A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

(9.6/10) The novella's strong moral message have ensured it has become one of Dickens most well-know classics

Ghosts and Goodwill in the ultimate Christmas story. It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scrooge. A wealthy old miser whose only joy in life is money, Scrooge decides to spend the evening counting his cash, rejecting seasonal goodwill with well-practiced cries of ‘Bah! Humbug!’

But this Christmas Eve there are some surprises in store for old Scrooge. While his poor and put-upon employee Bob Cratchit prepares the finest family feast his paltry wages can buy, Scrooge’s sleep is disturbed by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. In one short night they reveal more to him about his true character than he has ever realised himself. As Christmas Day dawns, Scrooge is forced to confront the spectre of his own mean existence.

A Christmas Carol was published in December 1843, at a time when medieval Christmas traditions were in steady decline. Indeed, Dickens’s heart-warming tale has been seen as a major turning point; the popularity of its lamp-lit setting and its diverse characters – from the wonderfully wicked Scrooge to the crippled but optimistic Tiny Tim – helped ensure that family unity and ‘goodwill to all men’ once more became the appropriate sentiments of the Christmas season. At the same time, Dickens used the poverty-stricken Cratchit family’s dependence on hard-hearted Scrooge to highlight the Victorian working class’s daily struggle against the indifference of the greedy.

The book’s importance was cemented at Christmas 1852, when Dickens undertook public readings of it before both educated and working-class audiences. The success of these events led to public readings becoming a major part of his later career, usually featuring A Christmas Carol. The novella’s short length and strong moral message have ensured that it has become one of Dickens’s most well-known classics.

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1812, the second of eight children. His father, John Dickens, struggled financially and as a result the Dickens family found themselves almost constantly on the move. The dire situation culminated in John being sent to a debtors’ prison and twelve-year-old Charles being sent to work at a London blacking factory, sticking labels onto jars of boot polish. Dickens’s difficult childhood had an enormous influence on the subjects he later tackled and his experience of both poverty and prison would reappear throughout his novels, particularly in David Copperfield (1850) and Great Expectations (1861).

After eventually returning to his education, Dickens became a newspaper reporter. He indulged his passion for writing humorous sketches under the nickname ‘Boz’, and his first publication, Sketches by Boz, appeared in 1836. Its serialisation earned him acclaim and popularity, and led to further publishing commissions. Dickens’ best loved books include Oliver Twist (1839), A Christmas Carol (1843) and A Tale of Two Cities (1859). Acutely observed characters and a witty but brutally satirical depiction of Victorian society remain his trademarks.

Dickens and his wife Catherine had ten children but their unfulfilling marriage ended in separation. He travelled widely and eventually moved to Kent, England, where he died in 1870, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, incomplete. He is buried in London’s Westminster Abbey.

Review by

51 positive reader review(s) for A Christmas Carol

12+

A Christmas Carol reader reviews

from India

Great book ..... I LOVE IT

from Australia

I absolutely loved the book. It is wonderfully structured, and the character development is just fabulous. Although I found comprehending the book quite difficult, it is definitely a must-read. It is quite tiring to read and understand the book (at the beginning) especially with its outdated vocabulary but a few group discussions certainly help out!

from London

This book lightened up my Christmas day. It was so surprising to see that Scrooge had to be persuaded three times. Other than that I loved the book. Peace.

from Bangladesh

Awesome. People of all ages will definitely like it.

from Ireland

Loved a Christmas Carol. Loved the language and the imagery - took me straight into a poor, impoverished London. The moral of the story was fantastically portrayed by the visions that the ghosts showed to Scrooge. Loved every page.

from Canada

it has a great moral for aged people to avoid greed, selfishness, for a bright future for themselves. After reading this book some people might really change their greed or selfishness or even both :)

from Ireland

It can sometimes be a bit boring but it is overall a good book. I would definitely give it a read.

from England

Can be a bit of a drag at times but in general it is a very interesting book and I really recommend it to ambitious young readers and teens and well everyone really. This is the book everyone should read it is a great book and this is a fantastic read to anyone who wishes to work with it all through the twisting story.

from Africa

Studying it in school and got a grade A*, WELL AND TRULY one of my favourites to read!

from London

I really enjoy this disgustingly nice "

from USA

I loved the story but did not like some parts. It had a great message. THANK YOU CHARLES DICKENS!!!

from India

Its just a great book with a great message!

from England

Pretty boring, but when you spend a cumulative fifty hours or so over the course of the GCSEs, you realise the ingenuity of Charles in the meticulous and possibly coincidental links across the story. Heartwarming, clever, but not entertaining.

from India

This story is amazing. I love it. I appreciate the creative mind of Charles Dickens.

from India

Good book as it displayed a universal message

from United Kingdom

I read this book as an 8 year old child, in 1962 and struggled with the tiny print and no pictures but I battled on and loved it. It's a story I have never grown tired of. I loved Dickens' beautiful, descriptive text and remember being a bit scared but too fascinated to stop reading. It's a wonderful story and I'm sure it helped me appreciate Dickens from a very young age.

from United States

Great story, short but sweet!

from India

Lovely book ..... A must read and my favourite book.

from India

This book is very nice.

from UK

Love this book!!!!!!!!

from US

I love it! So exciting.

from India

It's a nice book for children and adults. People from any age group can read it.

from India

Amaaazing book loved it the writers have put a lot of effort and it can be seen . Recommend for all of you must read it

from England

Loved it.

from US

It shows me the reason of why I'm nice during Christmas.

from Uzbekistan

This book is fantastic. I did not once read such a book. And very well written. I loved this book. Thanks to people who wrote this book.

from England

Read this book at school and fell in love with it.

from US

Awesome book. It tells the meaning of christmas, and christmas spirit

from United States

I really love this book, it’s AMAZING!!

from India

Awesome novel. A must read for all. Good moral and a captivating book. Liked by all age groups. So, no matter you are old or young its the best book.

from India

Enjoyed reading this book... Of course, Dickens never fails to capture our hearts...

from India

Too good! I really enjoyed reading it.

from India

I like it very much I read it 3 times

from India

I love this book this is best book in the world!!!!!!

from India

I LOVE THIS BOOK I READ IT 2 TIMES AND I LOVE IT A LOT....

from India

This is a great book. There is lots of fun reading this book.

from England

Great book!

from India

Great book, I loved it.

from India

Excellent book... completely telling the meaning of Christmas... must read it or at least see it... but the fun is only when u read it.

from India

Awesome ...... I have enjoyed reading the book a lot.. Love it...

from United States

I really love this book. It has become almost canon for the Christmas season for me. I have always adored the story itself and fell even more in love with it a number of years ago when I was old enough to appreciate the book. Scrooge's evolution throughout the story is something that I think the reader can be shocked by at times. Particularly the first time we see this harsh miser shed a tear for the boy he used to be. I could go on about this for days. I recently reviewed the book for my online book club, where I discuss the possibility that this is a gothic novel. Here is the link for anyone who may be interested. https://dameanmathews.com/2016/12/31/a-christmas-carol-by-charles-dickens/

from Indirapuram

Best book I have ever read.

from India

Great book. I think this is the best book to make people know how to celebrate Christmas.

from India

Amazing book 1 of the best books tht I have ever read.

from India

I love it, very nice.

from UK

A wonderful book I think everyone should read. The point of the story is good as well that everyone can change for the better. A must have read. AWESOME!

from India

GREAT

from UK

Superb. I love it.

from India

Charles dickens has something new in the book and the poor family he describes still live happily. Despite the man of the family lives under the fear of Ebenzer Scrooge. Another thing that surprises me is that in the story the main charecter is a rich man.

from US

Awesome.

from India

I had read The Christmas Carol when I was in the fifth standard. I have enjoyed reading the book a lot and would advise everybody to read it as it is a fantastic story book. It was my favourite book during my childhood and now even my children love reading it.

9.5/10 from 52 reviews

Write a reader review

Your rating out of 10

Books you may also enjoy

Bitter Seeds

by Ian Tregillis

The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop [...]


Published: 2010

Score: 98

Our rating: 9.8 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

Tigana

by Guy Gavriel Kay

Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the t [...]


Published: 1990

Score: 106

Our rating: 9.7 | 9 positive reader reviews

12+

Ghost Hawk

by Susan Cooper

In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. [...]


Published: 2013

Score: 95

Our rating: 9.5 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+

The Moon and the Sun

by Vonda N McIntyre

Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific [...]


Published: 1997

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.3 | 0 positive reader reviews

12+