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A Christmas Carol Hardcover – September 12, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,041 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Christmas Books Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the history of English literature, Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, which has been continuously in print since it was first published in the winter of 1843, stands out as the quintessential Christmas story. What makes this charming edition of Dickens's immortal tale so special is the collection of 80 vivid illustrations by Everett Shinn (1876-1953). Shinn, a well-known artist in his time, was a popular illustrator of newspapers and magazines whose work displayed a remarkable affinity for the stories of Charles Dickens, evoking the bustling street life of the mid-1800s. Printed on heavy, cream-colored paper stock, the edges of the pages have been left rough, simulating the way in which the story might have appeared in Dickens's own time. Though countless editions of this classic have been published over the years, this one stands out as particularly beautiful, nostalgic, and evocative of the spirit of Christmas. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Dickens's classic holiday tale, like many cultural touchstones, often falls into the trap of perennial reinterpretation. First aired in 1990 but only now available on CD, NPR's presentation serves to place the familiar story back in its historical context. NPR News anchor Susan Stamberg's introduction, along with background information in the liner notes, offers valuable insights regarding both Dickens's gritty backdrop and his role in reviving Christmas traditions otherwise forgotten amid rapid urban industrialization. The script being performed is the same one Dickens used to use at readings. Comedy legend Winters, who serves as narrator while also performing all of the male roles, juggles his duties seamlessly and demonstrates remarkable dramatic range. His portrayal of Scrooge before the ghostly visitations evokes discernable pain and loss beyond the over-the-top antics of an ogre figure. Veteran actress Mimi Kennedy voices the female parts with gusto. With its quality production, attractive price and one-hour length, this release offers the perfect gift and establishes a festive new annual ritual for families to share. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 900 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (September 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763631205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763631208
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,041 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

One of the grand masters of Victorian literature, Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and "slave" factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Many versions of Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" are actually abridgements (done more or less smoothly) but this version is complete and unabridged. Even if you think you are familiar with the book you may find upon reading this one that you previously had read a shortened version! The completeness of this volume would be reason enough to add it to your library, but the quality of the pages, typeface, and above all the lovely illustrations scattered throughout further commend it. I have bought copies for all 3 of my grown children--because every family deserves to own a complete version of this classic story and this one is the best I have ever seen.
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Format: Paperback
I hope all readers take time to read A CHRISTMAS CAROL in the original language Dickens used in the 1840's. Dickens' language remains humorous, descriptive and insightful and not inaccessible to most modern readers especially with the use of a good glossary. This is a great read aloud for families at Christmas time and also a great introduction to Dickens and other Victorian writers. Don't settle for an abridged version. Read this masterpiece the way it was intended
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I collect "A Christmas Carol" and this is a particularly lovely volume. The illustrations are wonderful and the overall quality, printing, binding and paper, is terrific. This is definitely in my top three favorites of all the different versions I own.
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Format: Audio CD
A Christmas Carol Audiobook
read by Jim Dale
I once heard it said that to appreciate Dickens best, one should read his stories aloud. I have never had the time to try to do this, but having just listened to a new unabridged reading of A Christmas Carol from Random House, I can see the validity of the statement. Playing the CD's I felt as if the narrator was, in the words of Dickens himself, "standing in the spirit at your elbow."
And what a narrator! The multi-talented Jim Dale reads the story...no, that is not correct...Jim Dale PERFORMS the story. I counted 42 voices in the three-hour recording. Jim Dale is well known for his over 200 voices (and counting) bringing to life all of the characters in the Harry Potter books, which he also records for Random House's Listening Library.
I first saw Jim Dale in the 1977 Disney movie Pete's Dragon where he played the bumbling villain. The next year he played three hilarious characters in another Disney film, Hot Lead and Cold Feet. I was lucky to see him in two musicals on Broadway, in Barnum, and Me and My Girl. Both very memorable performances. I plan to see him next month as he sings and dances Scrooge in Madison Square Garden's Christmas Carol - The Musical. I figure if he is great in the audiobook, he will be even better on stage. An actor has only two tools...his voice and his body. In the audiobooks, of course, only the voice can be used.
And Dale's voice talents are well showcased here. I often found myself laughing out loud, thanks to the combined genius of Dickens and Dale. In a couple of cases, the genius is pure Dale. At one point he adds a bit of a dog's panting that really cracked me up.
I have seen and/or heard other wonderful actors do one-man renditions of A Christmas Carol.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As to this kindle edition: it's reasonably well-formatted on the k2, but still has a few typos; the spacing is generally clear. There wasn't a clickable table of contents -- like a lot of other free Kindle books, this is pure text only -- but since this is really more a single short story than it is a book (1065 kindle "locations"), that's not a major fault, and the price makes up for it.

As to the story itself: I doubt there's an english-speaking child who doesn't have at least some familiarity with some version of it; I think every saturday morning cartoon series ever did some version, and every other sitcom. This is the original novella that inspired all those adaptations.

That's the biggest hurdle when reading this: it may be hard for some readers to get past having heard some version or other of Tiny Tim shouting out "God Bless Us, Every One" in five hundred different ways every year of their lives, and some readers might find parts of the story hackneyed in the same way that other Christmas classics have become overplayed (anyone who's worked in a mall during the Christmas seasons will know what I'm talking about).

Despite that, though, this is still a classic story, and readers who can get themselves past that hurdle will be richly rewarded. There's a powerfully archetypal story here, and one that still managed to tug at even my cynical heartstrings, even as overexposed as I've been to endless re-adaptations; I suspect it will do the same for most other readers as well, as long as they're willing to let it.
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Format: Audio CD
Charles Dickens is a legend, and Jim Dale should be. I was thrilled to find out that Mr. Dale had recorded "A Christmas Carol" because I've listened to many many hours (and more voices than hours!) of Mr. Dale.

One of the great strengths of "A Christmas Carol" is that it can be presented in many different ways and appeal to a variety of people at many ages. I've seen and listened to, live or recorded, Owens, Sims, Barrymore, Stewart and even Mr. Magoo perform this story but I knew Mr. Dale could bring something new to it.

I'd forgotten that Crachit had no topcoat and Scrooge's niece had kissable lips. I'd lost the memory of Scrooge trying to put out the light of the Ghost of Christmas Past and was glad to be reminded of all of the descriptions of food that Dickens layers throughout the book. I love listening to the English phrases and words that had slipped from our common usage. When I was young I thought the Ghost of Christmas Future was not much of a threat, but now, deep into middle age and a cancer survivor, I see that hooded figure quite differently.

It's a wonderful story, told with a fresh view from a beloved voice. What a great Christmas present!
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