We all know the plot to A Christmas Carol. The book has been adapted and borrowed from so many times, it would be impossible to not know about Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim etc. I had, therefore, never really been tempted to read the book. However, when Audible gifted its members a version narrated by Hugh Grant, I gave it a go. After all, Hugh Grant…
We all know Dickens is considered a literary great and even without taking any of his other books into account, it’s easy to discern why from A Christmas Carol.
I guess some parts of the plot were disappointing, but it's not Dickens's fault. It was just because it is too well known. There were no shocks or twists and I knew Scrooge would see the light and find a heart and lose his bah humbug ways. But if I had looked at the plot alone with complete innocence, it’s really very clever. It’s got touches of a thriller, with ghosts rattling their chains, I imagine in 1843 it might have almost been a little scary. It has humour, my favourite part being Scrooge wondering if those same ghosts were caused by indigestion. It covers a plethora of themes, the importance of family and love, forgiveness and redemption, and of course, social inequality. It’s also got a bit of tension towards the end, with Scrooge not sure as to whether or not he can change the course of his future. You’ve got to admit, that’s a lot to pack into a mere 112 pages.
Then there is the characterisation in 112 pages. We get Scrooge’s impatience and miserly ways within a couple of paragraphs. He and the other characters, even his already dead partner Marlowe, jump from the page and are so easy to imagine immediately (enough to even eclipse the various movie versions which might be stuck in your head).
Dickens’s prose is obviously also very good. His descriptive passages are a marvel. I could have read (listened, anyway) to some of them over and over. I also found it surprising how easy Dickens’s writing was to read. Usually reading something from 1843, you might expect some turns of phrases etc to be confusing, but I never had to pause and wonder what he meant at any stage. Obviously this is another sign of Dickens’s literary skill.
As for Hugh’s narration? Let me just put it this way - I’m off to check if he’s narrated any other books, so that’s a big ‘yes’ from me (and maybe a little ‘guh’ and ‘yeah, bb’).
Obviously, 5 out of 5
A Christmas Carol Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Public Domain (P)2021 Audible, Ltd
Sold and delivered by Audible, an Amazon company
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|Listening Length||2 hours and 44 minutes|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||21 December 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank||
824 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
31 in Classic Literature
43 in Classic Literature & Fiction
4.4 out of 5
281 global ratings
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AwfulReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 December 2020
I was persuaded to buy this version by its availability and the attractive cover. Nothing else about this version, that I assume to be self-published, is attractive. Charles Dickens’ name is missing the C on the back cover which tells you all you need to know! The printing is clear but in a large, unattractive font and badly laid out. It looks like something I could have printed on my home printer. Returned.
8 people found this helpful
Descends into nonsensical languageReviewed in the United Kingdom on 24 December 2020
The first 60% of the novel was great. After that for some reason the text goes completely to pot: Elderly men become 'antique guys'; children become 'kids'; people don't sit round the fire, or look round, they sit 'spherical the fire' or they look spherical; any mention of someone's heart is preceded by 'coronary' (as if there's any other type of heart); Tiny Tim's brother has his 'ebook open' by the fire, and Scrooge's nephew's Christmas party has 'great video games', alongside the dancing and singing. To top it all off most sentences jumble the words up, so even if the words was appropriate it's difficult to make out what they mean.
2 people found this helpful
DO NOT BUY FOR G.C.S.E, NO PAGE NUMBERS!Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 January 2021
If you are buying for G.C.S.E do NOT!! It has no page numbers and therefore my daughter not able to follow when highlighting in class. Ridiculous no page numbers!! I've had to buy the yellow snd red one. Shes missed out a whole week now and having a dyslexia hasn't helped!
One person found this helpful
OkReviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 October 2020
I have bought this book for a Christmas present for my daughter
2 people found this helpful
Excellent serviceReviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 December 2020
My son wanted this book and is over the moon with it.. well packaged and received after 1 day.. thank you