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Sunday, December 24, 2023

John Higgs and I both love 'A Christmas Carol'

Cover art for the Glen Halstrom version of free audiobooks of A Christmas Carol. 

 The latest John Higgs newsletter includes  a section where he writes about his interest in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol:

"Tomorrow I’m seeing Christopher Eccleston in A Christmas Carol. I make a point of reading, watching or listening to a version of A Christmas Carol every midwinter. The Muppet version is the best, obviously, but every version has something to offer. It is a miraculous story - a man enters the world of the spirits, sees the past, present and the future together, and experiences a transformation of the soul. It’s blatantly shamanic, but that’s easy to miss under all the Dickensian Victoriana.

"It’s also a tale of good things happening to a terrible and undeserving person - which is not a very common story! Yet it tells us that, if even someone like Scrooge can step into the light, then there is hope for all of us. I intend to write about A Christmas Carol at depth, hopefully sooner rather than later."

I can't quite match John aa I don't know that I've taken in a version every winter, but in fact I've read A Christmas Carol over and over again and consumed it in other forms. In fact, in past Christmases I've been so  hungry for Christmas Dickens that I've read some of his other attempts at holiday short novels. Dickens in fact wrote five Christmas books; among what I've read, I like The Cricket on the Hearth the best. 

If you want to spend today or tomorrow reading A Christmas Carol, the Standard Ebooks version is likely to be a good one. If you would rather listen to a free audiobook, Librivox has 14 versions of it.  Version 2, by voice actor Glen Hallstrom, is a good one. 

There is no Standard Ebooks version of The Cricket on the Hearth, but Project Gutenberg has you covered. 

The Standard Ebooks collection of Dickens has six titles so far, including a favorite of mine, Bleak House. 

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