A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books
Everyman’s Library (Knopf), Nov 14 2009, $18.00
This collection consists of the Charles Dickens’ Christmas Books, all written in the 1840s
A Christmas Carol (1843). Everyone knows the story of how Ebenezer Scrooge the miser got the Christams message from his late partner and the three ghosts.
The Chimes (1844). Porter Trotty Veck has no hope for the future on New Year's Eve until he hears the spirits of the chimes.
The Cricket on the Hearth (1845). John is much older than his wife Dot, but their marriage appears to be over when he finds evidence that makes him believe she cuckold him. John talks with the spirit of the Cricket on the Hearth whose chirping Dot says means good luck.
The Battle of Life (1846). Doctor Jeddler is a cynic, but his daughters' sacrifices for loved ones make him reconsider his scorn.
The Haunted Man and the Ghost (1848). Chemistry Professor Redlaw is tormented by his past until a ghostly twin arrives on Christmas Eve to make him forget his past; afterward any one who meets the professor also forgets their distress as he does with the Swidger and Tetterby families until Milly Swidger reverses the spell because of her goodness that comes out of a lost child
The reprint of Charles Dickens early Victorian Christmas stories will prove a delight for fans of the most famous entry, A Christmas Carol. The Cricket on the Hearth and The Haunted Man and the Ghost are somewhat similar in lessons learned to that of A Christmas Carol though with their own inspiring twists while The Chimes uses a spiritual advisor but spins quite differently. However, the most diverse is The Battle of Life, which has a rushed ending and no paranormal guru as it feels more like O’Henry’s The Gift of the Magi,. This is a holiday winner as all five tales showcase the works of one of the greats of literature.