A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

4.1 501
by Charles Dickens, John Leech

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One of the best-loved and most quoted stories of "the man who invented Christmas"-English writer Charles Dickens-A Christmas Carol debuted in 1843 and has touched millions of hearts since. Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge has never met a shilling he doesn't like. . .and hardly a man he does. And he hates Christmas most of all. When Scrooge is visited by his old partner,


One of the best-loved and most quoted stories of "the man who invented Christmas"-English writer Charles Dickens-A Christmas Carol debuted in 1843 and has touched millions of hearts since. Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge has never met a shilling he doesn't like. . .and hardly a man he does. And he hates Christmas most of all. When Scrooge is visited by his old partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come, he learns eternal lessons of charity, kindness, and goodwill. Experience a true Victorian Christmas!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This reissued recording of Stewart's touted Broadway performance might prove to be the enduring interpretation of Dickens's beloved tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of past, present, and future who catalyze his transformation. In a production stripped of sound effects, Stewart's theatrical talents take center stage. Reading with a voice that it is at once commanding and fragile, he creates a Scrooge of unexpected complexity and pathos. A spare and dazzling listen that might be the best rendition of the classic since the 1951 Alistair Sim production. (Nov.)
Sunday Express
A sure-fire tear-jerker. At one public reading by Dickens in Boston, there were 'so many pocket handkerchiefs it looked as if a snowstorm had gotten into the hall.
It has it all: a spooky ghost story, a heartwarming redemption, and a great plot with a satisfyingly ending.
From the Publisher
"A handsome, worthy addition to holiday reading traditions." - School Library Journal

"Few of the many interpretations of Dickens's holiday parable can match this handsome edition for atmosphere, mood and sheer elegance. Innocenti's full-page watercolors are striking, full-bodied evocations of 19th-century London, particularly the life and vigor of the city's streets: merchants sell their wares, urchins tumble and play, the gentry ride in their carriages, and the destitute huddle in doorways and keep warm at makeshift stoves. At the same time, the paintings' realism, dramatic intensity, occasional luminosity and almost microscopic observation of detail strongly recall the exquisite art of the Italian Renaissance. Their stateliness is carried through in the book's design: each page of text is boxed with fine sepia rules, overlaid with a delicate, gradually fading wash, and topped by a single, modest ornament. The effect suggests an old manuscript or parchment--one that, every so often, opens a splendid pictorial window on the world of this classic narrative. For all its elegance, however, this is a somber and unsentimental view of Dickens's world. The beautiful and the sordid, the good and the malevolent, are never far apart--a concept that is powerfully suggested through the frequent use of high, oddly angled perspectives, as if readers, along with Scrooge and the spirits, are privy to telling glimpses of life skimmed from above. All ages." - Publisher's Weekly

The Horn Book
“A smooth abridgment. The illustrations are rich and lush.”
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up—While there are several versions of the holiday favorite to choose from, those wishing for a solidly classic telling will be more than satisfied with this complete edition. Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Innocenti renders the ink illustration masterfully. Whether the scenes feature a crowded city street; the frightening conversation between Scrooge and the transparent, white-outlined ghost of Marley; or a merry gathering at Fezziwig's warehouse, the detailed, Dickensian atmosphere is perfectly captured. Perspective plays an effective role as well, as when Scrooge's small and solitary head is first seen through the window of his office. The final image also depicts Scrooge through a window, but from the inside looking out into a sunny green field, with Tiny Tim standing close to the man who has become a second father. VERDICT All in all, a handsome, worthy addition to holiday reading traditions.—Joanna Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

Product Details

Smith, Peter Publisher, Inc.
Publication date:

Read an Excerpt

Stave One

Marley's Ghost

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.

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, his sole mourner.

Scrooge never painted out Old Marley's name however. There it yet 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 He answered to both names. It was all the same to him.

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, was Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner!

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 o'clock, no man or woman ever once in all his fife 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, darkmaster!"

But what did Scrooge care!

Once upon a time — of all the good days in the year, upon a Christmas Eve-old Scrooge sat busy in his counting-house. It was cold, bleak, bitMg foggy weather and the city clocks had only just gone three, but it was quite dark already.

The door of Scrooge's countinghouse was open that he might keel) his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal litde 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.

"A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!" cried a cheerful voice. It was the voice of Scrooge's nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the first intimation Scrooge had of his approach.

"Bah!" said Scrooge, "Humbug!"'

"Christmas a humbug, uncle! You don't mean that, I am sure."

"I do. Out upon merry Christmas. What's Christmas time to you buta time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a yearolder, and not an hour ri cher; a time for balanci ing your books and having every item in 'em through a round dozen of months presented deadagainst you? If I had my will, every idiot who goes about with 'MerryChristmas,' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, andburied with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"


"Nephew! Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it mine."

"Keep it! But you don't keep it."

"Let me leave it alone, then. Much good may it do you! Much good it has ever done you!"

"There are many things from which I might have derived good, bywhich I have not profited, I dare say, Christmas among the rest. But I amsure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round-apart from the veneration due to its sacred origin, if anything belong' ingto it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitab1e, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of theyear, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-uphearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really werefellow-travellcrs to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound onother Journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!"

The clerk in the tank involuntarily applauded.

"Let me hear another sound from you," said Scrooge, "and you'll keep your Christmas by losing your situation. You're quite a powerful speaker, sir," he added, turning to his nephew. "I wonder you don't go into Parliament."

"Don't be angry, uncle. Come! Dine with us tomorrow."

Scrooge said that he would see him — yes, indeed he did. He went the whole length of the expression, and said that he would see him 'in that extremity first.

"But why?" cried Scrooge's nephew. "Why

"Why did you get married?"

"Because I fell in love."

"Because you fell in love!" growled Scrooge, as if that were the only one thing in the world more ridiculous than a merry Christmas. "Good afternoon!"

"Nay, uncle, but you never came to see me before that happened. Why give it as a reason for not coming now?"

"Good afternoon."

"I want nothing from you; I ask nothing of you; why cannot we be friends?"

"Good afternoon."

"I am sorry, with all my heart, to find you so resolute. We have never had any quarrel, to which I have been a party. But I have made the trial in homage to Christmas, and I'll keep my Christmas humour to the last. So A Merry Christmas, uncle!"

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
“This Penguin Christmas Classics edition is so pretty it could double as a holiday centerpiece!” —People

“For lit nerds and loved ones who are notoriously hard to shop for, you can’t go wrong with these festively bound classics. . . . Their size makes them perfectly stocking-stuffable.” —Entertainment Weekly, “The Must List”
“Leave it to the folks at Penguin—who gave us Gothed-out editions of horror classics for Halloween—to package these . . . slim Yuletide-themed volumes.” —Newsday, “Best Books to Give as Holiday Gifts”
“Remember how Christmas was celebrated before Black Friday with these 19th-century authors, in small uniform volumes wrapped in pretty jackets.” —USA Today, “Holiday Gift Books So Pretty, No Need to Wrap”
“Beautifully designed.” —The Washington Post

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens (1812–70) is one of the most popular English authors of all time. His works include 15 novels and many sketches, travel books, and other nonfiction works. Dickens also wrote five "Christmas books." The first, A Christmas Carol, was published in 1843. Today, it is recognized as one of the most famous stories ever written.

Roberto Innocenti is a self-taught artist who has earned worldwide acclaim with such illustrated books as The House, Nutcracker, Rose Blanche, Erika's Story, The Adventures of Pinocchio, and The Girl in Red. In 2008, he received the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for his contributions to children's literature. He lives in Florence, Italy.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
February 7, 1812
Date of Death:
June 18, 1870
Place of Birth:
Portsmouth, England
Place of Death:
Gad's Hill, Kent, England
Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

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A Christmas Carol (Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Press Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 501 reviews.
eittodcro More than 1 year ago
This classic is well presented in a very readable format. A good choice.
corinne_ewan More than 1 year ago
A wonderful, quick read during the holiday season. It's a great story that I will most likely come back to again. I seen so many adaptations in movies and plays, it was nice to finally read the original story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great christmas read for all ages. Im 16 and i loved it. There are some typos, but nothing that would make it difficult to understand. I definately would reccomened this book to a friend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The character Ebeneezer Scrooge has to be one of Dicken's famous characters. In his novella, Dickens portrays a man disappointed with himself and who regards the world with contempt. I always thought of the visits by the three spirits as therapy. Modern pyschology hadn't evolved in the 1840s and somehow Scrooge's breakthrough comes through as a recovered patient. I read that Dickens was a contemporary of Karl Marx and as Marx advocated social change to improve the conditions prevalent during that time, Dickens believed that change could come about by social awareness. Laws could be legislated because society felt compassion. The two children Ignorance and Want, who are hidden under the cloak of the Spirit of Christmas Present were not intended only for plot of the story but as a reminder for Dickens' readers. Are not the 21st century readers still having to think of that boy and girl today? The media presents us news of children in refugee camps,starving children, and homeless families. We are confronted with the reality of want during this time of joy.
missmattie More than 1 year ago
I have always loved this book and began a tradition of reading it to my children when they were young. The writing may not be the peak of Dickens's style but is still excellent. And the story never fails to move and entertain me. This year I read it on my new Nook -- and once again, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, rousing and touching story and a well-written book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book! It was mysterious and funny! Great for all ages!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best books ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome! When my teacher read it to us for the hoiliday season! It was what I would say fantastic! I looooooovvvvvvvveeeeeeeeddddddd this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its such a good book! What a tridition
matsu More than 1 year ago
This version was crafted with nook's screen in mind.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can anyone lend me this book for school? I don't haveh any money to buy it. Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic - Must have!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What is that about?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book itself is great, however this ebook copy is terrible and filled with errors, its almost unreadable
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This book is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE IT
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book.One of my favorite classics.