A Christmas Carl Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Author – Ryan Field
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 133
Cover – Lovely!
POV – 3rd person, one character POV
Would I read it again – Yes.
Genre – LGBT, Contemporary, Christmas, Classic-Retelling
** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **
This is my first Ryan Field story and I loved it.
This was a wholly original take on A Christmas Carol, without being untrue to the plot or having to keep the same cheesy writing style, or even adding in those key phrases everyone relates to the original. It took the basic shape of the original story and moulded it into something new and heart-warming.
There were a few hiccups along the way, with a few editing issues and an unexpected date-rape concept that took me by surprise (a female MC getting the closeted gay friend so hammered on alcohol that he was barely conscious when she had sex with him).
But, I loved that these men weren't in their 60's or 70's, beyond the age where they could make a real change in their lives. These were young men in their 30's who had half their lives left to live, once the spirits had done their work. That was a great change to the original story and gave the author so many wonderful opportunities that they capitalised on.
Abel was cheeky and sweet; the delivery boy was intriguing; older Carl was a real miser right from page one, until he met the spirits; young Carl, from his past, was this lovely, sweet boy with innocence and believe, hope and trust while Victor was this stronger, silent, sexy guy who took care of him. The love they shared in the Christmas Past scenes was heartbreaking, lovely, beautiful and it killed me. It was so strong and then it got chipped away by cruel fate, until Carl became someone he could barely recognise.
The story managed a great balance between originality and a faithful retelling, making the delivery boy the 'Tiny Tim' with one leg and a prosthetic, while having Victor also with a disability that might have turned colder men away. I loved the idea of the homeless shelter, the antique shop and the tea room all having a part to play, while giving them a broad range of locations to gather and consider things.
But what I truly loved and adored was that it was Victor who saved Carl. Yes, there were many things Carl saw from the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come that could have swayed him. The scene with the pram and the taxi started the ice melting, but it was still clear from events later on that he hadn't even started opening his mind and heart to the reality of what he was seeing. It was only Victor – the miracle of seeing him again and realising that he had never loved anyone else, even if he had to use mindless, meaningless sex to satisfy his needs – that made Carl who he became in those last chapters. Without Victor, Carl had no hope of redemption.
A perfect ending to a beautiful story. It made me cry and that says everything.
“He didn't even know there was a tear sliding down his cheek until it hit his bare shoulder.”