Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth

A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth (Barnes & Noble Classic) A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Christmas Carol was wonderful. It was just like seeing the movie, but better, because prose on paper really stimulates the imagination much more. Scrooge is a man who had lost his hope, and it showed in how his heart seemed to shrink, and his world with it. He got a second chance when he was visited by the three ghosts on a cold Christmas Eve. Just like the movie, this story made me cry. I guess some would call me sentimental. I don't know if that's the right word. But I love to see a person go from the dark to the light emotionally. This is the evolution we see with Scrooge.

5 Stars. If you love the movies, you really should read this story. I don't think you'd regret it. It is very readable and keeps your interest.

I can't really say that for The Chimes. This story moved pretty slowly, and it took a while to figure out where Dickens was going. At first, it read like a satire against the upper class and the government in its treatment of the poor and the working class. Then it seemed as though it was a story about being grateful for what one has and appreciating the time that you have with your family. It was an ambitious story, and I liked the elements of the ghosts of regret (I think) that manifested themselves as the chiming of bells that Totty, our protagonist, makes his daily routine around. Some parts were really tedious, and some parts were beautiful and poignant. At the end, I could only give this one 3.5 stars because it was a difficult and somewhat unrewarding read for this reader. If you have read The Chimes, I would love some feedback on what you believe was the point of this story.

I have started The Cricket on the Hearth, and it's really hard to focus my attention on the writing. I haven't given up yet! Soldier on!

Update: I've come to the conclusion that life is too short to keep trying to read The Cricket on the Hearth. It's dreadfully boring. I can feel my hair growing as I try to read it. I feel that I did my best with it, and I'm calling this one a day. I will have to give this one a rating of 1 star because it was too boring to finish reading.

So my overall rating is four stars, because of my love for A Christmas Carol, and my half-hearted enjoyment of The Chimes. I pray that Dickens' longer fiction isn't dry like this. I'd really like to read some of it.

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