A Christmas Carol: In Prose Being a Ghost Story of Christmas

A Christmas Carol: In Prose Being a Ghost Story of Christmas

by Charles Dickens

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783730939819
Publisher: BookRix
Publication date: 08/01/2013
Sold by: Bookwire
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 116
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is probably the greatest novelist England has ever produced, the author of such well-known classics as A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. His innate comic genius and shrewd depictions of Victorian life — along with his indelible characters — have made his books beloved by readers the world over.

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

Education:

Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

Read an Excerpt

Christmas Carol


By Charles Dickens

Stewart, Tabori and Chang

Copyright © 1997 Charles Dickens
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1556706480

Chapter One

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.

Continues...


Excerpted from Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Copyright © 1997 by Charles Dickens. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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A Christmas Carol (Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Press Series) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 348 reviews.
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK EVER
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?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GOOD BOOK!
Daniel.Estes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I first read Charles Dickens' version of "A Christmas Carol" in my 7th grade English class. The story remains as lyrical now as I first discovered then. I cannot imagine Christmas or literature without it. The tone is nearly perfect watching Ebenezer Scrooge transform from a cold, old miser into a human being desiring another chance to give back to the world.To fully appreciate the language, I recommend listening to it or reading the story aloud.
LibraryLou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of Dickens best stories, and is immortalised in A Muppet Christmas Carol, which I insist everyone watch every Christmas!
jfoster_sf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was so much fun to read, especially after watching Mickey's A Christmas Carol so many times I know it by heart=) I'm sure everyone knows the story, so I"ll just say that its one of those books everyone should read, and everyone will love.
rpdan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've seen the movie countless times; in fact, I've seen countless versions of the book countless times. There's no denying it's a classic in Western Literature; perhaps one of the best-known stories in the English language.Not that anybody's ever read it.I hadn't, up until this year. But last spring I found it at the Borders Going-Out-Of-Business sale, and decided it was about time to hear it as Dickens intended.It's a difficult book to read, both because we're not used to reading Victorian English, and because it's impossible to avoid hearing the voices of Kermit the Frog and Michael Caine and George C. Scott. And yet, it's such a necessary book.It's become important to the pantheon of "necessary items for Christmas," along with "A Christmas Story" and The Carpenters and ugly sweaters. But even more so, I think it's necessary for our world today. It's a little unfortunate that it's become window dressing for the festive season, because the message is entirely prophetic, judgmental, and yet hopeful. It's a message we need once again.I don't need to rehearse the story or themes for you, but think about it for just a second - there's a message here about the proper place of money in relationships, there's a message of the importance of all people, whether they are rich or poor, there's a message about the voluntary redistribution of wealth; but it's all couched in a story of redemption. Yes, there is strong judgment against selfishness and greed (perhaps echoes of the Rich Man and Lazarus), but rather than simply condemn that man, Dickens paints a picture where even the worst can be redeemed and restored. That is a message sadly lacking in the 21st Century.It's interesting to read the story, as so many familiar lines pop off the page; at the same time, there are tender and poignant scenes that I have yet to see in the movie versions; young couples in love, ships' crews huddled in their cold cabin celebrating Christmas far out at sea. The Ghost of Christmas present even gets in a pretty direct shot at the church of Dickens' day.In the end, though, we're left with the familiar story of an angry, bitter, broken man who has all the money in the world but has lost all human connection, and the work of spirits to save him. Dickens reminds us that there is hope for even the worst of sinners, if repentance is found.The bonus of this book is the addition of two lesser-known Christmas tales penned by Dickens - The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth. The Chimes tells us of a broken-down man beset with terrible dreams while (accidentally) locked inside a church steeple; it's a mystic, visionary tale, lacking a bit of the clarity of A Christmas Carol. It's a cold story, and yet hopeful and redemptive. The Cricket on the Hearth is a warmer tale, with brighter characters and (in my opinion) a more interesting story. There's an old cartoon version of this one out there; I remember seeing it some years ago. Like Carol, it can be a little difficult to follow simply due to the Victorian English vernacular, but it's a fun story full of lame dogs and old horses and mysterious strangers and inept babysitters and blind saints and grumpy old men. And yes, in keeping with the others, it brings a surprise redemptive end, complete with a homespun party.So Borders, I'm sorry you went out of business. But your sale finally convinced me to pick this one up, and for that I'm grateful.
jimmaclachlan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've read this a couple of times. Dickens was paid by the word & writes like it. He spends way too much time digressing into idiotic areas & filling up space. Example: "Marley was dead, dead as a door nail, although why a door nail should be deader than a coffin nail..." or something like that & goes on about it forever. Never does come to a conclusion - the proper one being a door nail is dead because it was hammered through the door & clinched on the opposite side, hence is dead. Coffin nails are hammered straight in, hence can move with the wood. His stories are classics, but I detest his writing style. Probably worth reading once.
mysteena on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I read Dickens, I'm continually tempted to read bits and pieces aloud to Chris. Dickens has such a beautiful writing style, it practically begs to be read out loud. Beautiful story. I hope to make this a new tradition in my life and read it every year.
bexaplex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Illustrations by Everett Shinn are a bit weird; his Scrooge looks like an evil elf.
Maydacat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some tales are meant to read aloud, and never is this statement truer than when it is applied to "A Christmas Carol." One would be hard pressed to find anyone would does not like this perennial story, and we all have our special favorites, be they illustrated texts or even movies. But everyone should add this audio version to his or her collection. Award-winning Jim Dale renders a masterful performance in this unabridged version which can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
tapestry100 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dickens' perennial Christmas classic about Ebenezer Scrooge and his visits from the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come and the Christmas lessons Scrooge learns from them. I try to read this every year around the holidays, and it never seems to get old.
yukiko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is very good.And it is very timely.
isabelx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The ChimesThe Haunted ManThe Cricket on the HearthThe Battle of LifeA Christmas CarolI read this collection of stories 3 years ago for a Book Club and we all agreed that none of the other stories is a patch on "A Christmas Carol".I did enjoy "The Cricket on the Hearth", a suspenseful story of possible infidelity, and "The Chimes", which was written a year after "A Christmas Carol" and has a similar story, with Trotty who has supposedly fallen to his death from the church bell tower is shown three future New Years by the spirits of the chimes and the ghost of a young girl who dies in one of those future visions.The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain is the third story in this book in which various types of spirit show the protagonist the error of his ways.And a final piece of advice - Don't start by reading "The Battle of Life" like I did, as it's possibly the most annoying story I have ever read!
john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Christmas BooksOnly A Christmas Carol is worth re- reading from this collection. 4/5A Christmas CarolAs timeless a classic as ever at Christmas. The ultimate secular story about redemption.The ChimesThis had some interesting things to say about class divisions in mid-19th century England, but delivered without the author's usual charm and warmth. This was very bleak until the last two pages. Worse than that, though, it was confusing. It also isn't a Christmas story, though it is a new year's eve one.The Cricket on the HearthCouldn't get into this. Interesting portrayal of a blind character, but overall too dull and I gave up on it.