Jonathan Winters' A Chrismas Carol

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Overview


The enchanting NPR holiday favorite is finally on CD.

"Old Marley was as dead as a doornail"—and so, nearly, was Christmas itself when Charles Dickens published "A Christmas Carol" in 1843. Most traditions had been forgotten, and few if any employees got time off to celebrate. Dickens' story captured the imagination of a generation and transformed December 25 into a major holiday.

For many National Public Radio listeners, it just wouldn't be Christmas without hearing Jonathan ...

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Overview


The enchanting NPR holiday favorite is finally on CD.

"Old Marley was as dead as a doornail"—and so, nearly, was Christmas itself when Charles Dickens published "A Christmas Carol" in 1843. Most traditions had been forgotten, and few if any employees got time off to celebrate. Dickens' story captured the imagination of a generation and transformed December 25 into a major holiday.

For many National Public Radio listeners, it just wouldn't be Christmas without hearing Jonathan Winters perform "A Christmas Carol." The master comedian brilliantly re-creates Dickens' cast of colorful characters: Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Jacob Marley's spirit, and the three Christmas ghosts, Past, Present, and Future. His distinctive and charming reading uses a special version of the story prepared by Dickens for his own performances. The liner notes are by Winters, who clearly revels in the story's language and message: "Merry Christmas, every one!"

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Comedy legend Winters, who serves as narrator while also performing all of the male roles, juggles his duties seamlessly and demonstrates remarkable dramatic range. His portrayal of Scrooge before the ghostly visitations evokes discernable pain and loss beyond the over-the-top antics of an ogre figure. Veteran actress Mimi Kennedy voices the female parts with gusto. With its quality production, attractive price and one-hour length, this release offers the perfect gift and establishes a festive new annual ritual for families to share. - Publishers Weekly starred review

Comedy legend Winters, who serves as narrator while also performing all of the male roles, juggles his duties seamlessly and demonstrates remarkable dramatic range. His portrayal of Scrooge before the ghostly visitations evokes discernable pain and loss beyond the over-the-top antics of an ogre figure. Veteran actress Mimi Kennedy voices the female parts with gusto. With its quality production, attractive price and one-hour length, this release offers the perfect gift and establishes a festive new annual ritual for families to share. [starred review]
Publishers Weekly

Any fan of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol will want to get the Jonathan Winters CD interpretation of this Christmas classic. It doesn't and never will get better than this.
The Serious Comedy Site

. . . nothing can beat this Jonathan Winters performance.
The Reviews Page

Publishers Weekly

Dickens's classic holiday tale, like many cultural touchstones, often falls into the trap of perennial reinterpretation. First aired in 1990 but only now available on CD, NPR's presentation serves to place the familiar story back in its historical context. NPR News anchor Susan Stamberg's introduction, along with background information in the liner notes, offers valuable insights regarding both Dickens's gritty backdrop and his role in reviving Christmas traditions otherwise forgotten amid rapid urban industrialization. The script being performed is the same one Dickens used to use at readings. Comedy legend Winters, who serves as narrator while also performing all of the male roles, juggles his duties seamlessly and demonstrates remarkable dramatic range. His portrayal of Scrooge before the ghostly visitations evokes discernable pain and loss beyond the over-the-top antics of an ogre figure. Veteran actress Mimi Kennedy voices the female parts with gusto. With its quality production, attractive price and one-hour length, this release offers the perfect gift and establishes a festive new annual ritual for families to share. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598875324
  • Publisher: HighBridge Company
  • Publication date: 9/5/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged, 1 CD, 1 hour
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 4.94 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens

Performer JONATHAN WINTERS began his career as a standup-comic and radio personality before moving to television and films. The late talk show icon Jack Paar dubbed him "Pound for pound… the funniest man on earth." The comedian was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 1999. He has multiple Grammy® nominations and one win.

Actor and director MIMI KENNEDY is known to many as Dharma's mother in the television series Dharma and Greg. She also appeared in the Broadway and road companies of the show Hair. Mimi Kennedy got her start in theater with the Rochester Community Players, appearing in Agatha Christie's Spider Web when she was 12 years old.

Nationally renowned broadcast journalist SUSAN STAMBERG is special correspondent for NPR. Stamberg is the first woman to anchor a national nightly news program, and has won every major award in broadcasting. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

Biography

Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he became the most successful British writer of the Victorian age.

In 1824, young Charles was withdrawn from school and forced to work at a boot-blacking factory when his improvident father, accompanied by his mother and siblings, was sentenced to three months in a debtor's prison. Once they were released, Charles attended a private school for three years. The young man then became a solicitor's clerk, mastered shorthand, and before long was employed as a Parliamentary reporter. When he was in his early twenties, Dickens began to publish stories and sketches of London life in a variety of periodicals.

It was the publication of Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) that catapulted the twenty-five-year-old author to national renown. Dickens wrote with unequaled speed and often worked on several novels at a time, publishing them first in monthly installments and then as books. His early novels Oliver Twist (1837-1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and A Christmas Carol (1843) solidified his enormous, ongoing popularity. As Dickens matured, his social criticism became increasingly biting, his humor dark, and his view of poverty darker still. David Copperfield (1849-1850), Bleak House (1852-1853), Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) are the great works of his masterful and prolific period.

In 1858 Dickens's twenty-three-year marriage to Catherine Hogarth dissolved when he fell in love with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. The last years of his life were filled with intense activity: writing, managing amateur theatricals, and undertaking several reading tours that reinforced the public's favorable view of his work but took an enormous toll on his health. Working feverishly to the last, Dickens collapsed and died on June 8, 1870, leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood uncompleted.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of David Copperfield.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Charles John Huffam Dickens (full name) "Boz" (pen name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1812
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, England
    1. Date of Death:
      June 18, 1870
    2. Place of Death:
      Gad's Hill, Kent, England

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Really specical Christmas gift

    You can't go wrong with Jonathan Winters!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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