I expected to read a lot during the holidays. I was visiting my hometown, where I only really keep in touch with one friend, and I figured I’d be able to blast through quite a few books during my downtime, considering all of my time would be down. Unfortunately, I become obsessed with achieving Steam holiday objectives and barely read at all.
I did get through a couple of books, though, and A Christmas Carol was one of them. I grew up watching the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol nearly every year with my dad. It’s the longest running of the few Christmas traditions we’ve had over the years. As a kid, my dad used to cancel Christmas at least once every year, one season we got up to six cancellations, and for a five-year stint we were forced to watch John Wayne movies every Christmas afternoon, but A Christmas Carol is really the only tradition to last into adulthood.
As part of the Audible Signature Classics, a series of audiobook productions on Audible in which famous actors lend their voices to the narration of classic literature, Tim Curry presents Dickens’ holiday novella. How could you go wrong there? Curry has one of the greatest voices, so his narration was obviously top-notch. It really enhanced the reading, I thought.
“You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
I read half of Great Expectations when I was younger, and have been meaning to give it another try since. I remember reading that Dickens’ work was published in serial monthly installments that were required to be of a certain length, and as a result I spent my time identifying what I felt were extraneous descriptions rather than just enjoying it. A Christmas Carol is probably a much better introduction to Dickens anyway. It’s a short, familiar story that offers a quick taste of his interesting characters, hilarious wit, and loving use of the language. Reading this got me a little excited to move on to some of his longer works.
“If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”
Hope everyone had a great holiday!