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Marly's Ghost Paperback – October 18, 2007
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL has been one of my favorite books since I was very young. So when I heard about David Levithan's MARLY'S GHOST, I didn't think that it could compare. I was wrong. Levithan's MARLY'S GHOST is a wonderful "remix" of the story A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and easily brings Dickens' ideas into a modern day scene that will leave readers enchanted. The storyline is sad - as is A CHRISTMAS CAROL - and the descriptions of Marly's sickness bring to mind scenes from Nicholas Sparks' A WALK TO REMEMBER, yet end on a happy note - as did Sparks' effort. Levithan has created characters that embody updated versions of all of Dickens' previous characters, even including a modern day Tiny Tim - that is actually two gay freshman named Tiny and Tim.Read more ›
It should really come as no surprise that Marly is dead, the victim of a cancer that claims the lives of far too many people at far too young an age. In the beginning, the book started off strong with the heart-felt longing Ben has for his lost girlfriend and the pain it has caused not only for Ben but also for those who love him the most.
Yet, as the story continues with the appearance of Marly and the three other ghosts--the Spirits of Love Past, Present and Future--the story goes from heartbreaking to overkill. Instead of letting a natural flow come from a great beginning, Levithan forces his characters to fit into the neat little mold that Dickens had created more than a hundred years before.
While the end looked like it was about to take a turn for the better and have a more modern application of the timeless moral the original story outlined, the characters were again restricted by the near verbatim retelling. (I'm afraid if I say more on this, I will give away the ending.)
I know this review sounds harsh, but the book really wasn't that bad of a read. The story really does teach a good lesson about learning from the past while still living for the future, and that love really can pull us through some pretty awful things.Read more ›
Swap Christmas with Valentine's and you have a very lazy edition of the magical original. I did not think this was a creative effort of the story, and it didn't feel like Levithan tried very hard to make it his own. I was unimpressed with the storyline he chose to go with of a young man embittered after losing his girlfriend Marly to cancer and being visited with three ghosts of the past, present and future to bring hope and positivity back into his life. I was really unimpressed to find that the boy's name at the end was actually Ebenezer Scrooge, but goes by Ben.
I'm giving this three stars because I do love Charles Dicken's and A Christmas Carol is one of my favourites, and while this wasn't a creative interpretation in my opinion, it is still an OK book and an OK story and was a quick, enjoyable read. However, my criticism of it is based on the comparison between the classic tale and this one.
Ben is a 16 year old man grieving the loss of his first love, Marly, a woman who died from cancer. He was with her until the end, and those moments leading up to her death still haunt him, so much so that he feel that he can't go on with her months after her death. His loss wells to such an intensity it causes him to lash out to his family, friends, and even strangers with heated animosity. On the day before Valentine's day he even tells off a couple by the names of Tiny and Tim (the school's only gay couple) proclaiming that love is pointless and other such nonsense. It is obvious that his depression has taken a toll on him.
That evening in a moment of sheer loneliness he is visited by the ghost of Marly, who tells him his ties on him are weighing her down in the afterlife and that he has to move on. He admits he wants to die, so she tells him that he will be visited by three ghosts over the next few nights... if the story sounds familiar that's because it is a retelling of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"... only set in contemporary times and with a Valentine's day theme instead.
It is true that Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol", but to me it feels as if it were meant purely as a study for David Levithan to use to pen this book. Now, I freely admit I have never been the biggest fan of Dickens' style of writing but I have read "A Christmas Carol" (in class, I wouldn't have finished it had I not been forced to). So I do know the story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Marly's Ghost is a modern day retelling of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with a Valentine's twist to it. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Stephanie Verhaegen (Bookfever)
Very quick read and cute in its own way. I have loaned it out several times so I think that speaks well of the book as well.Published on October 9, 2012 by gordita76
I loved this book.I felt like a lot of younger people in this time could really relate more to this than the origional. Read morePublished on June 16, 2011 by bookfairy5