bobquasit: (Sebastian Riding)
[personal profile] bobquasit
We started reading A Christmas Carol about two weeks ago; Sebastian had seen several films of it, and wanted to read it. So I took out a large illustrated (but not abridged) edition from the library.

He loved it. I kept expecting him to get bored; the language is a bit archaic, after all! But even though I asked if we should switch to something else, his interest never flagged.

Reading it was a startling experience for me. When Bob Cratchitt breaks down and sobs for his son, I teared up as well. It's strange, but I can really, really get into a part emotionally. I wish there was some practical use for that ability, other than just reading to Sebastian. Although, of course, there really isn't anything more important than that, for me!

Apparently my reading of the reformed Scrooge was very funny; Sebastian laughed and laughed. My reading was generally based on Albert Finney's portrayal in the 1970 movie Scrooge, incidentally. One of my favorite versions, along with the Mister Magoo one.

It was fun to see many odd little points that never made it into any of the movies. Dickens seems quite ravished by some of the female characters, for one thing. I enjoyed some of the odd little cultural references; I'd never heard of "Smoking Bishop" before, for example (it's a kind of mulled English punch with wine, baked orange juice, cloves, and port).

And it's quite interesting to note that Marley's Ghost specifically claims to have obtained this chance at redemption for Scrooge. Since it's spelled out just a page later that the spirits of the dead cannot interfere with the world of the living, I can't help but wonder how Marley gained the opportunity to do so, and why he did it for Scrooge; there's no explanation for it in the text. I also can't help but think that for saving Scrooge, Marley must have received some reward. He surely deserved it!

Anyway, Sebastian gave the book five out of five stars.

Date: 2011-01-31 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
IMHO, Dickens is very accessible to children -- and I should know, because I was a HUGE Dickens fan as a child, and I started reading him when I was around... nine? I had the excellent Penguin paperbacks, for the most part, which helpfully glossed obscure references. I also needed a dictionary at first, but my vocabulary caught up with the more verbose Victorian language pretty fast (I still remember looking up words like "endeavor".)

Sebastian might be little young for some of Dickens' gigantic novels beyond the slim, ultra-accessible Carol, but they're all fun, entertaining, sprawling sagas where good eventually triumphs over evil (for the most part) in a satisfying way. And lots of laughs!

Date: 2011-02-01 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's been a long time since I read Christmas Carol. I should read it again. I am still a fan of the Allister Sim's Scrooge.

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