was copying letters. Scrooge had a very small fire, but the clerk's fire was so very much smaller that it looked like one coal. But he couldn't replenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room; and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel, the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part. Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of a strong imagination, he failed.

From Our Editors

First published in 1843, Charles Dickens' classic tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, whose cold and embittered heart is warmed by the joys and rewards of love, is as synonymous to Christmas as department store sales. A Christmas Carol is the story of his transformation, spurred by the ghosts who like to take him to his past, present and future in effective stabs at changing his penny-pinching ways. In so doing, the out-of-luck Bob Cratchet can bring his son, "Tiny" Tim, health and happiness for the holidays.