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 on. 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 smile: 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.
A Christmas Carol has been one of my favourite stories since I was a kid. Since far before I ever knew that it was a book, not just a film. I’d watched quite a few film renditions of the story, but so far I had never read the book.
I also never read Dickens before, I’m not sure why – at the last English course I did, my teacher gave me the evil eye when I confessed this. I suppose I thought he might be a bit depressing, considering the kind of stories he writes. But as soon as I read that hook, I thought, “Oh my goodness! I’m going to love this! Why on earth have I waited so long to read Dickens?”
And right I was. I enjoyed A Christmas Carol immensely.
I have to blame Litsy for this, once again. Someone came up with the idea to read A Christmas Carol on Serial Reader in the days preceding Christmas, and since it is only eleven issues I just couldn’t resist. I’m delighted I did.
I never expected Dickens to be this funny. A few of the adaptations I’ve seen aren’t this funny! I loved the way he uses the language, his vivid description, his strong characters, all so ‘present’ in the story. And I was also surprised to discover Dickens’s stories are not as melodramatic as I feared they would be. He always keeps a balance between emotions and action and never crosses the line of tear-jerking, which I didn’t expect, to be perfectly honest. Yes, of course, this story (and I suppose, all of Dickens’s stories) will have you tearing up, but those tears come from true involvement not from tricks.
It was a true discovery not just of a story, but of an author. A true Christmas present.
And I have to share this. Has anyone seen it yet? I can’t wait!
In post is part of the Thursday Quotables meme. If you want to discover more about this meme and maybe take part in it, head over to Bookshelf Fantasies